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What I was doing in 1991. Kuwait Oil Fires

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Timeline: August 1990 I returned to Baghdad where I was working and was detained as a hostage for 4.5months

December 11th ( I think) released as a hostage and flew back to UK.

January 16th 1991 Desert Storm operation commences

February 28th 1991 Cease fire declared.

2nd March flew to Saudi to organise purchase of 2nd hand ARAMCO ( the Saudi Oil Company) pickup trucks and essential provisions to take to Kuwait for the few company workers who had arrived in Kuwait City around 3rd march.

Left Saudi Arabia leading a convoy of 5-6 pickups and drove to the Kuwait border where the vison of apocalypse became evident. Daytime but all the thick arid smoke from 700+ oil well fires turned day to night.

After arrival, got to work in the firefighter support section where we assisted in supporting the eventual 27 firefighting teams.

Unforgettable experience but paying for it health wise in my senior years.

I just thought some maybe interested also in the linked video made by the company I worked for and available on Youtube here:


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I did find it an interesting video Jon, especially since I was a young Paratrooper in the 101st Long Range Surveillance Detachment then, deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield and then conducting operations into Iraq for Desert Storm. I absolutely remember those fires and all the smoke, as my teams main mission, once combat ops started for the ground invasion, put us under and in much of that fire smoke. So much so that it's all documented in my military medical records and I too feel the effects (although probably not near as much as someone who fought the actual fires like yourself). I had only been in the military a little over a year when all that happened. Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? 


Ah, well, thanks for the nostalgia :) 




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This is how the Hungarian fire fighting team dealt with fires. The vid also gives a much greater impression of the effects of the smoke causing daytime to be like a dark night and also the sheer noise caused by the well head pressure. Many fires sounded like Concorde was taking off in your back yard


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