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Incident Name: Fire in the Parker Creek area of the Kootenai National Forest. Idaho-Montana
Date: 8/17/1936
Personnel: Wilho Aronen of Virginia, Minnesota
Age: 22
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service
Position: firefighter

Summary: Late on August 17, 1936 Wilho Aronen age 22 was killed when he was struck by a boulder as he was helping fight a fire in the Parker Creek area of the Kootenai National Forest, ID.

 

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Parker Creek area of the Kootenai National Forest, Idaho panhandle near what is now the Pacific Northwest Trail.

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • FIREFIGHTER is KILLED IN KOOTENAI BLAZE

    Aug 19, 1936 | Billings Gazette

    Midwest youth is crushed to death in slide -- Flames Eat Toward Valuable Timber of Anaconda Copper, N. P. Railway Firms

    3000 ACRES BURNED OVER

    About 1500 Men Are Battling Conflagration; Lightning Sets New Blazes Tuesday

    LIBBY, Aug. 18 (AP) With one fire fighter crushed to death in a rockslide, roaring flames swept on Tuesday through Kootenai National Forest, destroying thousands of acres of valuable timber.

    Forest Service officials reported Wilho Aronen, 22, of Virginia, Minn., was killed late Monday when he was struck by a boulder as he was helping fight a fire in the Parker Creek area of the national forest.

    About 1.500 men were battling the wind-lashed blaze along Edna Creek, west of Stryker, where it was reported about 3,000 acres of timber had been burned over.

    Fire fighters were being rushed into the national forest from Spokane, Wash., and as reports indicated the flames were eating toward the Fisher River country, where the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and the Northern Pacific Railroad own valuable timber.

    A lightning storm which passed over the Missoula area early Tuesday morning started nine new fires, the smoke of some was visible from Missoula as crews hurried to control them. Four blazes broke out In Worden Gulch, southwest of Missoula, as lightning struck a barbwire fence and leaped along the metal to scatter into dry timber. Other fires burned briefly on Davis Creek, O'Keefe Creek, Sunflower Mountain and on creeks on Association land. A fire also took, out on Sally creek In the Lolo district. All were quickly manned. The Ncz Perce had eight new lightning fires, the Clearwater three, the Bitter Root one, and the Cabinet a new...

  • Wilho Aronen in household of Leander Aronen 1920 Census (age 5, in Minnesota) from Familysearch

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Wilho Aronen named as fallen Wilho Aronen named as fallen

 

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Contributors to this article: John Miller, Mellie

 

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