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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

July 2, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Arizona wildfire: a reminder of what it takes to be a Hotshot

We’re all learning more about the Hotshots, the courageous firefighting crew that lost 19 of its members Sunday fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire near Phoenix, Ariz. The Associated Press compiled bios of the young men, some of whom were fathers and dads-to-be. Most were still in their twenties.

The Hotshots are like the military’s Special Forces. There are 110 around the country. Candidates for the Granite Mountain Hotshots had to show that they could pass the arduous Pack Test and complete a series of physical activities, ranging from 40 sit-ups in 60 seconds to 7 pull-ups to a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) run in just under 11 minutes, according to National Geographic Daily News.

There have been 43 firefighter fatalities reported so far in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty. So many firefighters have not died in a single incident since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

As wildfires grow more destructive and deadly, the question will be how to fight them, and at what cost.

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2013/wildfires/?SITE=wasee” width=”630″ height=”700″ scrolling=””/]

Comments | Topics: environment, firefighters, wildfires

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