Remembering Colorado’s Tragic Storm King Mountain Fire of 1994
Garfield County, Colorado is currently experiencing a wildfire in Spring Creek, but almost 30 years ago another fire devastated the area outside of Glenwood Springs, tragically claiming the lives of 14 firefighters.
Take a trip back in time to revisit the devastating South Canyon Fire, better known as the Storm King Mountain Fire of 1994.
Garfield County Colorado's Storm King Mountain Fire of 1994
On July 2nd, 1992, lightning struck near the base of Storm King Mountain, causing a small fire to ignite. However, the initial reaction from emergency personnel was not that of alarm, as the original plan was to just let the fire burn itself out.
Unfortunately, as the days progressed, so did the fire, prompting firefighters to head up Storm King Mountain in an attempt to extinguish the blaze. Crews worked on the fire through the night of July 5th, and more firefighters were called in the following day to help out.
July 6th would become a day that would live in infamy in the Colorado history books as a cold front brought intense winds to the scene of the fire, resulting in a massive growth of flames and, ultimately, tragedy.
A total of 14 firefighters lost their lives that day, and are currently memorialized not just in the history books, but at the site of the infamous wildfire which is now Storm King Mountain Memorial Trail.
The firefighters that unfortunately perished in the blaze were Kathi Beck, Tamera Bickett, Scott Blecha, Levi Brinkley, Douglas Dunbar, Terri Hagen, Bonnie Holtby, Rob Johnson, Jon Kelso, Don Mackey, Roger Roth, Jim Thrash, Robert Browning Jr., and Richard Tyler.