Two Boise Firemen Die in Utah Air Tanker Crash

Jun 4, 2012

Two Boise  men died Sunday while fighting a fire in Utah. The deaths come as the Western wildfire season is picking up steam.

Authorities in Iron County, Utah say the men died when the air tanker they were flying crashed. The victims have been identified as 48-year-old Todd Tompkins and 40-year-old Ronnie Chambless, both of Boise. The fire started after a lightning strike Friday night near the Utah-Nevada state line.

Hot, dry weather over much of the west has created ideal conditions for numerous wildfires in recent days. The Bureau of Land Management says three fire started yesterday afternoon in southern Idaho. In just a few hours, one of those had spread to more than a thousand acres.  That blaze near Castleford was expected to be fully contained by midday Monday. 

Parts of the West are expected to get some relief later today, when a strong cold front moves through. Forecasters say it'll bring rain and much cooler temperatures.