The BLM Gila District’s Safford Hand Crew works a burnout operation during the 2017 Frye Fire, Coronado National Forest, AZ. BLM/Kress Sanders. One morning in June 2017, while fighting the Frye Fire in southern Arizona, firefighters began visiting the on-site paramedic complaining of body aches, sore throats, fever, and fatigue. The paramedic diagnosed them with strep throat, a bacterial infection that can pass person to person or through food or water, and sent them to the regional medical center.
Then another crew showed up with the same symptoms. And then, a third. Medical staff estimated nearly 300 people might have been exposed.