Father of Fallen Arizona Hotshot Hopes to Create Better Fire Shelters

Firefighter Travis Turbyfill was killed one year ago by a wildfire after he and fellow members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots deployed to a fire shelter in an Arizona box canyon. A fierce wind blew the Yarnell Hill Fire over the crew, killing 19, reports NPR.

Travis’ father, David, doesn’t want his son to have died in vain, and he’s trying to help the U.S. Forest Service improve those shelters to withstand direct flames. All that remained of the Granite Mountain Hotshots’ fire shelters — which are thin layers of foil and insulation designed to help protect firefighters as a fire burns over them — were twisted piles of crumbled aluminum and ash.

David has been conducting tests on new shelter material, and recently presented the results in a video. In it, a large metal pipe shoots fire for 30 seconds onto the current fire shelter material layered over a firefighter’s yellow fire-retardant shirt. The shirt material winds up scorched and brittle.

Then he runs the same test, but for a minute longer, over a fireproof fabric Turbyfill found on the Internet. “The firefighter’s shirt is completely intact,” he says as he shows the camera the scorch-free yellow material.

Read more of the story here http://n.pr/1pFxLpY

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