Published June 26, 2022, Sunday, 1950 hours PT

On June 26, 1990, a dry lightning storm passed over the Walk Moore Canyon, north of Payson Arizona, igniting a wildfire under the Mogollon Rim.

The fire started around 1230 hours on a steep, southwest-facing slope at about 6,400 feet of elevation, but quickly spread and consume everything in its pathway.

Credit: USFS

Due to high temps and a three-year drought in the area, fire conditions were said to be extreme and making it very dangerous for fire personnel on the fire line. Due to unclear communication (confusion) between the crew and Supervisors, the firefighters would become entrapped six Type 2 Perryville Fire crew members would perish.

Five other firefighters were injured.

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Today, we remember their sacrifices to the wildland fire profession and their families, friends, colleagues, and communities they served in.

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This wildfire not only took the lives of these firefighters but also consumed 24,000 acres (about 37.5 miles) and destroyed 70 structures.

A lot of lessons were learned and the way firefighting is operated today, is due in part to this tragic incident.

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