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Fire Communication & Education
Human Dimensions of Fire Management
Human Factors of Firefighter Safety
Decisionmaking & Sensemaking
Organizational Culture & Identity
Organizational Learning & Innovation

NRFSN number: 18011
Record updated:

The Cramer fire began as a fairly typical mid-slope ignition on the south-facing slope of the steep Salmon River Canyon during an extended drought that saw live fuel moistures in late July falling below the benchmark record of 2000. On July 22, the fourth day after ignition, and three days from detection and engagement, the fire made a run that entrapped and killed two young men from the local Indianola helitack crew. Nearly a year after the event, the Agency initiated legal action against some of it’s own employees. June 25-27th 2012, nine years after the Cramer Fire, the Salmon-Challis National Forest held their first Staff Ride to learn from the event (2003).  The Staff Ride covers two parallel tracks: the events that led to the deaths of two young men, and how the Agency dealt with it in the aftermath, thus has lessons for both tactical fire and strategic land managers.


Cramer Fire Staff Ride Organizing Committee. 2012. Cramer Fire Staff Ride: Preliminary Study. Salmon Challis National Forest, US Forest Service.

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