Yarnell Hill, 2013
The Place: Arizona
The Underlying Cause: Lightning
The Devastation: 8,400 acres burned, 19 lives lost from the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew
What Is Noteworthy about This Fire: Hotshot crews go through rigorous training to prepare them for the physical and mental challenges of aggressive fire suppression. The Yarnell Hill fire wasn’t a particularly large fire but a line of thunderstorms approached the flames, whipping the blaze in multiple directions and trapping every member of Granite Mountain Hotshot crew except for the lookout. “To say it’s unusual is an understatement,” says Frederick. “It’s tragic and wrenching.” This event was the greatest loss of firefighters in a wildfire since 1933.