The twelve Hotshots and two helitack firefighters from Prineville, Oregon were working near the top of Storm King Mountain when weather conditions changed, and the fire exploded up the hillside.
While the 14 firefighters were killed on Storm King Mountain, the lessons learned that day have made wild land firefighting safer.
"We've made considerable changes," Todd Richardson said, a field operations specialist with the BLM and a fire incident commander. "Unfortunately, but fortunately for all of us here they've made us much better at what we do. We weigh the risk versus loss issue more."
Storm King is still used as a teaching tool for young firefighters. Every year Richardson takes a group of firefighter's t o the top of Storm King and explains to them the events that claimed the lives of the 14 firefighters.
He says in the wake of the loss, changes were made to improve policy, procedures and communications for firefighters. There are now more radios available for fire crews, which makes it easier to communicate when weather conditions change.
"You still can learn from the past," Richardson said.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)