Sunday marks 20 years since 14 firefighters died on Storm King Mountain in western Colorado. A public commemoration will take place that afternoon in Glenwood Springs at Two Rivers Park, the site of a memorial.
Firefighter Travis Turbyfill was killed one year ago by a wildfire after he and fellow members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots deployed to a fire shelter in an Arizona box canyon. A fierce wind blew the Yarnell Hill Fire over the crew, killing 19.
Colorado’s own aerial firefighting fleet will soon be much bigger. Following Governor Hickenlooper’s May 12 signature on the bill authorizing a state-owned fleet, Colorado’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control has been busy contracting helicopters, single engine air tankers and early detection remote sensing aircraft.