(photo KTLA5 - CA)
The nation and the world continue to grieve for the 19 brave firefighters who lost their lives this week battling one of the many raging wildland fires in the United States. Acording to NFPA records, the fire near Yarnell, Arizona is the deadliest incident for firefighters since 9/11 and the third highest firefighter death toll for wildland fires. The 1910 Devil’s Broom wildfire in Silverton, Idaho killed 86 firefighters and the 1933 Griffith Park blaze in Los Angeles, California, killed 29.
Metro Chief President G. Keith Bryant, who serves as the chief of Okahoma City Fire Department shared the sentiments of his membership saying, "On behalf of the members of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, we send our most heartfelt condolences to families and fellow firefighters of the 19 who sadly but bravely lost their lives in the Arizona wildfires. We recognize the enormity of this tragedy and the impact to the loved ones who have lost so much and we grieve with you. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs offer our prayers for comfort and strength to those suffering with this tragic loss and will always honor the sacrifice of our fallen brothers."
Peter Holland, UK Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor and a member of the Metro Chiefs also sent his condolensces to the US stating, "It truly is unbelievable that so many firefighters have paid the ultimate sacrifice by losing their lives in the enormous wildfires sweeping through Arizona. On behalf of the British government I pass on the sincere condolences of all our citizens to our friends in the United States. We look on in awe at the enormity of the fires and the brave efforts of your firefighters to halt these devastating wildfires."The Metro Chiefs Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career fire fighters.
Throughout the week the media have used a number of NFPA resources to tell this tragic story and provide an overview of the growing wildfire problem. For more NFPA resources, including statistics and research, NFPA Journal articles on wildfire and online information relating to wildfire and Fire Adapted Communities, please see the "Breaking News" section of our NFPA press room.