Plane crash kills three while mapping fires in B.C.

A small plane checking a fire that burned last year crashed in British Columbia Saturday May 4 killing three occupants. The pilot of the single engine Cessna 182 and two passengers died in the accident while one passenger survived and is being treated after being flown to a Vancouver hospital by a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre helicopter.

Precision Vectors was under contract to the British Columbia Wildfire Service to use airborne infrared equipment to check fires from 2018 for residual holdover heat that persisted through the winter. Two of the deceased have been identified, both affiliated with the company — Lorne Borgal the CEO and founder of Precision Vectors, and Amir Ilya Sedghi who provided data analysis.

The Transportation Safety Board confirmed that the aircraft went down about 57 miles north of Smithers, B.C.

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

Arkansas firefighter who had heart attack while responding, passes away

Michael Watkins
Michael Watkins. Northeast Lakeside FD photo.

The U.S. Fire Administration has received notice of a firefighter fatality:

Michael Watkins
Driver/Engineer
Northeast Lakeside Fire Department
Mountain Home, Arkansas

On April 21, 2019, Driver/Engineer Michael Watkins was responding to a brush fire when he suffered a heart attack. He was immediately taken to the hospital where he passed away on April 24, 2019 at the age of 75. He had been a firefighter for 5 years.

A celebration of Mr. Watkins’ life will be held May 4 at First United Methodist Church, 605 W 6th St, Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, and co-workers.

Firefighter dies while responding to wildfire in South Dakota

A firefighter that was responding to the High Plains Fire five air miles south of Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota has died.

Custer County Emergency Management reported that on April 17, 2019 Dwayne Hudson, a firefighter with the Argyle Fire Department, experienced a medical emergency while en route as a passenger in one of the vehicles. He was treated by fellow responders and the Custer Ambulance Service on scene and continued to be treated while being transported to Custer Regional Hospital. However, he did not survive.

The High Plains Fire started Wednesday afternoon from a lighting strike and as of Thursday morning had burned approximately 100 acres.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Hudson’s family, friends, and coworkers.

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

President suggests California politicians complain too much about wildfires

Last year 104 people, including 6 firefighters, were killed on wildfires in California.

Fire tornado Carr Fire
Fire tornado filmed by the Helicopter Coordinator on the Carr Fire July 26, 2018 near Redding, California.

During a visit to the US/Mexico border in California on Friday President Trump was asked if he had a comment about recent lawsuits filed by California about his proposed declaration of a national emergency at the border. According to a report from CNN he replied:

California’s always the first one to complain. And I don’t mean the people of California. They’re fantastic. I’m talking about the politicians in California. They complain.

When their forests go up, they complain. They gotta take care of their forests a lot better. But when the wall – they want the wall in San Diego and they’re always the first one. They were the first one to pull the National Guard. And they need the National Guard.

Wildfires in California in 2018 killed 104 people. Six of those were firefighters.

May they all rest in peace.

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

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.