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Firefighters didn’t know they were in danger

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Includes comments by several authorities including Laird Robinson, a U.S. Forest Service information officer in Missoula and former smokejumper who helped Norman Maclean investigate Mann Gulch. Those investigations produced "Young Men and Fire."

Firefighter Jeff Allen wasnīt calling for help when he radioed for a helicopter to pick Shane Heath and him up from a ridge line above the Salmon River.

Even though he reported smoky conditions, he didnīt consider the situation to be an emergency, said Jacob Smith, a colleague who monitored radio communication July 22. The job of clearing a spot for a helicopter to land was done, and they were ready to leave.

Allen and Heath did not know that the Cramer Fire would soon overtake them, racing uphill through the dry grasses of the steep slope.