"Today is an extremely sad and difficult day as we are painfully reminded of the growing threat of wildfire and its potential to take human life," said NFPA President Jim Shannon acknowledging the death of 19 firefighters killed in a raging wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona. "To the families of these brave individuals in Arizona, their friends, their community and their fellow firefighters across the globe who devote their lives to saving others from fire, we offer our heartfelt condolences and share in their grief."
Acording to NFPA records, it is the deadliest incident for firefighters since 9/11 and the third highest firefighter death toll for wildland fires. The 1910 Devil’s Broom wildfire in Silverton, Idaho killed 86 firefighters and the 1933 Griffith Park blaze in Los Angeles, California, killed 29.
In recent years, firefighter fatalities have been declining. NFPA recently released its annual Firefighter Fatality Report that showed there were 64 firefighter on-duty deaths in 2012, the second lowest in 35 years. For the past four years, the annual total has been well below 100, dropping the annual average over the past 10 years to 88 deaths.
For more NFPA resources, including statistics and research, NFPA Journal articles on wildfire and online information relating to wildfire and Fire Adapted Communities, please see the "Breaking News" section of our NFPA press room.