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Incident Name:  Harris Ridge Fire, a 1500 acre fire 4.5 mi E of Kooskia, ID
Date: 8/11/1972, 1524 hours
Personnel: 2 lives lost
Age: 
Agency/Organization: Idaho Department of Lands
Position: firefighters

Summary:

Russell Allen, 26, of Richfield UT
Gregory Heathco, 18, of Orofino

On August 11, 1972, Russell Allen and Gregory Heathco with their crew were fighting the Harris Ridge Fire near Kooskia, Idaho. The crew split up to build fireline in two directions to tie in with others. Allen and Heathco worked in the east; the others built line in the western edge of the fire. The fire built up to the west and those firefighters sought their safety zone. It's unclear exactly what happened to the two who died. They may have tried to gain elevation, tripped over a downed barbwire fenceline, that pulled down a snag that hit them. Allen apperently fell 37 feet. Heathco may have also fallen but was found 33 feet above Allen. Both men died of "suffocation and burning".

 

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Harris Ridge Fire 4.5 mi E of Kooskia, Idaho
300 yards up a ravine off Hwy 12 where the fire started

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Russell Allen & Gregory Heathco named as fallen Russell Allen & Gregory Heathco named as fallen

 

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Contributors to this article: Wildland Firefighter Foundation, Brett Rogers

 

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