Incident Name: Ship Island Fire on the Targhee National Forest, ID
Personnel: Kyle Pattee
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service
Position: Crew Boss of the Targhee Regulars
Summary: At about 1400 hrs on July 26, 1979, Kyle Pattee and another firefighter, Jim Camp, a Line Scout, located a spot fire from their vantage point at a helispot. They ordered other crews uphill from the spot fire to reatreat to their Safety Zones. They gathered gear that had been dropped at the helispot, and piled it in the center. About 15-20 mins after discovery of the spot, the fire traveled approximately 300 yards and overran the helispot. Both Pattee and the Camp deployed their shelters near the gear. The gear caught fire. Camp was able to move his shelter around several times to get away from flames coming from both the gear and from the fire. Pattee was not able to move to a safe location. Due to not having gloves, he could not maintain a good hold on his fire shelter. Mandatory use of gloves resulted from this incident. Training was improved and fire shelter concept and design were reviewed.
"up from the Middle Fork on the Salmon NF"
Accident Site (approximate)
- Accident Investigation: Pattee Fatality Investigation Report (17.5 MB pdf)
- Ship Island Fire Shelter Entrapment Report (7.4 MB pdf)
- US Social Security Death Index: Kyle Pattee
- Theysaid: 6/21/2010
- Forest Fires Raging in California & Idaho
7/30/1979 | Online Article
One man was killed and another injured on the 6,000-acre Ship Island Fire, Targhee National Forest in Idaho. The fire rages above 5,000 feet elevation along 90 degree slopes, making it extremely hazardous to fight. Everything had to be flown in, supplies and manpower.
- USFS Heroes Memorial: Kyle Pattee
Contributors to this article: John Miller, earthpig, "I are an IR"
Please support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation