Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Firefighters killed in 'hellstorm'

21 August 2015, 06:43

Twisp - A "hellstorm" of flames apparently enveloped a vehicle that crashed while carrying firefighters battling a blaze in Washington state, killing three of them during an explosive fire season in the arid West.

Four other firefighters were hurt, including one critically, on Wednesday as crews fought raging wildfires advancing on towns in the north-central part of the state, some of the many blazes burning uncontrolled throughout the West.

Drought and heat have combined to make this fire season one of the most active in recent years. Nearly 29\ 000 firefighters are battling around 100 large blazes in states including Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and California.

This season, 13 people have died battling wildfires, including the three in Washington, said Jessica Gardetto of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. She said it was a high number but could not immediately compare it to other years.

The deaths happened in the scenic Methow River valley, northeast of Seattle, but few details were released as officials notified family members.

Also Read: Huge blaze threatens village in southern Croatia

"The firefighters were engaged in initial attack operations and were involved in a vehicle accident when it is believed that the fire overtook the vehicle," said a statement from Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, relaying information from Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers.

It wasn't immediately clear if the four injured also were involved in the crash.

"It was a hellstorm up here," Rogers told Spokane news station KXLY-TV. "The fire was racing and the winds were blowing in every direction and then it would shift. ... It was tough on 'em up here."

One firefighter remained in critical condition with severe burns on Thursday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

The White House said President Barack Obama directed his administration to stay in touch with state and local officials and to provide federal assistance as necessary.

The National Weather Service warned about weather conditions that could fuel fires in eastern Washington through Friday. Temperatures were expected to climb above 32°C and relative humidity may drop as low as 14%.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...