Crews Fighting the Bootleg Fire Save a World War II Memorial

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U.S.|Crews saved a World War II memorial from the Bootleg Fire.

A tanker drops retardant implicit    the Mitchell Monument country  past  week.
Credit...Bootleg Fire Incident Command, via Associated Press
  • July 21, 2021, 9:24 a.m. ET

Firefighters assigned to conflict the Bootleg Fire successful southwestern Oregon past week helped prevention a memorial astatine the tract of the lone casualties successful the contiguous United States from nonstop force enactment during World War II.

The memorial, called the Mitchell Monument, is successful the Fremont-Winema National Forest, wherever the Bootleg Fire began much than 2 weeks ago. The monument, which is made of chromatic and was added to the National Register of Historic Places successful 2003, commemorates the deaths of six radical who were killed by a Japanese weaponry much than 75 years ago.

The weaponry was 1 of thousands that Japan attached to balloons, which were carried by upwind currents implicit the Pacific Ocean to North America. They would occasionally detonate successful the timberlands of the Pacific Northwest, causing wood fires.

In May 1945, the Rev. Archie Mitchell, his large wife, Elsie, and 5 children from his Sunday schoolhouse planned to picnic astatine a spot successful the wood astir 10 miles northeast of Bly, Ore. The radical reached the site, and the Rev. Mitchell fto everyone retired of the car to explore, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While her hubby parked the car, Ms. Mitchell and the children discovered the bomb, which exploded, sidesplitting everyone but the Rev. Mitchell. The children ranged from 11 to 14 years old.

Last week, firefighters wrapped the memorial and a adjacent “Shrapnel Tree,” which shows signs of the blast, successful protective materials, Sarah Gracey, a firefighting operations spokeswoman told

“It’s 1 of the successes truthful far,” Ms. Gracey said.

A nationalist accusation serviceman for the Oregon Department of Forestry told The Herald and News successful Klamath Falls that the monument was nary longer successful the way of the occurrence and was astatine “much little risk” of being damaged.

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