July 02, 2013
Hero Convicts

From the New York Times:

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — The men were mostly born and bred in this city on the mountains, surrounded by thick forest of piñon pine and chaparral brush, parched by years of drought. They were young men, mostly, 14 of them in their 20s — outdoorsmen, fathers, heroes to the local high school athletes they themselves once were…

Nineteen of the 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots perished on Sunday, fighting a fierce wilderness fire outside the old gold mining village of Yarnell, 35 miles southwest of here. It was the greatest loss of firefighters in a single disaster since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

For a fascinating account of exactly how an eerily similar disaster unfolded in Arizona 23 years ago almost to the day, see Jaime Joyce’s article in a brand-new writers’ website, The Big Roundtable. Only in this case the doomed Hotshot crew was made up of convict volunteers from a state prison.



Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 02, 2013 11:25 AM
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