National Wildfire Coordinating Group

2021 WOR Day 1: Learning from our History

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This Week of Remembrance is dedicated to all those who have fallen in the line of duty and is intended to serve as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the health, wellness, and safety of wildland firefighters.


Today is the eighth anniversary of a single shift on the Yarnell Hill Fire that took the lives of 19 firefighters. We use this solemn day to remember that instance and begin a week of reflection to honor all our sisters and brothers who have perished in the line of duty. We honor through learning.

Each day of the Week of Remembrance builds upon the previous day. We encourage you to give this Week of Remembrance the time and attention it deserves, and that will likely take more than 6 minutes each day. It’s worth it!

In this year’s Week of Remembrance, we acknowledge the twentieth anniversary of the Thirtymile Fire. Lessons learned from the Thirtymile Fire range from the individual and crew level to changes that impacted the entire wildland fire service.

As we review the events leading to the entrapment and shelter deployments at Thirtymile, we will start by considering the first three Wildland Fire Leadership Levels – Follower, New Leader, and Leader of People – to aid our learning. The Leadership Levels illustrate the standard leadership skills and knowledge needed at various levels of the organization. We will then review the events immediately following the entrapment and discuss group dynamics and taking care of ourselves and others after traumatic events.

Let’s begin! Consider how we learn from past incidents and the experiences of others.

A purple ribbon symbolizing remembrance of those who have passed away. Discussion Questions:

Within your crew, team, or group, discuss what a learning organization means to you.

  • How can you best learn from past fire events and the experiences of others?
  • As you gain more experience, how can that change how you view, interpret, and learn from incidents like Thirtymile?
  • How do you contribute to the learning of others?
  • What have you learned from Thirtymile already?

In preparation for the week ahead, take time to:

Additional video content from Learning from the Thirtymile Fire (2018) video is provided daily to support your ongoing discussions this week as we focus on learning from Thirtymile and listen to those who were there tell their stories.

Watch the Thirtymile Fire Case Study video (2012)

Time: 20:29

Watch the Learning from Thirtymile Fire video (2018)

Additional video content from Learning from the Thirtymile Fire video is provided daily to support your ongoing discussions as we focus on learning from Thirtymile and listen tot those who were there tell their story over the course of the next week.

Time: 1:24:56


Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Aug 2023

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