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Jul 19 2013
Dude Fire Hike
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Jul 19 2013
Dude Fire Hike
The Dude Fire started on June 25, 1990, the hottest day in Arizona history. (In sad irony, the Yarnell Fire ignited on the next hottest day, June 28, 2013.) The POI (point of ignition) was ridge about two miles north of Bonita Creek Estates. Several hundred firefighters were part of the initial attack, including the Perryville crew, comprised of 17 volunteer convicts from the Perryville prison, two supervisors, and crew superintendent Dave LaTour, a Tucson Rural/Metro firefighter. On June 26, in Walk Moore Canyon, after a several hours of calm, a sudden downburst caused the fire to explode. A Navajo Scout shouted a warning. The Navajo Scouts and Perryville crew fled down Walk Moore Canyon. A burnover separated the Perryville crew. 11 ran back up the canyon, but could not escape the flames. They deployed their shelters. Five survived; six did not: Alex Contreras, Sandra Bachman, Curtis Springfield, Joseph Chacon, James Denney and James Ellis. The fire went on to burn 28,000 acres, from Washington Park east to the Fish Hatchery.

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