South Canyon fire, 16 years ago today

South Canyon Fire
The blow-up at the South Canyon fire, between 1630 and 1700. Photo from the report.

On the afternoon of July 6, 1994 near Glenwood Springs, Colorado the South Canyon fire spotted across the drainage and beneath firefighters, moving onto steep slopes and into dense, highly flammable Gambel oak. Within seconds, a wall of flame raced up the hill toward the firefighters on the west flank fireline. Failing to outrun the flames, 12 firefighters perished. Two helitack crew members on top of the ridge also died when they tried to outrun the fire to the northwest. The remaining 35 firefighters survived by escaping out the east drainage or by seeking a safety area and deploying their fire shelters.

The firefighters who lost their lives that day:

Kathi Beck
Tami Bickett
Scott Blecha
Levi Brinkley
Robert Browning
Doug Dunbar
Terri Hagen
Bonnie Holtby
Rob Johnson
Jon Kelso
Don Mackey
Roger Roth
James Thrash
Richard Tyler

For more info.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “South Canyon fire, 16 years ago today”

  1. It seems like only yesterday that I learned a couple of my friends were amoung the 14 that died that day. It just brings it closer when you knew them. I hope that the lessons learned in their blood and our tears will allways be with us and the generations of firefighters following.

    R.I.P. brothers and sisters.


Comments are closed.