19 firefighters died on Sunday, June 30, 2013 while battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona. The firefighters were members of a “hotshot” crew that will hike into the wilderness with equipment to build lines of protection in an attempt to protect people and property.
Part of the equipment that these firefighters take is an emergency shelter designed to be deployed when conditions become drastic. This shelter is constructed with a fire-resistant material, and looks like a foil type of shelter, or tent. Firefighters will dig as much they can down into the ground and cover themselves with this shelter with the hope that the fire will burn over the top of them with the hopes that they will survive the event.
Regarding the shelters, Chief Dan Fraijo, Fire Chief of Prescott Fire Department in Arizona, said “under certain conditions there’s usually only sometimes a 50 percent chance that they will survive. It’s an extreme measure that’s taken under the absolute worst conditions.”
Please remember the firefighters and their families in your thoughts and prayers.