Tag Archives: Flathead Hotshots

Safety issues kept Flathead Hotshots off fatal fire

A Flathead-based fire fighting crew pulled themselves off the Steep Corner fire in Idaho due to safety issues the day before Anne Veseth was killed while working that fire . . .

One day before a 20-year-old firefighter was killed by a falling tree on the Steep Corner fire, a U.S. Forest Service hotshot crew from Montana refused to fight the fire because of safety concerns.

In a report filed Aug. 14 on the National Interagency Fire Center’s SAFENET website, an unnamed superintendent of the Flathead Hotshots said firefighting conditions on the fire, managed by the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association, were “extremely unsafe” because of falling snags, lack of communication, lack of a command structure and mixed crews with no leadership. The report was written Aug. 11.

The next day Anne Veseth of Moscow, Idaho, a two-year wildland firefighter with the Forest Service, was killed when she was struck by a falling tree while working on the Steep Corner fire.

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