The sole survivor of last summer's deadly Yarnell Hill Fire has resigned as an Arizona firefighter to take a job in Idaho. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Brendan McDonough will be working with wildland firefighters suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
McDonough has reportedly taken a job in Boise with the Wildland Firefighters Foundation. The organization raises awareness and money for wildland firefighters dealing with PTSD. McDonough was the lookout for the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots during the Yarnell Hill Fire. All 19 of his crew members perished in the blaze. McDonough told Prescott's Daily Courier that he now struggles with PTSD, which tends to manifest in his dreams. He wants to help fellow firefighters and their families cope with similar stress. McDonough says his relocation to Boise is an attempt to move on, rather than to leave Arizona and the stigma associated with the deadly blaze. And, he plans to maintain a residence in Prescott. The Yarnell Hill Fire is the deadliest wildland fire in Arizona history. It also has the highest wildland firefighter death toll in the U.S. since the Griffith Park Fire in 1933 which claimed 29 lives.