About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

Yarnell Hill Fire survivor gets book deal

Brendan McDonough

Brendan McDonough speaks at the memorial service for his 19 fellow crewmembers killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire. Photo by Bill Gabbert, July 9, 2013.

The only survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots’ tragedy during the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona has signed a book deal with a best-selling author. Brendan McDonough was serving as a lookout when the other 19 members of his crew were entrapped by the fire and killed.

Publisher’s Marketplace provides this teaser about the book:

Firefighter Brendan McDonough with NYT bestselling author Stephan Talty. The untold story from the lone survivor of the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Below is an excerpt from an article at the Arizona Republic:

A Prescott wildfire lookout who lived through the deadly Yarnell Hill blaze of 2013 signed a book deal at about the same time his sworn testimony was canceled based on concerns from his therapist that a deposition would jeopardize his treatment for post-traumatic stress.

Former Granite Mountain Hotshots member Brendan McDonough has been working with best-selling author Stephan Talty to produce a book that, according to online promotional materials, will reveal “the untold story from the lone survivor of the Yarnell Hill Fire.”

McDonough, who has retained a private attorney and an agent, barely escaped flames that killed 19 fellow hotshots June 30, 2013. Reached by phone Monday, he declined to explain why his treatment precluded sworn testimony but did not prevent participation in a book. He referred calls to his legal representative and his agent.

In an interview last week, Los Angeles-based agent Steve Fisher confirmed that a book is in the offing…


Two Michigan firefighters injured by falling tree

Two firefighters were injured April 18, one seriously, by a falling tree while working on a wildfire near Chesaning, Michigan (map). Kevin Carlton, Assistant Chief of the Chesaning Fire Department, said the firefighters were working to put out flames in a hollow tree. While they were using a chain saw the tree suddenly fell, striking the two men.

Fire Chief Scott Hall received minor injuries and is recovering at home. Firefighter Ryan McPherson is recovering from serious injuries. A gofundme account has been set up for Mr. McPherson where the following information is provided:

[He was] flown to Henry Ford Hospital for extensive surgery and recovery. He is expected to be in the hospital for several weeks followed by many months of recovery and physical therapy. Please help out our local Firefighters, any and all help is appreciated.


Florida: large wildfire near Kendall

Miami-Dade wildfire

Miami-Dade wildfire. Screen grab from WSVN viceo.

Miami-Dade County in south Florida continues to experience large wildfires pushed by strong winds and high temperatures. Firefighters have been battling a fire in Kendall since Sunday when it was slowed down at 100 acres, but weather conditions on Monday afternoon caused it to grow to 1,850 acres which required the closure of several roads in the area.

On Monday, 27 children in a Lincoln Marti daycare center were evacuated because of the smoke.


Fire threatens campus of University of Mary

University of Mary wildfire

On April 14 a wildfire burned up to the campus of the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. The entire campus and 20 nearby homes were evacuated. The staff cleared out the school buildings and dorms, and school buses were on hand to transport students without vehicles to the Lewis Goodhouse Wellness Center, at the United Tribes Technical College. The University remained closed overnight. There were no reports of damage to any structures on the campus.


Wildfire burns 300 acres in Miami-Dade County

A wildfire in south Florida burned about 300 acres Sunday in Miami-Dade County near Southwest 162nd Avenue and Southwest 42nd Street. By Monday morning the spead of the fire that had sent plumes of dark smoke late Sunday into Kendall, Sweetwater, Doral and other nearby areas had been stopped.

In January Fire Aviation wrote about the aviation program in Miami-Dade County.


Red Flag Warnings, April 20, 2015

Red Flag Warnings, April 20, 2015

Red Flag Warnings or Fire Weather Watches have been issued for areas in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

The map was current as of 8:50 a.m. MDT on Monday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts and maps. For the most current data visit this NWS site or this NWS site.