Perspectives: before, during, and after the 1994 South Canyon Fire

As I pack to begin my journey to attend the 20-year commemoration of the 1994 South Canyon Fire that killed 14 firefighters in Colorado, I am thinking back on video interviews with a couple of dozen firefighters who were either on the fire, or dealt with some of the fallout over the next 20 years. It is interesting and in some cases refreshing to see them speak out, sometimes bluntly, about how the safety culture of wildland firefighters has changed since South Canyon.

Every firefighter should see this first video, titled Everyone goes home published on YouTube on May 30, 2013. It includes an assortment of people with various degrees of involvement in the South Canyon Fire.

In the next video, 1994 South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain, 11 firefighters that survived tell their stories.

As a bonus, check out the excellent July 3 article at Oregonlive that includes video interviews with three survivors of the fire, Alex Robertson, Sarah Doehring, and Michelle Ryerson.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Perspectives: before, during, and after the 1994 South Canyon Fire”

  1. Actually I found the Oregonlive article to be shallow and misleading. Not criticizing the firefighters but the journalist. If one did not know better you would think that lack of radios was our main safety problem and now everybody has one so we’re OK now. So many more aspects of the 20th anniversary could have been explored. The Oregonian used to be a newspaper where one could count on good journalism, but like most papers that was then, this is now.

  2. Incredible video. When the foreman paused in his narration and gulped, the hair stood up on my arms. Brought tears to my eyes. Even in their panic they took care of each other. God bless these folks and everyone out there today.


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