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25 Years Later: Video highlights Storm King Mountain Memorial Trail

Video shows the permanent memorial markers placed where each of the 14 firefighters died

By FireRescue1 Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — July 6, 2019, marks the 25th anniversary of the South Canyon Fire, also referred to as the Storm King Mountain Fire, which took the lives of 14 firefighters.

Outside Adventure Media created the video “Hallowed Ground: Storm King Mountain Memorial Trail,” which takes viewers through the memorial trail that honors the 14 hotshots, smokejumpers and helitak crewmembers who died in the blaze.

On July 2, lightning sparked a fire at the ridge of Storm King Mountain, near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. At the time, fire officials deemed it a low priority, but as the fire began to grow and the public expressed concern, resources were assigned.

On July 5, firefighters started their approach and were joined that evening by a team of smokejumpers. Members of the Prineville Interagency Hotshot Crew joined the battle the following day.

On the afternoon of July 6, a dry cold front increased wind and fire activity, pushing the firefighters to a highly flammable Gambel oak area. Within seconds a wall of flames raced up the hill toward the firefighters on the west flank fireline. Fourteen firefighters were not able to escape and were killed as they tried to flee.

In memory:

  • Kathi Beck – Prineville Hotshots
  • Tamera Bickett – Prineville Hotshots
  • Scott Blecha – Prineville Hotshots
  • Levi Brinkley – Prineville Hotshots
  • Robert Browning – Prineville Hotshots
  • Douglas Dunbar – Prineville Hotshots
  • Terri Hagen – Prineville Hotshots
  • Bonnie Holtby – Prineville Hotshots
  • Rob Johnson – Prineville Hotshots
  • Jon Kelso – Prineville Hotshots
  • Don Mackey – Missoula Smokejumper
  • Roger Roth – McCall Smokejumper
  • Jim Thrash – McCall Smokejumper
  • Richard Tyler – Helitack Crew

To learn more about the fire, visit the South Canyon Fire website.