Navajo Interagency Hotshot Crew Deploys Fire Shelters in AZ Blaze

AZfire

A single engine air tanker drops a load of retardent to create fire lines on the Bug Creek Fire near Cordes Lakes, Ariz., Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier via AP)

POTRERO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a wildfires burning in the U.S. West:

Firefighters who deployed their fire shelters this week while battling an Arizona blaze were part of the Navajo Interagency Hotshot Crew.

Six firefighters in the 20-member crew used their shelters Tuesday, a couple of days before the three-year anniversary of a fire that claimed the lives of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

In 2013, the Granite Mountain crew members deployed their fire shelters in a last-ditch effort to save themselves. The lightweight cocoons are made of reflective material and are intended as a firefighter’s last resort.

The six who deployed their shelters Tuesday were treated for smoke inhalation but were otherwise uninjured. They haven’t been identified.

Authorities are still investigating what led to the deployment of the shelters but said the hotshot crew was in an area where the fire wasn’t yet controlled.

The fire is burning on 71 square miles on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

___

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comment Now: Post Your Thoughts & Comments on This Story

Associated Press

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.