27 firefighters and 3 others confirmed killed in wildfire in China

The fire was burning at 12,000 feet above sea level

China 27 firefighters killed wildfire
Photo taken on April 1, 2019 shows the site of a forest fire in Yalongjiang Township of Muli County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Twenty-seven firefighters have been confirmed as having died March 31 while working on the fire.

China’s state news agency Xinhua confirmed Tuesday that 27 firefighters and 3 locals lost their lives March 31 while battling a wildfire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The agency said the fire burned 15 hectares (37 acres) in a remote area of the province at 3,700 meters (12,139 feet) above sea level.

“We’re ready to increase precipitation artificially,”said Wu Song, county chief of Muli, Sichuan’s Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. He said the fire has been contained as of Tuesday.

china wildfire helicopter water bucket
A firefighting helicopter collects water to battle a forest fire in Muli County in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, April 2, 2019.

Another fire in China, in Shanxi Province, is being fought by over 15,000 people, including professional firefighters, factory workers, soldiers, and police. Residents of 41 villages are under evacuation orders. The state news agency said “Firefighters have carved out a 40-km-long isolation belt. A second 6-km-long fire isolation belt is being bulldozed.”

Report: 27 wildland firefighters killed in China

wildfire killed firefighters china
The deadly wildfire in southwestern China. New China photo.

Early reports are that at least 27 firefighters were killed while fighting a wildfire in China on March 31. The BBC said 30 firefighters died, while the China Xinhau News reported it was 27 firefighters and 3 civilians that perished.

(Update 9:15 a.m. MDT April 2: China’s state new agency Xinhua confirmed Tuesday that 27 firefighters and 3 locals lost their lives.)

From the BBC:

Thirty firefighters have died while tackling a huge forest fire in south-western China, officials say.

Fire crews had been battling the blaze in the mountains of Sichuan province on Sunday when a change in wind direction caused “a huge fireball”, trapping them, the emergency ministry said.

Contact with 30 firefighters was lost. All were confirmed dead on Monday and their bodies were retrieved from the mountain, state TV said.

China Xinhua News had different numbers — 30 killed but 27 of those were firefighters.

An earlier report had the number at 26 firefighters:

The New York Times was not specific about how the numbers broke down:

A forest fire in southwestern China turned deadly over the weekend when winds shifted unexpectedly, trapping firefighters and local officials in a maelstrom. The bodies of 30 people who could not escape were found on Monday, officials announced, even as the fire continued to burn out of control.

Among those who died were the chief of a regional forestry bureau in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, and his deputy, state media reported. The officials had traveled to the scene of the fire, which broke out on Saturday in a remote location at altitudes nearing 13,000 feet, and had not been heard from since.

Our sincere condolences go out to the families, friends, and coworkers of the deceased.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Paula. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Four firefighters killed in China

Four firefighters that were working on a wildfire in the Shanxi Province of northern China were found dead Monday April 3. According to local authorities they became entrapped while fighting the fire near Wenjiazhuang Village of Taigu County.

The initial report is that the fire was caused by a villager who was burning paper money while visiting the tombs of relatives before Tomb Sweeping Day, which was on April 4 this year. The custom in China is for people to pay respect to their deceased family members at that time of the year by burning incense and paper money.

China: 5 climbers killed in fire

From ShanghaiDaily:

Five climbers killed in mountain fire in NE China

March 22, 2015

DALIAN, March 22 (Xinhua) — Five mountain climbers have been confirmed dead after a fire in Dahei Mountain in northeastern Chinese city of Dalian Sunday, according to local fire fighters.

The forest fire control center received the fire report at 1:48 p.m. and sent more than 300 fire fighters to the site.

No further information on the climbers is available so far.

The fire was brought under control at 5:50 p.m. The cause of the mountain fire is still under investigation.

Wildland firefighter LODDs, 2010

At Wildfire Today we try to keep track of the line of duty deaths (LODD) of firefighters working on wildland fires. The past year, 2010, again produced a lengthy list of firefighters who passed away while doing their job. We make no claim that it is a complete or official tally. If you are aware of any that we missed, let us know. Some of the dates are approximate and may be the date of the report of the fatality. The last three incidents are gray areas, in that the victims were not all firefighters, or were not necessarily actively involved in fire suppression at the time of the incident. They were included because they were very significant incidents.

At the end of the list is a report from the U.S. Fire Administration providing their statistics on the number of LODDs for 2010.

January 11. Australia. A firefighter was killed and four others were injured when their fire truck rolled over while they were responding to a grass fire at Lake Mokoan near Benalla in northeast Victoria, Australia. (map)

April 11. Kansas.  A firefighter was overcome by smoke and died while working on a fire west of Peru.

April 24. New Brunswick, Canada. A pilot from Grand Falls, with Forest Protection Ltd., was conducting a practice flight in a water bomber when the plane crashed shortly after taking off from the airport.

June 23. Washington. The chief of the Franklin Fire District 4 in Basin City, Washington, was killed when a snow cat that had been converted to a fire apparatus rolled about 100 feet down a hill while he was working on a vegetation fire.

July 30. Russia. Wildfires in Russia killed at least 25 people including 2 firefighters, and destroyed over 1,000 homes. Some reports say three firefighters died in the fires.

July 31. Canada. An air tanker crashed while working on a fire in British Columbia. The Convair 580, operated by Conair, went down in central B.C. The two pilots were killed.

August 2. Arkansas. A firefighter was operating an Arkansas Forestry Commission 2002 International tractor trailer, and was en route to check on the status of an earlier fire. The tractor trailer load reportedly shifted causing the vehicle to cross the roadway center line, go into a ditch and then overturn.

August 11. Portugal. Civil protection officials said a female firefighter died, one fireman was badly burned and their team had to be evacuated when they found themselves surrounded by flames after a sudden change in the direction of the wind in Gondomar region. On Monday, a fireman was killed and another seriously injured when their truck fell into a burning ravine in the mountainous Sao Pedro do Sul area.

August 13. Spain. Two firefighters were been killed in wildfires. The blazes hit near the village of Fornelos de Montes in the country’s northwestern Galicia region, close to the border with Portugal, where several forest fires are still raging.

September 21. Spain. A 46-year old firefighter died while extinguishing a wildfire in Senes.

September 24. Ohio. A firefighter was killed when a pressurized tank failed and he was struck by debris.

September 24. Virginia. A firefighter collapsed and later died while working on a fire in New Church, Virginia off Route 13.

November 16. South Carolina. A firefighter was suppressing a grass fire in the median of Interstate 20 when a van rear-ended a sedan as they approached the fire scene. The sedan was pushed into two parked fire trucks causing them to crash into a firefighter, causing his death.

November 23. California. One inmate was killed and 12 were injured when their crew carrier vehicle was involved in a head-on accident. Three of the injured were in critical condition. The elderly driver of the other vehicle was also killed. As far as we know the inmate crew was not assigned to a fire at the time of the crash.

December 5. China. A massive wildfire in Tibet’s Sichuan province killed 22 people, including Chinese soldiers during a rescue operation. Of the 22 killed, 15 were soldiers, two were workers with the grassland administration, and five others were local civilians.

December 6. Israel. At least one of the 43 government employees that were killed in the Carmel Mountain fire in Israel was a police officer. The Police Chief in Haifa (Israel) died in the Line of Duty from her burn injuries after 4 days of hospitalization. She was the first ever woman police chief there, and was gravely injured in the Carmel forest fire, while driving along with the bus full of Prison Service cadets that burned and killed the cadets as well.

Below is the The U.S. Fire Administration’s report of the on-duty firefighter fatalities in 2010. Click on FullScreen to see a larger version.

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