The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8691   Message #1110305
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
05-Feb-04 - 07:03 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan)
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
Intermountain Research Station General Technical Report INT-GTR-299

"The Mann Gulch fire, which overran 16 firefighters in 1949, is analyzed to show its probable movement with respect to the crew. The firefighters were smokejumpers who had parachuted near the fire on August 5, 1949. While they were moving to a safer location, the fire blocked their route. Three survived, the foreman who ignited an escape fire into which he tried to move his crew, and two firefighters who found a route to safety. Considerable controversy has centered around the probable behavior of the fire and the actions of the crew members and their foreman."

Dodge survived on his own, that is, away from the other survivors. The accusation against Dodge was that the escape fire which he lit, and which could have saved his whole crew, instead overran them. In other words, he saved himself at the cost of his crew. Dodge was clearly correct to think that his action could save them all, and it appears that he was not to blame for their deaths. Keelaghan's song makes no judgement;
"I've had my say, I'll confess to nothing more
I'll join them now, because they left me long before"
It lets you make up your own mind; that's what a great song allows you to do.