Memorial Monday – Blackwater Fire

Memorial Monday

Memorial Monday - Blackwater Fire

A 71-foot-long memorial to the firefighters who lost their lives on Blackwater Creek west of Cody, Wyoming,
was dedicated in August 1939, two years after the fire. Photo from the Park County Archives.

Incident Date: August 21, 1937
Department: Civilian Conservation Corps, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management
Number of Line-of-Duty Deaths: 15

Rocky Mountain Region Bulletin October 1937

A lightning strike started this wildland fire near Cody, Wyoming. This devastating fire left 38 firefighters injured and 15 dead. Eleven of the fatalities were Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees from Texas, two were U.S. Forest Service rangers, and one was a member of the Bureau of Public Roads. The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program created during the Franklin Roosevelt Administration to offset Depression unemployment. Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees worked on conservation projects and fought as wildland firefighters when needed. They typically worked under a ranger or other land manager with firefighting experience.

Crews were working to contain the fire when a weather system caused the fire to expand explosively, trapping the men before they could escape.

Killed in the Blackwater Fire


More About Memorial Monday

Memorial Monday is established to remember the sacrifice of firefighters who died in the line of duty before the National Memorial was created in 1981. On the last Monday of every month, a firefighter, or groups of firefighters, will be remembered through information located about the firefighter and their sacrifice.