Tucson Weekly publishes InvestigativeMEDIA story on Forest Service ignoring warnings about Granite Mountain’s history

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The Tucson Weekly has published in its print and online editions InvestigativeMEDIA’s May 18 story on how U.S. Forest Service investigators contracted by the state to conduct the Yarnell Hill Fire investigation ignored warnings about Granite Mountain Hotshot’s superintendent’s history of dangerous and bad decisions.

The story is posted here.

 

Forest Service ignored information from hotshot leaders about Granite Mountain’s history of bad decisions

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The first of 19 hearses carrying the bodies of the Granite Mountain Hotshots passes through Peeples Valley, AZ.

The first of 19 hearses carrying the bodies of the Granite Mountain Hotshots passes through Peeples Valley, AZ.

The Yarnell Hill fire investigation conducted by the U.S. Forest Service deliberately ignored information provided by a former hotshot superintendent that the leader of the Granite Mountain Hotshots had a documented history of making bad decisions in violation of basic wildfire safety rules, federal records and interviews reveal.

A second former hotshot superintendent also contacted the Forest Service investigation leader, Mike Dudley, and reported that his conversations with Yarnell Hill wildfire supervisors immediately after the fire pointed to human error by the crew’s leaders as the only plausible explanation for what happen.

The communications are among 2,400 pages of records obtained by InvestigativeMEDIA from a 2014 Freedom of Information Act request. The records were released earlier this year and are heavily redacted even though the investigation was completed in September 2013.

Granite Mountain Hotshot Superintendent Eric Marsh’s decision-making was called into question by men who had directly worked with Marsh, or were aware of his reputation with other hotshot superintendents, in the weeks following the June 30, 2013, tragedy when Marsh and 18 members of his crew were overrun by fire. [Read more…]