Dude Fire — 25 years ago today

Dude fire, Arizona Republic newspaperThe June 27, 1990 Arizona Republic, from Michael Johns’ paper, “The Dude Fire” (click for a slightly larger version)

Twenty-five years ago today, six firefighters perished on the Dude fire in Walk Moore Canyon north of Payson, Arizona on a day when the temperature in Phoenix reached 122 degrees, grounding jetliners because there was no reliable data confirming that fully loaded commercial aircraft could operate in that kind of heat.

Tom Story, 25 years ago, was a photographer for the Arizona Republic and was on the Dude Fire taking pictures. Some of them have been recently posted on their website. One of them shows Superintendent Paul Gleason and some of his Zig Zag hotshots during the
burnout operation in Bonita Creek Estates, prior to the blow up. Mr. Story is still active in the fire world.

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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.