On June 30, 2013, a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona, claimed the lives of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a crew based out of neighboring Prescott. It was the greatest single-day loss of firefighters since 9/11.
Fernanda Santos writes about the men who died and provides a detailed account of what happened that day in her new book, “The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting.”
Looking ahead following this tragedy, Santos told Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd that unless there is a change in how we manage forests and prevent fires, more firefighters will be in danger.
“It’s going to happen again, it’s almost inevitable. Fires are here and they are getting bigger, they are getting hotter, they are getting more dangerous and the way we still fight them is by putting men and women on the line. So we’re going to have to make some tough decisions and maybe say, you know what, that fire’s going towards a town, going towards somebody’s beautiful home. Unfortunately we are going to have to let that burn, because it’s either that or putting lives on the line and losing people.”
Book Excerpt: 'The Fire Line'
By Fernanda Santos
This segment aired on April 25, 2016.