Video of burnover on the 1987 Crank Fire

Crank Fire burnover
Crank Fire burnover, screen grab from video

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center has published a video about the burnover of three fire engines and a hand crew that occurred on the 1987 Crank Fire in northern California. Three engines were destroyed. The burnover was captured on video by a fixed wing aircraft that was conducting an aerial retardant study.

Under the direction of the four supervisors, two USFS and two CDF, all 25 firefighters deployed their fire shelters and remained under cover for about 40 to 45 minutes. The injuries which occurred were limited to a few first and second-degree burns, eye irritation, and minor smoke inhalation.

The written report about the burnover can be found HERE.

The burnover occurred on August 30 during the “Siege of 1987″, when lightning in late August started 1,600 fires in northern California and southern Oregon that burned 650,000 acres. Some of the fires burned into October.

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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.