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Incident Name: Mack 2 Fire, San Bernardino National Forest
Date:  09/19/1971, approximately 1045 hrs
Personnel: Robert Maxwell Miller
Age:  21
Agency/Organization:  US Forest Service
Position: Vista Grande Tanker Crew Foreman

Summary: On the morning of September 19, 1971, Robert Miller and 3 other firefighters responded to the Mack 2 Fire with their USFS Engine from the San Jacinto Ranger District; which was mutual aid with CDF on adjacent Indian Reservation land. Other firefighters on the engine with Bob Miller were Bruce Mitchell, Larry Smith and Ron Court. Bob Miller and another firefighter were executing a hose lay, when the fuel below them began to flare up; this area had previously burned and was smoldering when they started the hose lay. They ran uphill towards a ridgeline, unbeknownst to them that they were running into an even bigger flare-up on the other side. The other firefighter, Ron Court, was able to make it over the ridge, and sheltered in a spot near the road, where he could protect his airway. Miller appeared to have become too fatigued to make it all the way, and chose to stop before reaching the top of the hill, and was badly burned; he was transported to a medical facility. He died from his injuries.

 

Robert Miller, Mack 2 Fire Robert Miller, Mack 2 Fire

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Accident Site (approximate)

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Accident Investigation Report: Full Report (3.45 MB pdf)
  • California Death Index: Robert M Miller First Record in Familysearch database ("California, Death Index, 1940-1997,"  Robert M Miller, 19 Sep 1971; citing Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.)
  • Forest Service: Memorial Page

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

 

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Media Articles and Reports.

 

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • There's a Roadside marker for the MACK 2 Fire of September 19, 1971, in which Robert Maxwell Miller died. The marker is on Hwy 243 above Banning, CA. 33.900550, -116.864450 from Another TC

 

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Contributors to this article:  FOBS73, John Miller, Another TC

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