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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Family and friends gather today in North Carolina memorial service for #MAFFS airmen killed

 Family and friends gather today in North Carolina in a private memorial service for the four airmen killed in a July 1 plane crash while fighting the White Draw fire near Edgemont, in the Black Hills of South Dakota

The C-130 plane, equipped with the modular airborne firefighting system called MAFFS, crashed while making its third run to drop fire retardant on the Wildfire.
 Air National Guard MAFFS equipped C-130j that crashed July 1 near Edgemont South Dakota fighting the White Draw fire 
Killed: Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, Maj. Ryan Scott David and Maj. Joe McCormick were killed in the crash.
Injured: Lt. Col. Robert Carver with the North Carolina National Guard said both airmen remain hospitalized, one in good condition and one listed in fair condition. Carver declined to release either of the airmen’s names, but the Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, N.C., has identified one of the survivors as Sgt. Josh Marlowe.
Downed Aircraft:  Daniels said there is no firm timeline as to when the plane debris will be removed from the fire area. The White Draw Fire, now 100 percent contained, burned 8,900 acres.
Daniels said the plane is in several pieces on the ground. Investigators have been to the site but “there hasn’t been a cause identified yet” for the crash, he said.
Daniels said the debris will likely stay in place until the investigation can be completed. There is no timeline for completion of the investigation.
“Every single one is different, every one is unique,” he said of crash investigations. “They can’t start the cleanup until the investigation has reached a point in which not having the pieces there is OK,” he said.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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