Originally Posted by johndeeregreen
I understand that, but I refuse to believe these guys don't go in with dozens of "If this happens, then we _______" discussed and planned for. It would be sheer idiocy and recklessness to not have reactionary measures in mind at all times. I have a hard time believing these guys either a) didn't prepare for all possibilities or b) just said, "f*ck it, if the wind changes direction that way, then we're just dead."
How fast did this all happen?
3-5 minutes from the estimates of those near the scene. THat's what it took for the fire to dramatically increase in size, intensity, and to completely surround the team.
Nobody suggested they don't go in with a plan, but in worst case scenarios, plans don't always work. That's why they're called worst case scenarios.
When engulfed in a fire of this nature, the last resort is a fire blanket/shelter. That means you dig as deep as you can, pull flame resistant material that is designed to protect from flame and extreme heat over you, and hope it burns past. If it doesn't, and the fire is so strong it remains atop and all around you, you die. As the fire chief said in the link someone else posted, these provide at best a 50/50 chance of survival and are the last ditch attempt to save your life. There's no driving in or out. No flying in or out. Thousands of acres burning uncontrollably, and high winds that can shift and swirl with no notice, igniting everything in the area which is not already on fire.
This is one of the elite teams in the nation. In fact, they were the only accredited hot shotting team in the country all drawn from one local fire department. Ignoring the ample room between fool-proof escape plan
and no plan at all
is poorly thought out and disrespectful to those that lost their lives.