On August 5, 1949, a wildfire overran 16 smokejumpers and firefighters in Mann Gulch on the Helena National Forest in Montana. Only three survived. The tragedy dealt a major blow to the U.S. Forest Service, which had not experienced a fatality during a decade of smokejumping.
There is a video tribute to that tragic fire on YouTube and is created around a song written by James Keelaghan called Cold Missouri Waters. The song is beautifully sung by Jane Leche with The Fiddlin' Foresters (included their In the Long Run CD) and is used as major inspiration to new firefighters being trained to avoid or survive situations like the one that happened at Mann Gulch in Montana.
Mann Gulch Fire Victims - USFS Photo