A Phoenix reporter said he was not shocked that last-ditch fire shelters failed to protect members of a Prescott hotshot crew that were killed over the weekend while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.
William Pitts, a reporter for 12 News, has specialized fire training and is trained to use the fire shelters; basically a blanket made of specialized material designed to cover firefighters who are being overrun by fire.
Pitts said hotshots are trained to seal themselves inside the blankets within a minute, but the process of removing it from their belt, stepping inside and effectively closing themselves off properly is crucial.
“You flip over so you’re facing the ground,” he said. “The point of that is you’re trying to get away from that hot air as much as possible and you want to seal as much as you can against the ground because not only will the heat get you, but the heat that you breathe in will scar your lungs.”
Pitts said it was possible, because of the speed and silence of fire, that the fire was on top of the hotshots before they had time to cocoon themselves.
Pitts also said that he can imagine how tough things are for the people around Prescott, as the Greer native knew a majority of the crews who fought the Wallow Fire.
“They were literally fighting in front of where my house was,” he said.
Pitts said that big fires hitting small towns is “unbelievably difficult” for the community, especially when life is lost.
For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to yarnellfallenfirefighters.com.
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema: ‘It’s my job’ to attend Trump inauguration
- Arizona. Gov. Doug Ducey to push for teacher raises in upcoming months
- Gov. Doug Ducey: I approve of border wall ‘as long as it benefits Arizona’
- ‘Supernatural’ TV show convention comes to Arizona
- Jan Brewer thinks Paul Penzone will have tough time beating Sheriff Joe Arpaio