Yarnell Hill Chapter VIII

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Please begin Chapter IX that is posted at the top of the home page and the Yarnell Hill page. Thanks to everyone for continuing to analyze the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter II supplement, Chapter III, Chapter IV, Chapter V, Chapter VI and  Chapter VII.

© Copyright 2014 John Dougherty, All rights Reserved. Written For: Investigative MEDIA

Comments

  1. Sonny Gilligan says

    I have not seen much said about two quads that we were told by a reliable source that had been photographed and time stamped at a time shortly before the lighting strike. These were long distance photos according to our source and one individual can be made out to be holding some sort of tool. The quads were of yellow and white like the yellow and white copter we saw on the 30th but Ted says that does not necessarily relate them to that copter. Those fellows, whoever they were must have remained there into the night since one of the local people had informed us that there were lights moving around up there where the fire started Friday night. Joy tells me that another person has a video and other witnesses know of those quads up there. They have plenty of explaining to do if they become identified.

    Sadly the lady that told us about the lights died just a few weeks ago. Yarnell has been loosing residents at the rate of about two a month since the fire. I don’t have statistics before the fire but I can assure you many of these are due to the stress of loss–we can name at least one suicide and another attempted suicide due to the circumstances of the fire.

    In solid numbers, Joy has discovered 29 deaths since the fire from Glen Islah and Peoples Valley and she has yet to count those from Yarnell proper. There just are not that many people living here and we see a toll of deaths that seems way out of proportion to what ought to be. It looks like that 19 number is going to be surpassed with civilian casualties directly related to this fire.

    Personally I believe that settlement will be done as quietly as possible–What will be learned and could be learned might have a gap and would have been a huge one if such people as Norwicki, Putman, Powers, Dougherty, MacLean, and Ashcrofts had not stepped out to get at the truth of matters. I know I have missed many and another I give much credit to is Joy Collura, my hiking companion. I asked her to run for Sheriff of this county–she is so good at investigating and finding evidence.

    More will be revealed and neither of us will hold back. Mucho thanks to all you who do what is right in this investigation. As that mayor told me, :”Common sense goes a long ways”.So I say telling the truth in this matter is paramount–those withholding or determining to keep facts from the loved ones are doing an injustice.

  2. Bob Powers says

    I see that John has created a Chapter IX after I made some comments here so I guess we need to switch to the new one.

  3. Bob Powers says

    Marti—I am having a hard time with Calculated Risk.
    That was never in my vocabulary or those I worked with or was trained by.
    21st century should not change safety. Define calculated risk as it refers to Fire Fighting.
    Not Posting a Look Out?
    Not Having Escape Routes and Scouted SZ
    Not Having Communications with Immediate Supervisors and Adjoining forces?
    Not providing for safety First?
    No information on Fire weather and forecasts?
    No information on Current and expected Fire behavior?
    Build indirect line without a plan?
    Build line without an anchor point?
    Build line down hill with a fire below you?
    Terrain and fuels Make escape to safety zones difficult?
    Frontal attack on a fire in extreme burning conditions?
    I could go on but I think by now you have noticed the 10 and 18 here.

    If you are taking a calculated risk you are not following proven safety rules.

    So lets be clear Taking a planed strategy providing for the safety to accomplish the missions different than A calculated risk with out a plan.

    Yes Fire fighting is a dangerous occupation but it can be done safely with a good safety plan in place.

    So what some Fire Fighters are saying to day is absolutely out side of a safe way to fight fires.

    Because of the drought conditions and fire spread they should be using the best safety practices known which means the 10 should be rules that should never be broken..

    These 21st century fire fighters can fight fire and follow the 10 every body before them did and we built line and controlled fires over and over. You change the tactic and eliminate the risk not just take the risk. Pure and simple GM took a risk with out a plan, with out an evaluation of situational awareness. The Fire shelters had nothing to do with their deaths. Failure to follow safety guide lines put the in a deployment situation. That cost there lives. Back to the old and true safety No LCES– No Lookout, no communications with people who could have been there eyes, no scouted Marked and prepared escape route, also the safety zone was just to far in a extreme situation.
    Failure to recognize the black as the best and only place to be walk across it and down and out thru it have a safe plan and use it.

    A classic example of a calculated risk and the out come. We can beat the fire before it gets to the ranch. No other plan were Hot Shots and we take chances all the time those old fire fighters are hillbillies old and out dated safety doesn’t work in this modern age. Not much more than I can say with 19 dead men. A prayer and a hope some thing changes and we are not building more memorials with the epitaph (they did not follow the rules) Risk taking is unacceptable.

    • Bob Powers says

      I would also add if you didn’t follow a rule and people were injured or died you are not immune to blame no matter what the rule, and the lawsuits that follow will identify you failure at what ever level in the organization. Giving lip service to the rules is like saying they are only guide lines written in the sand no longer necessary.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Mr. Powers… BOTH of your comments above are absolutely ‘spot on’.

        That’s an AMAZING evaluation and ‘body of advice’ you just posted.

        To actually CHOOSE to take ‘calculated risks’ when there are other SAFE choices to be made is the essence of irresponsibility and negligence… in ANY profession… and when people end up injured or killed because of YOUR ‘calculated risks’… then your own death will only be the beginning of the shit hitting the fan.

        Remember Brendan TOLD ADOSH investigators he was basically ‘taught’ ( by Eric Marsh? ) that the nature of the ‘job’ was “Risk a lot… save a lot”.

        That is absolute BULLSHIT.

        That’s just more ‘creeping normalcy’ and “We love being Ranger Danger’ crap.

        “It’s better to be a live hillbilly than a dead smart guy”.

        Fight Fire. Do it SAFELY. Go home.

        To not go home at all or go home injured is FAILURE… not SUCCESS.

        Do not FAIL.

        • Bob Powers says

          You Have told me you worked in an industry that had a lot of risks as well but I bet there were a lot of safety rules that went with your job to help you go home safely and get to a safe and enjoyable retirement.

          What would you say to people telling you that your rules were just guide lines and you could take calculated risks to accomplish the job.
          Its a long way down from the top of a building. because some one didn’t think they needed a safety harness.

          • WantToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to Bob Powers post September 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm

            >> Mr. Powers said…
            >>
            >> You Have told me you worked in an industry that had
            >> a lot of risks as well but I bet there were a lot of safety
            >> rules that went with your job to help you go home safely
            >> and get to a safe and enjoyable retirement.

            My turn to say “You probably have no idea”.

            We are talking about an industry that is DIRECTLY answerable to BOTH Federal and State level Occupational Safety and Hazard agencies and has been for DECADES.

            In all your time working fires… did you ever have an actual OSHA person just SHOW UP unannounced for an ‘inspection’ who also has the authority to ‘shut you down’ right away if he/she doesn’t like something he/she is seeing?

            EVERYTHING has to be tickety-boo… EVERY HOUR of EVERY DAY.

            No excuses.

            >> Mr. Powers also said
            >>
            >> What would you say to people telling you that your rules
            >> were just guide lines and you could take calculated risks to
            >> accomplish the job.

            Me, personally?

            Well.. it would depend who was saying it to me.

            If it was someone who didn’t understand the construction business… I wouldn’t say anything at all because it was coming from someone who didn’t understand the construction business and didn’t know that what they were suggesting was absurd. The RULES are NEVER just GUiDELINES. They are RULES. ( See above about being directly answerable to OSHA… at any moment… any day… any time ).

            If it was someone I was working WITH… I would first tell him he is full of shit and if he continued to ‘freelance’ I would report him to the contractor and tell the contractor I don’t ever want to be anywhere NEAR the guy ever again.

            If it was someone who worked FOR me… I would just say…

            “You’re fired”.

            >> Mr. Powers also said…
            >>
            >> Its a long way down from the top of a building. because
            >> some one didn’t think they needed a safety harness.

            I never personally witnessed a ‘fatal accident’ even though it was a possibility all day… EVERY day.

            I actually credit me not having to ever see that to OSHA itself.

            Their constant ‘spot inspections’ and watchful eyes established the atmosphere of ‘safety first’ into EVERYONE’S minds and work habits.

  4. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to DAVID TURBYFILL post on September 8, 2014 at 12:18 am

    >> DAVID TURBYFILL said…
    >>
    >> WTKTT …You are somewhat misleading in your statement
    >> regarding the YCSO photographs. Since my son is one of the
    >> GMHS members I have looked at and studied this set of
    >> pictures very closely? I again reviewed them before making
    >> this post, While some of the cuffs are up; none are more
    >> than one roll up. As for the PPE of those who clearly
    >> were “FULLY” deployed as well as others, most all of the
    >> cuffs and sleeves are intact, as well as the front of the shirt
    >> on a number of them.

    Mr. Turbyfill…

    Thank you for commenting and yes… you are probably right.

    I was not trying to be ‘mis-leading’ but I usually DO provide more ‘detail’ myself when I post links and whatnot but I did cover these ‘Shelter Photos’ in detail in a previous chapter.

    I should have reprinted some of that detail and this followup does just that.

    See my ‘what I am seeing in the photos’ detail down below.

    I definitely should have mentioned in my previous post that out of the 19 firefighters… only 8 of them have any photos in the YCSO folder that make it even possible to determine the condition of their sleeves as of July 5, 2013, when those photos were finally taken on that garage floor of the YCSO evidence unit.

    That’s less than HALF of the crew… so any conclusions from the photos that DO exist would still leave more than 50 percent unaccounted for.

    Of those 8 ‘possible’ sets of photos, however… I am definitely seeing the ‘majority’ of those 8 having either ONE or BOTH sleeves rolled up.

    5 of those 8 firefighters seemed to have one or more sleeves rolled UP, and 1 or 2 of them to at least the mid-forearm and not just ‘1 rollup’.

    One of the clearest shots of ‘sleeves being rolled’ up ( and seemingly up to the mid-foream ) was Eric Marsh himself.

    Since he was the Superintendent of that Crew and the one who sets the ‘example’ for ALL of them… that, itself, is significant.

    So for however many photos of crew members PPE we do NOT have… the fact that their own Superintendent went into Shelter with his sleeves rolled up is telling a story all by itself with regards to ‘following the rules’ and ‘always observing safety rules’.

    >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
    >>
    >> Lastly keep in mind that photos were taken days after and
    >> removal from the Victim, so I am not sure that you can make
    >> fully inform opinion of FACT.

    That’s true. I am ASSUMING that whoever actually moved those bodies from their positions at the scene ( Prescott Firemen? ) and the Medical Examiner’s office… and then, in turn, the YCSO police investigators were ALL taking GREAT care not to disturb the condition of ANYTHING…

    …but that is, in fact, an assumption on my part.

    I doubt anyone will ever actually get to see the photographs ( and the movies ) that the YCSO Captain took of the deployment scene before it got dark on Sunday evening ( from the low-hovering Ranger 58 chopper ) or the FARO 3D imagery shot the next morning at dawn by the YCSO police investigators… so all we have to go on are these publicly released photos taken at the YCSO evidence garage on July 5, 2013.

    That being said… I think if you look at the photo of just the remnants of Eric Marsh’s shirt and his ‘rolled up’ sleeves… it is VERY doubtful that we are NOT looking at the shirt in the same condition it was in at the deployment site.

    No one could have rolled those sleeves UP like that following the incident… so that must be the way those shirt remnants were when they were found.

    >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
    >>
    >> Upon reading JD’s article I am dismayed by the pervasive
    >> thread that is wove through this article, in which, quoted by
    >> so called EXPERTS, Bob Powers and other unnamed
    >> Firefighters stating a “ROUGE” Safety Attitude by GMHS.
    >> Admittedly there are plenty of Pictures of the GMHS crew
    >> with Cuffs rolled; these same experts don’t seem to notice
    >> that Members of the Blue Ridge crew also had Cuffs rolled.
    >> All it takes it a look at several Wildland fire videos and you
    >> will find at least 50% of crews with rolled cuffs or at the
    >> least exposed wrists, this include several of the USFS
    >> Shot Crews.

    You are right. You can find MANY pictures of Type 1 Hotshots in close proximity to firelines and they do NOT have all their safety equipment properly configured ( Fire retardant shirts fully sleeve-down and gloves on ).

    It is, apparently, a lot more ‘usual’ to see that these days than it has been in the past. This speaks to the ‘creeping normalcy’ issues in the WFF industry.

    But there is still no doubt ( as Mr. Bob Powers has pointed out many, many times ) that there are ‘risks’ involved whenever you don’t have your sleeves fully down and your gloves on and you are working near a fire.

    One sudden ‘flash up’ from a burning bush near you… and you might have severe burns on your hands and forearms.

    One bad ‘slip’ or ‘falldown’ into anything burning… same story.

    One badly planned hike within less than a mile of a 40 mph wind driven dynamic fireline in extreme fire conditions and highly explosive unburned manzanita fuel… and you might get caught going into shelter with your sleeves still rolled up and your gloves off. Even if the burnover was then going to be otherwise survivable… if your exposed flesh can’t take the heat levels or you can’t take the associated pain and you ‘let go’ of the shelter… you could be the one to die while others might live.

    There are already documented Wildland Fireline fatalities where this WAS the actual LODF ( Life or Death Factor ) for some.

    In other words… no matter who isn’t following all the ‘safety rules’… they are still just as likely to get bitten in the ass as anyone else could.

    It still might sound silly to some… but a ‘lax attitude’ towards even just this one ongoing safety consideration in the workplace CAN be an indication of how that crew feels towards ALL of the ‘safety rules’ and whether they can just be ‘ignored’, or not.

    Which brings me to a question I would like to ask you.

    Did Travis himself EVER say anything about ‘risk taking’ on that crew he was working for… and whether he, himself, had any concerns in that area?

    Actually… that’s a two part question… the second part being…

    Even if he DID have such concerns… do you think he would have talked about them to you, or anyone… or would he have been more likely to have just kept stuff like that to himself?

    >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
    >>
    >> Lastly on this subject GMHS did NOT perish because they
    >> did or didn’t roll cuffs.

    That will always be true.

    >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
    >> Many of them simply Burned to death, and why?
    >> Because of the POS Fire Shelter they are provide for the
    >> last ditch safety gear.

    I, for one, support the research and the work you are diligently doing in this area yourself 100 percent.

    I have seen your online videos.

    It is the year 2014. The advanced materials you were able to easily obtain and the proof that they are far superior to what is being used now ‘in the field’ should be more than enough for a complete redesign as soon as possible. Like YESTERDAY, if not sooner.

    There will always be burnovers where a simple ‘fire shelter’ isn’t going to provide survivability… but that doesn’t mean the bar can’t be raised for the times when that shelter and its capabilities are, in fact, the only thing between you and death.

    Heck.. since ‘breathing hot gases’ is often the LODF ( Life or Death Factor ) even when INSIDE a fire shelter… I could even imagine a new-age design including some kind of cartridge that automatically ( during deployment ) inflates the FLOOR of the shelter with some amount of ‘breathable air’ ( not pure oxygen… but something breathable ) so that as the FF is lying face down he has at least some ‘other air’ to breath through a nipple in the floor of the shelter right there where his mouth is going to be. It couldn’t be much based on cost and weight factors… but then again… even just a minute or two of ‘good air’ to breathe could make all the difference for some deployments… or at least help prevent debilitating lung injuries.

    Have you ever seen ( or held in your hand ) the actual ‘injection cartridges’ that are used to instantly INFLATE the new ‘Skier Avalanche Survival’ neck packs?

    It’s hard to believe so much breathable AIR can be injected so instantly into a large container from such a small thing that weighs pretty much nothing at all.

    The new ‘MAMMUT Skier Protection Airbag’ units would be just one example of a technology that is ALREADY HERE that could be completely compatible with a ‘new age’ fire shelter design.

    I digress. Sorry.

    ** DETAIL ON THE YCSO SHELTER PHOTOS

    This is a reprint of the DETAIL I published regarding the YCSO Shelter and PPE photos in a previous chapter of this ongoing discussion.

    This time… I’ve added a ‘SLEEVES:’ component to each FF’s record just to indicate what my own eyes appear to be seeing with regards to that.

    Once again.. .the actual online FOLDER that contains the YCSO photos being referenced below is HERE…

    WARNING REPEATED: Some may consider the following page of photos to be very ‘graphic’ images. Do not click the link below unless you are prepared for what you might see.

    Online Drobox Folder: Shelter Photos

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fg416vjqt14afu3/zaTuOp4Plu#/

    ** THE SHORT STORY

    There is a document in the YCSO folder that accompanies their ‘Shelter Photos’ which has a description of every photograph in the folder and who or what those photos relate to.

    That document is called…

    Yarnell Fire Shelter Inspection Photolog – July 5, 2013

    Here is a quick SUMMARY of every firefighter and what the photos do ( or do NOT ) reveal about their SLEEVES as of the day these evidence photos were being taken ( July 5, 2013 )

    PPE = Personal Protection Equipment and includes clothing.

    N/A means there were no PPE photos taken for that firefighter.

    Out of the 19 firefighters… only 8 of them had photos taken by the YCSO police that showed enough clothing remaining to make any determination at all with regards to the status of the SLEEVES at time of deployment.

    Of those 8 firefighters … 5 of them seemed to have definitely had one or both sleeves rolled UP when they died, including GM SUP Eric Marsh.

    Only 2 of them seemed to definitely have had their sleeves rolled DOWN… and 1 of them ( Robert Caldwell ) appears to have had 1 sleeve rolled UP and 1 rolled DOWN.

    Here’s a ‘quick list’ of the firefighters and which actual photo(s) in the ‘Shelter Photos’ online folder correspond to which firefighter…

    YCSO Number, FF Name, Photo showing PPE, Condition of SLEEVES
    —————————————————————————
    #09 Eric Marsh, DSCN0031.JPG, Only one sleeve left. Clearly rolled UP.
    #06 Christopher Mackenzie, DSCN0019.JPG, Both sleeves rolled UP.
    #18 Garret Zuppiger, DSCN0016.JPG, Left sleeve definitely rolled UP.
    #04 Kevin Woyjeck, DSCN0010.JPG, Sleeves rolled UP but only slightly ??
    #14 Joe Thurston, DSCN0029.JPG, Left sleeve *appears* to be UP 1 fold.

    #19 Robert Caldwell, DSCN0036.JPG, Left sleeve DOWN. Right sleeve UP?
    #17 Scott Norris, DSCN0004.JPG, Sleeves *appear* to be rolled DOWN.
    #07 Dustin Deford, DSCN0013.JPG, Right sleeve DOWN. Left ?? unknown.

    #05 Clayton Whitted, DSCN0007.JPG, PPE, Not enough left of shirt to tell.
    #15 Jesse Steed, DSCN0024.JPG, Not enough left of shirt to tell.
    #10 John Percin Jr., DSCN0030.JPG, Not enough left of shirt to tell.

    #13 Anthony Rose, DSCN0008.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
    #16 Grant McKee, DSCN0021.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
    #08 William Warneke, DSCN0026.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
    #12 Travis Carter, DSCN0038.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
    #11 Andrew Ashcraft, DSCN0039.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.

    #03 Travis Turbyfill, No photos taken at all, SLEEVES: N/A.
    #02 Sean Misner, No PPE photos taken, SLEEVES: N/A
    #01 Wade Parker, No PPE photos taken, SLEEVES: N/A
    —————————————————————————

    NOTE: Last known photo of Jesse Steed taken by Christopher Mackenzie at 3:55 showed Steed sitting on a rock with both his sleeves rolled UP to about mid-forearm.

    NOTE: Last known photo of Robert Caldwell taken by Christopher MacKenzie at 3:55 PM shows him with BOTH of his sleeves rolled UP to mid-forearm.

    ** THE LONG STORY

    What follows is an accounting of the numbers assigned to the decedents by the YCSO police investigators while they were still at the deployment site, followed by the Maricopa Medical Examiner number that was assigned, and then the name of the firefighter associated with each YCSO / ME number…

    #1/13-04442/ Wade Parker
    #2/13-04425/ Sean Misner
    #3/13-04443/ Travis Turbyfill
    #4/13-04428/ Kevin Justin Woyjeck
    #5/13-04427/Clayton Whitted
    #6/13-04426/ Christopher MacKenzie
    #7/13-04431/ Dustin DeFord
    #8/13-04430/ William Warneke
    #9/13-04435/ Eric Marsh
    #10/13-04429/ John Percin Jr
    #11/13-04434/ Andrew Ashcraft
    #12/13-04433/ Travis Carter
    #13/13-04438/ Anthony Rose
    #14/13-04432/ Joe Thurston
    #15/13-04436/ Jesse Steed
    #16/13-04437/ Grant McKee
    #17/13-04441/ Scott Norris
    #18/13-04440/ Garret Zuppiger
    #19/13-04439/ Robert Caldwell

    This is a complete TEXT version of the YCSO document that accompanies their ‘Shelter Photos’ which has a description of every photograph in the folder and who or what those photos relate to.

    I have added a SLEEVES description under each FF’s PPE section.

    Yarnell Fire Shelter Inspection Photolog – July 5, 2013

    13-4441 #17 u.r. ( Scott Norris )
    Picture no., Description, Notes
    DSCN0002.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 98 % of Aluminum (AL) foil burned away
    DSCN0003.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 75 % of fiberglass burned away
    Inside of floor is intact
    Melted hardhat
    DSCN0004.JPG, PPE – shirt (front) and pants (back)
    SLEEVES: Appear to be rolled DOWN
    DSCN0005.JPG, Pants (back)

    13-4443 #3 Travis Turbyfill
    No photos taken
    SLEEVES: N/A

    13-4427 #5 u.r. ( Clayton Whitted )
    DSCN0006.JPG, Fire shelter, 99% AL foil burned away
    50% fiberglass burned away
    End cap main seam missing (torn open)
    Mid-cross seam torn open
    DSCN0007.JPG, PPE, Question about hood
    SLEEVES: Not enough left of shirt to really tell, but
    if that one relatively unburned bit of yellow cloth is
    the END of a sleeve… then at least that sleeve appears
    to have been rolled DOWN.

    13-4438 #13 Anthony Rose
    DSCN0008.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Not enough left of any clothing to make a determination.

    13-4428 #4 Kevin Woyjeck
    DSCN0009.JPG, shelter, 40% of fiberglass cloth burned away
    100% of AL foil burned
    Inside of floor intact
    One(1) end cap separated
    DSCN0010.JPG, PPE, Hardhat with dust mask
    SLEEVES: The only clothing left was the shirt collar and the two sleeves.
    Sleeves *appear* to have been rolled UP but only slightly.

    13-4442 #1 Wade Parker
    DSCN0011.JPG, gloves
    SLEEVES: N/A

    13-4431 #7 Dustin Deford
    DSCN0012.JPG, Fire shelter, 100% of AL foil burned away
    4 ft. of shelter floor seam torn
    Endcap seam torn
    85% fiberglass burned away
    Floor mostly intact
    DSCN0013.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Only the right sleeve seems to be visible and
    it appears to have been rolled DOWN.

    13-4440 #18 u.r. ( Garret Zuppiger )
    DSCN0014.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 80% of AL foil burned
    DSCN0015.JPG, Fire shelter-interior, 90% of fiberglass burned away
    One(1) side of floor intact
    DSCN0016.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Left sleeve definitely rolled UP, but not too far.
    Right sleeve also *appears* to be rolled up, but hard to tell.

    13-4426 #6 Christopher Mackenzie
    DSCN0017.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 95% of AL foil burned away
    DSCN0018.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 50% of fiberglass burned away
    Floor mostly intact
    Endcap seam, 12 inch tear
    DSCN0019.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Both sleeves rolled UP, but probably still below elbow.

    13-4425 #2 Sean Misner
    DSCN0020.JPG, Fire shelter, 99% of AL foil burned away
    90% of fiberglass burned away
    All tore up
    SLEEVES: N/A

    13-4437 #16 Grant McKee
    DSCN0021.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Not enough left of any clothing to make a determination.

    13-4436 #15 Jesse Steed
    DSCN0022.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 80% foil burned away
    DSCN0023.JPG, Fire shelter interior, Fiberglass 50% burned away
    DSCN0024.JPG, PPE front, Including red helmet.
    SLEEVES: Not enough left of shirt to make a real determination, but last
    known photo of Steed taken by Christopher Mackenzie at 3:55 showed Steed
    sitting on a rock with both his sleeves rolled UP to about mid-forearm.
    DSCN0025.JPG, Pants -back

    13-4430 #8 u.r. ( William Warneke )
    DSCN0026.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Not enough left of any clothing to make a determination.

    13-4432 #14 Joe Thurston
    DSCN0027.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 95% AL foil burned away
    DSCN0028.JPG, Fire shelter interior, One(1) side of floor intact
    80% of fiber glass burned away
    DSCN0029.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Right sleeve apparently destroyed. Left sleeve
    *appears* to be rolled UP but perhaps only ‘1 fold’.

    13-4429 #10 John Percin Jr.
    DSCN0030.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Not enough left of shirt to make a determination.

    13-4435 #9 Eric Marsh
    DSCN0031.JPG, PPE
    DSCN0032.JPG, PPE (2nd photo)
    SLEEVES: Only one sleeve not destroyed. It was clearly rolled UP
    pretty far… perhaps up to or above the elbow.

    13-4439 #19 Robert Caldwell
    DSCN0033.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 98% of AL foiled burned away
    Endcap torn
    DSCN0034.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 98% of fiberglass burned away
    One(1) side of floor still intact
    DSCN0035.JPG, Back of PPE
    DSCN0036.JPG, Front of PPE
    SLEEVES: Left sleeve rolled DOWN. Right sleeve *appears* to have
    also been rolled DOWN but *might* be rolled UP just 1 fold or so.
    NOTE: Last known photo of Robert Caldwell taken by Christopher MacKenzie
    at 3:55 PM shows him with BOTH of his sleeves rolled UP to mid-forearm.

    13-4433 #12 Travis Carter
    DSCN0037.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% of foil burned away
    DSCN0038.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Not enough clothing left to make a determination.

    13-4434 #11 Andrew Ashcraft
    DSCN0039.JPG, PPE
    SLEEVES: Not enough clothing left to make a determination.

    13-021744 #308 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0040.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% of AL foil burned away
    DSCN0041.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 98% fiberglass burned away
    10 inch tear on silica cloth

    13-021744 #307 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0042.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, Outer shell 100% foil burned away
    Endcap seam torn
    DSCN0043.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 95% of fiberglass burned away

    13-021744 #302 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0044.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 98% burned away
    Mid seam torn
    DSCN0045.JPG, Fire shelter, Seam break – close up
    DSCN0046.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 50% fiberglass burned away
    One(1) end cap mostly intact, foil in place

    13-021744 #301 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0047.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, End cap seam broken
    100% foil burned away
    DSCN0048.JPG, Fire shelter interior

    13-027144 #305 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0049.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 99% foil burned away
    DSCN0050.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 98% fiberglass burned away

    13-021744 #304 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0051.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% of AL foil burned
    End cap seam torn , both ends

    13-021744 #303 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0052.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% AL foil burned away
    DSCN0053.JPG, Fire shelter –close up, Burned holes in silica cloth
    DSCN0054.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 80% of fiberglass burned away

    13-021744 #306 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
    DSCN0055.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% AL foil burned away
    Red helmet melted to exterior of shelter
    Mid seam torn
    DSCN0056.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 80% of fiberglass burned away
    Black hardhat melted in end cap.

    END OF YCSO PHOTO DOCUMENTATION

  5. Marti Reed says

    Given that there’s a number of fairly intense and fairly important conversations going on here today, it’s somewhat concerning to me that the “new” formatting does not show us the page hits.

    Or am I missing something?

  6. Marti Reed says

    REGARDING:

    FATALITY FIRES, investigations, more investigations, settlements, the Yarnell Hill Fire, ADOSH, the 10 and 18 (and all kinds of other things that have been piled on top of them–some of them more useful than others).

    AND REGARDING:
    Gloves and sleeves and safety vs practicality and thus effectiveness, lawsuits, rules vs principles vs laws, redactions, “safe workplaces,” the USFS and Arizona FIRE, conflict, conflict of interest, more lawsuits, more investigations.

    AND REGARDING:
    More fatalities, responsibility, accountability, vs the open truthful blame-free conversations required to produce “Lessons Learned” to increase understanding and thus safety, and the history that got us into this muddled and dangerous fuster-clucked mess.

    How’s that for a bunch of potential keywords???

    I confess to the bias of being a concerned 4th generation (although scandihoovian) native New Mexican citizen who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, surrounded by drought and forests that are increasingly burning more extremely, with neighboring citizens living in them and neighboring citizens fighting the fires in them.

    I confess to the bias of being someone who went to Prescott College on the slope of Granite Mountain, which gave birth to the crew (including a number of friends) that spawned the Prescott IHC and helped spawn the Granite Mountain Hotshots,

    I confess to the bias of being someone who worked on fires at the time for the caterers and saw the faces of those hungry, tired, awesome fire-fighters, some of whom were my friends.

    And thus I take this fire very seriously. And that’s why I’m vastly less concerned about heads rolling (unless they really need to roll) than I am about STUFF GETTING FIXED.

    Suffice it to say, I decided, several months ago, that I needed to learn about this fire in a MUCH larger context, after having spent months analyzing (since I’m a digital photographer) the photographs and videos that were being released in order to create visual timelines of what happened that day.

    Part of that larger context includes the context of the various investigations of the Yarnell Hill Fire. Which are still in progress, all things considered.

    There is a HISTORY behind these investigations. We can’t even BEGIN to understand why these investigations are the way they are, much less where they are potentially heading, without understanding the HISTORY behind them.

    However, even with that, the Yarnell Fire Investigation path is a HYBRID, in my opinion. Large chunks of it have no precedent whatsoever. Because it is a hybrid, with virtually no precedent, any description of where it may go is, in my humble opinion, possibly premature. This post-fire fire is, just like the fire itself, quite capable of being possibly under-estimated and, thus, potentially inaccurately forecasted.

    I really, really hope SOMEBODY, who has more knowledge of all this stuff than I do, writes a book about it or SOMETHING. I have spent a HUMONGOUS amount of time trying to piece together an understanding of this history. I’ve had to piece together an enormous number of very little teeny tiny pieces in order to do that. It has been very frustrating and time-consuming.

    In the course of doing this, I stumbled across an article published on December 4, 2013 by Dennis Wagner and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez of AZCentral which I had probably read before, but didn’t realize the significance of it at the time.

    It really is a relatively accurate, detailed, well-written, well-sourced analysis of the complex, conflicted, nature of the investigations that were emerging at the time and are still playing themselves out now. And it’s the ONLY description of this investigation process, and the conflicts involved, that I have encountered after all my searching of this whole realm of the history of investigations of fatality fires.

    In order for us to move to the same page, as we discuss what is happening, as the lawsuits proceed, and Arizona FIRE attempts to negotiate with ADOSH, and who know what else happens, I highly recommend that we all read this article:

    “Yarnell Hill Fire inquiry reflects battle in safety enforcement”

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20131204yarnell-fire-inquiry-battle-safety-protocol-enforcement.html

    • Bob Powers says

      Thanks again Marti—I do not fundamentally agree, Lawyers and Philologists reduce the Safety rules to guide lines and destroy what safety is all about.
      I am sure you know how I feel.
      What I don’t understand is industrial jobs have safety rules that require safety equipment and safe job conditions what is the difference between them and WLF?

      • Marti Reed says

        I’m not sure what it is that you fundamentally disagree with.

        What I’m reading coming from Fire-fighters is that, contrary to “industrial jobs,” they are CONTRACTED and EXPECTED to do things that are inherently risky, i.e. take calculated risks, in order do what is necessary to fight fires. As in, the only guaranteed (which ADOSH/OSHA is looking for) truly “SAFE” way to do this is to not do this.

        They describe how this is a huge cognitive dissonance.

        • Marti Reed says

          OK here’s a hypothetical scenario.

          On the Thompson Ridge Fire, just a few weeks prior to the Yarnell Fire.

          The Granite Mountain Hotshots, under the direction of Darrell Willis, who served as the Night OPS within Bea Day’s Type Two IMT, conducted a major burn-out operation around a collection of historically significant buildings, in order to protect those, according to the National Park Service which hired them, extremely important buildings.

          What if the winds had unexpectedly changed and one of them had been accidentally burned? Would ADOSH/OSHA consider that an “unsafe workplace”? To the extent of legal punishment? Would you? Is that determination justified?

          What if one of them, in the dark, had tripped over something and broken a bone and, because of smoke and darkness, his evacuation had been delayed, and his injuries had been magnified. Would ADOSH/OSHA consider that an “unsafe workplace”? To the extent of legal punishment? Would you? Is that determination justified?

          What, it appears to me, fire-fighters are saying is that, in order to do the job the public expect/hires them to do, they have to take calculated risks. What ADOSH/OSHA is holding them accountable to is a risk-free workplace.

          Thus, the cognitive dissonance.

          • Marti Reed says

            And, I might add, the reason they did this burn-out at night was because that was the best time to do it, given that the winds and the fire were, relatively, at their best footprint for doing it.

            • mike says

              People can bury their head in the sand and say wildland firefighting is dangerous, bad things are going to happen, we have to accept it, yada, yada, yada. Sometimes that is true. But often it is not. The first step in preventing repeat tragedies is to be honest about what mistakes were made, if any. Then go ahead and decide how best to prevent them in the future. Marti is right about that, the second part often involves more than just saying “don’t do so and so”.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Spot on, mike. Totally agree.

                I sort of tried to say the same thing below, but you nailed it.

                See Mr. Powers new parent comment just above regarding ‘risk taking’. Also ‘spot on’. A ‘calculated risk’ is still just that… a risk… and a conscious choice to deviate from standard safety procedures and ‘planned operations’… and anyone who takes such ‘risks’ has to be prepared to suffer bad consequences ( lawsuits included ).

                You can’t just say “It’s a dangerous job… so ALL our decisions are justified. Leave us alone.” Doesn’t work that way.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to Marti Reed post on September 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

            Marti… Kudos on all the ‘research’ you have been doing and the way you are ‘connecting the dots’ to this ongoing discussion about Yarnell…

            …but remember that on a certain level it’s not that complicated at all.

            19 men died horrible deaths in Yarnell on June 30, 2013… and most of the evidence seems to indicate there was no damn good reason for it to have ever happened.

            TWO of those men were primarily responsible for leading the 17 others to their deaths.

            ONE of those TWO was, because of his rank, position and level of responsibility… ultimately responsible for what happened out there in ‘Divison A’ that day.

            The only ‘piece of the puzzle’ that is really missing is the HOW and WHY these 2 ( supposedly ) experienced firefighters could have been making such a fateful series of bad decisions that day.

            And make no mistake… I think Brendan McDonough himself might be the only one still sticking to his own mental-gymnastics style theory that ( as he said in his ADOSH interview ) “They didn’t make any wrong decisions… they just didn’t make the right one”.

            Everything else you are talking about up at the 50,000 foot level regarding ‘history of investigations and reports’ and the inability of a multi-billion ( Yes… that’s BILLION with a ‘B’ ) industry to even arrive at a workable way to conduct investigations of itself is important… but the families of the men that died are, I believe, still struggling to fly at a slightly lower altitude.

            They stilll just want to know what REALLY happened on June 30, 2013.

            So here we ( still ) are… hoping ( at least ) to do what WE can to shed a little more light on the events of that weekend… and then let the chips fall where they may.

            I am NOT trying, in any way, to discourage your high altitude approach.

            It is absolutely fascinating and you are RIGHT… the ENTIRE story of how an industry that prides itself on ‘taking care of their own’ seems ( historically ) dedicated to doing no such thing seems to have been brought into sharp focus by the Yarnell incident…

            …but I still have to believe that in this investigatory realm it is FEAR that is guiding the hearts ( and the ACTIONS ) of these men ( at all levels… from grunt to ‘fire god’ ) who tout themselves as fearless.

            FEAR of losing your job.
            FEAR of ‘going against your brothers’ ( whatever that really means ).
            FEAR of losing grant money if an operation is found to have flaws.
            FEAR that if you go against the grain you lose the career path.
            FEAR of having to pay money to victim’s families and take care of them.
            FEAR of not being able to do something ‘fun’ for a living.
            FEAR of NOT being considered a ‘hero’ by all who gaze upon you.
            FEAR of Congress cutting budgets if they hear about systemic failures.
            etc…. etc…

            That’s a whole lot of FEAR for people who are constantly touted as being the FEARLESS ones among us… and LIKE to think of THEMSELVES that way.

            There are LOTS of ‘dangerous’ things to do for a living.

            Despite what Firefighters think… they do NOT have some kind of ‘monopoly’ on having to ‘suit up’ for a dangerous job.

            I’m not even going to start with a ‘list’… because I would be typing all night long. Suffice to say that other industries that are JUST as ‘inherently dangerous’ do NOT seem to have the same ongoing ‘systemic’ issues or trouble taking hard looks at themselves when they NEED to.

            Every accident is unique.
            Every accident needs to be looked at with its own microscope.
            Every accident requires ( and deserves ) COMPETENT investigators.
            Every accident has something to teach…

            …but you must be WILLING to LEARN!

            >> Marti also wrote…
            >>
            >> What if the winds had unexpectedly changed and one of
            >> them had been accidentally burned? Would ADOSH/OSHA
            >> consider that an “unsafe workplace”? To the extent of legal
            >> punishment?

            It depends on what happened… and who might have been responsible for it happening.

            What if that same wind change had been FORECASTED ahead of time and ended up happening exactly the way it was supposed to… but men that were in charge of the safety of other men just seemed to ignore the risks and ‘ordered’ them to be places they should never have been?

            What I would expect of ANY Fed level OSHA or State Level XDOSH is to FIND OUT ‘what really happened’ and if legal punishment/citation was justified…. to go ahead and do their own jobs and report that.

            >> Marti also said…
            >>
            >> What if one of them, in the dark, had tripped over something
            >> and broken a bone and, because of smoke and darkness, his
            >> evacuation had been delayed, and his injuries had been magnified.
            >> Would ADOSH/OSHA consider that an “unsafe workplace”?

            Once again… it depends on what REALLY happened and WHO might have (also) been responsible for what happened.

            What if many other firefighters taking a look at pictures of the route and the conditions said that they would have NEVER attempted such a hike at such a time and would have ‘stayed where they were’… but whoever was injured ( or killed ) was simply ORDERED to make that move at that dangerous time on that dangerous route?

            Also again… I would expect any Fed OSHA or State XDOSH to find out what REALLY happened in that ‘workplace’ and respond accordingly.

            >> Marti also said…
            >>
            >> What, it appears to me, fire-fighters are saying is that, in
            >> order to do the job the public expect/hires them to do,
            >> they have to take calculated risks. What ADOSH/OSHA
            >> is holding them accountable to is a risk-free workplace.
            >>
            >> Thus, the cognitive dissonance.

            It’s not like working at a lemonade stand. That’s a given… but for firefighters to keep running around pretending they are the only ones who do something inherently dangerous for an EMPLOYER and that makes them above reproach… or NOT subject to standard ‘workplace safety’ reviews… is bullshit.

            If it turns out that you are someone who LIKES to take risks… and the reason you are doing the job yourself is because you LIKE the whole ‘Ranger Danger’ thing… that’s fine.

            But if you then rise to a position of authority and you are now SUBJECTING other employees in that workplace to ‘unnecessary’ risks… that’s a whole ‘nother story.

            They can’t have it both ways.

            If they are going to run this more-than-quasi-military style of field management and impose that ’employment’ structure on many young men who are basically just trying to make some bucks over the summer… then there has to be the same sort of strict accountability you would find in the military.

            Even in the military… every now and then someone DOES ‘break the rules’ ( even with good intentions ) and then there are some court-martials and people get a closeup view of the Missouri River as it passes by a little town called Leavenworth.

            Yarnell just seems to be bringing these ‘attitudes’ all into focus.

            19 men die… some of them just the same aforementioned ‘young men just trying to make a few bucks’… and the ‘agency’ that was their employer just wants to issue a namby-pamby ‘Lessons Learned’ report ( that doesn’t even really contain any ‘Lessons Learned’. ) and they then expect everyone to just keep giving them all the money they want and leave them alone because “no one understand us firefighters but us”.

            We are all very sad… but please go away and leave us alone because you just don’t ‘understand us’… but don’t forget to pay your taxes!

            Even ‘fire god’ Mike Dudley ended his June 20 presentation with this kind of “we’re the only ones who can ever understand what we do” bullshit ‘sign off’ to the men he was just talking to about the incident where 19 of their finest died for no apparent reason and “certainly no one did anything WRONG”. Oh, no. Not possible.

            We are ‘above reproach’… above OSHAs… above ADOSHs… because only WE understand US!

            We are “Ranger Danger”… stick together!

            Mike Dudley, June 20, 2014
            —————————————————————
            So… after South Canyon we made all these corrections because we assumed this would never happen again… and the problem with Yarnell is… and the shock of Yarnell is… not only could it happen again to a crew that well trained… but the opportunity for it to happen again in the future is still there. It’s always… will be there. We can’t acknowledge that what we operate in is a high risk environment.

            What we do need to know is that we maintain our training… we maintain our situational awareness to take care of ourselves and each other as we go through.

            Uh… it’s critical work that we do… and only us, really, understand what that means, not everyone else that out.. is outside the system.

            ( Applause from all the firefighters in the auditorium ).
            —————————————————————-

            End of rant… back to looking at actual EVIDENCE.

              • Bob Powers says

                Marti—You answered your own question.
                You do not do burn outs or back fires without the weather and other factors in your favor. It is always a planed and executed burn generally at night and with a lot of things in your favor.
                There should be no surprises with good fire forecasts as your father would have told you.

                There was no risk taking here that would have caused injury or death. Your what if holds no water. There were a lot of additional factors that you did not list or may not have known.
                Including a safety plan that included areas to fall back to and black areas created by the burn out, water back up or engine crews at the location. No burn out plan is haphazard.
                it has a plan with a predicted weather forecast and a no go point for any safety problems. Someone getting burned would be a freak occurrence.

                I will speak of this in a expert way I was for 3 years on a California back fire team during that period I served on the team on 4 fires. I have also because of that training back fired several other fires with hotshot crews All pre planed with the weather in our favor and good predicted forecasts from professional fire weather forecasters. Pre planed includes safety objectives and backup plans hose lays and safe zones.

                Please don’t take what I am saying to you as negative I am trying to explain things it takes years for Fire fighters to learn.
                There is always a risk that the fire might escape but there are many safety procedures in place to protect the people.

                To answer your question NO if it happened it would be a freak accident unpredicted and not related to any bad decisions.
                for the sake of argument—
                On the fire line in several instances a wind created by air craft or a dust delve while crews have been building line have cut off crewman from each other in most cases with no injuries.
                Note The one female who was cut off recently from her crew and had to deploy and survived. Those are classed as unusual situations that do occasionally occur but are highly unpredictable. No one in charge or the person is at fault mother nature dose strange things and wind is no different.
                In backfiring we learned never to trust a saddle it changed the wind locally at that point and we had to attack backfires different every time we encountered a saddle, wind swirls and wind from your back would go over the saddle and blow back in your face. The same thing goes for just building fire line there are minute and localized factors that affect wind in differing locations. It would take me hours to go thru this so I will stop here.

  7. Marti Reed says

    Another helpful Yarnell thing I found this weekend is the detailed reflections of Jim Whittington, from the Type 1 IMT’s Public Information Team, on the challenging experience of handling the Public Relations after the burnover.

    “Fatalities and Information”

    https://www.nifc.gov/PIO_bb/Background/FatalitiesInformation.pdf

    “There were two places media could go for a story: Yarnell, which is where the fire was, and Prescott, which was where the crew was based. We knew there were stories coming out of the Prescott Fire Department but they were so inundated from media and other demands that it was difficult to reach folks. When you did, you could not help but register what they were going through and you felt guilty demanding even the smallest bit of time. Not having a comfortable level of coordination required more than the usual approach to monitoring related media coverage as one had to be dialed in to what was coming out of Prescott so that nothing contradictory was said. In retrospect, after meeting the members of the Prescott Fire Department during the preparation for the memorial service, I probably should have tried harder to connect and coordinate more. Fortunately, there were no major issues that arose and the minor ones were few.”

    “A related concern is the physical space between the incident and the home unit. There is still a fire with major suppression efforts taking place yet the affected families and community are somewhere else. Just from being in camp and attending the briefings, you can come to focus too much on the incident and lapse too much into the comfort zone of regular fires, particularly when giving media briefings or interviews. I tried to mention Granite Mountain and Prescott FD as much as possible to remind myself and others that the fire influenced many people miles away.

    That said, there was still an evacuated town with people suffering from the uncertainty and economic hardship that comes with being out of your home and not knowing whether it was damaged. On top of that, they had the knowledge that firefighters died trying to fight the fire that went through their town. You have to respect and honor the evacuation emotions while also being wary of questions that might seem to equate the hardships faced by residents and the families of the fallen.”

    “Of course, there were many emotions running through my mind. While I focused on sorrow and resilience and remembrance with the media, it was difficult at times to keep anger and confusion from bubbling to the surface. But those are selfish emotions and when you’re speaking for others, you cannot allow yourself to let those thoughts come out. If you’re in the position Suzanne and I were in, you just have to put yourself out there and trust you’ll be able to do right by everyone you’re speaking for. It is a tough line to walk and I sometimes felt myself getting dangerously close to breaking down. I never quite did, but it was definitely a struggle.”

    “Fatalities are tough and stressful and the stress is much different than even the most mega of Type I incidents. On regular incidents (as if there is such a thing), no matter how stressful, you settle into a routine and your stress level evens out, though it may remain at a high level. Not to mention, any group of PIOs tends to be both high energy and fun which helps alleviate the stress. On fatalities like Yarnell, the stress level keeps rising, there is no routine, and the fun of an assignment is greatly diminished. It is different and can be quite a shock if you are not prepared for it or have gone through it before.”

    I found it both informative and heart-warming to read Jim’s attempt to share with others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

  8. Marti Reed says

    So, as I was closing the 95k webpages I have open from my weekend’s explorations, I came across what is, to me, the very bestest analysis of the Yarnell Fire I have read, so far.

    It’s the first chapter of what appears to be an evolving study. It’s being done by a team that includes Doug Campbell, the guru of gurus of fire behavior, and several other fire officers, current and retired, of Region 3, Arizona and New Mexico.

    The gist of the analysis is that the fire behavior was not adequately assessed, from the get-go, and thus, the resourcing was never adequately positioned to fight the fire as it should have been fought, despite the fact that the appropriate tools to adequately assess and resource the fire exist. They just weren’t implemented.

    Actually they were implemented, by Chuck Maxwell, in Albuquerque. But, because of protocol, he wasn’t authorized to intervene.

    I HIGHLY recommended everybody read this study.

    The first chapter was published in the April-June 2014 issue of “Straight Tip,” the “Utah Fire and Rescue Academy Magazine.” It is titled “The Yarnell Fire – Part One: A Cry For Help.” It’s located in about the middle of this pdf:

    https://www.uvu.edu/ufra/docs/straight_tip/Straight_Tip_April_June14.pdf

    • Marti Reed says

      The second chapter, titled “THE YARNELL FIRE – PART TWO: AN EXAMINATION OF WORKLOAD AND TOOLS TO PREDICT FIRE SEVERITY,” published in the July-September 2014 issue of the same magazine, goes into detail regarding the fire behavior prediction tools that are availabe, how they should have been used, what they would have indicated, and how that would have made a major difference.

      This issue of the magazine is located here:
      http://www.uvu.edu/ufra/docs/straight_tip/straight_tip_jul_sep14.pdf

      It includes a note that part 3 will be in the next issue and that these articles are excerpted from the complete, but evolving (it appears to me) report, which I will link below. It is slightly more extensive, and a whole lot easier to read.

        • Bob Powers says

          First thanks for the reference.
          Second if you were to look back at every thing I have said in layman terms it pretty well follows the some direction and information I have talked about thru out this discussion gust no in official format and in paces. A person with a good solid fire background with or with out the prediction tools would have made the same conclusion. At the first look at the first picture of the fire below the crew it told me all I needed to know STAY IN THE BLACK.

          • Marti Reed says

            Agree.

            However, I think it’s really important to look, not just at what GM did or do but, as I have said periodically, at the stage upon which they were acting, the system that created that stage. and the history of decisions that have created that system.

            Otherwise, ALL people are going to see is a crew making a huge and deadly mistake, and will think, “Well WE wouldn’t have done THAT!!!.”

            Unfortunately, as fires get bigger and vastly more complex, which is what they are doing, including right around me, if the under-resourced and under-performing systems that created the chaos on the Yarnell Fire from hour one aren’t looked at as critically as the Granite Mountain’s habits and mistakes, more and more crews and individuals are going to be killed in exactly some version of the same way.

            And if the investigative process, which is also a product of that same history that created those systems that produced that whole dysfunctional collection of facts on the Yarnell ground, aren’t looked at as critically as all the above, nothing that is crying out in Chuck Maxwell’s and all our and everybody else’s tears is going to be heard.

            Yes, it’s about gloves and sleeves, and the personal and team habits that usually work but sometimes fatally don’t, but it’s about a whole lot of bigger complex dynamics that really need to be looked at clearly and seriously. IMHO = In My Humble Opinion.

            That’s why I’ve stayed out of the gloves and sleeves types of conversations here. I think we have way bigger fish to fry.

            • Bob Powers says

              I think you have a lot right Marti
              Let me add as I have said before no matter how bad it gets or who has their head up there ass.
              You as a Crew boss/ Division supervisor have a responsibility to follow the proven safety practices
              and keep you crew or crews safe on the fire line.
              The 10 Standard orders are not hard to understand and follow. Fight fire aggressively but provide for safety first. It may be hillbilly but it is fact. LCES is a piece of the 10 and easy to follow. Always have situational awareness.
              Last but not least those of us that fought the big fires in Southern California in the 60’s and 70’s can associate with the fires of today. There are droughts that change fire intensities. If you know the drought will change the way the fires burn then it is easy to adjust to what is happening around you. Many Southern California fires ran thru 20 foot brush like a freight train Taking out 10,00 Acers in 10 min.. The only thing we did not always contend with was the Urban Interface.
              Fire Fighters with the drought need to go back to the all out IA that was done n those days. During extreme burning conditions they should not even consider managing fire starts wilderness or otherwise. Called let burn policies. Fire fighting has a set of rules weather they are slipping or running.

              • Marti Reed says

                “You as a Crew boss/ Division supervisor have a responsibility to follow the proven safety practices and keep you crew or crews safe on the fire line.”

                I know this is hardly new, and yet I think, as crews confront the fact that they are fighting 21st Century fires with both 21st Century technology and 21st Century distractions — including the currently existent and seriously threatening 21st Century litigious environment — on stages upon which their overhead may be, as was the case here, unprepared and under-resourced, because of their inability to contract sufficient resources (and I’m still trying to figure exactly what was all about for this, but I think it has to do with insufficient BUDGETING)…

                I agree that crews and individuals that choose to fight 21st Century wildland fires (including WUI) are going to have to ABSOLUTELY assume that the systems in which they are operating are not necessarily working in their favor (which I think is really hard, given all the culture and tradition), when the rubber hits the road or the sh*t hits the fan.

                I think, after reading what I’ve been reading, a lot of wildland fire-fighters increasingly understand this. They already don’t trust the upper echelons. Which is why a lot of them are leaving the field.

                Which I don’t see as a solution to the problem.

                And others, I think, are realizing they need to even more seriously consider that, if they choose to stay in the game, they need to ramp up their ability to be a “student of fire,” become as truly “smart” as they are “heroic,” and, while honoring and respecting the chain of command, not depend on it when they realize it may be threatening their very survival.

                • Bob Powers says

                  Add one other thing I learned as a Police officer. Carrie liability insurance and have a union that will represent you with lawyers. It is a new time and every one gets sued.
                  It is frustrating for those who love there jobs and work hard.

                  • Marti Reed says

                    Exactly.

                    The whole issue of liability protection for federal fire-fighters is massive.

                    And the fact that they have to buy it themselves, while the USFS only protects those “at the top” is one of the causes of experienced fire-fighters leaving the force.

                    Which is not a solution.

                    • Marti Reed says

                      And that’s just federal firefighters.

                      I have no idea what kind of financial liability protection someone like Todd Abel, who I think is targeted in the lawsuits (and I also think unjustly) is carrying.

                      This whole real crummy deal IMHO is not supporting getting the best and brightest into fighting the fires we the people need to have fighting those fires.

          • Marti Reed says

            PS You wrote “A person with a good solid fire background with or with out the prediction tools would have made the same conclusion.”

            The point of what the study is learning is that that is precisely what DIDN’T happen. A bunch of folks with a good solid fire background but WITHOUT the prediction tools made EXACTLY the WRONG conclusions. From Day One.

            • Bob Powers says

              Sorry Marti –I was again talking old school with the knowledge of solid fire experience that is not prevalent to day. no those running this fire were not well versed in wild land fire no matter what any one would say different. This was a total mess and not the best to base expectations on. Prediction tools also come with years of experience which includes training, Fire still burns the same way they just change in intensity rate of spread per hour doesn’t have to be calculated on a computer use your eyes your brain and your experience if you know it is going to be bad don’t get in the way of it Add wind and slope in heavy fuel you do not want to be in front of it the Fire line note book will give you estimated rates of spread close enough to make those decisions with out all the fancy computer BS. It ain’t rocket science.

    • Marti Reed says

      Funny little irony. I found this gem when I was doing all kinds of google searches to try to find more out about Mike Dudley. Which I couldn’t find much more than WTKTT could, either.

      It was worth the search.

  9. Bob Powers says

    I have wanted to say this for a couple of month’s and have got side tracked.

    I have been in touch with some of my friends here in Region 4 FMO’s an a Hot Shot foreman.
    The basic info I am getting indicates the FS is pretty much in agreement That GM did not follow the basic 10 Standard Orders which caused the fatalities. They were also very concerned with the overall management of the fire.

    The FS has decided this was a lack of following the rules as far as the crew was concerned and have Identified the same 10 standard orders as we have that were violated. along with discussions on situational awareness. The HS Crews in Region are again discussing the 10 and 18 and LCES. and how it relates to the Yarnell Fire.

    I think based on my information the FS is basically saying, There are no new lessons here, that are not already being used. The Safety directives need to be followed and enforced, Safety Officers are also being more aware of the briefings.

    Just to update every one here on some things that are being discussed and implemented in house.

    • SR says

      This is sort of the “this was just an AZ state cluster” view, that is similar to the response to the Safety Matters submission. In some respects it is accurate. For instance, the way things were handled after the burnover was not optimal, and the Feds have been much more professional in the past. But, there’s been more than one instance of someone being allowed to continue leading a crew despite sever interpersonal communication issues. So there are other leadership issues out there. There as has been discussed recently are real PPE issues in terms of practices. There is a systemic issue in terms of thinking that it is a sign of education and refinement to just “wing it,” rather than being old-school and following safety guidelines. There is a systemic issue in terms of unsafe behavior not being assessed and reported throughout the system. And, I’m sympathetic to the view that the 10 and 18 often are used to blame crew, rather than provide for safety.

      At core, I think the lessons are not in the long series of basic mistakes made that day, or on earlier fires. That’s sort of like a restaurant serving bad meat because it was left in the sun. Yeah, don’t do that. The lessons are in the loose organizational and lax supervision that allowed leaving meat in the sun to be viewed as normal.

      • Marti Reed says

        I have sorta kinda a different take on things, but I’m pretty close to your assessment.

        This is all about systemic stuff coming out of hiding and becoming visible in all it’s confusion..

        I came across an awesome re-definition of LCES:

        “Let’s confuse everybody simultaneously.”

        • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

          Systemic stuff ALWAYS shows it’s face, eventually, over time.

          The only variable seems to be how much collateral damage is caused when it DOES come out

          • Bob Powers says

            Marti you hit what we did way back when confuse and keep on talking till the Fire dose what you expected it to when the over head thinks you should do something else that was our way of saying no and still get the job done.

            • Marti Reed says

              Which is probably even more likely when you have spent the day learning that the overhead hasn’t a clue as to how to fight the fire.

              And now Doug Campbell is saying exactly the same thing.

              And Chuck Maxwell weeps.

                • Marti Reed says

                  An old school fire-fighter with 21st century fire behavior analysis brilliance.

                  As I’ve read years full of months full of days full of the Wildfire.com forum archives, it always amazes me when he periodically pops in and describes exactly how the people on the fire being discussed completely mistook what the fire was doing, because, by his analysis, it was obviously doing exactly x, y, and z, and they completely didn’t see, much less comprehend it.

          • Marti Reed says

            I totally agree, TTWARE,

            And, it seems to me, that the longer the systemic dysfunction continues the potentially greater the destructive consequences may be. (My own systemic dysfunctions excluded, of course).

            Which is partially why I’m so concerned about this systemically dysfunctional investigation history/process. I believe IT is creating destructive consequences, and, from what I’ve read, I am not alone in that belief.

      • Bob Powers says

        Well said My only thought is we could have a long discussion on the 10 being used to blame the use to be to identify mistakes to review what happened. They are rules as in any work environment if you faille to use them accidents and fatalities occur.
        it is a what caused the accident or fatality. If it was none of the 10 then it was an outside influence like the 2 hilitack that died because the were put above a fire to build a helispot and forgotten until it was to late to pick them up. There deaths were not of their making but the overheads decision to put them there and then forget them. But I am sure we could go back and forth here with our different beliefs.

        • Marti Reed says

          From all the expressed agony and anger I’ve read through over the past few weeks regarding investigations, it’s really clear to me that the mistranslation and thus use of the 10 and 18 to not just blame people, but to even criminally prosecute them, is the clear cause of the renaming of them from Orders to Principles.

          And that’s a huge part of them getting kind of lost and orphaned in the resulting confusion.

    • Marti Reed says

      I think you’ll be heartened to read this, by a relatively young helitac firefighter:

      Chasing Fire
      Reflections on South Canyon
      Posted on June 5, 2014

      http://chasingfire.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/reflections-on-south-canyon/#comments

      “It started as I was sitting in the fire cache at the Lowman RD, on the banks of the South Fork of the Payette River, attending a session of the annual fire refresher training. When we got to the section on the Yarnell Hill fire video where Ted Putnam spoke, it occurred to me to ask how many people knew who he was, and why his opinion mattered. In a room with 30 or so people, ranging from first year firefighters to seasoned hands, nobody raised a voice to answer. To me it seems a minor tragedy in its own right that the man who championed human factors after South Canyon was an unknown in that room, on one of the busiest fire forests in the region.

      That got me thinking, probably more than I should. Twenty years have passed since South Canyon, and many of the fresh faces on the firelines this year may not have even been alive when that event took place. While fires like South Canyon have made their impression on our policies, our training, and our regulations, it seems that in some places, the personal lessons are not being passed on to our young firefighters. They know “the rules,” and the safety reasons for doing the things we do, but it hasn’t been made personal for them. They know the what, but not necessarily the why, and I think as leaders and followers we should take steps to change that.

      … The things I’ve thought most about in the last few weeks as I’ve read and re-read about those events twenty years ago can be summed up in a few lines of thought.

      First is the idea of legacy, of remembering what those who came before us learned at great cost. It seems to me, from my experience, that we’re going through a generational shift that puts us in danger of losing touch with our history, and forgetting the lessons of our forebears. In some ways it’s because as our firefighters get younger, and technology and culture change, so do our habits. Storytelling and reading during slow times on the job have shifted to playing games on tablets, and checking the latest gossip on social media. Reading, while never especially popular among the personality types that tend to be attracted to fire jobs, has become more unpopular than ever. How then should we approach the topic? How can we pass on not only the knowledge, but the personal connection to those lessons?”

      I’m not gonna quote any more of his post, because you really should read it. His thinking and writing are outstanding. He’s trying to combine the best of 21st thinking with the best of everything that has come before it.

  10. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** RE: THE MOST RECENT ARTICLE

    The link to Mr. John Dougherty’s most recent article in the Phoenix New Times…

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2014/09/families_of_the_fallen_granite_mountain_hotshots_are_not_getting_the_answer.php

    >> On September 4, 2014 at 9:49 pm, Marti Reed said…
    >>
    >> There’s so much in this article I disagree with, I don’t even know where to begin.
    >>
    >> On the other hand, there are several things I agree with. So I still don’t know where to begin.
    >>
    >> There’s a lot here I don’t know what the sourcing is. So I can’t say.

    >> On September 5, 2014 at 6:39 am, Marti Reed also said…
    >>
    >> Just for starters, how much time did we spend picking the evidence apart
    >> and putting it back together to finally debunk the narrative that Eric was the
    >> one that responded to that retardant drop?

    Yes… it was a little disappointing to see Mr. Dougherty ‘reverting’ to basically the same TIMES for things as published in the SAIT ( when a lot of those times have been proven to be wrong ) and also referring to certain things published in the SAIT as if they were ‘fact’… like the 1637 “That’s where we want retardant” transmission supposedly from Marsh.

    With regards to that particular transmission, however… I don’t think we ever did fully ‘debunk’ it.

    That statement has always been a ‘greased watermelon’ and every time something else is discovered it tends to throw things back into question again.

    Example: The ‘recently noticed’ IMG_1334 and IMG_1335 pictures taken at exactly 4:30 PM from Highway 89 ( just 7 minutes before Marsh’s supposed ‘That’s where we want retardant’ transmission and just 9 minutes before Steed’s first MAYDAY call ) both show that at 4:30 PM, the ‘smoke column’ hadn’t even started to ‘lay down’ yet.

    Both photographs show there was ‘clear sky’ from the point where the photos were taken just north of the Ranch House Restaurant all the way back out to that western ridge where Granite Mountain started their descent into the box canyon.

    That actually calls into question any assumptions that it would have been impossible for Marsh to have seen the flights of the aircraft there on the south side of the fire regardless of whether they were flying a ‘west to east’ or a ‘south to north’ pattern.

    The truth now is… he probably COULD have seen whatever Bravo 33 was doing in that 4:30 to 4:37 PM timeframe… no matter WHERE he actually was there on the south side of that fire.

    Also… it really all still comes down to that one statement from just one guy in just one airplane. ( John Burfiend in Bravo 33 ) that NO ONE else even reports hearing on that very popular A2G channel… but we still don’t know the full details of his own statement to the SAIT.

    We still do NOT know if there was any actual CALL SIGN preceding this transmission that he seems to recall hearing.

    The SAIT interview notes only said Burfiend seems to remember ‘Division A called’ and then said something about ‘That’s where we want retardant’.

    It is STILL unclear how the SAIT actually attributed that reported transmission to Marsh.

    Did Burfiend just THINK he recognized Marsh’s voice… or was Burfiend absolutely sure that radio callup to him ( on A2G channel ) was prefixed with a full “This is Division Alpha” call-sign prefix?

    We simply still don’t know.

    It also still is quite possible that just 90 seconds after that… we might actually be hearing Burfiend discussing the possibility of actually fulfilling a request for retardant for Marsh there at the start of that Helmet-Cam video.

    It is still possible that at that moment… just shortly after Marsh’s “That’s where we want retardant” call… and just seconds before Steed’s first MAYDAY was going to hit the radio… Burfiend was talking with SOMEONE there in fire command ( probably not Marsh at that point ) and explaining that they would ‘give it a shot’ but that it was going to be difficult because of (quote) “That valley and all the smoke”.

    I still personally believe that the 1637 transmission was just someone making an unsolicited ‘that is goodness’ call up to Bravo 33 with regards to the ‘spot on’ drop that had French had lined up and had taken place just before that transmission ( and that it wasn’t Marsh )…

    …but SOMETHING still has to explain what that conversation we can hear with our own ears at the start of the Helmet Cam video was really all about.

    It MIGHT have been a discussion about actually trying to fulfill the request that Marsh made at 1637 regarding ‘retardant’.

    More to come…

    • calvin says

      Could it be possible that B33 was talking to Marsh when the helmet camera begins? If it wasn’t Marsh, who could it have been? Not Abel, Musser, or Cordes.

      I have been listening to the helmet cam and have some observations.. The GM caller trying to contact air attack sounds pissed off! The calls (from GM7) after the in front of a flaming front call seem to me to be someone who is really mad. The calls do not sound (to me) like a call for help. The calls are angry and continue to get angrier until B33 tells them to QUIT.

      There are repeated calls to air attack that go unanswered. Calls that are addressed to Bravo33 from OPS Abel and Div A are answered., promptly.

      The background voice (of the Prescott 3) seems to think the GM7 caller is Eric..

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to calvin post on September 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        >> calvin said…
        >>
        >> Could it be possible that B33 was talking to Marsh when the helmet
        >> camera begins?

        Well… it that conversation really WAS related to the SAIR’s reported 1637 transmission from Marsh about “That’s where we want retardant”… then YES… it certainly is possible this was Burfiend re-contacting Marsh and trying to clarify what he wanted and then saying “We’ll give it our best shot”.

        However… if that really is the case… it’s inconceivable to me that this ‘followup’ conversation with a man who was about to die on the part of Burfiend would NOT have been mentioned by him and ALSO appearing in his notes.

        If the SAIT had no problem reporting that Marsh seemed to be ASKING for retardant at 1637… then why would they feel any need to ‘hide’ or ‘coverup’ a followup conversation about that between Marsh and Burfiend.

        >> clavin also said…
        >>
        >> If it wasn’t Marsh, who could it have been? Not Abel, Musser, or Cordes.

        I think we have eliminated Cordes… but still not sure Abel and Musser can be crossed off the list. Yes… we hear Musser himself ‘calling out’ to someone in that Helmet Cam video but that was after the end of the other conversation and after Burfiend’s direct callout to SPGS1 Cordes ( who didn’t respond ).

        Musser could have been the one talking to Burfiend when that Helmet Cam begins… and it also could have been Todd Abel.

        However… same rule as above applies ( in my mind ).

        It is inconceivable ( to me ) that neither Musser or Abel wouldn’t have recalled having this discussion with Burfiend and mentioned it in their interviews.

        Makes you wonder if, at the time of their interviews, they were even aware that the ‘Helmet Cam’ existed.

        If it wasn’t Musser, Abel or Cordes… then I don’t know who it might have been but it has to be a VERY short list.

        Burfiend was REPORTING to someone and was already APOLOGIZING for maybe not being able to do a retardant drop that was being requested.

        Who, other than Marsh himself or someone high up in fire command, would Burfiend even have felt the need to be doing that kind of apologetic ‘explaining’ to over the radio? Not many people.

        It’s not like anyone there on the fire could just call up Air Attack and start making retardant requests and then Burfiend taking the requests seriously enough to feel the need to do that kind of ‘reporting’ back about it.

        It had to be someone ‘high up’ in the chain of command that day.

        Someone that Burfiend ( Air Attack ) WOULD have to ‘listen’ and ‘respond’ to.

        I actually think it is just as important to identify WHO Burfiend was talking to at the start of that Helmet Cam video as it still is to identify WHO Eric Marsh was ‘reporting’ to at exactly 4:27 PM in the YARNELL-GAMBLE video.

        And it shouldn’t be hard to find out.

        It really is just a matter of talking to the people who were RECORDING those conversations which we can all hear part of… and asking THEM what else they heard and who was actually talking to who.

        >> calvin also said
        >>
        >> I have been listening to the helmet cam and have some observations..
        >> The GM caller trying to contact air attack sounds pissed off!
        >> The calls (from GM7) after the in front of a flaming front call seem
        >> to me to be someone who is really mad.

        I would say that THIRD call to Air Attack in that sequence ( from Robert Caldwell ) is the one that obviously display frustration ( and anger ) and could almost be translated as “Goddammit… Air Attack… ANSWER ME!!”

        As for Steed’s first MAYDAY… I’m not sure I’m hearing anger as much as just simply someone a little freaked out and trying to YELL over those chainsaws running right next to him just so he can even hear himself talking.

        >> calvin also said…
        >>
        >> The calls do not sound (to me) like a call for help. The calls are angry
        >> and continue to get angrier until B33 tells them to QUIT.

        That I would agree with, yes.

        See above.

        By the time Caldwell is calling… and just before Todd Abel is about to jump in and tell John Burfiend to (basically) get his head out of his ass and ANSWER those men… there is an increasing level of frustration in the radio calls.

        >> calvin also said…
        >>
        >> There are repeated calls to air attack that go unanswered.
        >> Calls that are addressed to Bravo33 from OPS Abel and
        >> Div A are answered., promptly.

        Actually… it’s even more dramatic than that.

        Listen carefully to Burfiend… and when Todd Abel jumps in and tells him to get his head out his ass and respond to the people who are (repeatedly and frantically) trying to talk to him… Burfiend’s entire tone and speech cadence suddenly ‘hops to’ like a guy who just got caught sleeping on a sofa and then jumps up saying “Yes, sir! Right away, sir!”.

        As soon as Burfiend knew it was OPS1 ( Abel ) telling him to do something… he ‘hopped to’ and immediately changed his attitude and vocal tone and then started paying attention.

        Those 1 minute and 58 seconds that were lost that day because Burfiend was CHOOSING not to respond to these radio calls from GM was a very critical time loss. The camera was rolling. If Burfiend had started interacting with those men right away ( as he SHOULD have )… then for another 1 minute and 58 seconds we may have learned some very critical things… even from Steed himself.

        >> calvin also said…
        >> The background voice (of the Prescott 3) seems to think the
        >> GM7 caller is Eric..

        I believe that is KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell who says ( as a question ) “Is that Eric?”.

        I don’t think there was a direct verbal response from either Hulburd or Clawson.

        Aaron Hulburd ( who was shooting the video ) may have just shrugged his shoulders at Yowell in response.

        • Bob Powers says

          My Comment on Retardant—
          Normally unless assigned to a Division Air attack would answer to the Ops Sec. Chief. The orders to air attack and conversation on drop location by B33 would be directed at OPS although there seemed to be 2 on this fire.

          OPS would have had to turn the Air Attack over to Marsh for any Air Tanker Drops
          That would be the only way to manage the Air resource with the demands on it when the Fire took off.

          We do not have any confirmation that happened at that time of day.
          Div. A was not using air drops after the mess in the morning of the Air Attack dropping on his Burn Out.

          So my point Marsh had no authorization to request drops directly with B33.
          Until the deployment and Ops asked B33 to hold the air tanker for support to the GM crew which they were then unable to locate or contacted.

          At least that is the way it is supposed to work………………

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Mr. Powers… thank you.

            That is an important ‘summary’.

            So… basically… what you are saying is that it would have been highly unusual for Eric Marsh (DIVSA) to have just come out of nowhere ( at 1637 ) with a direct call to Air Attack and suddenly trying to direct retardant drops… unless there had been some prior arrangement for him to be allowed to be doing that?

            In the Panebaker Air-To-Air captures… we DO hear Rory Collins telling Thomas French ( just a few minutes before Collins was going to leave the fire and hand-off Air Attack duties to French / Burfiend ) that (quote) “My CONTACT down there was… uh… Division Alpha ).

            Would that have normally been enough for Thomas French ( in Bravo 33 ) to then believe that if he got any calls from ‘Division Alpha’ down there on the south end of the fire that DIVSA was already, somehow, authorized to be the one directing retardant drops?

            What I mean is… what we hear in the Panebaker Air-To-Air is just the airplane guys deciding for themselves who their ‘contacts’ are in a certain part of the fire and there is no conversation whatsoever about this with OPS.

            Is THAT ‘normal’… or just one more place where things were pretty much ‘off the reservation’ that day?

            I still believe there was a MASSIVE disconnect going on that day between Air Support and Ground Command.

            Example: The near miss between the skycrane helo and the VLAT. Blue Ridge reports in their Unit Logs that it appeared as if the helos on the south end of the fire weren’t being managed by ANYONE and they were just ‘doing their own thing’ all day. Captain Brown’s Unit Log itself blames these ‘freelancing’ helos on the south end for actually ‘splitting’ the fireline as it approached Yarnell… which ended up not a good thing to have happened.

            The Panebaker Air-To-Air channel captures seem to verify this complete lack of attention to what was happening on the SOUTH side of the fire.

            We can hear Thomas French having a lot of direct interaction with helicopter Five Kilo Alpha ( 5KA ) and the standard “off the dip’ and ‘off the drop’ exchanges… but there is no conversation whatsoever recorded between French and the other TWO helicopters ( the skycrane and one other ) that were still busily ‘dropping’ on the south end.

            There are absolutely no ‘off the dip’ or ‘off the drop’ notifications coming to French from those OTHER two helicopters. They were, apparently, just ‘doing whatever the hell they wanted down there’.

            We still don’t even know where these other two choppers were actually ‘dipping’ from. Was it the same Horseshoe dip that 5KA was using up north in Peeples Valley… or were they actually using the PUMPKIN that had been set up at the Boulder Springs Ranch the day before?

            These would also be the same two helicopters that can be heard passing directly over the St. Joseph Shrine area DURING the Helmet Cam video. Even then… whatever it was those two helos were doing down there on the south side of the fire… there is no recorded interchange between these TWO helicopters and Air Attack ( French on A2A channel ).

            The Air guys were obviously competent at what they do ( for the most part )… but I still think that if all these radio captures indicate a ‘normal’ Air-Support operation at an up-level fire… that whole thing needs a good review as well.

            There was this distinct lack of awareness as to what the ‘plan’ was on the ground or who was even down there working the fire.

            French and Burfiend even admitted they had NO IDEA anyone was doing anything down there on the ground at all on that south side of the fire with regards to fighting the fire at ground level… and they weren’t even aware that the Blue Ridge Hotshots were even working the fire until they heard that on CNN later that night.

            Also one more point ( and one more question for you ).

            We still really have no idea if it was Eric Marsh ( as DIVSA ) who was ‘coordintating’ or ‘calling’ that retardant line operation out in the bowl that can be seen in the MacKenzie photos.

            I’m talking about that LOOONG retardant line that seemed to run all the way from where GM was working and across the ‘valley’ over to a point way east near the base of Boulder Mountain.

            That line of retardant was being ‘built’ earlier in the day when Rory Collins was still Air Attack… but it’s never been clear if Eric Marsh was participating in that operation from ground level and from his vantage point up on the ridge.

            We have never heard enough from the elusive Mr. Rory Collins about ANYTHING he did that day. HIs SAIT interview notes were a joke.

            So let’s say that Eric Marsh WAS actually ‘helping to direct’ the buildup of that retardant line with Collins ( Air Attack ).

            Do you think that would have automatically made Marsh ‘think’ ( without any consultation with OPS ) that he was then supposed to also be directing retardant drops on the south side even later that afternoon?

            Todd Abel does, in fact, tell Marsh… “We’ll get some Air Support down there ASAP”.

            Do you think it’s possible Eric Marsh ( as DIVSA ) took that as more ‘authorization’ from OPS management to be ‘directing’ retardant drops down there on the south side when this ‘Air Support’ finally showed up?

            Do you think it’s possible that part of Marsh’s MOTIVATION for ‘getting to town’ is because that’s where the Air Drops now needed to be and Marsh simply felt he was SUPPOSED to get to town ( as DIVSA ) and be the one helping to ‘direct’ those drops?

            • Bob Powers says

              Remember there is a chain of command.
              The 2 OPS were responsible for the requests for drops unless they told air attack to work direct with a line person.
              Marsh had not worked with the Air Attack all afternoon so he would have been out of the use authorization until the May day we are in front of the flaming front and B33 was told or stated to OPS he would hold the tanker for the crew in trouble. I am wit Marti I still and have said before that was not a statement made by Marsh. My opinion.
              Air Tanker drops are always priority and controlled by the IC or OPS not further down the chain of command un less it is stipulated by either one. A DIV dose not jump in and divert Air Tankers.

              • Bob Powers says

                WTKTT on Marsh getting to town No that was not his Division or his current assignment. It is like every thing else with the crew it would have been to late any way. It was some one else’s responsibility and not his.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Copy that… but then how do we explain the actual captured radio recording ( circa 3:55 PM ) where we HEAR the departing Air Attack ( Rory Collins ) telling the people who are taking over Air Attack responsibilities specifically WHO the ‘authorized ground contact’ is supposed to be on the south side of the fire?

                  Rory Collins specifically tells Thomas French…

                  “MY contact down there was… uh… Alpha”.

                  Thomas French acknowldeges this with…

                  “Copy that. Contact is Alpha”.

                  I hear everything you are saying above… but the more I look at this I get a feeling that a lot of non-standard ‘assumptions’ were in play that day such as who was in CHARGE of what.

                  OPS1 was actually ‘out in the field’ at this time doing direct structure protection out on Miners’ Camp Road up in Peeples Valley.

                  SIDENOTE: This was mentioned by ADOSH. The Field OPS on the entire fire was doing direct, personal structure protection work at a time when a town needed to be evacuated, Air Support had shifted to the OPPOSITE end of the fire… and he also should have been the one making SURE that all firefighters were getting OFF the fire and to their safety zones. That became just part of ADOSH’s conclusion that management was too focused on structure protection that day and not paying adequate attention to other things at critical times.

                  There is NOTHING in OPS1 Todd Abel’s interview about him having ANY conversations with Air Support about who was supposed to be directing retardant drops on the SOUTH side of the fire.

                  His only concern was what HE was doing.
                  Structure Protection on Miners Camp Road and checking with Willis about how the work on Model Creek Road was going.

                  It is almost as if Todd Abel realized the Air Support needed to shift to the SOUTH ( and he told Marsh that was going to happen )… but then Abel was too busy himself to DIRECT that operation and just assumed the Air Guys would ‘figure it out’… or something.

                  I still think there is a possibility here that DIVSA Marsh somehow thought ( mistakenly or otherwise ) that it might have been HIS job to be ‘directing’ those retardant drops on the SOUTH side.

                  More to come on this.

                  I’m rechecking all my notes and all the evidence to see if there really is any indication WHO was supposed to be ‘directing’ Air Support as they shifted their attention to the SOUTH side of the fire… to that Division Z which had a non-existent DIVSZ supervisor that day.

                  That still actually comes into play here.

                  We are talking about Air Support now being told to ‘drop at will’ ( by Todd Abel as per request from Cordes )
                  and try and ‘save what they can’ of an entire town.

                  ALL of those drops were now going to be happening in the part of the fire designated ‘Division Z’… but the Division Z Supervisor was a ‘missing person’. No one even knew WHERE he was at that point.

                  Again… perhaps Marsh KNEW this.

                  Perhaps that contributed to Marsh *maybe* thinking it was ‘up to him’ to be the one to be calling those drops on the SOUTH side and this influenced his motivation and decision making at that critical time.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    Again it is to know who are on the Divisions remember there was no written plan or map designating the fire break up or Div. knowing there was 1 Div. on the south side of the fire was important if you needed to contact them and who they were.
                    Normally just contact info. That’s my take.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    Again the fire had burned out of all the divisions and we herd no discussion of where to drop. Marsh was not ordering retardant at that time B33 was advised he was the Div. A person to contact on the south side. That is standard when you have such a spread in the fire assignments.

                  • Marti Reed says

                    I’m copying.

                    I think the questions you are asking are really important.

                    I don’t know the answers. They could possibly change my opinion of what’s going on here.

                    I still doubt that, even if Marsh considered himself to be authoritative/responsible regarding the aerial drops, and thus requiring himself to move. that would have influenced him in regard to moving the Granite Mountain crew.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Why do SOOOO many frickin’ threads have to end with what I am about to say.

                      Brendan McDonough probably knows more about this.

                      PS: Here’s a wild stab.

                      We can HEAR Marsh telling Steed…

                      “I knew this was comin’. I could just FEEL it, ya know?”

                      We have NEVER fully understood what Marsh was saying there.

                      What if what Marsh was REALLY referring to was the whole ‘Division Z’ thing?

                      He argues with a guy on the radio about ‘splitting’ the areas of responsibility down there on the south end of the fire… and after much consternation they seem to both AGREE that the ‘dividing line’ ( north / south ) would be the ‘old grader’ location.

                      That automatically put Yarnell into ‘Division Z’ and no longer part of ‘Division A’.

                      Then Marsh becomes aware that this Rance Marquez guy who he spent all that time consternating with is simply back up north somewhere ‘doing other things’ and making no more attempt to actually BE ‘Division Z’ than he was trying to be the man in the moon.

                      So now the fire shifts… and there is a geographic Division break that puts the threatened target area OUTSIDE of Marsh’s own official ‘Division A’.

                      But Marsh KNOWS there is no ‘DIVSZ’ looking after ‘Division Z’ at all. He’s a ‘missing person’.

                      Could that have been what Marsh “felt coming?”

                      That is wasn’t a good idea to make that ‘Division break’ in the first place just because some guy cards into the fire and needed something to do?

                      Was Marsh then making too much of ‘what he could feel coming’ and felt he had to DO something about it… like get his own ass over there to Division Z to direct retardant drops?

                      Again… ( and it still pains me to keep typing this ever-present phrase )…

                      Brendan McDonough probably knows more about this.

        • Marti Reed says

          I’ve been following this conversation, but not saying anything. I wanted to see if anybody had anything to convince me that what I think is happening is incorrect.

          I haven’t been convinced.

          I still think Bravo 33 is, at the video’s beginning, focused on lining up the DC 10 to drop generally above Yarnell, not specifically over the crew. And, all things considered, that was difficult and complicated enough that, at that time, Burfiend didn’t have “his head in his ass,” but just didn’t recognize what he was hearing. I’m not willing to bash him for that. Burfiend and French are considered by everybody in this neck of the woods to be an awesome team.

          And, because I think this drop wasn’t, originally, about GM’s predicament, but Yarnell’s, I’m thinking Burfiend would have probably been responding to Musser at the beginning of the video. Musser was the one, even tho he was busy at the Youth Camp area, generally trying to get/coordinate resources/focus to the south side of the fire.

          At the time of the video, Musser and Cordes were in different places, not together. Musser was up at the Youth Camp and Cordes was in that area (I’m not looking at the map, just working out of my head so I can’t say the street names) north of the Ranch House Restaurant on the west side of 89 working on the evacuation of that neighborhood.

          In that context, Burfiend’s callout to Cordes at the end would have made sense in that Cordes is. as SPG1, most “responsible” for, and most familiar with, that general area. He’s pretty much the official “ground contact.”

          He easily could have forgotten that Cordes’ radio was not working properly (that communique about “dropping at will” had happened close to an hour before), or he was “testing” to see if Cordes’ radio was still not transmitting, or he was going to tell Cordes something whether or not Cordes could transmit back.

          And I’m not at all surprised this stuff wasn’t included in the SAIT interview notes or report. And I’m not even surprised it didn’t surface in the ADOSH interviews. There’s tons of stuff we’ve been able to ferret out over the past NINE months that hadn’t been ferreted out as both the SAIT and ADOSH were scrambling to get their stuff together and published in VERY short order.

          Probably TOO short order. There have been SAIRs that took over a year to publish. Of much less complicated incidents.

          My two cents. Your mileage may vary.

          • calvin says

            Marti.

            Are you saying that you do not think B33 was discussing GM’s predicament at the beginning of the helmet cam video?

            If a line of retardant from a VLAT had been tied into the existing mounds that made up the North ridge of the deployment canyon, the fire break could have potentially slowed the oncoming fire . This could have potentially slowed the fire progression to the south, and protected GM, Glen Isla and part of Yarnell.. As we have been told, B33 was flying a west to east route when Marsh chimed in with “that is exactly where we want the retardant” Also, Cory Ball and Justin Hernandez were scouting near Glen Isla (with the dozer) to find place for an indirect line.

            • Marti Reed says

              Yes, I’m saying I don’t think the beginning statement was about Granite Mountain, it was about Yarnell, about lining up something to connect to the 4:33 drop. And, yes, according to the aerial photos taken Monday, I think, there is a long southwestish to northeastish string of retardant drops all across Yarnell on the westish side of 89. They appear to have, essentially, stopped the fire that was burning towards Yarnell.

              And one of those lines goes right thru the neighborhood Cordes and others were evacuating at 4:33 pm.

              • Marti Reed says

                I have no clue atm where I found those photos. I posted the article here way back when. I didn’t get a response, so I didn’t continue trying to analyze them.

                But I have the photos on my computer and can put them in my dropbox and post a link, if that’s helpful.

                But first I need to close my 80k open webpages and reboot my computer and do a bunch of other irl things.

              • calvin says

                I have seen those pictures of the retardant along the west side of 89 also. But I do not see any retardant South of the Sesame area going West to East.

                Here are two reasons I think B33 was talking about GM at the beginning of the helmet cam video.. The Prescott 3 heard something that made them pull over and begin recording. B33 says at the very beginning of the video “do the best we can,” and is heard again at around the 125 second mark saying the exact same words (this time definitely) concerning trying to help GM.

                Why did B33 choose to never address GM7 who was calling him repeatedly except to tell him to quit? And when he told them to QUIT, he didn’t ask for any other information and ended that transmission quickly with BREAK.

                It was like he didn’t want to acknowledge GM7!

                • Bob Powers says

                  Calvin I have to agree with Marti. They were in trouble before B33 tried to divert the Air Tanker
                  That’s where I want it was prior to the we are in front of the flaming front call to B33. They were working the town and B33 had been told GM was in the Black and he did not need to worry about them.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            As long as this ‘greased watermelon’ ( The supposed transmission from Marsh about retardant ) is ‘back on the table’… here’s another angle on it.

            We still do NOT know what Marsh was actually DOING all day.

            The few reported radio captures later in the day certainly don’t account for his whereabouts or his activities for MOST of the morning and afternoon.

            But we DO know that during that early afternoon period… Rory Collins ( as Air Attack ) was directing the early afternoon VLAT drops and that’s when they were laying that LOOONG line of retardant out in the valley itself from basically the point where GM was working all the way east to a point near the base of Boulder Mountain itself.

            This is the same retardant line that was going to get ‘compromised’ later when the fire turned and Marsh would report this at 3:42 in that fire progress report he was giving directly to OPS1 Todd Abel.

            What we still do NOT know is whether Marsh ( as DIVSA ) was actually helping to coordinate these retardant drops and was ‘directing’ the buildup of that retardant line.

            Rory Colliins is captured in a Panebaker Air-To-Air channel transmission just minutes before he left the fire and handed ‘Air Attack’ duties off to Bravo 33. In that capture… Collins says to French…

            “My CONTACT down there was… uh… Alpha”.

            French ACKS this with… “Copy that. Contact is Alpha”.

            So without any further discussion with any OPS person… it seems we actually HEAR the Air-To-Air guys deciding for themselves that the person to CONTACT on the SOUTH side of the fire about retardant drops is, in fact, Eric Marsh ( DIVSA ).

            Right around the same time that conversation was being captured on the Air-To-Air channel we have the Caldwell video capturing Todd Abel talking to Eric Marsh directly and saying…

            “We’ll get some Air Support down there ASAP”.

            So I wonder if THIS actually had anything to do with Marsh’s actual MOTIVATION for getting himself ( and everybody else ) back to town ASAP.

            I wonder if ( somehow ) Eric Marsh still felt it was his JOB as DIVSA to get into a position where he could be DIRECTING these upcoming retardant drops and the Air Support shifted to the SOUTH side of the fire?

            At the time Todd Abel spoke to Marsh… he said nothing about coming down to the south side of the fire himself. He was ‘busy’ up north out on the Miners’ Camp Road area. Abel didn’t even try to come down to the south side until AFTER the deployment.

            Marsh had already received that ‘are you still committed to the ridge?’ query from OPS2 Paul Musser… but it is unclear if Marsh actually knew that Musser had now jumped into things with both feet and was now acting as the second fully functioning ‘Field OPS’ on the fire.

            So perhaps ( just perhaps ) Marsh had this idea in his head that it was his ongoing RESPONSIBILITY as DIVSA ( and the highest level command person on the south side of the fire ) to get to town ASAP and help DIRECT these upcoming retardant drops.

            Maybe that’s where the actual URGENCY was coming from on Marsh’s part. Maybe Marsh felt like that is what he was SUPPOSED to do ( get to town as fast as possible and start directing retardant drops ).

            If the SAIT was right about the 1637 transmission.. then that is exactly what we hear Marsh himself THINKING his ‘job’ was at that point.

            He was somewhere close to town, probably AHEAD of GM but not all the way to the BSR yet… and he felt the need to start telling ‘Air Attack’ where they should be dropping retardant.

            So maybe that explains the ‘shortcut’ through the canyon as well.

            If it was MARSH ( himself ) who felt he had this ‘assignment’ to get to town ASAP and be directing retardant drops around a town that was about to burn down… then he WOULD have chosen what he felt was the ‘shortest route possible’… and Steed and the Crew were just ‘along for the ride’.

            Tex ( Sonny ) Gilligan and Joy Collura have already said a number of times that a single person on foot trying to traverse that box canyon could ALWAYS make better time than a group of 18 men trying to stay in single file.

            Maybe Marsh forgot to consider that.

            In his own hurry to get EAST and into a position where he thought he could be ‘doing his job’ and calling out these retardant drops… maybe he just assumed the other 18 men could make the same time through the canyon that he had.

            He was wrong. They got bogged down. They died… but perhaps it really was all about Marsh himself thinking that ‘hurrying to town to be the one to help call out retardant drops’ is what he was SUPPOSED to be doing at that time.

            Thoughts?

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Followup… I have always thought it was more important to establish what Eric Marsh was actually DOING for most of the day ( prior to Brendan leaving his lookout position ) than either the SAIT or ADOSH seemed to think… but perhaps now it’s even more important to know.

              DIVSA Marsh only had his own GM Hotshot crew assigned to him.

              Blue Ridge was basically working for Cordes most of the day and doing what Cordes wanted them to do.

              Steed had things well in hand with GM just working on that anchor thing.

              So what was Marsh really even SUPPOSED to be doing up there on that high ridge all day?

              Well.. if it turns out that DIVSA Marsh did work with Collins on building that long retardant line… then it certainly could be said that DIVSA Marsh felt it was HIS job that day to be the one directing retardant drops for the SOUTH side of the fire.

              He knew Todd Abel was ‘up north’.
              We’re not sure what he knew about Musser ‘jumping in’ later.

              So if Eric Marsh was convinced ( in his own mind ) that HE was highest level command person on the SOUTH side of the fire that day… and the one who was SUPPOSED to be directing retardant drops down there… then making it to town ASAP to help direct the retardant drops for the very ‘Air Support’ that OPS told him he was sending down there would have been ‘the mission’ he had assigned HIMSELF in the later afternoon.

              Marsh might have felt he NEEDED to get to town… or he wouldn’t be ‘doing his job’. Steed and the others were just along for the ride.

              • Marti Reed says

                But even if that was the case, which I’m not convinced of,

                that wouldn’t have required Granite Mountain to reposition with him.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Sadly… you are absolutely correct.

                  All along we have been assuming that this was all about some desire Marsh and/or Steed might have had to get the whole crew down there ASAP and come charging into Glen Ilah like the cavalry, or something.

                  What if nothing could be further from the truth?

                  What if the PRIMARY ‘motivation’ up on that ridge really was just Marsh ( mistakenly? ) believing that ‘he was in charge of the south side of the fire’ and that HE absolutely NEEDED to get over to town ASAP…

                  …and somehow… GM ended up just straggling along behind him at what turned out to be a deadly pace.

                  Maybe the ‘final’ argument between Marsh and Steed went something like this…

                  “Jesse… I understand your comfort level isn’t high about moving… but I NEED to get to town ASAP and start directing those Air Drops because I’m DIVSA and the highest level command guy on this end of the fire.”

                  And then Jesse just said…

                  “Well.. okay… whatever. You go ahead then… but I guess we’ll come too so why don’t you mark the route you’re taking on the way and we’ll just bring up the rear.”

                  Steed might still have had no idea his decision to ‘move’ was going to involve traversing that box canyon… but Marsh simply went that way because HE was the one with this self-imposed urgent NEED to get to town and he didn’t like where the two-track would take him. Too much time to get there and be helping call out retardant drops as DIVSA.

                  I am not proposing an actual LOCATION for Marsh in the 1637 to 1639 timeframe. We KNOW that must have been with a 2 minute’s hard run from the deployment site.

                  I am just talking about possible MOTIVATIONS here.

                  This was one of the only times in Marsh’s life that he was able to be a ‘Division Supervisor’. He had ( supposedly ) just been directing retardant drops with Air Attack for most of the day ( we have no evidence Marsh was ever doing anything BUT talking on the radio that day ).

                  He may have totally mis-understood what Planning OPS Paul Musser was now doing or that he really was out of the ICP and actually down in Yarnell.

                  So Marsh might have had this over-eagerness to be a ‘Good DIVSA’ that day and might have mistakenly believed that as the senior commander on the entire SOUTH side of the fire… he had this RESPONSIBILITY to ‘get to town’ and be ‘running the show’.

                  Somehow… GM just got caught up in that… and died.

                  This is still just something I’m turning over in my head.
                  There is no real evidence to say ‘that is what was going down that day’… but it has occurred to me that there isn’t any evidence to prove it was NOT, either.

                  Again… Brendan McDonough ( or anyone else who knows more about what was being said between Marsh and Steed that afternoon ) could probably clear this up once and for all.

        • calvin says

          WTK

          It sounds to me like there is an answer when the one guy says Is that Eric. I think someone else says “Eric”, like in an acknowledgement sort of way.

          Without reading the SAIR, only going on memory,. Is the official story in the SAIR that ASM2/B33 was in discussion with SPGS1 (Cordes) when the call came in from Steed?

          • Bob Powers says

            Again that is when Marsh said the were building a safety zone and burning out they were in deployment mode when that discussion happened.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to calvin post on September 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

            >> calvin said…
            >> It sounds to me like there is an answer when the one guy
            >> says Is that Eric. I think someone else says “Eric”, like in
            >> an acknowledgement sort of way.

            The official transcript released with the Helmet Cam video
            just seems to say that the next thing heard after “Is that Eric?”
            is someone simply saying “I heard Granite Mountain 7”.

            ———————————————————
            00:57 (16:34:06 hours)

            Unseen firefighters on the road: (Talking amongst themselves)

            Firefighter: Is that Eric?
            Firefighter: I heard Granite Mountain 7.
            Firefighter: I hear saws running. That’s not good.
            Firefighter: Not when they are in a safety……

            01:04 (16:34:12 hours)
            Bravo 33: Operations, Bravo 33, I was copying that traffic on air to ground.
            ——————————————————–

            SIDENOTE: I know that Marti finds it difficult to criticize French or Burfiend… but look at what Burfiend does at this point in the MAYDAY calls. OPS1 Todd Abel has called Burfiend asking him if he is ‘copying’ the actual MAYDAY calls and only now Burfiend takes the time to respond to Abel basically says “Yea… I can hear those calls”… but still makes no attempt to actually ANSWER the men who are frantically trying to get in touch with him.

            That’s pretty much proof that Burfiend WAS hearing those calls… but he was CHOOSING to ignore them ( until OPS1 Able had to give him a direct ORDER to do so ). Not good.

            >> calvin also said…
            >>
            >> Without reading the SAIR, only going on memory,. Is the official
            >> story in the SAIR that ASM2/B33 was in discussion with SPGS1
            >> (Cordes) when the call came in from Steed?

            No. The SAIR actually seems to say unequivocally that the conversation we hear at the start of the Helmet Cam video
            was between John Burfiend and OPS1 Todd Abel.

            From the SAIR…
            ——————————————-
            At 1637, ASM2 flies a drop path for a VLAT north of Yarnell west to east and apparently over DIVS A, turning northward to avoid high ground at the end of Yarnell. DIVS A, seeing the flight, calls and calmly says, “[ASM2], Division Alpha, That’s exactly what we’re looking for. That’s where we want the retardant.” ASM2 again circles the south end of the fire above Yarnell to line up a final flight path for a tanker drop. The aircraft crew is in the middle of a discussion with OPS1 on the air-to-ground frequency and the pilot is talking to the VLAT on the air-to-air frequency when an overmodulated and static-filled transmission comes over the air-to-ground frequency at 1639:

            “Breaking in on Arizona 16, Granite Mountain Hotshots, we are in front of the flaming front.”
            ———————————————–

            Here is the crucial part…

            “The aircraft crew is in the middle of a discussion with OPS1 on the air-to-ground frequency and the pilot is talking to the VLAT on the air-to-air frequency when an overmodulated and static-filled transmission comes over the air-to-ground frequency at 1639:”

            So it seems the SAIT was SURE Burfiend was talking to OPS1 Abel when Steed’s first MAYDAY hits the radio.

            What they do NOT say is what that conversation was ABOUT.

            It STILL could be that Todd Abel had heard Marsh’s call at 1637 and was then following up with Burfiend about whether they were going to be able to do what Marsh was asking.

            It’s still possible.

            Once again… the SAIT is making ‘declarations’ and assigning conversations to people but then not providing near enough detail to understand exactly what was happening.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Followup… even though the SAIR seems to state unequivocally that the conversation we hear at the start of the Helmet-Cam video was between John Burfiend and OPS1 Todd Abel ( on the A2G channel )…

              …OPS1 Todd Abel himself makes no mention of THIS conversation in his interview with ADOSH.

              In his ADOSH interview… when there were asking them to just freely report what he was doing leading up to the MAYDAY calls and the ‘we are deploying’ traffic… all Todd Abel says is that
              he was working up north on structure protection and all of sudden he hears someone screaming on the radio.

              He says NOTHING about actually talking to Air Attack just 9 seconds before the ‘screaming’ actually started.

    • Marti Reed says

      Again, i don’t even know where to begin. I’ve been slogging through trying to learn the history of these investigations. We can’t look at the Yarnell Hill Fire in isolation, Which is pretty much what we’re doing. Because it doesn’t exist in isolation. Not even remotely.

      I am looking at how CONFLICT/potential CONFLICT of interests shapes investigations. Somebody really needs to write a book about this. It’s the stage upon which the whole Yarnell investigations/lawsuits etc are playing themselves out. And it’s excruciatingly complicated and controversial.

      What I immediately jumped to, in my mind, when I read your post was the investigation of the Dude Fire, under the Arizona Mogollon Rim, which happened right when I was migrating from Flagstaff to Albuquerque in June of 1990. Five Perryville Inmate crewmembers and one of their crew supervisors were killed there when a fire blew up under a column collapse. Perryville Inmate crewmembers were on the Yarnell Fire.

      The USFS SAIR on the Dude Fire was fairly detailed. all things considered, given it’s time and place. It was just a record of events. It was not geared toward “Lessons Learned,” or towards either “protecting” or “blaming” anybody. It was just a narrative of what happened.

      Anyway, to get on with this.

      I spent yesterday afternoon reading the MINUTELY detailed account of the Dude Fire published by Mike Johns in 2009. Mike Johns was a lawyer who successfully defended the State of Arizona against claims by the families that they should have been compensated for the deaths of their inmate-crew loved ones by the State of Arizona.

      Because, in his mind/legal analysis, since the fire was a USFS Fire, the feds/USFS was the dead fire-fighter’s employer, and thus, legally liable for their deaths. He lost that fight.

      But his narrative of what happened was so incredibly detailed, in contrast to what we are looking at here. And much more detailed, compared to the SAIR of the Dude Fire. I don’t know how he sourced it. But it’s a Must Read. And it proves it’s possible to gather the evidence and report (including to the public) the details that lead up to a serious multiple fatality burnover.

      And, all things considered, I’m sure this report was was a major source (because she cited it) in Jaime Joyce’s recent Wildfire.com article which I stumbled across but don’t have open right now so can’t source it from there.

      • Marti Reed says

        Mike John’s excruciating detailed article about Dude Fire:

        http://www.fireleadership.gov/toolbox/staffride/downloads/lsr11/lsr11_Dude%20Fire_Mike_Johns_2009.pdf

        There is, according to this detailed record, to me, no reason we (including the public, the wildfire-fighters, and their families) shouldn’t have access to, at least, as a start, objective, relatively detailed, accounts of the facts regarding accidents on a wildfire.

        If it was possible to gather those facts, in 1990, on the Dude Fire, why is it, seemingly, so difficult to gather those facts on the Yarnell Fire?

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Marti Reed post on September 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm

        >> Marti wrote…
        >>
        >> Because, in his mind/legal analysis, since the fire was
        >> a USFS Fire, the feds/USFS was the dead fire-fighter’s
        >> employer, and thus, legally liable for their deaths.
        >> He lost that fight.

        That’s because he was going after the FEDS.

        Totally different story with Yarnell.

        It will be a hard road to go for the State of Arizona Forestry Division to try and say they were NOT Granite Mountain’s de-facto ’employer’ that day ( ALL day )…

        …especially for Eric Marsh… who was ‘promoted’ to the command position of ‘Division A Supervisor’ for that Arizona State Run fire that day and was going to be able to BILL the State of Arizona for that ‘command position’.

        If the ‘fire command’ on an Arizona State Run fire cannot be said to be ’employed’ by the State of Arizona on one of their own fires… then who is?

        >> Marti also wrote…
        >>
        >> But his narrative of what happened was so incredibly detailed, in
        >> contrast to what we are looking at here. And much more detailed,
        >> compared to the SAIR of the Dude Fire. I don’t know how he
        >> sourced it.
        >>
        >> But it’s a Must Read. And it proves it’s possible to
        >> gather the evidence and report (including to the public) the details
        >> that lead up to a serious multiple fatality burnover.

        If he was an attorney in that civil litigation ‘case’… then he had all kinds of ‘powers’ that no investigator from someting like a SAIT or an ADOSH investigation would have had.

        He could COMPEL witnesses to testify ( with court orders ) and/or just issues subpoenas for evidence and/or appearances in court. Failure to comply is ‘contempt of court’ and can result in JAIL time.

        If, during discovery, credible information is uncovered that evidence related to the case has been altered, withheld ( or even destroyed )… then the penalties for that are the same as they would be if it was a criminal case. It’s a FELONY.

        >> Marti also wrote…
        >>
        >> What I immediately jumped to, in my mind, when I read your
        >> post was the investigation of the Dude Fire, under the Arizona
        >> Mogollon Rim, which happened right when I was migrating from
        >> Flagstaff to Albuquerque in June of 1990. Five Perryville Inmate
        >> crewmembers and one of their crew supervisors were killed there
        >> when a fire blew up under a column collapse. Perryville Inmate
        >> crewmembers were on the Yarnell Fire.

        Funny you should mention the ‘Dude Fire’ and the ‘Perryville’ crew.

        So did Mike Dudley ( in relation to Yarnell ).

        In Mike Dudley’s ‘speech’ to the Utah firefighters on June 20, 2014, he stopped and made the same ‘reminder/connection’ about the Perryville crew that was there in Yarnell on Saturday being the same organization that lost men in the Dude Fire.

        Dudley mispronounced it as ‘Perryview’ instead of ‘Perryville’… but he still wanted to make that ‘connection’ back to the Dude Fire at that point in his ‘speech’.

        It was when he was explaining Russ Shumate’s decision to NOT put anyone up in the fire on Friday evening…

        Mike Dudley said…
        ———————————————————————–
        His ( Russ Shumate’s ) decision was to wait ’till the next morning
        and then make initial attack that first start in the morning. He had
        a… uh… BLM helicopter. He had a Department of Corrections
        crew… the Lewis crew… uh… that was on site. Uh… keep that in
        mind that the Perryview crew… which is also Arizona Department of
        Corrections… had been the crew that was burnt over and had fatalities
        during the Dude fire… and the Dude fire is a… until Yarnell… was the
        huge history for the southwest.
        ————————————————————————–

        ** WHAT IS ADOF ACTUALLY CONTESTING?

        The Arizona Department of Foresty ( ADOF ) was actually pretty specific in their ‘letter of contest’ with regards to the ADOSH findings.

        Arizona Assistant Attorney General Paul A. Katz ( who sent ADOSH the letter ) said the reason the citations were being ‘contested’ is because…

        (quote) “the violations, citations and penalties are not supported by substantial evidence”.

        So, according to Scott Hunt and ADOF… it really is all about “What do we know and what do we not know”… or ( more specifically )… “We don’t think ADOF knew ENOUGH to issue those citations”.

        If ADOF really plans to go down that road… it’s going to start looking pretty bad for them ( and their contracted SAIT team ) when the plaintiff’s attorneys can start proving that whatever ADOSH might not have known is because ADOF itself was not fully complying with LEGAL requests for ALL the evidence they had related to the Yarnell Hill Fire.

        You don’t even need to get into the ‘disappearing evidence’ from the Peeples Valley firefighters ( some of whom also almost DIED that day for the same reasons mentioned in the ADOSH citations ).

        Just ONE Example: Dudley’s comments alone. He has set ADOF up for a fall by even ever mentioning that they received (written) allegations of the argument between Marsh and Steed but then none of that ‘evidence’ was ever turned over to ADOSH.

        Whoops!

        Pretty hard to accuse someone of ‘not knowing enough’ when it might turn out
        that YOU are actually the reason they didn’t know all that they SHOULD have.

        Here is a link to the actual original letter sent to ADOSH from Paul A. Katz, Arizona Assistant Attorney General, contesting the ADOSH findings and requesting an appeal hearing…

        http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kpho/KPHO%20NEWS/YHF%20AG%20letter%2012-19-13.pdf

        Here is a complete ‘text’ version of that actual letter…
        ———————————————————-
        STAMP: Received by ICA ADOSH 13 DEC 19 AM 9:28

        Letterhead Logo says: Attorney General Arizona

        Letterhead:

        Office of the Arizona Attorney General
        Civil Division / Natural Resources Section

        Tom Horne – Attorney General

        Paul A. Katz – Assistant Attorney General
        Direct Phone No. (602) 542-7758
        Email: Paul.Katz ( at ) AZAG.GOV

        Date: December 19, 2013

        VIA HAND DELIVERY ( UNDERLINED )

        TO: Bill Warren, Director
        Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health
        Industrial Commission of Arizona
        800 West Washington Street
        Phoenix, AZ 85007

        RE: Arizona State Forestry Division’s Notice of Contest of
        Citation and Notification of Penalty in Case No. L3419-317242683

        Dear Mr. Warren:

        I am writing this letter on behalf of the Arizona State Forestry Division and the State Forester, Scott Hunt, in reference to the alleged violations, citations and penalties issued in your case number L3419-317242683. This letter is being written pursuant to A.R.S 23-417, et seq, and R20-5-624, Arizona Administrative Code. On behalf of my clients, we hereby contest each of the three issued citations, including all subparts, the underlying violations, the penalties and abatement dates that are set forth in your Citation and Notification of Penalty formally issued on December 5, 2013, and served upon the Arizona State Forestry Division that same date.

        The grounds for the requested hearing are that the violations, citations and penalties are not supported by substantial evidence, are contrary to law, arbitrary, capricious and constitute an abuse of discretion by the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Accordingly, we are requesting that this matter be immediately transmitted to the Hearing Division of the Industrial Commission of Arizona for review pursuant to R20-5-624(A), Arizona Administrative Code.

        The State Forestry Division and the State Forester remain amenable to participating in a settlement conference and/or alternative dispute resolution.

        Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

        Sincerely
        ( SIGNED ) Paul A. Katz ( Arizona Assistant Attorney General )

        PAK:dal
        cc: Laura McGrory, Director, Industrial Commission of Arizona
        Andrew Wade, Chief Legal Counsel, Industrial Commission of Arizona
        Scott Hunt, Forester, Arizona State Forestry Division.
        ————————————————————-

        ** WHO’S WHO ( for ADOSH, anyway )…

        ** BILL WARREN

        Bill Warren wasn’t even appointed to be the Director of ADOSH until May 9, 2013… and he didn’t start his job as Director until May 20, 2013… just 1 month and 10 days before the Yarnell tragedy.

        He was not voted in by ALL of the commissioners.

        It was a CLOSE vote… just 3 to 2 in favor of Warren becoming Director.

        At the same time the commission voted to appoint Warren Director, they also allocated a ‘midpoint’ annual salary for him at $88,766.91.

        Prior to being appointed the new ADOSH Director… Warren was the Coconino County risk manager.

        The Coconino National Forest is in Coconino County… which is the ‘home base’ for the Blue Ridge Hotshots.

        Before that, he was the ‘risk manager’ for Maricopa County.

        He’s a 30 year Navy man who still works as a Master Chief Petty Officer for the U.S. Navy Reserve.

        ** LAURA MCGRORY

        She is the (current) Director of the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

        She’s an attorney.

        From Laura McGrory’s PUBLIC ‘BallotPedia’ page.

        BallotPedia: An Interactive Almanac of U.S. Politics
        ——————————————————–
        Laura McGrory
        Political career
        Director of the Industrial Commission 2008-Present

        McGrory was hired to the position in November 2008.

        As the director is employed at the pleasure of the
        commission, she is not subject to reappointment.

        Before becoming director, McGrory worked for the industrial
        commission as a staff attorney in its legal division; during her
        tenure, she also worked as the commission’s chief counsel
        and assistant chief counsel.
        ——————————————————

        ** ANDREW WADE

        Andrew Wade, ADOSH Chief Legal Counsel
        Phoenix: 800 W Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85007
        Phone: (602) 542-5781
        FAX: (602) 542-6783

        Andrew Wade heads up an in-house legal staff of 22 people, including seven attorneys. These attorneys represent and provide counsel to the ICA in a variety of legal matters before the ICA and before other Arizona courts (justice, superior, and appellate) including:

        Representing the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“ADOSH”) regarding contested occupational, safety, and health cases.

        ** COLLECTION?

        What is IRONIC here is that when ADOSH itself is having trouble collecting the fines they have levied in Arizona… they have to request the help of ( you guessed it ) the Arizona State Attorney General’s office ( the very same people who filed the notice of Contest on behalf of Arizona Forestry ).

        ** SETTLEMENT?

        Notice that the letter from Mr. Katz to Mr. Warren offers an ‘alternative’.

        Scott Hunt of ADOF is holding out a ‘fig leaf’ and is saying they are willing to consider some kind of ‘settlement’ rather than go to war over the issue that ADOSH didn’t “know enough” to issue the findings they did.

        Even if Hunt gets a ‘settlement’ out of ADOSH ( not likely )… that still won’t affect the civil litigation. There’s already enough evidence presented by ADOSH that it was an ‘unsafe workplace’ to rise above the ‘Exclusive Remedy’ clause and the ‘statuatory limitation’ rules of plain vanilla workers comp death benefits.

        I still think ADOSH will be able to cut ADOF to pieces ( legally speaking ) just over the fact that there is now all kinds of information about evidence that ADOF had in their possession that they NEVER provided to ADOSH… even though they were legally REQUIRED to.

        “Oh what a tangled web we weave… when first we practice to deceive”
        Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Followup… CORRECTION for above.

          Some ‘acronym dyslexia’ above.

          I typed ADOF in a crucial place where I meant to type ADOSH.

          Paragraph above should have read like this…

          “So, according to Scott Hunt and ADOF… it really is all about “What do we know and what do we not know”… or ( more specifically )… “We don’t think ADOSH knew ENOUGH to issue those citations”.

          It will, in fact, be ironic if it turns out that the reason ADOSH didn’t know all they SHOULD have… is because the Arizona Division of Forestry itself was actively PREVENTING that from happening.

        • Marti Reed says

          Before I read all of your detailed comment, and plunge into the details, I just want to say one thing.

          I am hoping to soon write up, in general, what I have been able to put together in my head about the long and winding and rocky road that leads to the Yarnell investigations.

          It’s conflicted, complicated, controversial, agonzing, and, for many, not even remotely headed in the direction of ‘A Just Culture.”

          And, on top of all that, the Yarnell investigation process is, I suddenly realized, a hybrid. There’s no SOP that exists to guide it. I is being (because it has to be) invented as everybody goes along. It, essentially has no precedent.

          The closest thing I could find was the fairly recent (like around 2008) fatality on the Steep Corner Fire in which a USFS firefighter was killed on a fire managed on private land by a cooperative regional team. It was relatively simple, as accidents go. But the complexity/conflict created by the different agencies involved, led to a SAIR that a lot of fire-fighters took great issue to.

          • Marti Reed says

            I pretty much agree with your assessment.

            Another irony — at the time of the Dude Fire Scott Hunt trained the Perryville Crew, according to Jaime Joyce.

            Thanks for detailing out the details.

            One of the systemic problems with this long and winding road of investigations is that, as fire-fighters relentlessly say, a fire is not a fair equivalent to a standard “workplace.”

            And, as they relentlessly say, the only way to provide a “safe workplace” to fire-fighters is to not send them to the fire in the first place.

            I don’t think I’ve ever seen a working fire-fighter even remotely expressing relief and happiness with an ADOSH/OSHA review.

            I think this could play out in more varieties of ways than what you are seeing. But what you are seeing is the beginning of a good framework to build on for understanding what’s happening as this plays out.

            It’s definitely time to buy stock in popcorn.

            As I’ve written before, this ain’t gonna get any better anytime soon.

  11. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** MIKE DUDLEY’S BACKGROUND

    Reply to Bob Powers post on September 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    >> Bob Powers said…
    >>
    >> OK so here I go again–Mr. Dudley what fire background do really have?
    >>
    >> My indication is you are a professional collage Forestry graduate.
    >> You never worked your way up thru the Wild land Fire Fighting ranks and
    >> yet you profess to know it all.
    >>
    >> One of the biggest problems today with overhead on Wild land Fire they
    >> do not have the on the ground experience. THE SCHOOLOF HARD KNOCKS
    >> to manage fire on the ground.
    >>
    >> This is why the federal agencies are picking up old trained WLFF as AD’s
    >> to fill positions on overhead teams. I can guarantee the Safety officers that
    >> are current AD’s on Fire will not put up with Rolled up sleeves.
    >>
    >> Back to Mr. Dudley His understanding of crews and wildland fire leaves me
    >> a little concerned with his actual qualifications.
    >>
    >> Maybe I am wrong but the way he talks gives me that feeling.

    Mr. Powers…

    Not much was said about Mike Dudley when the SAIT was first announced.

    The Arizona Republic article that first identified the leaders of the
    SAIT in a July 6, 2013 article only said this ( about Karels and Dudley )…

    Article Title: 2 investigators into Yarnell fire deaths are experienced
    By Craig Harris and Michelle Ye Hee Lee
    The (Arizona) Republic – Sat Jul 6, 2013 11:10 AM

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20130706yarnell-fire-investigators-deaths-experienced.html

    From this July 6, 2013 article…

    —————————————————————————-
    The leader of the team that will investigate the deaths of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died Sunday in the Yarnell Hill Fire is a forestry professional with more than three decades of experience in wildfire suppression and land management.

    Jim Karels, Florida’s state forester, will lead the investigation with Mike Dudley of the U.S. Forest Service acting as his secondary team leader, the Arizona State Forestry Division has announced.

    Dudley has served as a director for state and private forestry regions since 2009. Previously, he was the director of fire, aviation and air management for the Forest Service’s Intermountain Region. Dudley still serves on various national fire-training cadres.

    The State Forestry Division declined to disclose the identities or professional backgrounds of other team members, citing an interest to not hinder the investigation.

    Dan Barr, a Phoenix attorney who specializes in First Amendment issues, called the lack of transparency “nonsense.”

    “There is no valid reason not to disclose the names of all nine members of the investigative team. I cannot conceive of how knowing the names of all the members of the investigation team could hinder the investigation in any way,” Barr said.
    —————————————————————————

    It was pretty hard to find out anything else out about Dudley…
    but I did find at least one thing online that resembles a resume’ for him.

    On October 18 and 19, 2011, Dudley was one of the speakers at a
    conference held at Utah Stage University ( Logan, Utah ).

    The TITLE of the conference was…

    Restoring the West – 2011
    Sustaining Forests, Woodlands, and Communities
    Through Biomass Use

    At this conference… Dudley gave a 30 minute talk…

    Agenda – Tuesday, October 18
    USU Eccles Conference Center
    8:40 to 9:10 am Biomass Utilization: A Tool for Forest Restoration,
    By Mike Dudley, Director of State and Private Forestry, Regions One and Four,
    USDA Forest Service, Ogden, Utah

    The following PDF document summarized the conference and included
    some ‘biographies’ of all the speakers… including Dudley…

    ( NOTE: Link to document will be posted as a Reply to this message )

    On page 5 of this PDF file is a short resume’ for Dudley…

    ———————————————————————————
    Speaker Abstracts – In order of presentation, presenting author in italics

    Biomass Utilization: A Tool for Forest Restoration

    Mike Dudley,
    Director State and Private Forestry,
    USDA Forest Service,
    Regions One and Four,
    Intermountain / Northern Regions,
    324 25th St., Ogden, UT 84401
    Email: mdudley ( at ) fs.fed.us.

    Mike began his Forest Service career as a seasonal firefighter on the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest, CA in 1977. Mike worked seasonally on various national forests in California before receiving his career conditional appointment on the Inyo National Forest, CA in 1980.

    In 1981 he moved to the Willamette National Forest, Oregon and worked in various fire/fuel positions including District Fire Management Officer. In 1997 he moved to the National Office, Washington, DC and during his 4 years there filled a number of positions in aviation, planning, and ending as the Assistant Director of Fire Ecology including National Fire Plan Key Point 3 Coordinator (Hazardous Fuels) for the US Forest Service.

    He moved to the Intermountain Regional Office as Director Fire, Aviation, Air Management in October, 2001.

    In September 2009 he moved into his current position as Director State and Private Forestry for the Northern and Intermountain Regions of the US Forest Service. He recently completed a detail as Acting Director Northeast Area State and Private Forestry in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

    EDUCATION…

    Mike received a B.S. in Forest Management from Oregon State University in 1986.
    —————————————————————————————–

    Dudley’s LinkedIN page then nails down exactly when he was at Oregon
    State University getting his BS in Forest Management. It was from 1983 to 1986.

    Mike Dudley’s LinkedIN page…

    ( NOTE: Actual Link to his LinkedIN page will be posted as a Reply to this message ).
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mike-dudley/5/8b9/958

    ———————————————
    Mike Dudley:
    Occupation: Government Administration

    Mike Dudley’s Employment Histroty Overview:
    As of 2001: Director; Fire, Aviation, Air Mgnt at US Forest Service

    Mike Dudley’s Education
    Oregon State University: 1983 – 1986
    ————————————————————————-

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          All I see is some ‘seasonal employment’ as an FF in a particular District and for a particular National Forest. No real ‘Hotshot’ experience.

          He only did the ‘seasonal’ stuff for 3 years in California. ( 1977 – 1980 ).

          What does a ‘career conditional appointment’ mean?

          That’s what his ‘seasonal work’ led to at some other National Forest in California in 1980.

          Is that a desk job… after just 3 years of ‘seasonal work’ as an FF?

          • Bob Powers says

            From 81 on probably desk jobs with a degree was able to move rapidly thru fire jobs Fire management officer fuels etc. and a lot of training, because of his positions. He would have a lot of background in fire and supervision.
            Not a lot of actual crew experience. His regional Fire staff would have given him some insight to HS crews in Region 4. He also was on type 1 teams as I understand. So enough to know some of what he was talking about. Although some things he said were way out in left field. Again I think his positions were gained from education rather than in the field as far as Fire fighting.
            One thing as of late The Forest service made it a requirement that Forest Fire Management Officers had to have a Bachelors degree to be promoted to that position. Most in my time were ground pounders who learned fire suppression in the trenchless. They promoted based on knowledge and supervision skills. A lot of Forestry Graduates are moving up fast thru the ranks with out the basic skills which is causing havoc in Fire suppression and the old verses the new.
            Or as we discussed the Hillbilly rules verses modern Idealism.
            The new way of investigating Fatality Fires.
            The 10 standard orders are old and out dated.
            There used against fire fighters to find fault.
            Its to hot and uncomfortable so we can fight fire with our sleeves rolled up. Old safety rules do not need to be followed.
            The ones still following the rules were trained by old school supervisors like me but they are slowly retiring and being replaced so the lord only knows where Safety will be in another 10 years.

            • Bob Powers says

              Oh forgot to answer your question.
              Career Conditional appointment— To a basic full time position.
              from a seasonal position.

  12. Bob Powers says

    To the subject of Marsh and not being able to live with himself I can attest to some Fire Fighters I have known.
    HS Supt. King El Cariso HS after the loss of half his crew in 1966 he was transferred out of Fire and ended up quitting the FS because of that disaster. A friend of mine watched 5 of his crew die in a helicopter crash before his eyes he switched to Fed. Law enforcement and did not go back to Fire fighting.

    I agree with Mike and TTWARE it is something you are never prepared to face You are responsible and you give orders but you are not the Military that accepts causalities. Fire Fighting can be done and is done safely as a supervisor you strive to prevent injuries and any fatality no matter how hazardous the job, every one should go home. The Forest Service dose not prepare you as a supervisor to deal with the deaths of the people who work for you. your fault or not you have to live with what happened. And that is a life time of regret. like a car accident that kills one of your family and you were the driver.

    So yes If Marsh or Steed would have survived they would have been devastated by the loss of even one crewman. They were all like there brothers as I have tried to explain before.
    I do not know how McDonough is handling this even though he was not in charge he was one of them and they are all gone. That would be a devastating nightmare to go to bed with every night
    and wonder why you were chosen to not be with them look their families in the face and realize your alive and there loved ones aren’t. Not a happy ending. I doubt he will ever return to the Fire lines again.

  13. Bob Powers says

    After reading some of the comments on JD news article I have a couple of comments.
    They were attacking JD over the rolled up sleeves statement. By they I mean some current Fire Fighters .
    Least it be lost—The sleeve thing is simple it is a mandatory safety requirement for all wild land fire fighters. Those that work under the NWLF Agencies have a safety directive that includes Fire Retardant Shirts with sleeves rolled down and fastened, gloves, Fire retardant pants, helmets and 8 inch laced boots with nonskid sole Chain saw chaps for sawyers, goggles or safety glasses, Fire shelters and so on. These are mandatory safety equipment and how they must be used There are no exceptions. Those not meeting the safety requirements should be reprimanded along with a written safety violation. Old school that’s the way it was. You got caught with out you gloves or your sleeves rolled up on a fire you were in for a major ass chewing period.
    Again these modern smarter fire fighters are fore getting basic safety or ignoring the safety directives that spell out the requirements. From the statements I read someone needs to start doing some major ass chewing. You are required to follow the safety rules like any other industry job. So those jumping on JD better look up the Safety directives because they are way off base on this one. Be a safe HILLBILLY………………

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Some people commenting on Mr. Dougherty’s article are out hunting for any pictures they can find of Granite Mountain working with their sleeves rolled DOWN.

      They can find all the pictures like that they want.

      Here are all the YCSO Police photos taken of the remnants of the crew’s clothing recovered from the place where they all died.

      The photos that show basically nothing left at all but the shirt collar and sleeves still show that the sleeves were all rolled up (apparently) even above the elbow.

      WARNING: Some people might consider these photos to be very ‘disturbing’ images.
      Do NOT click the link below unless you are prepared to see ‘graphic’ images.

      https://www.dropbox.com/sh/02ue6bnjp6nazkm/AABif6a3P6ksNpqYz_Fk9H1Sa/Photos%20and%20Video/shelter%20photos?dl=0#/

      • DAVID TURBYFILL says

        @WTKTT …You are somewhat misleading in your statement regarding the YSCO photographs. Since my son is one of the GMHS members I have looked at and studied this set of pictures very closely? I again reviewed them before making this post, while some of the cuffs are up; none are more than one roll up. As for the PPE of those who clearly were “FULLY” deployed as well as others, most all of the cuffs and sleeves are intact, as well as the front of the shirt on a number of them. Lastly keep in mind that photos were taken days after and removal from the Victim, so I am not sure that you can make fully inform opinion of FACT. Upon reading JD’s article I am dismayed by the pervasive thread that is wove through this article, in which, quoted by so called EXPERTS, Bob Powers and other unnamed Firefighters stating a “ROUGE” Safety Attitude by GMHS. Admittedly there are plenty of Pictures of the GMHS crew with Cuffs rolled; these same experts don’t seem to notice that Members of the Blue Ridge crew also had Cuffs rolled. All it takes it a look at several Wildland fire videos and you will find at least 50% of crews with rolled cuffs or at the least exposed wrists, this include several of the USFS Shot Crews. Lastly on this subject GMHS did NOT perish because they did or didn’t roll cuffs. Many of them simply Burned to death, and why? Because of the POS Fire Shelter they are provide for the last ditch safety gear.

        • Bob Powers says

          David I only address the problem which seems to be ramped in this day and age of not following the safety directives all Fire shirts were designed to have the wearer work with the sleeves down and the Velcro making the shirt sleeve tight.
          That is the only way it provides safety.
          I fully support the Fire shelter improvement as I have for many years..
          We need to first address the Failure of following the Safety rules. Having failed to identify the 10 standard Orders put them in as you say the last ditch safety gear.

          How ever remember that even in the use of fire shelters the Fire retardant clothing should be worn to cover the entire body and you should also be wearing gloves to hold the shelter in place. As I said earlier some crews follow the safety directives to the letter some do not those that do not face the possibility of severe burns to there arms and hands. You can fined more crews adhering to the rolled sleeves rolled down and fastened when on the fire line than those that roll them up. I identified 2 crews earlier to look at that were on the happy camp fires.

          Safety attitude has a lot to do with situation awareness. McDonough’s
          Attitude on the 10 and 18 reflects poorly on GM that is all we are discussing here did it play a roll in what happened I think so. PPE is a part of each individuals over all safety equipment it should always be used properly I did and all of my crews did. Accident Prevention is each individuals responsibility.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to DAVID TURBYFILL post on September 8, 2014 at 12:18 am

          >> DAVID TURBYFILL said…
          >>
          >> WTKTT …You are somewhat misleading in your statement
          >> regarding the YCSO photographs. Since my son is one of the
          >> GMHS members I have looked at and studied this set of
          >> pictures very closely? I again reviewed them before making
          >> this post, While some of the cuffs are up; none are more
          >> than one roll up. As for the PPE of those who clearly
          >> were “FULLY” deployed as well as others, most all of the
          >> cuffs and sleeves are intact, as well as the front of the shirt
          >> on a number of them.

          Mr. Turbyfill…

          Thank you for commenting and yes… you are probably right.

          I was not trying to be ‘mis-leading’ but I usually DO provide more ‘detail’ myself when I post links and whatnot but I did cover these ‘Shelter Photos’ in detail in a previous chapter.

          I should have reprinted some of that detail and this followup does
          just that. See my ‘what I am seeing in the photos’ detail down below.

          I definitely should have mentioned in my previous post that out of the 19 firefighters… only 8 of them have any photos in the YCSO folder that make it even possible to determine the condition of their sleeves as of July 5, 2013, when those photos were finally taken on that garage floor of the YCSO evidence unit.

          That’s less than HALF of the crew… so any conclusions from the photos that DO exist would still leave more than 50 percent unaccounted for.

          Of those 8 ‘possible’ sets of photos, however… I am definitely seeing the ‘majority’ of those 8 having either ONE or BOTH sleeves rolled up.

          5 of those 8 firefighters seemed to have one or more sleeves rolled UP, and 1 or 2 of them to at least the mid-forearm and not just ‘1 rollup’.

          One of the clearest shots of ‘sleeves being rolled’ up ( and seemingly up to the mid-foream ) was Eric Marsh himself.

          Since he was the Superintendent of that Crew and the one who sets the ‘example’ for ALL of them… that, itself, is significant.

          So for however many photos of crew members PPE we do NOT have… the fact that their own Superintendent went into Shelter with his sleeves rolled up is telling a story all by itself with regards to ‘following the rules’ and ‘always observing safety rules’.

          >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
          >>
          >> Lastly keep in mind that photos were taken days after and
          >> removal from the Victim, so I am not sure that you can make
          >> fully inform opinion of FACT.

          That’s true. I am ASSUMING that whoever actually moved those bodies from their positions at the scene ( Prescott Firemen? ) and the Medical Examiner’s office… and then, in turn, the YCSO police investigators were ALL taking GREAT care not to disturb the condition of ANYTHING…

          …but that is, in fact, an assumption on my part.

          I doubt anyone will ever actually get to see the photographs ( and the movies ) that the YCSO Captain took of the deployment scene before it got dark on Sunday evening ( from the low-hovering Ranger 58 chopper ) or the FARO 3D imagery shot the next morning at down by the YCSO police investigators… so all we have to go on are these publicly released photos taken at the YCSO evidence garage on July 5, 2013.

          That being said… I think if you look at the photo of just the remnants of Eric Marsh’s shirt and his ‘rolled up’ sleeves… it is VERY doubtful that we are NOT looking at the shirt in the same condition it was in at the deployment site.

          No one could have rolled those sleeves UP like that following the incident… so that must be the way those shirt remnants were when they were found.

          >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
          >>
          >> Upon reading JD’s article I am dismayed by the pervasive
          >> thread that is wove through this article, in which, quoted by
          >> so called EXPERTS, Bob Powers and other unnamed
          >> Firefighters stating a “ROUGE” Safety Attitude by GMHS.
          >> Admittedly there are plenty of Pictures of the GMHS crew
          >> with Cuffs rolled; these same experts don’t seem to notice
          >> that Members of the Blue Ridge crew also had Cuffs rolled.
          >> All it takes it a look at several Wildland fire videos and you
          >> will find at least 50% of crews with rolled cuffs or at the
          >> least exposed wrists, this include several of the USFS
          >> Shot Crews.

          You are right. You can find MANY pictures of Type 1 Hotshots in close proximity to firelines and they do NOT have all their safety equipment properly configured ( Fire retardant shirts fully sleeve-down and gloves on ).

          It is, apparently, a lot more ‘usual’ to see that these days than it has been in the past. This speaks to the ‘creeping normalcy’ issues in the WFF industry.

          But there is still no doubt ( as Mr. Bob Powers has pointed out many, many times ) that there are ‘risks’ involved whenever you don’t have your sleeves fully down and your gloves on and you are working near a fire.

          One sudden ‘flash up’ from a burning bush near you… and you might have severe burns on your hands and forearms.

          One bad ‘slip’ or ‘falldown’ into anything burning… same story.

          One badly planned hike within less than a mile of a 40 mph wind driven dynamic fireline in extreme fire conditions and highly explosive unburned manzanita fuel… and you might get caught going into shelter with your sleeves still rolled up and your gloves off. Even if the burnover was then going to be otherwise survivable… if your exposed flesh can’t take the heat levels or you can’t take the associated pain and you ‘let go’ of the shelter… you could be the one to die while others might live.

          There are already documented Wildland Fireline fatalities where this WAS the actual LODF ( Life or Death Factor ) for some.

          In other words… no matter who isn’t following all the ‘safety rules’… they are still just as likely to get bitten in the ass as anyone else could.

          It still might sound silly to some… but a ‘lax attitude’ towards even just this one ongoing safety consideration in the workplace CAN be an indication of how that crew feels towards ALL of the ‘safety rules’ and whether they can just be ‘ignored’, or not.

          Which brings me to a question I would like to ask you.

          Did Travis himself EVER say anything about ‘risk taking’ on that crew he was working for… and whether he, himself, had any concerns in that area?

          Actually… that’s a two part question… the second part being…

          Even if he DID have such concerns… do you think he would have talked about them to you, or anyone… or would he have been more likely to have just kept stuff like that to himself?

          >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
          >>
          >> Lastly on this subject GMHS did NOT perish because they
          >> did or didn’t roll cuffs.

          That will always be true.

          >> DAVID TURBYFILL also said…
          >> Many of them simply Burned to death, and why?
          >> Because of the POS Fire Shelter they are provide for the
          >> last ditch safety gear.

          I, for one, support the research and the work you are diligently doing in this area yourself 100 percent.

          I have seen your online videos.

          It is the year 2014. The advanced materials you were able to easily obtain and the proof that they are far superior to what is being used now ‘in the field’ should be more than enough for a complete redesign as soon as possible. Like YESTERDAY, if not sooner.

          There will always be burnovers where a simple ‘fire shelter’ isn’t going to provide survivability… but that doesn’t mean the bar can’t be raised for the times when that shelter and its capabilities are, in fact, the only thing between you and death.

          ** DETAIL ON THE YCSO SHELTER PHOTOS

          This is a reprint of the DETAIL I published regarding the YCSO Shelter and PPE photos in a previous chapter of this ongoing discussion.

          This time… I’ve added a ‘SLEEVES:’ component to each FF’s record just to indicate what my own eyes appear to be seeing with regards to that.

          Once again.. .the actual online FOLDER that contains the YCSO photos being referenced below is HERE…

          WARNING REPEATED: Some may consider the following page of photos to be very ‘graphic’ images. Do not click the link below unless you are prepared for what you might see.

          Online Drobox Folder: Shelter Photos

          https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fg416vjqt14afu3/zaTuOp4Plu#/

          ** THE SHORT STORY

          There is a document in the YCSO folder that accompanies their ‘Shelter Photos’ which has a description of every photograph in the folder and who or what those photos relate to.

          That document is called…

          Yarnell Fire Shelter Inspection Photolog – July 5, 2013

          Here is a quick SUMMARY of every firefighter and what the photos do ( or do NOT ) reveal about their SLEEVES as of the day these evidence photos were being taken ( July 5, 2013 )

          PPE = Personal Protection Equipment and includes clothing.

          N/A means there were no PPE photos taken for that firefighter.

          Out of the 19 firefighters… only 8 of them had photos taken by the YCSO police that showed enough clothing remaining to make any determination at all with regards to the status of the SLEEVES at time of deployment.

          Of those 8 firefighters … 5 of them seemed to have definitely had one or both sleeves rolled UP when they died, including GM SUP Eric Marsh.

          Only 2 of them seemed to definitely have had their sleeves rolled DOWN… and 1 of them ( Robert Caldwell ) appears to have had 1 sleeve rolled UP and 1 rolled DOWN.

          Here’s a ‘quick list’ of the firefighters and which actual photo(s) in the ‘Shelter Photos’ online folder correspond to which firefighter…

          YCSO Number, FF Name, Photo showing PPE, Condition of SLEEVES
          —————————————————————————
          #09 Eric Marsh, DSCN0031.JPG, Only one sleeve left. Clearly rolled UP.
          #06 Christopher Mackenzie, DSCN0019.JPG, Both sleeves rolled UP.
          #18 Garret Zuppiger, DSCN0016.JPG, Left sleeve definitely rolled UP.
          #04 Kevin Woyjeck, DSCN0010.JPG, Sleeves rolled UP but only slightly ??
          #14 Joe Thurston, DSCN0029.JPG, Left sleeve *appears* to be UP 1 fold.

          #19 Robert Caldwell, DSCN0036.JPG, Left sleeve DOWN. Right sleeve UP?
          #17 Scott Norris, DSCN0004.JPG, Sleeves *appear* to be rolled DOWN.
          #07 Dustin Deford, DSCN0013.JPG, Right sleeve DOWN. Left ?? unknown.

          #05 Clayton Whitted, DSCN0007.JPG, PPE, Not enough left of shirt to tell.
          #15 Jesse Steed, DSCN0024.JPG, Not enough left of shirt to tell.
          #10 John Percin Jr., DSCN0030.JPG, Not enough left of shirt to tell.

          #13 Anthony Rose, DSCN0008.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
          #16 Grant McKee, DSCN0021.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
          #08 William Warneke, DSCN0026.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
          #12 Travis Carter, DSCN0038.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.
          #11 Andrew Ashcraft, DSCN0039.JPG, Not enough left of clothing to tell.

          #03 Travis Turbyfill, No photos taken at all, SLEEVES: N/A.
          #02 Sean Misner, No PPE photos taken, SLEEVES: N/A
          #01 Wade Parker, No PPE photos taken, SLEEVES: N/A
          —————————————————————————

          NOTE: Last known photo of Jesse Steed taken by Christopher Mackenzie at 3:55 showed Steed sitting on a rock with both his sleeves rolled UP to about mid-forearm.

          NOTE: Last known photo of Robert Caldwell taken by Christopher MacKenzie at 3:55 PM shows him with BOTH of his sleeves rolled UP to mid-forearm.

          ** THE LONG STORY

          What follows is an accounting of the numbers assigned to the decedents by the YCSO police investigators while they were still at the deployment site, followed by the Maricopa Medical Examiner number that was assigned, and then the name of the firefighter associated with each YCSO / ME number…

          #1/13-04442/ Wade Parker
          #2/13-04425/ Sean Misner
          #3/13-04443/ Travis Turbyfill
          #4/13-04428/ Kevin Justin Woyjeck
          #5/13-04427/Clayton Whitted
          #6/13-04426/ Christopher MacKenzie
          #7/13-04431/ Dustin DeFord
          #8/13-04430/ William Warneke
          #9/13-04435/ Eric Marsh
          #10/13-04429/ John Percin Jr
          #11/13-04434/ Andrew Ashcraft
          #12/13-04433/ Travis Carter
          #13/13-04438/ Anthony Rose
          #14/13-04432/ Joe Thurston
          #15/13-04436/ Jesse Steed
          #16/13-04437/ Grant McKee
          #17/13-04441/ Scott Norris
          #18/13-04440/ Garret Zuppiger
          #19/13-04439/ Robert Caldwell

          This is a complete TEXT version of the YCSO document that accompanies their ‘Shelter Photos’ which has a description of every photograph in the folder and who or what those photos relate to.

          I have added a SLEEVES description under each FF’s PPE section.

          Yarnell Fire Shelter Inspection Photolog – July 5, 2013

          13-4441 #17 u.r. ( Scott Norris )
          Picture no., Description, Notes
          DSCN0002.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 98 % of Aluminum (AL) foil burned away
          DSCN0003.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 75 % of fiberglass burned away
          Inside of floor is intact
          Melted hardhat
          DSCN0004.JPG, PPE – shirt (front) and pants (back)
          SLEEVES: Appear to be rolled DOWN
          DSCN0005.JPG, Pants (back)

          13-4443 #3 Travis Turbyfill
          No photos taken
          SLEEVES: N/A

          13-4427 #5 u.r. ( Clayton Whitted )
          DSCN0006.JPG, Fire shelter, 99% AL foil burned away
          50% fiberglass burned away
          End cap main seam missing (torn open)
          Mid-cross seam torn open
          DSCN0007.JPG, PPE, Question about hood
          SLEEVES: Not enough left of shirt to really tell, but
          if that one relatively unburned bit of yellow cloth is
          the END of a sleeve… then at least that sleeve appears
          to have been rolled DOWN.

          13-4438 #13 Anthony Rose
          DSCN0008.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Not enough left of any clothing to make a determination.

          13-4428 #4 Kevin Woyjeck
          DSCN0009.JPG, shelter, 40% of fiberglass cloth burned away
          100% of AL foil burned
          Inside of floor intact
          One(1) end cap separated
          DSCN0010.JPG, PPE, Hardhat with dust mask
          SLEEVES: The only clothing left was the shirt collar and the two sleeves.
          Sleeves *appear* to have been rolled UP but only slightly.

          13-4442 #1 Wade Parker
          DSCN0011.JPG, gloves
          SLEEVES: N/A

          13-4431 #7 Dustin Deford
          DSCN0012.JPG, Fire shelter, 100% of AL foil burned away
          4 ft. of shelter floor seam torn
          Endcap seam torn
          85% fiberglass burned away
          Floor mostly intact
          DSCN0013.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Only the right sleeve seems to be visible and
          it appears to have been rolled DOWN.

          13-4440 #18 u.r. ( Garret Zuppiger )
          DSCN0014.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 80% of AL foil burned
          DSCN0015.JPG, Fire shelter-interior, 90% of fiberglass burned away
          One(1) side of floor intact
          DSCN0016.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Left sleeve definitely rolled UP, but not too far.
          Right sleeve also *appears* to be rolled up, but hard to tell.

          13-4426 #6 Christopher Mackenzie
          DSCN0017.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 95% of AL foil burned away
          DSCN0018.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 50% of fiberglass burned away
          Floor mostly intact
          Endcap seam, 12 inch tear
          DSCN0019.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Both sleeves rolled UP, but probably still below elbow.

          13-4425 #2 Sean Misner
          DSCN0020.JPG, Fire shelter, 99% of AL foil burned away
          90% of fiberglass burned away
          All tore up
          SLEEVES: N/A

          13-4437 #16 Grant McKee
          DSCN0021.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Not enough left of any clothing to make a determination.

          13-4436 #15 Jesse Steed
          DSCN0022.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 80% foil burned away
          DSCN0023.JPG, Fire shelter interior, Fiberglass 50% burned away
          DSCN0024.JPG, PPE front, Including red helmet.
          SLEEVES: Not enough left of shirt to make a real determination, but last
          known photo of Steed taken by Christopher Mackenzie at 3:55 showed Steed
          sitting on a rock with both his sleeves rolled UP to about mid-forearm.
          DSCN0025.JPG, Pants -back

          13-4430 #8 u.r. ( William Warneke )
          DSCN0026.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Not enough left of any clothing to make a determination.

          13-4432 #14 Joe Thurston
          DSCN0027.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 95% AL foil burned away
          DSCN0028.JPG, Fire shelter interior, One(1) side of floor intact
          80% of fiber glass burned away
          DSCN0029.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Right sleeve apparently destroyed. Left sleeve
          *appears* to be rolled UP but perhaps only ‘1 fold’.

          13-4429 #10 John Percin Jr.
          DSCN0030.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Not enough left of shirt to make a determination.

          13-4435 #9 Eric Marsh
          DSCN0031.JPG, PPE
          DSCN0032.JPG, PPE (2nd photo)
          SLEEVES: Only one sleeve not destroyed. It was clearly rolled UP
          pretty far… perhaps up to or above the elbow.

          13-4439 #19 Robert Caldwell
          DSCN0033.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 98% of AL foiled burned away
          Endcap torn
          DSCN0034.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 98% of fiberglass burned away
          One(1) side of floor still intact
          DSCN0035.JPG, Back of PPE
          DSCN0036.JPG, Front of PPE
          SLEEVES: Left sleeve rolled DOWN. Right sleeve *appears* to have
          also been rolled DOWN but *might* be rolled UP just 1 fold or so.
          NOTE: Last known photo of Robert Caldwell taken by Christopher MacKenzie
          at 3:55 PM shows him with BOTH of his sleeves rolled UP to mid-forearm.

          13-4433 #12 Travis Carter
          DSCN0037.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% of foil burned away
          DSCN0038.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Not enough clothing left to make a determination.

          13-4434 #11 Andrew Ashcraft
          DSCN0039.JPG, PPE
          SLEEVES: Not enough clothing left to make a determination.

          13-021744 #308 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0040.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% of AL foil burned away
          DSCN0041.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 98% fiberglass burned away
          10 inch tear on silica cloth

          13-021744 #307 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0042.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, Outer shell 100% foil burned away
          Endcap seam torn
          DSCN0043.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 95% of fiberglass burned away

          13-021744 #302 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0044.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 98% burned away
          Mid seam torn
          DSCN0045.JPG, Fire shelter, Seam break – close up
          DSCN0046.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 50% fiberglass burned away
          One(1) end cap mostly intact, foil in place

          13-021744 #301 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0047.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, End cap seam broken
          100% foil burned away
          DSCN0048.JPG, Fire shelter interior

          13-027144 #305 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0049.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 99% foil burned away
          DSCN0050.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 98% fiberglass burned away

          13-021744 #304 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0051.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% of AL foil burned
          End cap seam torn , both ends

          13-021744 #303 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0052.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% AL foil burned away
          DSCN0053.JPG, Fire shelter –close up, Burned holes in silica cloth
          DSCN0054.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 80% of fiberglass burned away

          13-021744 #306 ( Loose shelter not associated with any Firefighter )
          DSCN0055.JPG, Fire shelter exterior, 100% AL foil burned away
          Red helmet melted to exterior of shelter
          Mid seam torn
          DSCN0056.JPG, Fire shelter interior, 80% of fiberglass burned away
          Black hardhat melted in end cap.

          END OF YCSO PHOTO DOCUMENTATION

  14. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    NOTE: This has been brought up from down below in a thread that was running out of room.

    The THREAD was the ongoing discussion about whether the person who identified himself
    as a Blue Ridge Hotshot who was at Yarnell and still had ‘tons of pictures and videos’ and
    was using the commenter name of ‘Robert’ over at Wildfire today is, in fact, the one-and-only
    BR Hotshot who was in Yarnell with a first name of Robert. As in… Robert Manry.

    >> On September 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm, Bob Powers said…
    >>
    >> Bob Powers said…
    >>
    >> That’s right I can tell you last name’s
    >> of several people I worked with but
    >> would not remember there first
    >> name. if you offered me a 10 dollar bill.

    >> On September 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm, WTKTT replied…
    >>
    >> Wow. OK.
    >>
    >> And would these still be people that you consider ‘as close as brothers’?…
    >> or are you now saying there are all kinds of different ‘levels’ to this WFF ‘brotherhood’ thing?
    >>
    >> Are you now saying that there are people on ‘the crew’ that really are as close
    >> as brothers and not only do you have the politeness to at least know their NAMES…
    >> you also know as much about them as you would a REAL brother….
    >>
    >> …but then there are always just ‘other guys on the crew’ that just get called by
    >> nicknames and you never really know who the hell they (really) are?
    >>
    >> I’m not trying to be antagonistic here.
    >>
    >> You just introduced a ‘component’ into this WFF ‘brotherhood’ thing that
    >> I’m simply struggling to understand.
    >>
    >> When is a ‘fire brother’ really a ‘fire brother’?
    >>
    >> When you actually take the time to even ask him ( and remember ) both of his names?

    >> On September 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm, Bob Powers replied…
    >>
    >> It is hard to explain when you call some one by there last name or a nick name
    >> that sticks in your memory when you run into them a few years later that last
    >> name or nick name is prevalent in your memory. Those that you work with
    >> for 2 or 3 years generally become closer and you tend to remember there first
    >> names. when you become a supervisor most you remember full names because
    >> you are filling out time slips and crew lists with full names.
    >> It seemed to be on crews you could have more than one person with the same
    >> name and so we always used last names. The only time that did not work is
    >> if you had brothers on the same crew thus the nick names.
    >> While you learned a lot about them and were together a lot you used the last
    >> name so much it became the most prevalent when first names are seldom or
    >> never used the identity becomes the last name. which is the first recognition that
    >> comes to you when you meet again.
    >>
    >> I guess those that are thought to be formal would have a hard time with this form
    >> of recognition but it is common among 20 to 30 man crews. That change in
    >> members yearly you could see a 4 to 6 new crewman each year. so some came
    >> and went others stayed several years 2 to 5 normally. I don’t know if that explains
    >> it I never really thought about it till you asked it may be a fall out from the military
    >> not sure it was part of the culture when I started.

    Thank you. You explained that VERY well and it does make perfect sense.

    ‘Fire Brothers’ or not… the reality you have succinctly explained is that there is
    a lot of ‘come and go’ on these crews. Always has been… always will be.

    So I understand now exactly what you were trying to say and I AGREE.

    Robert Manry only joined Blue Ridge for the 2013 season on May 9, 2013.

    I suppose it is perfectly possible that whichever Blue Ridge Hotshot was posting over at Wildfire Today ( if it wasn’t actually Robert Manry ) might have had no frickin’ idea that this other guy’s first name was ‘Robert’. Manry might have been given a nickname like “ManBo” or just “The Man” for that short time he had been with them, or something.

    That being said… I still believe that the Blue Ridge Hotshot who posted about the ‘tons’ of videos and pictures he has from Yarnell over at Wildfire today under the commenter name ‘Robert’ was, in fact, this Robert Manry who joined Blue Ridge on May 9, 2013.

    I could be totally wrong… but I simply believe it WAS him.

    • Bob Powers says

      And you could be right. I just do not like to identify some one here who has not identified them selves. As we may jump to a conclusion that is not right or fair to the person who does not wont there name known or may be accused of statements they did not make.
      It is as unfair as saying WTKTT is so and so with out proof and putting some one else in a position to say that is not me.
      It is better to say Robert could be the BR crewman Robert Manry but we have no actual information to verify that it is.
      Remember all kinds of people on here have been accused of being RTS.
      Some wanted your real name as well.
      Again I say what difference dose it make who Robert is Who ever it is they have stated the were on the BR crew.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Bob Powers post September 6, 2014 at 8:19 am

        >> Bob Powers said…
        >>
        >> Again I say what difference dose it make who Robert is.
        >> Who ever it is they have stated the were on the BR crew.

        It doesn’t make any difference who he REALLY is… but you
        also just answered your own question.

        The SIGNIFICANCE of what this ‘poster’ said is that he was, in fact THERE that day ( as part of Blue Ridge ) and he said in PUBLIC that he has ‘tons of pictures and videos’.

        That immediately begs the question… did any investigator ever SEE these ‘tons of pictures and videos’ and ( perhaps ) some background radio traffic captures that have never been heard before?

        So NO… I really don’t care WHO he is.

        I want to know what he KNOWS… and whether these ‘tons of pictures and videos’ he says he has ever entered into the possesion of any investigator.

  15. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF MIKE DUDLEY’S SPEECH ON JUNE 20, 2014

    I actually thought I had posted this before… but since ‘Mike Dudley’ is very much ‘back in the news’ these days for comments he made in public on June 20, 2014 I thought I would make sure there is at least one FULL copy of his entire speech somewhere PUBLIC ( like here ).

    Dudley said a lot of strange things in this ‘presentation’ he made to the Utah Unified Fire Authority.

    The things like Brendan McDonough not ‘hearing’ anything about why Marsh and Steed made the decisions they did because he had handed his radio to Brian Frsiby and then ‘never got it back’ ( which is totally untrue ) and the sudden out-of-nowhere mention that his own SAIT had received evidence about that ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed were just two of the strange things he let loose with in this ‘speech’ of his.

    So here is the WHOLE DEAL… including the Q/A session where Dudley agrees with the Utah firefighter that says it was wrong of Marsh and Steed to be conducting GM SUP to DIVSA ‘secret’ conversations over the PRIVATE GM channel… so that no one else could hear them or fully understand what they were planning to do.

    Also.. at +41 minutes below is when Dudley says that no one heard any of the communications between Marsh and Steed… when his own SAIT report stated unequivocally that Brendan McDonough DID hear them ‘discussing their options’ that day.

    ** Mike Dudley – SAIR Co-Leader – Presentation – June 2014

    On June 20, 2014, a YouTube user named Fitz Petersen published the following PUBLIC video of a presentation given by Mike Dudley, the Co-Lead of the Yarnell Hill SAIT Investigation, to a gathering of the Utah Unified Fire Authority…

    That PUBLIC video is here…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWm3myJdQO4

    ** FULL TRANSCRIPT OF MIKE DUDLEY’S PRESENTATION AND Q/A SESSION

    Speaker: Very good opportunity today to have Mike Dudley here from the Forest Service.
    He was the co-lead on the investigation at the Yarnell Hill Incident… and bring us some information
    as we see, and, uh, learn from for our own operations… so thanks for taking time out of your day
    to come see this and thanks to Mike for spending the morning with us.

    Dudley: Yep. My pleasure.
    And… is this working? ( Fools with microphone )
    You want me… Okay?… we’re good. Allright.

    Mornin’

    Entire room: Mornin’.

    Okay… I can tell the Wildland Division.
    And… question… for the Wildland division… who here is also cross-trained in structural program?
    Okay… there’s a few of you. So… what I’m gonna do… There’s a question… there’s a reason I bring
    that up. So… I’m gonna assume most of you have not seen the briefing video that was associated
    with Yarnell. Has anyone seen it? Allright… so there’s a few.
    And… who here has worked in the past with Granite Mountain?
    Yea… there’s always some folks there because… uh… Hotshot crew.
    So… the reason for asking about the structural protection… there’s been some allegations made
    in the past… and you still see it pop up every once and a while in the press about Granite Mountain.

    So… Granite Mountain was a City Crew… Prescott Fire Department… Prescott Fire Department has a Wildland Division… real similar to the structure set up here under Unified Fire Authority.

    Um… there was some implications that Granite Mountain was influenced because of their association with Prescott City to take on more risk when structures were burning within the Yarnell area.

    The reason I bring that up is… keep in mind the structure.

    You had Granite Mountain IHC under Prescott Fire Department sponsored by Arizona Division of Forestry to meet NWCG Interagency guidelines to be certified as a full IHC Hotshot crew.

    The reason that’s important is that people do want to make that allegation… ‘well.. they were influenced by the structural side’.

    No member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, including Eric Marsh, who was the Superintendent and Jesse Steed, his Captain, were cross-trained in structural.

    None of them cross-worked on the structural program during the off season. What they were was a pure wildland firefighting organization… and for all the talk about Yarnell… Yarnell was a wildland fire incident… they were a wildland fire crew working on that incident.

    And I say that up front because we… we did our check and we did our cross-referencing… you don’t see any allegations that they were unduly inflenced simply because they were part of that… uh… City department.

    On the other hand… ah… they were a pretty proud organization of being that wildland division within the Prescott’s… uh… Fire Department. That… don’t take that away. That… that’s something.

    Also what I’m gonna do is… I’m gonna go through the briefing video and then I’ll show some key points during the fire itself but this is totally open to questions.

    Ah… as a matter of fact… more of that is more dialog than there is anything else.

    So… don’t… don’t hesitate to ask questions and we can go as long… the reason I’m here is that I did this for… uh… FFSL… state of Utah… and Tracy Dunford, the fire manager for the state of Utah asked me to come and present to his fire wardens… and it always takes one or two questions and pretty soon things start flowing along and we can get into the meat of what took place.

    Uh… I am US Forest Service. Most of my career has been in wildland fire. I’m currently on an area command team. I’ve been on Type 1 teams. Uh… previous to my current position I was the director of fire and aviation for region four out of Ogden… which included the state of Utah.

    Uh… I was assigned as the co-lead to the Yarnell Hill investigation along with Jim Karels. Jim Karels is the state forester for the state of Florida, which is a very large organization, much larger than Utah’s, has a very large wildland fire component.

    Jim himself has had extensive experience in wildland fire… and for years was the chair of the National Association of State Foresters Fire Committee representing all the states in fire… uh… activities within the NWCG guidelines.

    We were assigned on July SECOND.

    Obviously we’re coming up… in just a few more days… the one year annniversary of Yarnell… to be followed by… just 6 days later… the 20th anniversary of South Canyon.

    In 1994, South Canyon occurred where we lost 14 Hotshots, smokejumpers, helitack.

    We lost a total of 34 people that year.

    Last year… we lost the Granite Mountain Hotshots… 19 people all at one time… and we lost 34 people.

    So the question is… what’s changed between the timeframes?

    Ah… and just ironically… last friday I had the opportunity to be in Montana… and Montana State Fire Division… DNRC… they sponsor every year a staff ride at a place called Mann Gulch… ahm… and if you’ve ever read the book “Young Men In Fire”, it’s worth the read… and again… 1949… a group of Missoula smoke jumpers jump on a fire and within… within an hour…they’re running for their lives and you have 13 fatalities that occurred there.

    Ah… there’s some similarities… I mean… things don’t change that much… as much as we want to.

    So keep all of this in mind… let me go with the briefing video… hopefully that works… and… the briefing video was prepared right before we released the report last Septemer the twenty eigth, and it was to be able to give a consolidated, consistent message.

    It gets into some discusson of fire behavior… which is fairly key.

    And then we’ll go into the point by point aspects of what we came up with during our review.

    And then there’s one other thing that I want to be able to close out with befor… and I’m not gonna do it right now but it’s probably important to cover… IS…

    Ya look at Yarnell Hill report… that WE did… and then there’s also an Arizona Department of Safety and Health which is the state OSHA… they did their report.

    Two totally different styles. That was deliberate.

    Especially on our part… because our part was NOT a compliance review. We weren’t tryin’ to do a 10 and 18. We we’re tryin’ to understand why the crew made the decison that they made that led them to their location.

    But… we were not sitting there… under… and… we were delegated by the State of Arizona for this report… but we were not there to specifically point fingers unless we had come up with something that was criminal intent… which was not the case.

    Two different styles of the reports… and we can talk a little bit about that… about where the Wildland fire… uh… community… and that’s all of us… including all the Federal, State agencies… uh… under NWCG… where we were tryin’ to head with these kinda documents.

    So… let me start this… and see how it rolls.

    +7:25
    ORIGINAL SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 SAIT BRIEFING VIDEO BEGINS

    The entire SAIT video presentation from September 28, 2013 is played
    from a laptop onto a large projection screen in the auditorium.

    The SAIT video presentation ENDS with these words…

    Family members, firefighters and many others will continue to pore over the circumstances of this tragedy for years to come. Much thought and analysis will go into reviewing this accident to understand, to learn, and to make sense of HOW and WHY. This account… the loss of 19 firefighters… our brothers… is not complete… and it never will be.

    +28:32
    ORIGINAL SEPTEMBER 28, 2013 SAIT BRIEFING VIDEO ENDS

    +28:39
    Mike Dudley takes the podium again and someone has their hand raised already to ask a question. Dudley acknowledges him and he asks…

    * (Question from Audience member): When was the video first viewed?

    Dudley: On September the twenty-eigth, when Jim Karels and I were there in Prescott to present it… and we presented it first, that morning, to the families… uh… that room… was… there were eighty some people in that room… and you can imagine… uhm… the angst that was in that room… and that probably the longest three hours of my career… I can assure you of that.

    Uhm… so… since then… we have had all three fire chiefs… Chief Fraijo, Prescott Fire Department… he was released in November immediately following the incident. Uh… Chief of Yarnell was terminated… Yarnell Fire… uh… volunteer fire department. Central Yavapai County… which is the county that surrounds Prescott… that Fire Chief was… uh… released. Uhm… all in the fall.

    14 of the 19 families have filed suit.
    Over a hundred land owners in the Yarnell area have filed suit.
    Totalling right now in excess of 700 million dollars.
    The suits have been filed against Prescott City, Yavapai County, Arizona State Division of Forestry.

    Ah… we released our report on September the twenty eigth.

    The ADOSH report… uh… was released the first week of December, which went into a heavy compliance report, pointing fingers. The State is still in the process of preparing a response to the ADOSH… and… negotiating. This thing is going to play out in the courts for just absolutely years.

    So before I go into any of the key points… are there any immediate questions I can answer?

    ( Someone raises their hand ).

    Go ahead.

    * Question from Audience member:
    * How do you approach the investigation when doing something like this?
    * Are you… I mean I know you said you weren’t… ADOSH was doing compliance and you were
    * not really looking for… for non-compliance… but… uhm… as a… as a lead investigator… how do
    * you steer those underneath you uhm… are you looking for nuggets that will lead towards fingers
    * being pointed… or are you just trying to understand… uh… the broad story?

    Dudley: Thanks… that was a good question… and I’ll repeat it if you’d like me too ( he gestures to the camera itself ). The question is… how did we approach the investigation… especially something of this scale and… trying to accomidate the process.. and especially the new way of thinking with a diverse team… is that a good way of summarizing it?

    So… let me tell ya about the team and if ya look at the report you’ll see the team members. Ah… the primary focus was… this was a State report delegated to us by the State of Arizona.

    It was not a Federal report even though the Federal component was large because we could bring… uh… tools to the game.

    So Jim Karels was appointed as State Forester to lead up a State investigation… that was key.

    I came in to represent the Federal side and to back up Jim as we went through it.

    First few days we negotiated the delegation of the authority from the State Forester of Arizona as to what he wanted.

    As Jim and I travelled to Yarnell… or to Phoenix… to meet with… uh… the team that was… uh… slowly gathering there in place…

    One of the key items we had is… What are we gonna do?

    What kind of report are we gonna do… and at that time the only process that was available to us through NWCG… If you were to go to the NWCG website… you would see the guide for the Serious Accident Investigation guide… and at that time it was the 2005 version.

    Since then… while were in… in August… of our.. while we were completing our report… the 2013 version was posted on the website… but the key emphasis that you’ll see on that 2013… the Forest Service Shield is no longer on the document… because we do not recognize that process.

    Nor was the NASF… National Association of State Foresters shield.

    They were… they no longer recognize that process.

    We knew that we had a process but we didn’t wanna do a compliance.

    Why not? Well…

    It’s easy to do a 10 and 18.

    It’s easy to say the crew lost LCES as they traveled… and… here’s where they violated… here’s where they violated… Does it tell you any new information? No… it does not. Uh… and has it worked so well to improve firefighter safety? If you look at the number of fatalities… we’ve had over 400 fatalities since 1994 when South Canyon occurred.

    So… we… Forest Service, NASF and… eventually… DOI… were looking for a new way to try and do that… and within the Forest Service we’ve been doin’ what’s called FLA… Facilitated Learning Analysis. We’re not tryin’ to point blame. We’re tryin’ to gather the truth and try and figure out what happened for people to learn from… and… at the same time… you want people to be able to come and talk to you willingly… and not feel like that whatever they say is gonna lead… lead to any kinda prosecution… that’s a key element.

    So when we gathered as a team… we started gathering the facts.

    We had a key… core group of interviews… and… ya look at the immediate membership of the type two team and key components and from that… we expanded out who we wanted to interview.

    The most critical interview… was the LOOKOUT… because he was there on the site and he could walk us through the area.

    The next most critical interview was the Blue Ridge Hotshots because their leadership… they were right there workin’ with Granite Mountain and knew Granite Mountain extremely well ‘cus they’re so close… they spent a lotta time together.

    The third critical interview was the ASM… or in this case… because we’re all fire people… it was Bravo 33 that was over the site. They heard communications.

    Those were the three most critical interviews and then you expanded it out from there.

    Most of the members of the investigation team… which included Forest Service…and included an SME representing the Hotshot community… but we had to find a Non-Federal individual because… again… State investigation… they were trying not to have undue influence from the Federal Hotshots.

    We brought in Jimmy Rocha. Jimmy is the superintendent of the Rio Bravo Hotshots which is a current County Hotshot crew under NWCG guidelines. Jimmy was there. We had members from the Boise fire department, Missoula fire department.

    We even had two what we call SME sessions… where subject matter experts would come in… they had a chance to review the document and then provide input as we went through the whole process.

    So… it was fairly early on that we had a group of people that said…

    We don’t wanna do a 30 mile investigation… where we point the blame at everyone and their uncle. We’re just tryin’ to figure out WHY the crew made the decision that they made… and it was a pretty consistent process throughout.

    Ah… did we have some… ah.. periods of… ah.. heated discussion as we were coming… trying to come together on conclusions? Yea… you bet. Any group… good group will do that.

    I would also point out that some of the members of that team… one in particular… ah… he had gone into fire shelter… he was a smoke jumper at South Canyon… so HE had a taste in his mouth of how the process should work… and how it should NOT work.

    So as a team… unlike South Canyon… which had a minority report that refused to sign.

    Unlike Esperanza… which had its own group that came in with its minority report… we had no minorit… minority reports.

    That was our key goal between Jim and I.

    We wanted the team on the same place to be consistent throughout the whole process and in agreement. If we can’t reach agreement on the facts then we need to back off and see what we could do to com(promise?)

    Does that help with a response without being too long-winded?

    * Person who asked the orginal question responded: Yes, it does. Thank you.

    +37:12
    Dudley: So… the key element is still… looking at this option… looking at what’s up there ( on the screen )… WHY did the crew make that decison to go that way?

    If you leave the lunch spot… especially back then… there’s a two-track. A UTV can ride up on that two-track. That two-track runs south along the ridge… and it’s a very defined ridge… and as you go along that ridge you’ll come to the saddle and that becomes, really, the key decision point when you get to that saddle ‘cus ya got a number of options.

    Option one is… ya stay in the lunch spot. Ya don’t need to leave the black… just stay there.

    Option two.. when you get to the saddle… is… you can go off the back side to the southwest… and what that does is… that’ll take you down the slope and eventually you’ll hit Highway 89, which is the Highway coming in from Wickenburg, and you can be picked up.

    +38:09
    Option third is you can stay high and that two-track becomes a trail… and it literally goes around the canyon and drops into Yarnell. The advantage there is… you have full view of everything comin’ at ya.

    Or there’s option four.

    Option four is when you sit that saddle… and it’s.. .it’s an interesting visual issue.
    You hit that saddle and you look out and son of a gun… there’s that ranch.
    I mean the ranch is right there.
    Member… I’ve heard people say.. ‘God… it looks like you can reach out and touch the ranch’…
    and suddenly you’re evaluating options and the crew went the most direct route.
    Down that slope… headed toward the ranch.
    The problem is… even though it looks like it’s pretty close… it’s still a pretty good distance.
    On the other hand… this is a trained Hotshot crew.
    Could they cover that in a short order?
    Yes, they could.
    The problem, though, is… and I’ve walked this slope many a time along with the team… as you drop down… it’s a pretty steep slope to drop down and once ya get to the bottom of the canyon… ya can’t see the… uh… the ranch. You still have a ways to go.
    The critical item there though, is, when ya do that… is as soon as you drop off that saddle that prominent ridge that runs out along that box canyon blocks your view to the north, northeast and then before you even go part way down that slope you no longer have a view of anything… except for the ranch… until you drop down to the bottom of the canyon… then you can’t even see the ranch… and it took us a while of meandering down that slope because of the steepness and the loose rock… keep in mind when the crew was doing it… you had 40 year old chaparral brush that were moving through to try and get through that spot.

    +39:54
    Dudley: So… did they pick that deliberately because they wanted to go direct? We don’t know.
    The only surviving member of the crew… the lookout… he could not tell us anything because he was focused on lookout and when he got picked up by the superintendent of the Blue Ridge… he gave the superintendent his radio so the superintendent could communicate with… uh… Granite Mountain.

    (Pause)

    I will offer ( Dudley then notices someone has a question ).

    Go ahead.

    * Question from Audience member:
    * For what purpose… so he could have access to their crew chief’s channels?

    Dudley: BINGO. That’s it.

    * Question from Audience member:
    * And what was the actual mileage between the… the saddle and the.. the ranch?

    Dudley: Ah… from the lunch spot to the saddle… it is… to the deployment site is one point two ( 1.2 ) miles. To go from the deployment site to the… uh… ranch is a point four ( .04 ). So they were pretty close when they hit that spot.

    We DO know that there was communications goin’ on… there HAD to be… between the crew… we KNOW that. Uh… internal… but that’s all intra-crew communications.

    None of that is recorded.
    No one hears that.

    Dudley: So… let’s go through some of the critical junctures of the in… of the… uh… whole incident.

    +41:09
    It was called into dispatch Friday on the twenty eigth and it was logged in at 1736.
    It was one of multiple ignitions that had occurred throughout that area.

    The ICT4 who was a State of Arizona employee was there to evaluate… but he wasn’t there by himself. He also had the duty officer for the… uh… BLM Phoenix office that was there onsite… because they thought they had multiple fires and so they were evaluating.

    Dudley: Toward that evening… the only fire that showed itself was Yarnell Hill. Ah… before darkness showed up they asked the Air Attack from the Doce Fire which was just on the north end of Prescott ‘come on over and give us an evaluation’. Air Attack showed up. He had a hard time seein’ anything and he says… “I… all I see is a puff a smoke. It’s maybe a half-acre to one acre and it’s hanging up on the ridge.”

    The ICT4 made the decision NOT to put anyone on the slope that night, on the hill.

    He’s been heavily criticized for that decision.

    I bring that up because the only resources he had was some BLM engine crews and he had the Yarnell volunteer fire department.

    He did not wanna… uh… walk anyone up… and his issue was… even if I could get people up there that night… if someone got hurt… I can’t support them.

    His decision was to wait ’till the next morning and then make initial attack that first start in the morning. He had a… uh… BLM helicopter. He had a Department of Corrections crew… the Lewis crew… uh… that was on site. Uh… keep that in mind that the Perryview crew… which is also Arizona Department of Corrections… had been the crew that was burnt over and had fatalities during the Dude fire… and the Dude fire is a… until Yarnell… was the huge history for the southwest.

    So… he’s dealing with that fire throughout the day of Saturday, the twenty ninth.

    Mid-afternoon he actually releases the aviation resources ‘cus things seemed to be so good… but then late that afternoon… there’s that two-track which continues along… the fire had jumped that two-track… so he orders… uh… Air-Tanker. He wanted a large Air-Tanker coming out of Prescott.

    They had two large Air-Tankers in Prescott but there was a weather front over the top of Prescott that… Air-Tankers were grounded.

    Another decision point.

    He is offered a VLAT. The DC10 Tanker 910. Tanker 910 is sitting in Albuquerque.

    Dispatch says we can launch 910 but you got ten minutes in which to tell us your decision because then we won’t have enough duty day for the Air Tanker to make it there and then head down to Williams Gateway in Phoenix… uh… to spend the night

    Again… he’s not by himself… he’s with the BLM duty officer.

    The fire at this point is about ten acres… has jumped the two track.

    But now… ICT4… representing State of Arizona… he’s just been offered a very large air tanker.
    Do you want it… do you not?

    And… he hemmed and he hawed and he thought about it and… between he and the BLM duty officer they both concluded ‘That’s a little bit of an overkill’.

    Dudley: Now… who here knows you can order the VLAT in multiple configurations?

    ( Very few, if any, hands are raised in the audience ).

    Yea. It’s not that well known… and it certainly wasn’t known to that ICT4.

    You can order the VLAT as a ‘Large Air Tanker’. You don’t have to take it as a ‘VERY Large Air Tanker’… you don’t have to take all 11,600 gallons… AND… the COST of the VLAT is actually cheaper than (maths?) units because the daily availability is funded up front by the US Forest Service under the contracting rules.

    So really… that’s a pretty cost effective… but everyone hears the VLAT and… you know… the hair stands up and they’re going ‘Oh my God… cost’.

    So he turned down the VLAT.

    But… the fire started growin’ that night.

    He put in a resource order for a Type 2 team.

    The Type 2 team that was ordered is the Arizona Management Incident team… and… if any… the closest I can get to it is… in Nevada… the Sierra Front team… which is a team of local resources… City of Reno… uh… BLM… Forest Service… Counties… and they’re a team that can come in and ramp up immediately and take it over as a Type 3… or… go up to at Type 2 because they’re all Type 2 qualified. That team showed up the next morning… also ordered with three Hotshot crews.

    That order was filled by the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the Blue Ridge Hotshots off the Coconino… and the Arroyo Grande Hotshots outta Region 5. Arroyo Grande never made it. Their… their vehicles… uh… they had a crew buggy break down in Phoenix so they got hung up there.

    But the next morning now you’ve got Granite Mountain… and you’ve got Blue Ridge.

    * Question from an Audience member: So we… I’m the superintendent of ( ?? ).

    Dudley: Okay

    * Question: We were on the (??) over in New Mexico.
    * Was Arroyo Grande there on precall… or were they comin’ for the fire?

    Dudley: No… they were already there. They were there within region.

    (Pause)

    Dudley: Oh… I’m sorry… the question was about the status of Arroyo Grande. Were they coming out of Region 5 or are they already repositioned within the Region and the answer is… yea… they were already there coming off a different fire and headed there. They coulda gotten there that morning had they not broken down.

    So… most of the Type 2 team shows up that morning including the IC. As he goes through his planning process he does a briefing with the ICT4 that takes place at 9:30 at the ICP which is on the north end of… uh… in an area called Peeples Valley.

    Dudley: He already has a Structure Group Protection… a Structure Protection Group leader down in Yarnell… who’s been there all night trying to figure out how to best defend Yarnell and set up some kind of defense.

    The ICT4 is announced at ten twenty-two ( 10:22 ) that morning I’m sorry… the ICT2… but he already knows he’s behind the power curve.

    He has WAY too much fire activity goin’ on and he came in as a short team and not all of his positions were filled.

    Again… criticism was that he had no Safety Officers.

    He put in an order for Safety Officers.

    For some reason it was just one of those things that happened in a busy dispatch center… the order got dropped.

    They… they put in the order for it… but at the time that he took over… he had no Safety Officers.

    He had both of his OPS people…

    …you have a question?

    * Question from Audience member: What was the planning level at that time? The national level?

    Dudley: Uh… Nationally we were at planning level four… regionally it was planning level five… so they were maxed… and the question is ‘what was the planning level for the southwest at that time’.

    Because he knows that he’s behind the power curve… he reaches out to the local Type 2 Incident Management Team… and the IC is Bea Day… and he calls her and says “I’m gonna recommend that your team be ordered… but in the meantime… before the order gets placed… will you please send me all your OPS and all your LOGISTICS… and she complies…. and people start coming down. They… they’re not officially ordered… but he KNOWS that he needs additional help.

    The reason he went to her… she’s based in Prescott. So he knows that most of the resources she has can come outta Prescott quickly.

    Dudley: So between… after that phone call… between eleven and one o’clock… are a series of phone calls that take place with State management.

    And the whole issue is… what is the… uh… we need to go through the checklist to determine what level of incident we’re dealing with… and by one o’clock… he is still pushing for a Type 2 Long team… the State makes the decision… No… we’re gonna go with a Type 1 team.

    Fine. That’s a good decision… but now… you’re still a day out before you start getting any resources.

    The Type 2 people are still coming in. They don’t know that they have not been ordered.

    So now… he’s dealing with all of that… meanwhile up in the hill… ya got Granite Mountain and Blue Ridge… and one of the uniqueness of this whole thing.. the captain of Blue Ridge had a GPS unit that he… by habit… he always carries his own personal GPS and he has it on all day long… so we were able to pull the data from his GPS… and he and his superintendent were in that UTV and they were all over the area… believe me… and what it was was… they we’re tryin’ to figure out how to engage.

    Ya had Granite Mountain up on the top… on the ridge… building fireline downhill to hook into what Blue Ridge was gonna do out in the flats… and Blue Ridge was tryin’ to figure out a way to use the road system that would take it out to Highway 89.

    They never felt really comfortable with that assignment.

    As a matter of fact… they spent… the crew spent a good chunk of its day by its crew buggies because the captain and the superintendent were tryin’ to figure out how safely to engage that crew.

    In the meantime… they were talkin’ to Granite Mountain as Granite Mountain is makin’ its way down.

    Now… keep in mind… that this is one of the oddities… it’s a rapidly expanding Type 3 into a Type 2 with a Type 1 coming in. They are behind the power curve. Division boundaries aren’t very well set.

    Dudley: As a matter of fact… they were pretty well undefined between the two division supervisors… but… you’ve got Granite Mountain sitting there with the superintendent as Division Alpha… the Captain now the acting superintendent within their division… and that’s it. There’s nobody else there.

    It’s just (dem?)… and as the day progresses… everything that they had started out with that morning becomes a moot point… because the strategy and tactics that they thought were valid that morning is… no longer.

    So they’re sitting up there… and wondering what to do.

    I will say this. There is this point where… well… you can see the dialogue… and that’s one of the key components.

    A lot of people were talking… very few people were communicating.

    And you saw that little snippet of when Blue Ridge and Granite are tryin’ to identify… “Where are you guys? Youre’ in the black?”… “Yea… we’re makin’ our way down the escape route”.

    At no point do you see someone finally go… “Okay… WHERE exactly are you HEADED?”.

    That was never defined.

    It was almost as if Granite Mountain was bein’ deliberately vague.

    But the communications are really short.

    That’s not to say that Blue Ridge didn’t do their job… because Blue Ridge superintendent… he was drivin’ the UTV… he’s picking up the lookout… he’s getting his crew ready to bail out… he’s gathering them up… and he knows he’s gotta move his buggies and Granite Mountain’s buggies… so he’s multi-tasking through this process as he’s tryin’ to have this communication.

    I will also say… that if he had not come around the corner at the time that he did… the lookout woulda been the first fatality. Guaranteed.

    There was NO place for that lookout to have safely deployed… and he was WAY too close when he decided to bail out from where the fire was.

    * Question from Audience member: Question I have is… were you guys able to
    * determine where Division Alpha was? Was he with the crew?

    Dudley: No. We’re pretty positive that he was NOT with the crew because ONE… as a Division… he should be out there scouting… TWO… that last comment… and that came directly off an audio… though we did not try to replicate the audio because it’s harsh to listen to… but it’s when the crew suddenly realizes there’s some trouble and it reaches out to Bravo 33 for assistance… and what you hear is Division Alpha say… “This is Division Alpha… I’m with the crew”.

    So we knew that they were workin’ their ways… now here’s the key question…

    Was Eric on the north end scouting? At one point we know he was.
    OR… was he on the south end where the ranch was… scouting that?

    * Question from Audience member: And that’s why I asked… I was just tryin’ to figure
    * out… (??)… It seems like they got back together somewhere.

    Dudley: They did. They hooked up together at SOME point.

    I will say this. There is an allegation made… uh… I talked earlier about “Young Men In Fire”… Norman Maclean wrote that book. Well her son in John Maclean who is an investigative reporter and he writes in that style… but he’s done very well… and he’s made it his history… or his career… to write about fatality fires… and he started with South Canyon… the book called “Fire on the Mountain”.

    HE has his own investigation goin’ in… and HE has an allegation that says based on a video clip that he… audio clip that he got outta the case files… he can hear that Eric made his way down to the ranch.

    ( Pause )

    + 53:59
    Well… we’ve got that same audio clip. We’ve done our own review including takin’ it through… ah… ( Company Name: ?? Accounience ?? )… uh… in Southern California… they’re the… uh… district attorney’s forensics unit… and they’ve analyzed the clip. We can’t replicate it.

    And… and that’s the problem with this.

    You go through so much electronic audio manipulation… and eventually you get something that’s left… and people can interpret it however you want to.

    People hear ‘ranch’. Other people hear ‘south’. You don’t know what it is.

    +54:36
    On the other hand… does it really change anything?

    If he had actually gone through that canyon… gotten to the ranch… and then gone back with the crew… does that change anything about the decision making of why going that route?

    Dudley: It does open up the door that you know that there had to be some type of intra-crew communication between he and the captain about the decision of one… where are you going… and…

    ( Audience member raises his hand again and Dudley sees it. )
    ( Dudley actually seems pretty annoyed at having to stop at this point ).

    What?…

    * Question from Audience member: That’s kinda why I asked you to see if… like… if there
    * was intra-crew communications goin’ on that led to that and also I was wonderin’ too
    * did he have other resources on his division or whether it was just Granite Mountain.

    Dudley: It’s just Granite Mountain.

    * Question from Audience member: Then who was Blue Ridge assigned to?

    Dudley: Technically… they were working under Division Zulu… but… that was a pretty fuzzy setup as well. In reality they were workin’ much closler… closely with the structure protection group leader for Yarnell.

    * Question from Audience member: That’s kinda why I was curious ‘cus it seems like
    * that decision woulda been made on a TAC channel versus a Crew
    * channel because it was affecting a lot of people.

    Dudley: I agree.

    * Question from Audience member: So… yea… it just sounds more like there’s intra-crew
    * communication goin’ on ( at the Division level ).

    Dudley: There are a series of pictures taking from one of the… uh… cameras… uh… of one of the Hotshots… Granite Mountain… and the series of pictures… uh… start at 1550 to 1555… and it’s that prominent point, the lunch spot, where they’re looking down and you can see the fire front and they’re looking down over where the grader is.

    +56:06
    The key thing with that picture, though, is… those pictures… is that every member of the crew is standing up… and they have their packs on.

    ( Pause )

    For me… that says they’ve already made the decision to move. They’re just waiting for the order to line up and get goin’… ‘cus every one of ’em is standing up… hard hats… full packs… tools in their hands. They’re just watching until they’re giving the direction.

    But… prior to that… by like five minutes… there is a discussion that takes place between OPS and Eric Marsh… and all you hear is Eric saying “I’m making my way off the top”. Top a what? Top of that box canyon? Top of to the north end?

    And OPS says… “Copy that. You guys hunker and be safe. Let me know if you need air support.”

    You don’t hear the front-end of that conversation.
    You don’t hear the tail-end of that conversation.
    You just hear that clip.

    We replayed that audio for OPS and said… “Is this you?”… and he goes “Yup… that’s me.
    I do NOT remember that conversation.”

    And again… in the height of a major deal… but here’s what DID happen. You can hear a lot of discussion goin’ on between Air Attack because Air Attack hears an issue goin’ on out there and he checks in with OPS and says “I hear there’s a crew… uh… moving”… and he goes… “No… that’s Granite Mountain… they’re fine… they’re up in the black”… and he goes “Do you want me to check on them?”… “Nope… it’s Granite Mountain. They’re OK”.

    So OPS… as most OPS would do… I’ve got a Hotshot crew… I know who they are… they’re up in the black… fine… I don’t need to worry about them anymore… I got other issues… because they’ve got heavy structure protection going on right now on the north end… Model Creek… Peeples Valley.

    +57:48
    For me… a key indicator as the crew made that move was ONE… they did not perceive any risk as they made the crew…as… as they made the move. At no time until it was too late did they reach out to aviation… Air Attack.. or Bravo… and say “Hey… we’re moving. Keep an eye on us”.

    They don’t do that. Nor do they TELL anyone that they’re moving other than you hear in little clips… and the reason for that, I would suspect… I don’t know this… but the radio is already heavily impacted, they’re within their own division ‘quote unquote’… so… why tie up more radio traffic if all we’re doin’ is moving.

    We do feel very strongly that they were repositioning to the ranch.

    Not because they were headed down there to defend Yarnell… Yarnell was already getting hit with fire… but they’d been sitting there on their rear end and they’re a local crew.

    +58:37
    * Question from Audience member: But… how much of the human factor
    * and having a bias for action… particularly being a Shot crew… in your
    * backyard… I mean… that… that must… I mean… did you find any evidence
    * of that coming into play?… ‘cus they’re not just gonna sit there.

    Dudley: They’re not gonna sit there. They’re not gonna sit there… PLUS… their crew buggies have already been moved. A… a Hotshot crew is only good as its transportation… and it knows its buggies have been gone… and… he… it knows that everyone’s bailing outta Yarnell and they’re repositioning waiting for the fire to go through Yarnell and then everyone will re-engage.

    Dudley: My… we suspect that that’s what they were intending… is to move down to the ranch, which was a PERFECT spot to hunker in and they’d be in a better position to re-engage with other resources.

    ( An audience member has had his hand up and Dudley now acknowledges him )

    I’m sorry…

    * Question from Audience member: That conversation between… when Division Alpha said they
    * were comin’ off the top… some of the other audio also said Operations called and asked
    * Division Alpha if they could reposition and help in Yarnell… and he basically (said) “No… we’re
    * stayin’ in the black”. Was that… was that conversation when he said “comin’ off the
    * top” AFTER that?

    Dudley: No. It was somewhere in that time period… it’s still right about 1550 dat conversation takes place… but… the other OPS was told “No… we can’t… we can’t do dat”… and the other OPS drops that… uh… discussion.

    There’s no… no pressure put on them to get off your rear end and move.
    Everything was an INTERNAL discussion that took place.

    But… there’s also a little clippet where you can hear Jesse and Eric talking and in that clippet you hear “Yea… you knew that was coming” and then you can hear one of ’em go “Yea… but I feel your confidence”.

    So again… that same little discussion of “Well… I guess we are gonna move”, and that discussion of ‘bias for action’… Human factors… do you sit there in your own backyard… especially when you had just been recognized for what you had done on the Doce fire a week and a half ago on the edge of Prescott and Prescott thinks… you know… you’re… uh… your’e the end-all for fire crews… are you gonna stay there even though it’s the best place to stay… OR… or are you gonna just take a look and the fire right now is burning away from us… and by the time you get to that saddle you look out again and the fire is now running parallel… but it’s not comin’ at you… and you hit that saddle and you look over and you go “Ahh… we can make that in just a few minutes. We got it… and then we’ll be in a good position to…”

    +1:01:02
    * Audience member cuts Dudley off: But I guess that’s really the key point.
    * If he had gone that route… and who knows if he did go that route…
    * If he did go south to the ranch then he would have known that it was a harder route…
    * but I guess that’s obviously just conjecture.

    Dudley: It IS conjecture… BUT… that’s the problem that I have with the comment and someone… and the John Maclean clip says “Well… and he had his sawyers cut a P-Line”. Well… it doesn’t fit the timeline… and… if you actually had your sawyers cut a P-Line… why would you have your sawyers go back up and hook up the crew? Would you not just say “you guys hunker here at the ranch… we’ll wait for the rest of the crew to show up”. You, as a superintendent would probably go up and meet the crew… but you wouldn’t have your sawyers go back up… plus… it just doesn’t fit the timeline when you look at… we KNOW that the last picture taken at the lunch spot was at 1604.

    And then ya gotta make your way all the way down and into the canyon and they realized… the first callout to… uh… Bravo was at 1637.

    +1:02:09
    You just don’t have enough time for all that goin’ back and forth. It doesn’t FIT.
    I’m not sayin’ it didn’t happen… I’m just sayin’ we can’t validate that.

    ( Another hand has been up and Dudley now acknowledges it )

    I’m sorry…

    +1:02:17
    * Question from Audience member: No… that’s fine.
    * Goin’ along together with personnel and their experience since that’s their area.
    * The rate of spread. Fuels. They’re used to that.
    * Was this unusual to an extreme that… that they wouldn’t have anticipated that?
    * Ah… is it… was it an unusual run… ah… was it something that they… you know…
    * thought in the past experience they had the time but this was…

    Dudley: The question is… was this a unique or… uh… such a unique situation in terms of fuels and fire behavior. Part of that answer is yes… it was an extreme fire behavior. However… some of our SMEs ( Subject Matter Experts ) made the comment… “Well…”, because they were from out of the area they made the comment… “Well… you had triple digit temperatures and single digit relative humidity with windstorms in the area… why would you… doesn’t that qualify as extreme?”.

    And someone else from that area says… “No… that’s just a typical day in the southwest. If you don’t fight fire in those conditions your’re never gonna get off the road”… PLUS, the conditions on that day did NOT meet the National Weather Standards for a Fire Watch. There was no… uh… red flag issued for that day. It was extreme conditions by our standards… but it did not meet the criteria for that.

    On the other hand… they were very familiar with the fuels and the conditions and that time of year with cells moving all over the place… what that could mean.

    ( Pause )

    +1:03:43
    * Question from Audience member: That lunch spot that they were in… was that
    * pretty good solid black that they were… that they were hangin’ out in before
    * they decided to move.

    Dudley: Yes. It was. Ah… the question was… the lunch spot area… was that in a good black area and yes… it was solid black… it woulda been… our analysis said that it woulda been good enough for them to have just hunkered in there and let the fire blow by.

    ( Pause )

    +1:04:10
    * Question from audience member: Do you know of any… uhm… dissension within the crew?
    * Did they try and split off at any point prior to or during the deployment?

    Dudley: The question is… was there any decision… dissension within the crew and did any folks try to split off. Ah… Blue Ridge made the comment.. a number of those folks… they said “you know what… when they left the lunch spot… they were ALL in lock-step with one other”… because that was a pretty cohesive crew. Uh.. they were very, very close to one another.

    +1:04:46
    Ahm… so no… there was no indication… now… there’s some allegations that there was an argument between the Captain and the Superintendent about which way to go… from that saddle.
    We can’t validate that. Some people made that allegation. We don’t have any evidence of that.

    Ya know… probly the most telling thing for me… from my point of view of looking at this… was… ya know every crew has one.. what I call one or two ‘rabbits’… ya know.. speed machines that at time a stress… they’re gonna BOOK.

    ( Pause )

    They deployed in an area smaller than where you guys are sitting.
    They deployed as a unit.
    They deployed together.
    Not one person broke ranks.
    They did exactly how they were trained.

    That tells me extreme cohesive training and process. They never abandoned one another is the best way of putting it.

    Ahm… I found that fascinating because I’ve never seen other shelter deployments that people aren’t spread out and you have one or two people that always try to make a… make it for themselves. They stayed together throughout the whole point.

    +1:05:48
    So… on the other hand… there’s a part of me that HAS to wonder… as they stood there on that saddle and they started droppin’ down the slope… I would like to think a few members of the crew had that little gnawing ‘pit’ in their stomach sayin’… “Is this a good idea?”.

    But… would any one of ’em have spoken up and argued against the superintendent… or the acting? I don’t know.

    On the other hand… I can tell ya this. Of the work that we’ve done… there isn’t anything that we found that suggested that Eric Marsh was a risk taker or that he would do anything to put his crew at risk… especially as much as he loved that program and he was in the process a maintaining and defending that program… the Wildland Fire Division… within the Prescott Fire Department. We just don’t have any evidence… of… uh… that takin’ place. So… it does make ya wonder.

    +1:06:44
    * Question from Audience member: Just a comment on the… ah… the crew… crew nets… the crew
    * channels. Uhm… for years we’d show up at fires and they’d say… well.. we don’t want you to use
    * your crew net… we want you to use an open channel. Which is… and our… our argument was…
    * well… that’s how we communicate with each other. Do you see it coming to the point where that
    * crew channel is going to be… uhm… open… and recorded like the other communication on the
    * fires?

    Dudley: I don’t see that. Uh.. part of the problem is the communications and the tools to do just that… I don’t think we can cover it from that angle. Oh.. and I’m sorry.. that was the question of using the inter-crew radio net… is there ever a point in time where that would become a… uh… tool to be used for recording and I don’t believe so.

    BUT… it woulda provided us some pretty dandy information as to the true intent of what they were thinking about if we could’ve heard that discussion take place.

    +1:07:43
    * Question from Audience member: Do we know whether they were utilizing
    * the pre-identified.IHC crew-nets?

    Dudley: Yes. Well… no… I can’t.. I can’t guarantee that. I know they were using their own internal… and then at points… there was various communications… at points Blue Ridge and Granite were communicating on the IHC nets… then there were communicating on the assigned frequencies for that incident which was Arizona Division of Forestry. They were also communicating by cellphone because the net was just so packed up.

    +1:08:14
    One of the things that we did try to look into was… was there any undue influence given by a key member of the Prescott Fire Department by telephone. Not by radio… by telephone… pushing them to get off that spot… and we can validate that there wasn’t. There wasn’t anybody getting in the way of saying “Hey… you guys… get off your ass and get down here”… other than the one suggestion from the OPS “Can you come down?”… and it’s okay to ask that… but it’s also okay to say “No… we can’t… we’re not in a position to do that”.

    But SOMETHING triggered their mind.

    +1:08:45
    * Question from Audience member: I was wonderin’ about the wind shift and the weather
    * advisories that they mentioned and they said that they may have perceived something
    * prior to the actual wind shift being that event? What… ah… was the timeframe… and…

    Dudley: Okay. This is the discussion of… uh… the weather event and the notification of the wind shift and what were the timeframes involved. So… they received the official warning at 1526… and National Weather Service Flagstaff called the fire behavior analyst on the team and said “Heads up… you got a wind shift coming”. The fire behavior analyst then broadcast that out. There is a check-off where the crew acknowledged receiving that… and the crew then… the captain… calls the lookout and says “Did you hear that?”… and the lookout says “Copy. I heard that”. That was at 1526.

    At 1600… nuthin’ had happened yet.

    At about 1610… there was a change in wind direction… but it was subtle. It wasn’t very… it wasn’t a hard push. Nothing like that outflow boundary that hit them.

    So the question is… did they just perceive that to be that… that shift… and when you get a weather warning… how long does it stay valid in your own head? I mean you’re… we’re given warnings all the time out there. How valid does that stay?… and there is no standard for NWS… I mean… they’ll admit that. They… they can’t identify that. So.. the comment that we made on the screen was that probably at some point they just said… “Okay… maybe it’s come through and maybe it’s not gonna happen… we’re gonna move”.

    And the other thing to keep in mind is as you’re moving along that ridge… what you can’t see… there’s a heavy smoke layer layin’ across that top… so that outflow boundary from that cell that’s breaking out to the north… you can’t really see that cell anymore. All you can see is that smoke boundary. It’s hiding your point of view of what’s going on out there.

    ( Pause )

    +1:10:44
    Ya know… a lot of people have said this and I’ll repeat it too because I do believe this. What they did… ninety-nine out of a hundred times they’d a been fine doin’ it… and no one would have known anything. They just got bit this one time.

    Not only that… give me 15 minutes. 15 minutes to the front. 15 minutes to the back… NONE a this would’ve happened. Ahm.. none of us would be here right now.

    ‘Cus 15 minutes early… they’d have had plenty a time to get to the ranch.

    15 minutes to the back they woulda seen the changes goin’ on from the saddle and they would have bailed off the back side.

    And… and… that’s what it always comes to is that timeframe.

    +1:11:26
    * Question from Audience member: So kinda building on that… you mentioned all the lawsuits that
    * are going on with this fire… and how does that work legally when there’s many complexities and
    * variables like you’re discussing. Weather, decision making.
    * How can someone try and stick a pin on… you know… one person?

    Dudley: Well… ya know what? Okay… sorry… was gonna make a comment about lawyers.

    ( Entire room laughs )

    Dudley: Uhm… the question is with so many complexities and such a variation of conditions that took place that day… how can anyone pin their hat on just one item to identify.

    If you take a look at the ADOSH report… the ADOSH points blame.

    They point blame at the ICT4 for not takin’ action the first night.

    The residents… that’s why a number of them have filed suit against the State… because they feel it shoulda been put out the first night.

    Ah… they take critical… uh… uh… action and criticism of the ICT2 and his team because they showed up and they couldn’t keep up with the pace… even though he recognized right off the bat… man… we’re behind the power curve… we gotta get help here. I… we commended him for acting that way. Most teams wanna hang on to everything.

    And then they REALLY criticized the State for not making the decision of pulling people off the entire incident early on.

    Well.. that’s a hard one. That’s a REAL hard one. State of Arizona, just like here in the State of Utah, there’s statutes on the books that say you are responsible for putting out all fire within incorporated unincorporated areas especially when… you’re not supposed to put yourself at risk… but you’re supposed to fight fire. You can’t sit back and say… “Nah… this community can’t be defended so were gonna back off from it”.

    The Yarnell Ranch… or.. the Boulder Creek Ranch, that we call it… that was a place that was put in and the owners of that ranch had the capability to defend it and build it to a standard that they knew they would never have to worry about leaving it… and they were in place when the fire ran all the way around them… and the only problem they ran into… they lost one air-conditioning unit off of a… uh… warehouse. That’s it. They were totally fine.

    She even took a picture from her patio of the whole hillside behind her completely lit up… at one time. No.. no.. no… no other issue for them.

    But they had the resources to do that.

    Most a Yarnell… it’s a retirement community… it’s an old mining community. Ahm… not a lotta defensible space within the community of Yarnell. So.. can you then make the decision as a Type 2 IC to say.. “Nah… we’re not gonna defend. We’re gonna pull off.”?

    Man… you’re getting inta some subjective… but that’s where some of the key legal items are gonna be playin’ out… and… the lawyers are sayin’… No… they shoulda played that out… or the State shoulda put it out on that first night.

    Well… that’s easy to say in hindsight… but when you’re the person up there makin’ that decision and you base it on safety… who are you to be criticized?

    So… that’s where it… it’s all standing.

    +1:14:32
    * Question from Audience member: If… if we’re gonna pinpoint it to one decision… it seems like
    * the decison that was made to… to leave the spot in the black and re-engage… was… was the
    * clincher… that was the last hole in the swiss cheese.

    Dudley: It is

    * Audience member continues: …and… that’s how we’re programming our firefighters. That’s how
    * we… that’s what we program… especially the Hotshots to do is… find a place to engage… and
    * re-engage… so… so my question is… what… what’s your thoughts from the investigation
    * standpoint of… of that aspect of it?

    Dudley: We came up with four recommendations. Unlike South Canyon which has eighty some-odd recommendations… but we made a lot of changes… all for the better, for the most part, since South Canyon. But really… we have a total of seven recommendations outta Yarnell.

    Three are specific to the State. Four are inter-agency in scope.

    ( Pause )

    Ah… why not more?

    ( Pause )

    We haven’t found new ways to kill people.

    ( Pause )

    And… when you look at this issue… everyone wants to make this a very complex situation. It’s not. It ends up bein’ a crew decision and leadership to decide what they’re gonna do. It becomes pretty simple when you look at it from that aspect.

    But we do have four recommendations.

    The families ( pause ) were incensed that we didn’t know where the crew was.

    To them… GPS would’ve answered the question. If we knew exactly where they were… that VLAT could’ve landed on them and put retardant. To them, that’s the easy place to go ‘cus you can always improve equipment.

    One of the family members… the father of one of the members… ah… to him… it’s all about Hotshots… ah… I’m sorry… fire shelters… and he’s gonna make it his career to push the agencies to improve fire shelters.

    I’m sorry… but in my look at that canyon… NOTHING could have prevented anything from happening when that fire came through there. Not the current, not anything new… depending on how much weight you wanna carry with you as a fire shelter.

    So really… of all the recommendations the key one that stands out for the Wildland Fire agencies? Decision making. Human factors.

    How we train… and how we make decisions and how we process our training… what do we need to do to modify that… because for me… that saddle represents the ultimate swiss-cheese hole.

    Here we are… we’ve had a number a things that we could’ve done… including being a little more aggressive on that Saturday… but you’re still not gonna second-guess what an ICT4 is doing unless there’s something of criminal intent… which there was NOT… so finally you end up with that last ‘hole’ lining up and you make that decision. We can stay high and go around… we can go off the back side… we can stay in the black… or we can go direct… but once we go direct… we’re blind.

    We can’t see anything coming at us… and all evidence points out they were absolutely shocked when that fire came around that ridge at… the.. uh.. point of that ridge.

    +1:17:32
    * Question from the Audience member: You’re talkin’ about the decision point
    * being from that saddle… but what about from that lunch spot. It seems like…
    * uhm… from just looking at what you’ve shown us… would have it been feasible
    * to traverse to the north, I guess it woulda been, through the black and follow
    * that head out to the ranch and stay in the black the whole time and look for
    * a spot to re-engage?

    Dudley: The question was… ah… the decision point… what about not the saddle but goin’ back to the lunch spot could he have gone to the north… and the answer is… yes… and Blue Ridge thought that’s exactly what they had done.

    You coulda stayed to the north, through the black, and come out at a ranch in Model Creek. It woulda taken a little while… but you coulda done it just fine and you woulda been in black the whole way.

    As far as Blue Ridge was concerned… and that’s the first place they went looking for the crew when they were… when they heard all the commotion and they started to search… they went back up to the lunch spot and headed out to the north a little ways. So yes… they coulda done that.

    +1:18:27
    * Audience member: By foot? They did that by foot?

    Dudley: Yes… and we were tryin’ to get helicop… they were tryin’ to get helicopters in there but the smoke was still pretty heavy.

    ( Pause )

    +1:18:37
    * Question from Audience member: Can you talk a little bit about… uh…
    * ya know… you said Prescott Chief? Did he resign or was he fired?

    Dudley: He was fired:

    * Audience member continues: Okay…and what were the reasons
    * surrounding that?… just… the buck stops there?

    Dudley: We suspect so. Well… we do know… and this is regarding why the fire chief of Prescott was… uh.. released from his position. We do know that there was internal tension between… and this is just day to day city politics… there was internal tension between the fire department and the city administrators. There was tension between the fire department in Prescott and Central Yavapai fire district.

    Why?… I don’t know… uhm… it’s just things that go on within communities or whatnot.

    So… he was let go because the buck does stop there and then the city is under all a these… here’s one little irony, though.

    He’s running for mayor of Prescott… AND… he stands a pretty good chance of winning ‘cus he was well-liked within the community.

    So… ya know… on… on top of everything else that you’re dealing with now you’re gonna have this play into some of the politics there in the local area. That’s too bad.

    +1:19:43
    * Question from Audience member: Uh… back to some of the legal stuff… my question has been…
    * as far as how their team was set up within their organization… I saw several different reports on
    * TV about… uh… certain members not being classified as full time and not getting death benefits
    * and things like that. Are they set up so that they are like… a seasonal employee?
    * Are they brought in just for… ya know… fire season?

    Dudley: ( To the camera operator ) You need me to repeat that? Okay… the question is… the structure of the Granite Mountain Hotshots… ah… based on some of the legatlities… were some of them seasonal?… were they permanent? What was the structure? Ahm… six people on the crew were permanent employees which meant they immediately received… their families… received the full benefits of their position. Pension, medical care, health care, whatnot.

    The others members of the crew were seasonal.

    Now… I’m not sure how it works within Unified Fire Authority. Within the US Forest Service… and I’ve got a son whose on a sixth year… uh… fire crew… he’s a seasonal employee. What that tells me is that if something happens to him… he gets… there are no benefits. Only permanent employees have the benefits.

    However… uh… one of the members of the uh… uh.. families… Juliann Ashcrof… recently petitioned the Merit Systems Board for the City of Prescott and was awarded full benefits. Now… it’s only to her… you can’t help but think that the rest of the families are now gonna go in… but under their structure… six people were permanent… they were the only ones that received benefits.

    Everyone else was a seasonal employee who did not receive benefits.

    +1:21:25
    * Question from Audience member: When you say benefits… do you mean line of duty death
    * benefit… or health benefits?

    Dudley: Health benefits and pension. Line a duty… everyone… because there’s a Federal law that provides that.

    * Question from Audience member: So line of duty has… ah… the National…

    Dudley: Yea. That one time payment… they all received that.

    * Question from Audience member: …any other benefits beyond that they did not receive
    * because they were seasonal?

    Dudley: Correct. Anything that would be covered under… uh… State retirement.

    +1:21:52
    *Question from Audience member: So… um… I read a report from last year
    * that said… that’s sayin’ that… that… not… they weren’t up to their qualifications
    * like to the standard to actually run as a Hotshot crew. Is THAT true… or not?

    Mike Dudley: It’s not. They were a fully certified IHC. We pulled all the records and they met th

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup… Apparently there is a ‘character limit’ for a single post in this WordPress software so here is the FINAL part of Dudley’s speech transcript starting with the section that got ‘cut off’ in the post above…

      +1:21:52
      *Question from Audience member: So… um… I read a report from last year
      * that said… that’s sayin’ that… that… not… they weren’t up to their qualifications
      * like to the standard to actually run as a Hotshot crew. Is THAT true… or not?

      Mike Dudley: It’s not. They were a fully certified IHC. We pulled all the records
      and they met the criteria. Now… you can quibble about some… because one
      of the… because… for the IH… Hotshot sups… Hotshot crews you have to have
      so many permanent members… and you has to have certain capabilites with red
      card ratings to meet up. What had happened was one of the permanent people
      had been turned into a term position… so… but if you look at it on the books… it
      still meets the criteria of a certified Hotshot crew. So they… they were fully qualified.

      Other people’ve said… ya know… they were at the tail end of their dispatch and they
      were tired. Well.. yea. You guys are probly about August… you’re probly a little tired
      and you’re not as fresh as you’re starting right now… but again… it’s black or white.
      Do you meet the criteria or do you not? They met the criteria.

      ( Pause )

      ( Two hands go up and Dudley picks the one behind the first one )

      Dudley: Ah… let me catch ya right behind….

      +1:23:02
      * Question from Audience member: You said the superintendent was somewhat
      * defending the program to Prescott? Was there some sorta… tryin’ to cut the
      * program or not getting support from the department?

      Mike Dudley: Question is… ah… there were some allegations or some discussion that took place that their… the superintendent was tryin’ to support the program. Ah… it was a budget crunch. Prescott City was spending a lot a money to fund the program… especially for a Hotshot crew that a good eighty percent of its time isn’t there… because it had… it was on the road… and they traveled a LOT. They… they did a LOT a rolls… so yes… there was some subtle issues going on within the department. Overall there was support for it, but… the department was stressed with budget… uh… issues and we have a letter that Eric had written a few months prior to the start of the season defending the position and he had wanted another permanent position put in and he was denied… so he was feeling a little frustrated and was just tryin’ to defend the work that they had.

      +1:24:08
      *Question from Audience member: So for every fatality fire there’s implementation
      * of something. Thirty Mile was pocket cards. What… whadda do you see… I know
      * you (gave) the four recommendations… but what would be number one thing you
      * see implemented fire-wide from this incident.

      Mike Dudley: Ah… what are the key recommendations and what would come outta this. So… let me go through the four really quick because… ah… three of ’em… TWO of ’em were easy. VLAT. The fact of the matter is we have a hard time… no matter how you wanna push stuff out from NWCG… by the time it filters down… how many people really know on the ground where it needs to be known… how to order a VLAT and in what configurations.

      So NWCG has a check-off that they’re going through the process to make sure that information gets to the ground. It was released last year but 99 percent of us didn’t have a… I knew it… because I’m in aviation. That’s the only reason. But every time I asked someone “Do you know how to order a VLAT?” and they’d go “I dunno… we just wait and the big plane shows up”.

      Okay.. so that… that one is in the process. Another one is dealing with… ah… the GPS and equipment. There is a committee through NWCG that is implementing some GPS tracking in the field right now to evaluate. There is also a… uh… another committee that is doin’ a survey of fire shelters and what we as a community… all of us… wanna see in the fire shelters. That process is going through… because they’re gonna be evaluating… that’s done on a five year basis but they’re stepping it up to meet the criteria.

      The biggest one… and probly the hardest one… is that human factors. That’s gonna take longer but there’s also an Interagency core that is takin’ a look at what do we need to modify within our training element and to me… that’s the most critical one. Not the tools… not the VLAT… we already know how it flies… not anything else… it’s that subtle aspect… the human factors and decision making.

      What do we need to improve in our training to better equip people to make decisions.

      That’s the key one for me.

      ( Another hand goes up and Dudley acknowledges it )

      Yes sir…

      +1:26:17
      * Question from Audience member: On the hardware you mentioned… are they
      * going to the APRs… ( ??? ). Are they going to be able to do that or are they
      * just going with… with position with just… uh… GPS?

      Mike Dudley: So the question is… in terms of the GPS tracking… what kinda tools… and there’s such a broad spectrum of that… one of ’em is… the radio… GP… uh… that special format where you click your radio and immediately you’ve identified your location. They’re also looking at self-tracking ga… uh GPS that you can wear… and then also be used. Now… ironically… Jim Karels… the State Forester?… Two years prior to bein’ on the investigation he had a fatality fire in the state of Florida… and what… and it was with one of his plow units. If you’re in the south… your key IA is a plow unit… and one of his plows on a fire had been hung up on a stump and before they could clear it the fire came over ’em and killed the operator and the swamper. They put in a GPS unit… but it’s ONLY for his plows. It’s not his engines. It’s not his individual firefighters… and if he gets resources in the panhandle from Georgia… they don’t have GPS.

      The whole aspect of GPS is size and scale… and how do you develop one standard for Federal… for State… for local resources… to meet that one standard… and who pays for it? That is a huge… AND… how do you get the bandwidth to do that? The US Military uses GPS… only for its Special OPS people. Doesn’t try to cover everybody… but… it’s a process be… uh… that’s gonna take place that we’ll be lookin’ at.

      Anything else?

      ( Pause. No hands go up ).

      +1:28:00
      So… just a reminder.

      June 30th. One year anniversary. 19 people. All at one time.
      July 6th. Uh… 14 people. 20th anniversary of South Canyon.

      So… after South Canyon we made all these corrections because we assumed this would never happen again… and the problem with Yarnell is… and the shock of Yarnell is… not only could it happen again to a crew that well trained… but the opportunity for it to happen again in the future is still there. It’s always… will be there. We can’t acknowledge that what we operate in is a high risk environment.

      What we do need to know is that we maintain our training… we maintain our situational awareness to take care of ourselves and each other as we go through.

      Uh… it’s critical work that we do… and only us, really, understand what that means, not everyone else that out.. is outside the system.

      So.. from me to you all I just wish you all a good season… and a… more importantly… a safe fire season.

      Okay? Thanks.

      ( Applause )

      END OF MIKE DUDLEY’S PRESENTATION / END OF VIDEO

      • Bob Powers says

        OK so here I go again–Mr. Dudley what fire background do really have?
        My indication is you are a professional collage Forestry graduate.
        You never worked your way up thru the Wild land Fire Fighting ranks and yet you profess to know it all.

        One of the biggest problems today with overhead on Wild land Fire they do not have the on the ground experience. THE SCHOOLOF HARD KNOCKS to manage fire on the ground.

        This is why the federal agencies are picking up old trained WLFF as AD’s to fill positions on overhead teams. I can guarantee the Safety officers that are current AD’s on Fire will not put up with Rolled up sleeves.

        Back to Mr. Dudley His understanding of crews and wildland fire leaves me a little
        concerned with his actual qualifications.

        Maybe I am wrong but the way he talks gives me that feeling.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Mr. Powers… see a LONGER post about this up above as a new ‘parent’ comment… but here is the 411 on Dudley.

          It was pretty hard to find out anything about Dudley…
          but I did find at least one thing online that resembles a resume’ for him.

          On October 18 and 19, 2011, Dudley was one of the speakers at a
          conference held at Utah Stage University ( Logan, Utah ).

          The TITLE of the conference was…

          Restoring the West – 2011
          Sustaining Forests, Woodlands, and Communities
          Through Biomass Use

          At this conference… Dudley gave a 30 minute talk…

          Agenda – Tuesday, October 18
          USU Eccles Conference Center
          8:40 to 9:10 am Biomass Utilization: A Tool for Forest Restoration,
          By Mike Dudley, Director of State and Private Forestry,
          Regions One and Four, USDA Forest Service, Ogden, Utah

          The following PDF document summarized the conference and included
          some ‘biographies’ of all the speakers… including Dudley…

          http://forestry.usu.edu/files/uploads/RTW2011Media/RTW%20Booklet_FINAL%20Proof.pdf

          On page 5 of this PDF file is a short resume’ for Dudley…

          ———————————————————————————
          Speaker Abstracts – In order of presentation, presenting author in italics

          Biomass Utilization: A Tool for Forest Restoration

          Mike Dudley,
          Director State and Private Forestry,
          USDA Forest Service,
          Regions One and Four,
          Intermountain / Northern Regions,
          324 25th St., Ogden, UT 84401
          Email: mdudley ( at ) fs.fed.us.

          Mike began his Forest Service career as a seasonal firefighter on the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest, CA in 1977. Mike worked seasonally on various national forests in California before receiving his career conditional appointment on the Inyo National Forest, CA in 1980.

          In 1981 he moved to the Willamette National Forest, Oregon and worked in various fire/fuel positions including District Fire Management Officer. In 1997 he moved to the National Office, Washington, DC and during his 4 years there filled a number of positions in aviation, planning, and ending as the Assistant Director of Fire Ecology including National Fire Plan Key Point 3 Coordinator (Hazardous Fuels) for the US Forest Service.

          He moved to the Intermountain Regional Office as Director Fire, Aviation, Air Management in October, 2001.

          In September 2009 he moved into his current position as Director State and Private Forestry for the Northern and Intermountain Regions of the US Forest Service. He recently completed a detail as Acting Director Northeast Area State and Private Forestry in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

          EDUCATION…

          Mike received a B.S. in Forest Management from Oregon State University in 1986.
          —————————————————————————————–

          NOTE: Dudley’s PUBLIC ‘LinkedIN’ page verifies when he was at Oregon State University getting his BS in Forestry management.

          It was from 1983 to 1986.

  16. Bob Powers says

    Just for a little research—check out wildfire today the Happy Camp Complex.
    Note the pictures of the 2 crews fighting fire—Shirt sleeves and gloves?
    Any questions on safety???????

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Based on what Brendan McDonough has said ( and related to your comments below about Brendan’s ‘HILLBILLY’ and ‘That’s OLD SCHOOL’ and ‘We’re a lot SMARTER now’ comments )…

      …maybe a new WFF ‘catch phrase’ that should come out of this incident might be…

      “It’s better to be a live hillbilly than a dead smart guy”.

    • Bob Powers says

      After reading the article the first thing that hit me as totally un believable.

      McDonough was dismissive of one of the 10 Standard Orders.

      Fight Fire Aggressively having provided for safety First………..

      He said its HILLBILLY……ITS OLD…….

      MODERN WILDLAND FIRE FIGHTERS DON’T NEED TO FOLLOW SUCH RESTRICTIONS…

      WE’RE SMARTER …..WE’RE A LOT SMARTER

      Now that is coming from his training and Supervisors. If the entire crew was trained in this fashion it is no wonder they did what they did. No reason to question the 10 and 18 they are of no consequence.

      One more quote—- THE 10 AND 18—YOU CAN’T ABIDE BY EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

      That was his training that is what he took away from it. Along with the rest of the crew. who were all trained by Marsh and Steed.

      As I said along time back the crew ignored the 10 and 18 that were screaming at them. provided no safety and walked into hell.

      They were not a “lot smarter” than the old fire fighters that always put safety first.
      Hillbilly my ASS.

      Explains violating simple rules like shirt sleeves and gloves and jumps to the big ones, like taking huge risks and ignoring basic safety rules. One note on gloves—When you are carrying tools you are required to be wearing gloves. The only time gloves are off is when you take a break.

      I guess McDonough purity well summed up Granit Mountain’s Fire Safety Rules— you cant abide by every single one of them—we’re not HILLBILLY’S———REALLY.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Not sure this is totally relevant but in one of his ADOSH interviews Brendan McDonough also talks about his attitude towards ‘risk’ and he seems to be also just regurgitating things he has been ‘taught’.

        He tells ADOSH his view of the job in general is “risk a lot… save a lot”… almost as if he believes you can’t do one without doing the other.

        From Brendan’s second ADOSH interview on October 10, 2013.

        The following exchange took place between ADOSH investigator Bruce Hannah and Brendan right after they were talking about the ‘near miss’ between the helicopter and the VLAT that afternoon and Brendan was saying he saw the whole thing and was almost sure, for a moment, that he was about to have to start picking up bodies from the valley.

        Bruce Hannah then was asking McDonough about the ‘general conditions’ that day and how there seemed to have been a number of ‘near-misses’ and/or people nearly getting hurt or burned or otherwise injured.

        Hannah was basically asking Brendan if he sensed it had developed into a ‘high-risk’ environment there in Yarnell that afternoon.

        Then Brendan basically just shrugged that off and offered his ( taught? ) philosophy that seems to equate ‘save a lot’ with ‘risk a lot’.

        Q1 = Bruce Hannah ( ADOSH )
        A = Brendan McDonough

        831 A: Mm-hm. I think that’s just the job in general. I mean, you know, you want –
        832 you risk a lot, you save a lot.
        833
        834 Q2: Yeah.
        835
        836 A: You know, risk anything, sometimes don’t get anything out of it. So…
        837
        838 Q2: And that’s – that’s funny. I mean, I mean, it’s not funny. But I – I mean, to us
        839 as – as safety professionals, we have a totally different, uh…
        840
        841 A: Mm-hm.
        842
        843 Q2: …perspective of what is a reasonable risk at your workplace.
        844
        845 A: Yeah. And it’s learning those reasonable risks, you know? Well, we – if you
        846 risk a lot, we could save a house, but it’s just a house.
        847
        848 Q2: Right.
        849
        850 A: So, I mean, you definitely learn these risks.

    • Marti Reed says

      There’s so much in this article I disagree with, I don’t even know where to begin.

      On the other hand, there are several things I agree with. So I still don’t know where to begin.

      There’s a lot here I don’t know what the sourcing is. So I can’t say.

      I’ve spent vast amounts of the past week studying investigations of fatality fires. It’s a huge mess. I don’t know who to trust.

      I don’t trust the SAIT, I don’t trust the Forest Service, I don’t trust the ADOSH, I don’t trust the Arizona Forestry Department, and I don’t trust the lawyers. And I don’t trust JD either, after this article, I’m seriously sorry to say. I have no clue who fire-fighters or their families should trust. Except themselves and each other.

      And, because of that, I don’t see any of this doing anything but getting worse.

      • mike says

        Marti,

        While I was happy to see an article appear examining the events of 6/30/13, and I want the press to pursue this story, this article bothered me a lot too. At places it seemed to be doing nothing but publishing rumors. And that is flat out wrong. Unnamed sources are fine, as long as you provide some idea of where they are from, and report what was told to you. Publishing simple hearsay or rumors floating through the ether is irresponsible. And some of the sourcing here is abysmal. Much of the article is fine, but the explosive part is not. And that I do not believe is either fair or professional.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to mike post September 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm

          >> mike said…
          >>
          >> Publishing simple hearsay or rumors floating through the ether is
          >> irresponsible. And some of the sourcing here is abysmal. Much of
          >> the article is fine, but the explosive part is not. And that I do not
          >> believe is either fair or professional.

          mike… if I understood your previous comment about the article correctly then the ‘explosive part’ that you are referring to is, in your mind, the part about the (supposed) argument between Marsh and Steed.

          I believe Mr. Dougherty did a fine job of ‘presenting that’.

          When the ACTUAL Co-Lead of the first ‘official’ investigation into this incident gets up in PUBLIC and says…

          —————————————-
          Mike Dudley: There’s some allegations that there was an argument between the Captain and the Superintendent about which way to go… from that saddle.. Some people made that allegation. We can’t validate that.
          —————————————-

          …then it is neither ‘hearsay’ nor ‘unprofessional to REPORT on that.

          That is from the HORSE’S MOUTH.

          Unless this man is lying… then it is NOT ‘hearsay’.

          That is a statement coming from the one person who is most likely to KNOW whether those ‘allegations’ were made… or NOT.

          That also isn’t ‘floating through the ether’, either.

          It was an official statement made by a US Forestry Official in front of a roomful of firefighters who were specifically gathered to hear him talk about the incident and his investigation.

          We do not KNOW if this argument actually took place… and even Mr. Dougherty is not saying that it did.

          What Mr. Dougherty was reporting is that we can, in fact, be almost certain that more than one person reported that it DID happen to the official agency charged with investigating the fire.

          We also now have ‘other evidence’ ( alebeit… currently unnamed ) that what Mr. Dudley has now reported is not only true ( the allegations were officially made ) but that the events themselves being reported did actually take place. It’s only the second part of that that deserves more clarity.

          Mr. Dougherty’s article ( and, indeed, his TITLE for it ) was focusing on the fact that even the FAMILIES are not getting the answers they need with regards to the incident that took their loved ones from them.

          In that context… it was perfectly appropriate for Mr. Dougherty to mention the public statements of a US Forestry official and the actual Co-Lead of the SAIT investigation to the effect that they ( the official SAIT entity ) were receiving ‘testimony’ and ‘evidence’ that no one ( not even the families ) has ever heard about before or was in any way mentioned in legal, formal FOI requests for information regarding their investigation.

          It’s not hearsay when it comes from the HORSE’S MOUTH.

          It’s NEWS.

          It would be nice if Mike Dudley… or ANYONE from the US Forestry Service and/or Arizona Division of Forestry would comment (officially) on this article.

          • mike says

            Mentioning the supposed argument and Dudley’s remarks was fine. Relating “an unconfirmed report circulating among WFFS” about Marsh making 3 requests, being refused, and then giving an order is pure BS. If it is an “unconfirmed report” you DO NOT REPORT IT. Otherwise you are just gossiping. Going on to say it is “unconfirmed” is not an adequate excuse for just spreading rumors. John has done a lot of good concerning Yarnell Hill. IMHO this statement, true or not, was not good.

            • SR says

              A U.S. President was brought down in the 70s by reporters using, in part, unconfirmed info being given them by an unnamed source. Part of the game here is that there is a concerted effort to keep any information from being given by those who have info. They could lose their jobs or worse if they speak with attribution. The idea is to defend against the lawsuits, make no changes, and move on.

              • mike says

                SR, what you said was not true. Yes, “Deep Throat” was unnamed, but they did not run with what they got from that source until they got independent confirmation. And, if I am not mistaken, they would then attribute the source where they got the confirmation from (also often unnamed) so they did not have to reveal the existence of Deep Throat. Woodward and Bernstein did not spread rumors.

                • Bob Powers says

                  Let me just say that John has other sources that he can not name that are giving him information out side of this discussion. If he has had contact or made contact with other WFF that are adding to the same info I got those people may request they not be identified for several reasons. So while we do not have the actual evidence there are those that have reported the same information. I do not believe JD would have said that without additional input from other sources.

                  I will say I have herd that this argument information was out in the fire community 2 weeks after the fire. No one then was able to pin point the actual statement and supposed Video. There is information out there and people know about it.

                  You are right it is still hear say but has some validity based on unnamed sources.
                  I have always said my information is classed as hearsay until the evidence is released.
                  My basic first step was to prove that Marsh could have been in front of and below the crew in order to give validity to the information. That coupled with other specific things like the crew moving out fast from a good safety zone that the looked like they were settled down for the duration. The statement about an argument, misc. radio traffic, the possibility of flagging and small pieces of the puzzle made some since to me.

                  Remember back a few months ago I was one of the first to say Marsh was above the crew and not below them at the ranch because of his meeting with Frisby he could not be in 2 places at once. Now the evidence has changed my mind. All we have left is the solid proof of why the crew moved. We have a totally plausible scenario based on some evidence, times and radio traffic
                  we will have to wait on the solid evidence to put the pieces together

                  We said from the beginning some one had to order the crew to move off the mountain. Who else but Marsh he had the right to refuse a order from overhead but could Steed refuse Marsh?????

                  • SR says

                    Well said.

                    I certainly have said on here that people should contact JD if they have info but can’t speak openly. I’m dumb enough that I doubt it was an original idea.

                    This may also be a juncture that jars former crew if any to speak about any past bad decision/good outcome instances if those were experienced.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to mike post on September 5, 2014 at 4:41 am

              >> mike said…
              >>
              >> Mentioning the supposed argument and Dudley’s
              >> remarks was fine.

              Ah… OK… but now you have me really confused.

              Next response explains why.

              .>> mike also said…
              >>
              >> If it is an “unconfirmed report” you DO NOT REPORT IT.
              >> Otherwise you are just gossiping.

              Oh… you mean something like this…

              —————————————-
              Mike Dudley: There’s some allegations that there was an argument between the Captain and the Superintendent about which way to go… from that saddle.. Some people made that allegation. We can’t validate that.
              —————————————-

              UNCONFIRMED REPORT being fully REPORTED in PUBLIC to a room full of firefighters by a US Forestry official and the actual Co-Leader of the Special Accident Investigation for they Yarnell tragedy.

              >> mike also said…
              >>
              >> Going on to say it is “unconfirmed” is not an adequate
              >> excuse for just spreading rumors. John has done a lot
              >> of good concerning Yarnell Hill. IMHO this statement,
              >> true or not, was not good.

              So here is my confusion…

              In one breath you say it was FINE for someone to REPORT on what Mike Dudley himself said in public ( which was basically also just pure gossip… according to your definition )… but then it is NOT OK for that same accomplished, award-winning investigative reporter to talk about what HE now seems to know… when the likelihood of that careful, professional reporter’s statements being FALSE is about ZERO?

              I still would like to know what steps the SAIT actually took to try and ‘validate’ these ‘allegations’ that Mike Dudley now admits the SAIT received ( from more than one person ).

              These are the same people that couldn’t even get the sequence of the MacKenzie and Parker photos right.

              How well did they even TRY to ‘validate’ the now-known-to-exist allegations of ‘the argument’ between Marsh and Steed?

              Would LOVE to know the story on that one.

              • mike says

                Reporting on Dudley’s comments was perfectly fine, they were made in public with no doubt where they came from (i.e. Dudley’s lips). No matter whether they were true or not, it was news that the leader of the SAIT made that statement. Repeating an unsourced rumor as one “circulating among WFFs” is entirely different. If someone sat down and told John about the requests and orders, it would have been alright to report, as long as he sourced it. Not necessarily named but something like “Forest Service official” or “unnamed hotshot superintendent”. And he really should have tried to confirm it independently before reporting it. Otherwise you can get caught just dishing rumors. In many places in the article he did exactly that. He however did not with that allegation.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  I hear ya… but let me put what I was trying to say another way.

                  BOTH men ( Dudley and Dougherty ) are of high reputation.

                  BOTH men have reported what they have heard without actually ‘naming’ their sources… but there is no reason to believe either one would just be ‘making something up’.

                  I am not ‘distinguishing’ any ‘difference’ between these two scenarios.

                  Until some other evidence emerges to DISPROVE what they have been saying… I believe BOTH men.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    The thing to wait and see on is if any official from the SAIT disputes JD’s article, none so far have stepped forward. It is out there now for any evidence that would prove other wise. Some times that is how it works if you think you have good information then put it in a written article and see if there is any proof to dispute it. You might get lucky and get more evidence.
                    My thoughts.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Agree…. but… unfortunately the parties involved have, at the moment, that ‘get out of commenting free’ card which goes something like this…

                      “It is not the policy of this agency to comment on matters related to pending litigation.”

                      Yada… yada.. yada…

                      That will probably remain true for the duration of the ‘pending litigation’.

                      After THAT ( and even if court documents get sealed )… is another story.

                      It really doesn’t matter how the litigation turns out. This is a historic incident. The STORY ( and the search for the full details ) will CONTINUE even AFTER the ‘litigation’ resolves.

                      I hope the ‘parties involved’ all understand that.

                      The best thing to do is just tell the truth.

                      The sooner the better.

                      That was ALWAYS the ‘best thing to do’.

      • Marti Reed says

        Just for starters, how much time did we spend picking the evidence apart and putting it back together to finally debunk the narrative that Eric was the one that responded to that retardant drop?

        If people want to know what wildland firefighters and their families actually want, I highly recommend the forums and archives of http://www.wildlandfire.com.

        Above all, from what I’ve read, they don’t want narratives and hitpieces and presentations and investigations that are not based on accurate, carefully sourced evidence.

        They also don’t appreciate taking all the blame, and, thus, all the punishment, for the results of systemic problems that are causing fires to be constantly under-resourced and, thus, poorly managed, and crews and teams to be inadequately funded and, thus, unable to retain their best and most experienced people.

        They also don’t appreciate the 10 and 18 being used, by people who are not familiar with how they are actually used in fire-fighting, as “laws” that if you “break,” can hold you criminally/civilly liable.

        It was definitely high time for someone with a high profile to write a narrative questioning and holding accountable these so-called “investigations” and the agonizing chaos they have engendered.

        But I don’t believe this was the way to do it.

        That’s just a start.

        There are some wonderful people out there in the realm of wildland fire-fighting with brilliant minds approaching these kinds of fires in 21st century terms. I really, really, really, hope they are applying themselves to this fire.

        • Bob Powers says

          Marti—Always remember this is a discussion forum we are not here to assign blame or even put evidence in court. We stumble across information that may add to the actual facts and help JD put together a article that has new information in it. Even I have no sway over the current wild land fire people and would not even suggest I do. We have accomplished some good investigation here. Weather any of it shows up in court won’t be up to us. Have we turned investigators loose on new information Maybe.
          We are all hearsay witnesses here putting together a story based on other witness testimony, we use the evidence we find to change or enhance the story maybe find the truth in this tragedy. Is that not our common goal here?

          I would say JD put together a good story biased on ours and his research who else is doing that on the Yarnell fire. Maclean for a book. Every body else is waiting on the possible court trial. The fire is history now and most people have moved on as I learned from The Rattle Snake fire only the families and a few others will remember as the years slip away.

          • Marti Reed says

            Well, at least now I know what you look like — in a Hawaiian shirt even!!

            And now that you mention it. When I was researching the Rattlesnake Fire I couldn’t remember exactly what you took issue with regarding the investigation and also McLean’s book about it.

            Could you refresh my memory?

            Thank you in advance!

            • Bob Powers says

              My step father (Robert Werner) was also on the fire with a engine crew. He was at he trail and helped the 9 that got out he told Maclean some things that he ignored or did not use to fit his story. It hurt my step dad deeply and felt Maclean had manipulated the story to fit his scenario.
              My Step dad retired in 1981 after 35 years in the forest service of which 21 years he was a Dist. Ranger on the Sequoia NF. Tule River RD.
              He was a well educated man and a WWII Vet.
              Not some one that made up stories. He was another big influence in my life.

              • Bob Powers says

                OH and I thought you had looked up my face book and checked out the pictures there then you would know just how crazy I really am.

                • Mar says

                  Hah! I didn’t look at your pictures! And I bet you didn’t look at mine to see how crazy I am, also!

                  Thanks for the clarification re. Rattlesnake. Somehow I thought your dad died there.

                  This whole explosion regarding JD’s article, coming as it does as I’ve spent almost 24/7 reading wildfire forums for the past six days to try to comprehend how they see all this stuff, has me fairly braindead at this point.

                  I guess I have to say, after all I’ve read, I’m less willing to BROADLY condemn Brendan’s words regarding the 10 and 18 as is being done here. Because a) he’s not all that experienced and b) others (who really do care) seem to be trying to push further past them, also.

                  What bugs me is that “we” are taking his words to mean that’s how (black and white) Eric Marsh was training the GM Hotshots. That might not be the case at all.

                  Until I have a LOT more solid substantiated EVIDENCE that Eric, on his own volition (without pressure from anywhere else), singularly pushed the crew to do something he would have SURELY known (think ESPERANZA) to be not possible, I’m currently having a hard time, without knowing the conversations that were happening at the time. pointing as hard of a flaming arrow at Eric as this article is doing.

                  I’ve calmed down a bit, and i recognize that this article does communicate to the public many of the things we have been saying all along.

                  There really needs to be an independent investigation of this fire. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure it’s too late to do that.

  17. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** BLUE RIDGE HOTSHOT COMMENT – UPDATE

    This is being ‘brought up’ from down below in order to answer a question that Mr. Bob Powers asked regarding the comments made by a Blue Ridge Hotshot who would only identify himself as ‘Robert’ over on the Wildfire Today website.

    Mr. Powers… your original question and my response are down below following the reprint of the ‘context’ which led to your conclusion / question…

    >> On August 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm, WTKTT said…
    >>
    >> Mr. Powers has already made it clear that the ‘video’ in question that might
    >> have recorded the entire ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed would seem
    >> to have come from a GM crewmember…
    >>
    >> …but here are just some additional thoughts about this Blue Ridge Hotshot
    >> Robert’s comment that appeared over on Wildfire today.
    >>
    >> Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert’ said…
    >>
    >> “All I can tell you is I was on that fire a year ago
    >> and my crew movied there trucks.”
    >>
    >> What ‘Robert’ seems to be saying there is that while he seems to have been
    >> ( still is? ) a Blue Ridge Hotshot… he, himself, was NOT one of the 2 Blue
    >> Ridge Hotshots ( in addition to BR Captain Brown ) that was actually moving
    >> a GM vehicle that day, or have been one of those THREE additional BR
    >> Hotshots ( in addition to Brendan McDonough ) who were definitely in a
    >> position to actually hear any Granite Mountain intra-crew radio traffic taking
    >> place between Marsh and Steed that afternoon.
    >>
    >> ‘Robert’ only says “my CREW moved their trucks”.
    >>
    >> I would think ( if he was one of the 3 Blue Ridge drivers of the GM trucks
    >> that day ) that he would have said “I helped move their trucks”.
    >>
    >> It is pretty obvious from the BR Unit Logs that the other ‘two’ drivers
    >> ( in addition to BR Captain Brown ) submitted their own handwritten log notes
    >> amongst the 13 BR Unit Logs provided… but we still don’t know WHO those
    >> other 2 CR Hotshots actually were.
    >>
    >> Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert’ also said…
    >>
    >> “I have many pics.And videos leading up to the incedent.
    >> I have spent many days going over my pics and all the
    >> events that day. I put all my info together and have went
    >> over it to help people understand.”
    >>
    >> Went over it with WHO?
    >> WHO was he ‘helping to understand’?
    >>
    >> Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert’ also said…
    >>
    >> “and at first I thought like you. There where many things
    >> that you could have said were holes in the cheese.”
    >>
    >> Such as?
    >>
    >> Blue Ridge Captain Trueheart Brown himself is on record as having said to
    >> the men…”We need a piece of cheese. This is just one BIG HOLE”… but I
    >> wonder what ‘many things’ Blue Ridge Hotshot Robert is, himself, suggesting
    >> were ‘holes’ that day.
    >>‘
    >> Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert’ also said…
    >>
    >> “After talking threw it and knowing several of them
    >> as well as going to over a dozen of the funerals.”
    >>
    >> ‘Talking through it’ with WHO?
    >>
    >> It appears obvious that ‘Robert’ is not just someone suddenly came out near the
    >> one year anniversary and is suddenly ‘revealing’ that he has a lot of evidence.
    >>
    >> He appears to be saying that a LOT of ‘other people’ knew all about
    >> it and he was ‘talking through it’ with them shortly after the incident.

    >> On August 30, 2014 at 8:48 am, Bob Powers replied…
    >>
    >> A possible— Could he have been the main camera man for BR?
    >> Going over all his pictures and video with his boss Frisby?
    >> and the information is being Shut down by FS and not released to
    >> the media? it is how ever in the investigation reports just redacted
    >> under freedom of information act to release or additional investigation
    >> unless legally done with lawyers.

    Mr. Powers…

    I actually DOUBT that this Blue Ridge Hotshot who was only identifying himself as ‘Robert’ over at Wildfire Today could have ended up being the ‘main camera man’ for Blue Ridge and the one ‘collecting’ everyone else’s pictures and videos… and then ‘going over them with Frisby’.

    Here would be my own personals reasons for ‘doubting’ that.

    Once the PUBLIC ‘Resource Order’ document came online for the Yarnell Hill Fire… only then could we finally see all the NAMES of the Blue Ridge Hotshots who had become ‘Arizona Forestry’ 1099 contractors on June 30, 2013.

    There is only ONE Blue Ridge Hotshot who was there that day with a first named of ‘Robert’.

    That would be ‘Robert Manry’… PUBLIC Resource Order C-3.17

    From “J- Resource Orders” document…

    Order for Blue Ridge IHC team…

    C-3 – 06/29/13 1819 PNT Crew, Type 1 – Blue Ridge IHC –
    REPORT TO YARNELL AZ AT 0600 6/30/13

    Individual Resource Orders for ALL Blue Ridge crew members…

    C-3.01 – CREW BOSS (CRWB) Frisby, Brian Harold Salvatore (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.02 – CREW BOSS (CRWB) Brown, Rogers T (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.03 – FFT1 ( SQUAD BOSS ) – Fuller, Travis (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.04 – FFT1 ( SQUAD BOSS ) – Ball, Cory J (AZFDC)
    C-3.05 – FFT1 ( SQUAD BOSS ) – Gordon, Michael (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.06 – FFT2 – Schmitt, Greg J (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.07 – FFT2 – Jansen, Erik (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.08 – FFT2 – DeSoto, Nicholas D (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.09 – FFT2 – Gamble, Ronald R (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.10 – FFT2 – McCord, Ian (AZFDC)
    C-3.11 – FFT2 – Brownlee, Rhys (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.12 – FFT2 – Trahin, Erik T (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.13 – FFT2 – Hiett, Rory (AZFDC)
    C-3.14 – FFT2 – Trahin, William (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.15 – FFT2 – Papich, Jonathan (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.16 – FFT2 – Feist, Orion (AZFDC)
    C-3.17 – FFT2 – MANRY, ROBERT (AZFDC)
    C-3.18 – FFT2 – Quiroga, Juan C (AZ-FDC)
    C-3.19 – FFT2 – Cancelled UTF
    C-3.20 – FFT2 – Ward, Brendan (AZ-FDC)

    I believe the ‘commenter’ over at Wildfire Today was ‘most likely’ this Robert Manry fellow. It would be VERY unlikely that if any other Blue Ridge Hotshot was there making that PUBLIC comment and was trying to totally HIDE his real identify… that he would end up using a first-name handle of some one-and-only OTHER Blue Ridge Hotshot crew member whose name happens to be ‘Robert’.

    So I think that really WAS Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert Manry’ and he just simply thought that by only using his own first name no one would be able to really identify him.

    If THAT is true… then it is VERY unlikely this ‘Robert Manry’ would have been given the important job of ‘collecting’ all the pictures and videos related to the Yarnell tragedy from the other Blue Ridge Hotshot Crew Members.

    Robert Manry was a NEWBIE to the ‘Blue Ridge Hotshots’.

    Manry appears to have been a firefighter usually based in Texas, ( with a home town listed of Rio Hondo, Texas ) and he only joined the Blue Ridge Hotshots for their 2013 season on May 9, 2013 ( shortly before Yarnell ).

    That is just 52 days ( 1 month, 21 days ) before the Yarnell tragedy.

    So while it still looks very much like Blue Ridge Hotshot Ian McCord might have been doing some ‘collecting’ from the other Hotshots ( since many of the filenames in his own SAIT folder appear to be items from other BR Hotshots just ‘dumped’ into his own submission to the SAIT )… it is very unlikely that this ‘Robert’ person posting at Wildfire Today about his OWN large ‘collection’ of pictures and videos could have been Ian McCord, for the reasons stated above.

    So I think this Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert Manry’ is actually talking about a lot of pictures and videos ( and possibly even more background radio traffic captures? ) that HE has from Sunday, June 30, 2013 that simply haven’t been seen yet. Maybe not even by the SAIT or ADOSH.

    There was no ‘Manry’ submissions folder in either the SAIT’s or ADOSH’s FOIA / FOIL release(s).

    ** MORE ABOUT BLUE RIDGE HOTSHOT ‘ROBERT MANRY’…

    The information above about ‘Robert Manry’ still being a NEWBIE to Blue Ridge on June 30, 2013 comes from his own totally PUBLIC postings online.

    Robert Manry’s PUBLIC Facebook page is HERE…

    https://www.facebook.com/robert.manry

    In his own totally PUBLIC Facebook ‘Timeline’ postings… Manry himself talks about leaving Texas on May 3, 2013 and then joining up with the Blue Ridge Hotshots on May 9, 2013 ( shortly before Yarnell ).

    Here are just some of Manry’s own totally PUBLIC comments about this…

    Robert J Manry – May 3, 2013 near Eustace, TX
    So I left for Blue Ridge Arizona for couple months. And well on the way out there A truck passed me with a pair of balls hanging off the back receiver hitch like everyone has seen. And then it hit me. What if I just hang my wife’s purse back there. Bet y’all have not seen that — with Melissa Manry.

    Robert J Manry – May 9, 2013
    So i made it to blue ridge AZ and well it did not take to long for them to put a hurtting on me. The other morning we went on a crew run that had some good hills in it and it was a bump run… That is where we run in a line and then pass a ball from person to person to the back and when it gets to the last person they sprint it to the front. Not to bad you say, except it was for 12 or so miles. Needless to say everone was hurting for the next few days. I have to say it was very tough specialy when we are at 7000 feet and i just came from 300. Any how they keep saying that pain is weakness leaving the body well if that is the truth then i have a hole lot of weakness stored up

    Robert J Manry – May 30, 2013 near Lufkin, TX
    So life is full of choices and with ever choice there are reactions and well in one of my most resent choice I decided to be on a hot shot crew for the summer. Now the reasons to go on the crew out weighed the reasons to stay at least at the time. Well it has been almost a month now and it has felt like forever and I miss my wonderful wife more and more every day. I got to face time her today for over an hour and it was freaking awesome. But while talking to her and seeing her face I realized something very important. That I have to be one of the luckiest guy alive to have woman as strong as Melissa who can maintain all the things that I used to do as well work and deal with being home alone. Melissa I love You so Much and I want everyone to know how important you are in my life and what a amazing wife you are. — with Melissa Manry.

    NOTE: That was his last TEXT posting to his PUBLIC Facebook ‘wall’ prior to July 1, 2013… the day after the tragedy in Yarnell.Robert Manry then apparently posts two PUBLIC messages WHILE the Blue Ridge Hotshots were being ‘demobbed’ that morning after the tragedy. ( the Facebook locations listed after the message dates are only approximate and cannot be taken as accurate ).

    Robert J Manry – July 1, 2013 near Prescott, AZ
    As we all wake… Not a word is spoken Just a strong silence that speaks more than words. The dust has settled the sky’s are mostly clear… We all stand staring at the black mountains in disbelief

    Robert J Manry – July 1, 2013 near Prescott, AZ
    As we head out of town the sound of the tires on the pavement is all we hear… No one speaks. No one smiles… Are emotions are without saying and are hearts are truly broken

    NOTE: On July 3 he posted a link to a Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial page but his next TEXT entry is apparently as the Blue Ridge Hotshots were standing on the side of the road as the GM Hotshots went by in the funeral hearses to the memorial service.

    Robert J Manry – July 7, 2013 near Potato Patch, AZ
    We stand along the road hats in are hands in silence as the fallen pass. There names on each car as it passes… Words don’t come close to describing the pain this town and the fire community are going threw.

    Robert J Manry – July 10, 2013 near Prescott, AZ
    The wind blows stiff and strong for a day that is going to be so long. Today we will stand and ponder as we bury the men we honored. For the hot shots this has been the hardest week of our career… it is what we must do to honor our peers.

    NOTE: Nowhere on his own Facebook page does Manry mention having any ‘pictures’ or ‘videos’ of his own from Sunday, June 30, 2013 and while there are plenty of totally PUBLIC images of himself fighting Wildfires and at other ‘fires’ in Arizona, there are NO pictures or videos in his PUBLIC Photo Albums there on Facebook

    It doesn’t mean they aren’t there… or that he doesn’t have the material he said he did in his Wildfire Today comment. All that means is that he may have set them to ‘totally private’ on Facebook or he never actually posted any of that material to Facebook at all.

    NOTE also that while Manry seemed to actually be posting directly to his PUBLIC Facebook Timeline WHILE the Blue Ridge Hotshots were being ‘demobbed’ from Yarnell the morning after the Tragedy… he, himself, makes no mention of anyone telling all of them to sit down and write their own ‘Unit Logs’ about the events of the previous day before ‘leaving’ Yarnell.

    So we still don’t know if one of the 13 Blue Ridge Unit logs that were belatedly released by the SAIT on February 27, 2014 actually belongs to Robert Manry.

    There are a few more interesting PUBLIC links with more information about Robert Manry. They will be posted as ‘replies’ to this comment in order to observe the ‘one clickable link per posting’ rule.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup… more totally PUBLIC information on Blue Ridge Hotshot Robert Manry…

      Robert Manry’s PUBLIC PeekYou page…

      http://www.peekyou.com/robert_manry/29455125

      PeekYou PUBLIC Bio…

      31-year-old Robert Joseph Manry lives in Pollok, Texas.
      He is a 2001 graduate of Rio Hondo High School and he works
      as a Wildland Fire Fighter. His favorite TV shows are Ufc and Csi
      Shows. His favorite films are Final Destination and Joe Dirt.
      On the web, Robert (also) goes by the (online) alias manry21.

      • Bob Powers says

        WTKTT–
        If you go to Roberts statements something dose not fit if he was a first year HS he dose not sound like that.
        He knows the crew and they were not risk takers. HOW?
        He would have made the same decisions?
        He talks like he has been there before, not like a first year crewman.
        Maybe you got the wrong Robert. Not any where near his real name. Being on BR he would have had very little contact with GM They were not risk takers. Where dose he get that from unless it is a more long time crewman with BR?????

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          I don’t think there’s any doubt that the PUBLIC pages listed above belong to the same ‘Robert Manry’ that joined the Blue Ridge Hotshots for THAT 2013 season on May 9, 2013… and is also the same Robert Manry listed in the BR Crew Manifest for that day.

          I also don’t think he was a ‘first year’ WFF. That’s what his job listing was down in Texas and some PUBLIC pictures on both his Facebook and MySpace pages show him in full Hotshot-style Nomex shirt and pants fighting various fires. One of his ‘videos’ also shows him riding back to a base camp in a helicopter.

          I think what his comments above are saying is that this was simply his first season with Blue Ridge. That’s all.

          By NEWBIE… what I meant was that he was VERY ‘new to THEM’, and so I don’t think after just 51 days with that established Hotshot Crew he would have been given the ‘trusted’ assignment of collecting everyone’s pictures and videos for a fatal accident they were close to on June 30, 2013.

          Only Robert Manry can eventually say what his involvement was, what ‘pictures and videos’ he is talking about… and whether that material ever made it to the SAIT or to ADOSH.

          • Bob Powers says

            My thought was he was new to BR so how well did he know GM and that they were not risk takers. He was only in Arizona for 51 days. Would be hard to make a judgment on any other crew in Arizona..

            If Robert knew them that well then I was saying you are maybe Identifying the wrong person as the one that made the statements on Wild Fire Today.

            It is like some of the other ID’s that have been made here Robert dose not have to be his real name he could be any of the BR crew.
            Don’t put all your apples in one basket.

            You will follow Elizabeth down that who’s who road.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Bob Powers post on September 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

              >> Mr. Powers said…
              >>
              >> My thought was he was new to BR so how well did he
              >> know GM and that they were not risk takers. He was only
              >> in Arizona for 51 days. Would be hard to make a judgment
              >> on any other crew in Arizona..

              That’s a good question ( and good observation ).

              If that really is the same ‘Robert Manry’ who was posting on Wildfire Today then all I can think of is that he had been WFF for awhile… and that he HAD worked with them ( or knew a lot about GM ) before coming to that May 9, 2013 sign-up with Blue Ridge… OR… he was just regurgitating what he had heard other Blue Ridge guys say about them either before or after the incident.

              >> Mr. Powers also said…
              >>
              >> If Robert knew them that well then I was saying you are
              >> maybe Identifying the wrong person as the one that
              >> made the statements on Wild Fire Today.

              It doesn’t matter whether either ‘Robert’ knew GM that well or not…

              Even without that consideration… I could STILL be mistaken about the Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert Manry’ detailed above being the same ‘Robert’ who said he was a Blue Ridge Hotshot at Wildfire today.

              There still is no ‘direct link’ ( at this time )… but I have already stated my reasons up above for believing they ARE one-and-the-same person.

              >> Mr. Powers also said…
              >>
              >> It is like some of the other ID’s that have been made
              >> here Robert dose not have to be his real name he
              >> could be any of the BR crew.

              Maybe you didn’t read what I wrote up above so let me say it again…

              Of course ‘Robert’ doesn’t have to be his REAL first name… but if it isn’t… then you would have to accept a situation where someone who is a self-professed Blue Ridge Hotshot who is also saying he was THERE in Yarnell would then be purposely using the actual REAL first-name of one of his fellow Blue Ridge Hotshots instead of his own… knowing full well that there is only one ‘Robert’ on the crew and that HE would then be identified with the comments.

              What kind of an asshole would do something like THAT?

              As I said above… I just don’t see that happening… so that is why I believe the person commenting on Wildfire Today was, in fact, Robert Manry himself… the one-and-only ‘Robert’ on the Blue Ridge Hotshot crew.

              >> Mr. Powers also said…
              >>
              >> Don’t put all your apples in one basket.

              No apples here. No baskets.

              I might be right… I might be wrong.

              >> Mr. Powers also said…
              >>
              >> You will follow Elizabeth down that who’s who road.

              Huh?

              ** PHOTOS OF ROBERT MANRY IN YARNELL
              ** ON JUNE 30, 2013

              Regardless of whether the ‘Robert Manry’ detailed above is the same one who posted to Wildfire Today using the name ‘Robert’ and was saying he was a Blue Ridge Hotshot… here are some links to photos in the online Dropbox which further prove that the Robert Manry from Texas detailed above was, in fact, there in Yarnell with the Blue Ridge Hotshots on June 30, 2013.

              ** SAIT FOIA Dropbox – Photos and Videos /
              / Blue Ridge Photos and Videos / Papich Folder

              “IMG_3947.JPG”
              The same Robert Manry shown in the PUBLIC Facebook and MySpace pages above appears to be third FF from left, standing on the ground in-between the BR Crew Carriers, facing the camera with his hands in his pockets.

              “yarnell- Papich 005.JPG”
              That looks like Manry standing on the ground in the bottom left of photo.

              ** Prescott Valley Mud Bogs Video
              ** featuring ALL of the Blue Ridge Hotshots.

              This video was published to YouTube on July 14, 2013, just 14 days after the tragedy.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVLl-oq-hoo

              +13 seconds.
              Robert Manry appears to be in about the center of the front of Hotshots that are ‘kneeling’, fourth from the left ( third FF left of Brian Frisby ) who is kneeling at the extreme left in that front row.

        • Marti Reed says

          Blue Ridge IHC fought alongside Granite Mountain IHC on both the Thompson Ridge Fire in early June and the Doce Fire in middle June.

          So Yarnell wasn’t the first fire Robert would have been on where he would have become familiar with Granite Mountain IHC.

          • Bob Powers says

            I did not say they did not know them being on the same fire as a crew man does not necessarily give you an insight to a crews behavior. Most crew man do not pay much attention to another crew. except in a competitive manor. Supt. and crew bosses tend to know each other because of winter training and communicating with each other. Most Crewman just know its another HS crew and may have a casual conversation with the other.
            I am only saying that Manery might not be the Robert in the statement on wild land Fire. He would have formed a very quick opinion as a first year crewman on BR and in Arizona.

            • Marti Reed says

              Point taken.

              Here’s another possible angle.

              The crew did an aar and, I’m sure, talked amongst themselves about it all. That’s how crews deal with stuff. And they probably talked about it, on and off, for a long time.

              They created their own collective narrative. That could be how Robert “understood” that GM weren’t risk-takers. It was “passed down.”

              I agree with WTKTT that Robert is most likely Robert Manry. If I were a Blue Ridge crew member and posted on Wildfire Today and wanted to not self-identify myself, I would hardly use some other crew member’s identifiable first name.

              Of course we could all be wrong about all of this.

              • Bob Powers says

                Just a thought—Most crew members go by and are referred to by there last name the first name is seldom used or a nickname like Doughnut for McDonough. So some crewman may not have remembered his first name.
                Just my thoughts Robert could be the Robert on the BR crew or another BR crewman.
                In the end probably does not make a lot of difference as he stated he was a BR crewman.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to Bob Powers post on
                  September 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

                  >> Bob Powers said…
                  >>
                  >> Just a thought—Most crew members go by
                  >> and are referred to by there last name the
                  >> first name is seldom used or a nickname
                  >> like Doughnut for McDonough.
                  >>
                  >> So some crewman may not have
                  >> remembered his first name.

                  Sorry. I just can’t ‘buy’ that one.

                  You, yourself, are the one who has gone on and on here about how CLOSE all these Hotshot guys get because of all the time spent together and all the ‘camping out together’ and whatnot.

                  Now you are trying to say there’s a good chance that someone on one of these ‘close as brothers’ crews might not even ever really know ( or can’t remember ) one of his own “brother’s” frickin’ FIRST NAME?

                  ‘Robert’ is not hard to remember… on any planet.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    That’s right I can tell you last name’s of several people I worked with but would not remember there first name. if you offered me a 10 dollar bill.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to Bob Powers post
                      on September 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

                      >> Bob Powers said…
                      >>
                      >> That’s right I can tell you last name’s
                      >> of several people I worked with but
                      >> would not remember there first
                      >> name. if you offered me a 10 dollar bill.

                      Wow. OK.

                      And would these still be people that you consider ‘as close as brothers’?… or are you now saying there are all kinds of different ‘levels’ to this WFF ‘brotherhood’ thing?

                      There are people on ‘the crew’ that really are as close as brothers and not only do you have the politeness to at least know their NAMES… you also know as much about them as you would a REAL brother….

                      …and then there are always just ‘other guys on the crew’ that just get called by nicknames and you never really know who the hell they (really) are?

                      I’m not trying to be antagonistic here.

                      You just introduced a ‘component’ into this WFF ‘brotherhood’ thing that I’m simply struggling to understand.

                      When is a ‘fire brother’ really a ‘fire brother’?

                      When you actually take the time to even ask him ( and remember ) both of his names?

                    • Bob Powers says

                      It is hard to explain when you call some one by there last name or a nick name that sticks in your memory when you run into them a few years later that last name or nick name is prevalent in your memory. Those that you work with for 2 or 3 years generally become closer and you tend to remember there first names. when you become a supervisor most you remember full names because you are filling out time slips and crew lists with full names.
                      It seemed to be on crews you could have more than one person with the same name and so we always used last names. The only time that did not work is if you had brothers on the same crew thus the nick names.
                      While you learned a lot about them and were together a lot you used the last name so much it became the most prevalent when first names are seldom or never used the identity becomes the last name. which is the first recognition that comes to you when you meet again.
                      I guess those that are thought to be formal would have a hard time with this form of recognition but it is common among 20 to 30 man crews. That change in members yearly you could see a 4 to 6 new crewman each year. so some came and went others stayed several years 2 to 5 normally. I don’t know if that explains it I never really thought about it till you asked it may be a fall out from the military not sure it was part of the culture when I started.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                >> Marti wrote…
                >>
                >> Of course we could all be wrong about all of this.

                Yes. It is merely ‘interesting’ that there was only ONE person with a first name of ‘Robert’ who was there with Blue Ridge that day… and that this person who called himself ‘Robert’ at Widlfire Today *seemed* to be admitting he has a LOT of pictures and video ( and background radio captures? ) that might not have been seen or heard by anyone yet.

                There is still a chance whoever this ‘Robert’ was that was posting to Wildfire Today could just be bullshitting everyone and he is no more a Blue Ridge Hotshot than I am a Russian astronaut.

                Calvin asked him some questions.
                He never responded.

                IAOI ( If And Only If ) the ‘guess’ is right that the ‘Robert’ that posted to Wildfire Today is, in fact, Robert Manry… all I can say is…

                Hey Robert… talk about what you know and find a way to release the evidence you have, buddy.

                The FAMILIES of these men whose funerals you say you attended ( and you are so interested in honoring ) WANT you to do that.

  18. mike says

    The “news” in John’s article today is clearly the extra detail about the rumored disagreement between Steed and Marsh during the move (Marsh asked Steed to move 3 times, was rebuffed 3 times and then Marsh issued an order). If true, a very explosive revelation. The trouble is this whole “argument” thing right now has no concrete evidence behind it. No one person has come forward to vouch for hearing the audio and identified themselves. We are speculating on something we cannot verify in any way, shape or form at this time. Obviously Bob’s contact is not publicly identified and appears not to have first-hand knowledge of the argument itself, only the existence of some audio/video. I am not saying this is made up out of whole cloth, but until more evidence is seen, the possibility is there. And there are a lot of people out there that would benefit
    from Marsh looking as culpable as possible – and showing him to have ordered his crew against their wishes accomplishes that. Multimillion dollar lawsuits can trigger some desperate behavior. I just want to see some more facts before this horrible condemnation of Marsh sticks forever.

    • Bob Powers says

      I agree I wish I had more and the information would surface from those who have the facts. A bad investigation just gets worse.

            • Bob Powers says

              First remember I said there were 2 different pieces of information on the argument.
              1. The video/audio is in a family members hands.
              2. The fire fighter that herd the argument on GM Crew net. They turned in a written statement into the SAIT.
              Not McDonough, maybe a BR Crewman or some one else that was monitoring GM?
              So there is 2 pieces of info out there that compliment each other one would be enough. If one is already evidence the written statement, then the other would confirm the statement.

              An interesting note no one from the family has attacked this info as untrue. Or stated there is a video.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                I think ( at this time, anyway ) there is at least a THIRD piece of ‘information’ that this evidence truly exists… and it is, perhaps, the most important ‘piece’.

                Mike Dudley’s own PUBLIC statement that allegations of this ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed DID happen… and that it was reported to the SAIT by more than just one person.

                He was the US Forestry Service’s Co-Lead of the actual Arizona State Forestry Division’s Special Accident Investigation.

                He had no reason to be ‘making that up’.

                So even though no one seems to know the FULL content of these ‘allegations’ or the ‘evidence’ related to them…

                …I think it’s a pretty safe bet to believe this evidence DOES exist… and that Arizona Forestry still at least has that original (uredacted) ‘written statement’ sitting in their filing cabinet.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Followup… a slight mis-use of the King’s English up above.

                  I did NOT mean to imply that Mike Dudley has stated, in PUBLIC, that the argument DID take place.

                  What I meant was… Mike Dudley has absolutely admitted in PUBLIC that that the ALLEGATIONS regarding that argument WERE made to the SAIT itself… and by more than one person.

                  Dudley is not saying it ( the argument ) DID happen.

                  Dudley is only definitely admitting that the ‘allegations WERE made’ ( which now matches the other evidence which has emerged ).

                  I think that is still a crucial ‘piece of information’ that the evidence itself does, in fact, EXIST.

                  Dudley just says they ( the SAIT ) couldn’t ‘validate’ these (multiple) ‘allegations’… but don’t forget that Dudley and the SAIT folks are the same ones who couldn’t even get the MacKenzie and Parker photos into the right ‘sequence’ and ‘timeframe’… so their inability to ‘validate’ anything might have still been just a matter of incompetence and not the actual lack of evidence.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    For the second in commend to drop allegations that are not justifiable fact is not a good indication of his character or of the quality of the investigation he signed off on. If the allegations lack sufficient evidence then why drop them like a bomb in a general discussion on Yarnell?????? You are right he has a lot more on this topic to revile.

              • mike says

                For argument’s sake, let’s grant that the argument took place and also assume that the story of the 3 refusals followed by an order from Marsh is also true. That raises a whole new set of questions.

                First, if Steed was so convinced of the danger that he turned Marsh’s request down 3 times, why did he not turn down the order? Not easy to do, but he was responsible for 17 other lives.

                Second why was Marsh SO insistent that he continued to badger his captain into doing something Steed thought was risky? Was Marsh being pressured? Or was this some kind of bizarre alpha dog thing between Marsh and Steed bubbling over?

                Finally, no matter how much condemnation you might have for Marsh here, no matter how wrong he might have been, when he goes to join the crew, imagine how much pain he felt looking into their faces. In that circumstance, I have to believe death would have been a blessing.

                • Bob Powers says

                  Mike About the only place I can go with this is it is what I was told I felt the person believable and hoped that the evidence would surface.

                  As far as Marsh I think he felt he was right on what to do and where to move to and wasn’t going to take no for an answer. When the fire was over Steed would have to answer to him was he strong enough to stand up to the boss? I do not know but he did what he was told in this instance. And he to would have been in pain looking into those men’s faces when he could have kept them in the black.

                  If all this surfaces it will be a mess, and McDonough is stuck in the middle.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to mike post September 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm

                  >> mike said…
                  >>
                  >> For argument’s sake, let’s grant that the
                  >> argument took place and also assume that
                  >> the story of the 3 refusals followed by an
                  >> order from Marsh is also true. That raises
                  >> a whole new set of questions.

                  Yes… it does… but in a way they are also the same ‘old’ questions that have been on the table all along.

                  We have ALWAYS known ( via the MacKenzie videos ) that Marsh was now having a SECOND conversation with Steed and talking about Steed’s ‘comfort level’.

                  We don’t hear any outright ‘arguing’ in the MacKenzie video… but it’s also been established that in WFF land… when someone starts asking you about your ‘comfort level’ there’s only one thing that can mean.

                  That person wants you to DO something.

                  Marsh also says to Steed “That’s why I called you BEFORE… to ask about your comfort level”.

                  So Christopher MacKenzie gave us that little ‘glimpse’ into the SECOND time that day Marsh was trying to engage in a ‘comfort level’ discussion with Steed.

                  Maybe this ‘argument’ being generally referred to that might have spanned at least 3 radio calls was not an ‘argument’ on ALL of the radio calls.

                  Maybe only ONE of them could have been construed as a full blown argument and it happened just AFTER what MacKenzie captured in his video(s).

                  >> mike also said…
                  >>
                  >> First, if Steed was so convinced of the danger
                  >> that he turned Marsh’s request down 3 times,
                  >> why did he not turn down the order? Not easy
                  >> to do, but he was responsible for 17 other lives.

                  Even if we could someday hear this supposed ‘recording’ of all of that… we will probably still never know the answer to that question…

                  …but it sure would help to know what was said.

                  Even without such a recording… I still believe Brendan knows ‘what was actually said’.

                  >> mike also said…
                  >>
                  >> Second why was Marsh SO insistent that he
                  >> continued to badger his captain into doing
                  >> something Steed thought was risky?
                  >> Was Marsh being pressured? Or was this
                  >> some kind of bizarre alpha dog thing
                  >> between Marsh and Steed bubbling over?

                  Again… unless we ever hear something in a recording like “But OPS really wants us down there, Jesse!” or Brendan testifies to hearing anything of that nature… we will also never know those answers, either.

                  As far as the ‘alpha dog’ thing goes… I don’t believe ANYONE ever took a good look ( or searched for any real testimony or evidence ) at the actual relationship between Marsh and Steed.

                  Obviously Steed met Marsh’s strict ( almost unusual ) ‘moral requirements’ for Captain since that’s what the whole resignation of the previous GM Captain ( Aaron ) was all about.

                  When Steed was appointed temporary Superintendent of GM by Darrell Willis following Marsh’s bike accident ( even though Willis knew full well that Steed was not actually fully ‘qualified’ or ‘ready’ to be GM SUP ) and then Steed just signed that ‘certification’ document that Marsh *might* have been wanting to keep in his back pocket to play ‘poker’ with Willis and City of Prescott with over Caldwell’s benefits… that MIGHT have pissed Marsh off. We don’t know. No one really bothered to look into all of that, either.

                  Marsh had been told specifically by his boss, Darrell Willis, to start ‘phasing himself out’ and to start ‘mentoring’ Steed to become GM SUP. What part that might have played or what damage that directive from Willis might have done to their ‘relationship’… we also don’t know. Again… not enough interviewing done with those that remain alive to be sure about that.

                  >> mike also said…
                  >>
                  >> Finally, no matter how much condemnation
                  >> you might have for Marsh here, no matter
                  >> how wrong he might have been, when he goes
                  >> to join the crew, imagine how much pain he
                  >> felt looking into their faces. In that
                  >> circumstance, I have to believe death would
                  >> have been a blessing.

                  None of us have any idea whether any of that is true not.

                  Marsh might have been one of those kinds of individuals we have all met in our lives that never even once ever entertains even the slightest possibility in their minds that they could ever be *wrong* about something.

                  Besides… I actually don’t think there was even any TIME for anyone to even curse themselves for any decision that had been made leading up to the predicament they got into.

                  Once that predicament was fully realized… I think the only ‘thoughts’ in anyone’s mind was what needed to be done to survive… right until the last breath.

                  • mike says

                    Bob is right, Jesse Steed would have felt that same pain.

                    When Amanda Marsh learned there was a single survivor, she prayed it was not her husband, because she knew that he could not have lived with that. Like all of us, Eric Marsh had flaws. And maybe those flaws, in a very real way, contributed to what happened at Yarnell Hill. But Eric Marsh was still a decent man. And I am certain he was utterly devastated when he realized what was happening to his crew.

                    • Bob Powers says

                      And I hope no one thinks different.
                      It was a bad choice based on what ever reasoning.
                      Who he was personally has nothing to do with the decision made on Yarnell. Leaders can and do make mistakes or errors in judgment. For many reasons some have to live with them.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to Bob Powers post
                      on September 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

                      >> Bob Powers said…
                      >>
                      >> Leaders can and do make mistakes or
                      >> errors in judgment. For many reasons
                      >> some have to live with them.

                      And good leaders in hostile / dangerous workplaces / environments KNOW that.

                      For an industry that seems to pride itself on ‘acting just like the military’… you would think they would be following the same guidelines for the appointment of ‘leadership’.

                      If someone is going to be ‘ordering people around’ in hostile/dangerous environments and even asking them to do very dangerous and risky things… but then turns out to be someone who is unable to stomach the possibility that while they are happily doing that ‘ordering people around’… someone… someday… might get hurt or killed because of their ‘orders’…

                      …then that person doesn’t have any business ‘ordering people around’ in those dangerous environments in the first place.

                      As the real military knows… if you are someone who is going to go and eat your gun the first time someone in your platoon dies because of an order you gave… then it is highly unlikely you will ever be promoted to a position where that might happen. You stay a ‘grunt’… and you TAKE orders… not GIVE them.

                      Maybe even what Amanda Marsh said about Eric is just one more piece of proof about the ‘story’ that seems to emerge from Marsh’s own personnel file.

                      Eric Marsh might have been great in the classroom ( everyone thought so ) and he might have been the ideal person to help Duane Steinbrink start a Wildland Fire Division for a small municipality…

                      …but as far as being the actual in-the-field LEADER of a Type 1 Hotshot crew… maybe he just wasn’t really EVER the ‘right choice’ for THAT position of authority.

                      Just 57 days before the tragedy… Darrell Willis himself seemed to have come to that same conclusion. He specifically asked Marsh to start ‘stepping down’ as GM SUP and to ( right away ) actively train/mentor Ex-marine platoon leader Jesse Steed to REPLACE him.

                      Both Duane Stenibrink and Darrell Willis had been trying for years to ‘mold’ Marsh into who they felt he needed to be in order to both maintain his position AND eventually move-up-in-rank… and they had both cut Eric a lot of breaks over those years… but maybe Willis finally realized it was time to have someone better qualified as an in-the-field leader-of-men in charge of Granite Mountain.

                    • mike says

                      WTKTT – Are you seriously suggesting that the fact that Marsh would have been effed up by the loss of his entire crew made him unfit to lead? Are you nuts?? This was an UNPRECEDENTED event in hotshot history. Any sane leader would have been screwed up. This is not the military, there you order people to do things KNOWING some will die that very day.

                      Brian Frisby’s own mother posted on the WFF Foundation page that her son has struggled greatly, and it wasn’t even his crew! And by all accounts he is a squared-away leader.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to mike post on
                      September 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm

                      >> mike said…
                      >> WTKTT – Are you seriously suggesting
                      >> that the fact that Marsh would have been
                      >> effed up by the loss of his entire crew
                      >> made him unfit to lead? Are you nuts??

                      YOU are the one that went to ‘crazy town’ pretending you knew exactly what Eric Marsh might have been ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’ in the moments before he died.

                      THAT, itself, is ‘nuts’.

                      You have no way of knowing such things.

                      YOU are also the one who started quoting Amanda Marsh with more ‘crazy talk’ about how a wife might be glad her husband had died because of how ‘badly’ he might have felt if he had lived… and that she had actually been praying to some deity or the other that her own husband was dead, not alive.

                      The suggestion of him ‘not being able live with that’ also tends to imply that Marsh might have eaten his gun over this, if he had lived.

                      So YOU brought this particular thread to ‘crazy town’. I’m just on the street-corner there with ya tellin’ what I think.

                      So to answer your question… YES… I am saying that if Marsh was the kind of guy who might have ‘eaten his gun’ over the fact that people died from orders he was dishing out in a dangerous environment… then he shouldn’t have been giving those orders in the first place.

                      >> mike also said…
                      >>
                      >> This was an UNPRECEDENTED event
                      >> in hotshot history. Any sane leader
                      >> would have been screwed up.

                      I’m wasn’t talking about just ’emotionally devastated’ and/or ‘screwed up’.

                      YOUR statements up above were implying ( via the man’s own wife ) that he “wouldn’t have been able to live with it” and would have eaten his gun, or something.

                      THAT is BEYOND ‘effed up’ or ‘screwed up’.

                      That indicates ( apparently from someone who knew him well ) that he might not have been ever fundamentally prepared to face the consequences of his own actions in his own chosen (dangerous) profession and maybe shouldn’t have been in that position of authority in the first place.

                      >> mike also said…
                      >>
                      >> This is not the military, there you order
                      >> people to do things KNOWING some
                      >> will die that very day.

                      When you chose the routes for the patrols… they haven’t given you a map showing you where the IEDs are. Sometimes they are going to be on the roads YOU chose… sometimes not.

                      Sometimes people die. Sometimes not.

                      You are never SURE about it… but your profession demands that you be PREPARED for it to happen at any moment.

                      In that regard… WFF really isn’t any different from the military.

                      You are choosing to be a ‘leader’ in a profession with a high mortality rate.

                      Be PREPARED to deal with that… or find another line of work.

                      >> mike also said…
                      >>
                      >> Brian Frisby’s own mother posted on
                      >> the WFF Foundation page that her
                      >> son has struggled greatly, and it
                      >> wasn’t even his crew! And by all
                      >> accounts he is a squared-away leader.

                      I am sure Brian Frisby has been totally affected by what happened in Yarnell.

                      But something also tells me Brian Frisby is able to ‘live with it’ and isn’t going to be eating his own gun anytime soon… as YOU suggested might have been the case with Marsh…. if he had lived.

                      Speaking of ‘living with it’…

                      I honestly hope that Brendan McDonough is OKAY these days. He has chosen a VERY hard path for himself and I certainly hope HE can ‘live with it’.

                      Even the families of his ‘fire brothers’ are now starting to speak out against him and criticize him for his apparent decision(s) to remain silent about some things he seems to know.

                      I don’t think that’s the way Brendan thought it was going to ‘go down’ when he made those choice(s).

                    • mike says

                      Those were Ms. Marsh’s words in the PDC June 30th of this year. Not being able to live with it might simply have been a turn of a phrase.

                      My description of Marsh’s feelings is the same as at least a couple of authors of the narrative articles mentioned. And they were former hotshots or military guys, I believe. You don’t always have to have an audio or a video to know something. And I think his wife probably knew him quite well.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to mike post
                      on September 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

                      >> mike said
                      >>
                      >> Those were Ms. Marsh’s words in the
                      >> PDC June 30th of this year. Not being
                      >> able to live with it might simply have
                      >> been a turn of a phrase.

                      I understand… but if Ms. Marsh meant to say it would have been very, very hard for Eric to ‘live with’ the realization that men had died under his command… I would have expected her to say…

                      “It would have been very, very hard for Eric to live with that”.

                      That’s not what she said. She said…

                      “Eric would NOT have been able to live with that”.

                      That implies something.

                      It implies there was a high likelihood he would have ended up eating his gun, or something.

                      >> mike also said…
                      >>
                      >> My description of Marsh’s feelings is the
                      >> same as at least a couple of authors of
                      >> the narrative articles mentioned. And
                      >> they were former hotshots or military
                      >> guys, I believe. You don’t always have to
                      >> have an audio or a video to know
                      >> something. And I think his wife probably
                      >> knew him quite well.

                      Okay. Whatever.

                      I may often speculate about a LOT of things that happened in Yarnell that day in an effort to try and get to more detail about what HAPPENED that day…

                      …but I cannot ( and will not ) speculate about how any man might have felt or what he might have been thinking in the last moments of his life.

                      I don’t think anybody can / should… but that’s just me.

                      Here comes my bus… I’m off this street corner in crazy-town.

                    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                      WTKTT,

                      All the ‘reply to comment’ buttons down below in this thread have disappeared, so I’m bring this up to the first one available.

                      In regards to your assumption about Marsh ‘eating his gun’ below, you are way off base.

                      Saying someone ‘just couldn’t live with something’ DOESN’T MEAN they are going to eat their gun. It ALSO means that it could be something that’s very, very hard to live with, period, no matter which way it is expressed.

                      You need to dial it back a ways on this issue, if not all the way.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to TTWARE post on
                      September 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm

                      >> TTWARE said…
                      >>
                      >> WTKTT,
                      >>
                      >> In regards to your assumption about
                      >> Marsh ‘eating his gun’ below, you are
                      >> way off base.
                      >>
                      >> Saying someone ‘just couldn’t live with
                      >> something’ DOESN’T MEAN they are
                      >> going to eat their gun. It ALSO means
                      >> that it could be something that’s very,
                      >> very hard to live with, period, no matter
                      >> which way it is expressed.
                      >>
                      >> You need to dial it back a ways on this
                      >> issue, if not all the way.

                      Consider me dialed ( ALL the way ).

                      As I said above… the bus arrived and picked me up on the corner of this ‘crazy town’ discussion.

                      I have a capacity for speculation that is larger than most… but I’m not going to do what mike did and start guessing what a man might have been feeling and thinking right before burning to death… or what he might or might not have been able to ‘live with’ if he survived.

                      Back to looking at EVIDENCE.

  19. rich says

    we already have the video its the one were marsh says ‘ that’s why i asked what ur comfort level was’? plus if marsh and steed disagreed so what does it matter. there is enuf drama without looking 4 more.

  20. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to calvin post on August 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    >> calvin said…
    >>
    >> Ok. So it appears that B33 was NOT speaking with /to Cordes (SPGS1) at
    >> the beginning of the helmet cam.

    Yep. That’s pretty much a given now.

    As you pointed out… Cordes has testified that he had already LOST his ability to transmit on the A2G channel. He may still have been able to HEAR things being said on that channel in the deployment timeframe but he couldn’t have been ‘conversing’ with Burfiend in Bravo 33.

    >> calvin also said…
    >> Why would B33 then callout to SPGS1 immediately following the partial
    >> conversation we hear?

    Good question. There is no doubt that something that took place in that conversation that was only partially captured at the start of the Helmet Cam made Burfiend feel like he needed to talk with Cordes RIGHT AWAY since he ends that transmission with…

    “Break. Structure Group One, Bravo 33 on Air-To-Ground”.

    He doesn’t even take a breath between ‘”Break” ( the end of the conversation with whoever he was reporting to when the Helmet-Cam video begins ) and then his immediate attempt to talk to Gary Cordes with “Structure Group One, Bravo 33 on Air-To-Ground”.

    SIDENOTE: I guess this also proves that when Gary Cordes had already lost the ability to call Bravo 33 directly because his BK radio had taken a dump… and Cordes had to call OPS1 Todd Abel and get HIM to relay the “please drop at will” directive to Air Attack… that Abel did not pass on the information that SPGS1 had lost his ability to transmit over A2G. If he had… then ( theoretically ) John Burfiend in B33 would have known it was even useless ( at 1639 ) to try and talk directly to SPGS1 Cordes. Burfiend would have been looking for someone to act as ‘relay’ for whatever he wanted to talk about with directly to Cordes.

    A good guess as to WHY Burfiend suddenly had the need to talk to Cordes might be because whoever Burfiend was having that conversation with at the start of the Helmet-Cam video had already told Burfiend that it was SPGS1 who most probably knew the specific location of this ‘Boulder Springs Ranch’ thing AND ( perhaps ) exactly how to get to it and where Granite Mountain might have really been at that moment.

    >> calvin also said…
    >> The partial conversation at the beginning of the helmet cam video is
    >> concerning Granite Mountain. While we do not know 100%, the evidence
    >> strongly suggests that.

    Well… YES.. it DOES… considering that the only part we can hear is Burfiend apparently telling someone they will do the best they can to get some retardant dropped into that ‘valley’ but he’s not promising good results because of ‘all the smoke’.

    What VALLEY?

    What ‘out there’ ( on the south side of the fire ) would have constituted a VALLEY other than ( perhaps ) that fuel-filled box canyon.

    There were certainly ‘mounds’ ( and rock-piles ) there near the western edge of town but the closest place to the edge of town that would constitute an actual VALLEY was, in fact, that fuel filled box canyon.

    >> calvin also said…
    >>
    >> Following that conversation, B33 immediately calls to SPGS1. SPGS1 was on the
    >> south side of the fire and ultimately admitted to knowing GM’s location.
    >> SPGS1 was not the direct supervisor of DIVA., right?

    Right… but even OPS1 Todd Abel KNEW that SPGS1 Gary Cordes was the one who had taken Eric Marsh and Granite Mountain out to the Sesame area that morning ( since Cordes knew the roads ) and that Cordes was the one who had ‘briefed’ Marsh about ‘predetermined escape routes’ and ‘safety zones’ that morning.

    >> Why would B33 want to contact Cordes?

    Because Todd Abel ( or whoever Burfiend is speaking with at the start of that Helmet-CAm video ) might have just TOLD him to?

    >> calvin also wrote…
    >>
    >> The Prescott 3 pulled their trucks to a stop and got out and started videoing
    >> with the helmet cam because of what was being transmitted over air to ground,
    >> and possibly other channels.

    We still don’t know when the off-the-radar ‘Prescott 3’ ( Clawson, Hulburd, Yowell ) first arrived at the St. Joseph Shrine parking lot OR, indeed, WHY they were there and/or WHO had told them to be there… and for WHAT reason?

    None of the ‘Prescott 3’ were ever interviewed… as far as we know.

    Only Aaron Hulburd can say WHY he chose that exact moment to turn his Helmet-Cam on for ( apparently? ) that one-and-only time that day.

    Total coincidence that he happened to capture most of the ‘Granite Mountain is in trouble’ radio traffic… or was there more of that kind of radio traffic preceding the Helmet-Cam video that we still just don’t know about?

    >> calvin also said…
    >>
    >> I really find it interesting that Abel, and Musser (Operations) are heard at the
    >> beginning of the helmet cam video, but B33 wanted /needed to talk to SPGS1.

    Again… B33 might not have WANTED to talk to SPGS1 Cordes at all… but either Musser or Abel ( or whoever B33 is conversing with at the start of that Helmet-Cam video ) might have TOLD him to because Burfiend MIGHT have been already been trying to pinpoint GM’s location and someone thought that Cordes might be able to help him with that.

    Guess who probably knows what the REST of that conversation was about ( including call-signs involved ) just before the Helmet Cam begins?

    Aaron Hulburd. The one who shot the damn video in the first place.

    His radio was going FULL BLAST when the video starts.

    How could Aaron Hulburd NOT have heard the first part of that conversation or have NOT known was was being discussed and why B33 now needed to talk to SPGS1 Gary Cordes?

    This just fits into an ongoing theme of mine about WHO really knows a LOT of the answers concerning these ‘partial radio captures’.

    In most cases ( Like Aaron Hulburd and his own Helmet-Cam video… and Eric Panebaker and the people standing there with him for all of these Panebaker captures… and Ian McCord and/or Ronald Gamble for the YARNELL-GAMBLE video, etc, etc. )…

    … the most likely person to know MORE about some of these ‘partial captures’ heard in some of these videos ( including the CALL SIGNS involved ) is the person who was shooting the video and actually HEARING these ( entire ) transmissions as they were happening.

    • calvin says

      So.

      If (and only if) the person conversing with B33 actually tells/advises him (B33) that he should contact SPGS1, which B33 immediately does. It would not be Abel telling him because Abel knew SPGS1 lost the A/G channel. Right? Is it possible that it was Musser? Was he with SPGS1 at this time?

      Also, I am not going to give the link to the Facebook account where the comment was made by one of GM parents. I made a direct inquiry about this picture, but did not get a response. Hopefully, one day we will get to see this image, as it could provide additional information.

      • Bob Powers says

        Living working and talking about the mountains……
        A canyon is a canyon a valley is the bottom of the foot hills that spreads out to the open areas the valley would suggest the area adjacent to the towns possibly including the towns them selves not a Canyon.

        Mountain ridges. draws and canyons or drainages feed into the valley’s the flats open areas at the ending of the foothills.
        Terminology of people who live near or in the mountain areas of the west.
        Valleys —open areas towns cities rural areas near the start of the mountains.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Yes… I suppose anyone in an airplane flying over that area that day who might use the word VALLEY could have been referring to just about any location down there between those two ‘mountain ranges.

          There was a pretty high mountain range just EAST of Highway 89 ( where all the radio and microwave towers were ) and then another ‘mountain range/ridge’ out there to the WEST ( where the high-ridge two-track was ).

          Jut about anything in-between ( including Yarnell and Glen Ilah ) could have been construed to be ‘in the valley’ between those two ranges.

          It is looking less likely that the conversation between Burfiend and SOMEONE ( ?? Who ?? ) captured at the start of the Helmet-Cam video might have been specifically about Granite Mountain’s predicament and more just someone asking for better retardant coverage to protect structures close to town… but it could still go either way, really.

          No one ( Not Burfiend, not Abel, not Musser, not even Cordes ) seems to even mention this crucial direct conversation with Burfiend just seconds before Steed’s first MAYDAY was going to hit the radio.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to calvin post on August 31, 2014 at 6:55 am

        >> calvin wrote…
        >>
        >> So. If (and only if) the person conversing with B33 actually
        >> tells/advises him (B33) that he should contact SPGS1, which
        >> B33 immediately does. It would not be Abel telling him
        >> because Abel knew SPGS1 lost the A/G channel. Right?

        Correct.. unless Abel has just ‘forgot’ about that by that time, or something.

        >> calvin also wrote…
        >>
        >> Is it possible that it was Musser?

        Yes… but come to think of it… wouldn’t Musser have been just as aware that Cordes could not longer TRANSMIT over Air-To-Ground? Musser was WITH Cordes around this time on the side of Highway 89 near Shrine Road.

        Why would Musser even tell Burfiend to call Cordes if Musser knew Cordes wasn’t going to be able to answer him?

        >> calvin also wrote…
        >>
        >> Was he ( Musser ) with SPGS1 at this time?

        According to all available evidenced… Yes. Right there on the side of Highway 89 near Shrine Road.

        So WHO Burfiend was talking to at the start of the Helmet Cam video… about WHAT ( exactly )… and WHY Burfiend wouldn’t even take a breath before ending that conversation and feeling the need to talk immediately ( and directly ) with SPGS1 Gary Cordes remains an important mystery to solve.

        As Mr. Powers just pointed out… when a guy in an airplane flying over that area that day uses the word VALLEY… he could have just been generally referring to that entire are ‘down there’ in-between the mountains that are EAST of Highway 89 and the far western high-ridge… and everything in-between including Yarnell and Glen Ilah.

        Apart from Burfiend himself ( and whoever he was actually talking to ), Aaron Hulburd is probably the BEST person to know what that entire conversation was about but MANY other people must have heard it as well.

        Hulburd’s radio was so loud at the start of the Helmet Cam video that Clawson and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell must have heard the whole thing, too.

        NOTE: Neither Paul Musser nor Todd Abel mention having any kind of conversation like this direct with Burfiend in Bravo 33 just seconds before Steed’s first MAYDAY hit the radio.

        Well.. .SOMEONE was.

        >> calvin also wrote
        >>
        >> Also, I am not going to give the link to the Facebook account
        >> where the comment was made by one of GM parents. I made a
        >> direct inquiry about this picture, but did not get a response.
        >> Hopefully, one day we will get to see this image, as it could
        >> provide additional information.

        Copy that.

  21. Marti Reed says

    A coupla interesting little tiny details I found today.

    I was wondering what was the process/status of the AZState Fire contesting the ADOSH charges/fines. So I was googling back in time.

    I was remembering that in the earlier reports there was mention made that there could be some kind of “conference” in February or March. Then I came across a couple of references regarding a “hearing” that would take place in August. Then I came across a couple of reference that it would be on August 21.

    There hasn’t been any mention of any of this since. Including this month of August. Nothing, nada, nowhere.

    So, going back and digging some more, back to the Prescott Daily Courier from 12/19/13:

    “State Forestry Contests Hotshot Safety Citation”

    http://dcourier55.1upprelaunch.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1&articleID=126566

    Describes the Notice of Contest.

    Then says:

    “The letter requests a review by the Industrial Commission’s Hearing Division.

    Forestry officials said in a news release that they want to present more information to the Industrial Commission Hearing Division, but they didn’t elaborate on what new information they might have.”

    So, there you have it!

    • Marti Reed says

      And a teensy-tiny bit more detail can be found in “Forestry Division Fighting Liability Findings in Yarnell Deaths” on the “East Valley Tribune” website (doesn’t show a date but I’m sure it’s about the same time, December 19-ish)

      http://m.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/capitol_media_services/article_ec9f55b8-68fe-11e3-ab04-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=jqm

      “Fire Division spokeswoman Carrie Dennett would not comment, other than to say that the appeal will afford her agency ‘its first opportunity to present additional information to the Industrial Commission Hearing Division.'”

      So gosh gee wiz, and all.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Well… even if they want to ‘present more evidence’ that it was, perhaps, Marsh and Marsh alone who was responsible for the ‘move’ that day ( such as heretofore unseen videos or testimony )…

        …I don’t think ADOSH is going to change its basic findings.

        It was an ‘unsafe workplace’ being run by the primary employer… the Arizona State Forestry Division… and at the time of the tragedy… Marsh was a 1099 contractor for that same employer.

        The reason it is KEY for them ( Arizona Forestry ) to try and ‘mitigate’ the ADOSH findings is because those findings themselves allow the ‘wrongful death’ claims to exceed the proper threshold needed in order to go beyond the normal ‘Exclusive Remedy’ and ‘Statutory Limitations’ for worker’s compensation claims.

        • Marti Reed says

          The POINT I’m trying to MAKE is that way back in December, the SAIT is STATING, publicly, that it has MORE INFORMATION that it has been SITTING ON. FOIAs be DAMMED!

          But, “Oh, please, ADOSH, we beg of you, let us please release to you all this stuff we’ve been sitting on (including possibly an argument between Marsh and Steed, and who knows what other things) (to protect our system) in order to convince you that we aren’t to blame, they are!”

          Remember this is way back in December.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Yes…. and how much would you like to bet that even now… what they are ‘negotiating’ with ADOSH with is some screwy deal whereby they get to ‘show’ their ‘secret evidence’ to ADOSH… but it doesn’t ever actually enter into their possession so that NO ONE can come after it with from ADOSH, either, with any standard ‘Arizona Open Records’ FOI request OR any kind of FOIL / FOIA.

            They want their cake and to eat it too.

            They probably want to ‘present this evidence’ and somehow get ADOSH to ‘back off’… but they still don’t want anyone to see what they have and they will still play the “we don’t want to upset the families” card.

            Oh… what a tangled web we weave… when first we practice to deceive.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              That wasn’t all just sarcasm up above.

              There actually IS a legitimate ( legal ) path for them to take to try and get ADOSH to look at ‘other evidence they may have’… but still prevent that evidence from officially ‘entering their possession’ so that it would be immediately subject to an FOI request.

              There ARE, in fact, exemptions that agencies are allowed to ‘claim’ for not ever having to release certain things for any Arizona Open Records FOI request…

              …but it is complicated… and it has to be DOCUMENTED that that is what might be taking place.

              They simply know things they don’t want anyone else to know.

              They have always wanted to ‘throw a dance’ but never have to ‘pay the band’.

              They want to LIMIT damages to themselves ( AZFS )…
              but they still want to CONTROL the ‘information’.

              Time will tell if they get their way, or not.

              • Marti Reed says

                Yes. We’re on the same wavelength.

                Love the “throw a dance” without “paying the band” metaphor. Many would, I think, say that’s exactly why, after all the “safety first” public relations, our wildland firefighters are still getting killed at the same rate (very high–compared to structure firefighters and Canadian wildfire fighters) and in all the same ways as ever.

                And I’m additionally wondering if the “approaching” August Hearing (which seems to have been lost or forgotten or misplaced or replaced from the perspective of today August 30) had anything to do with Dudley’s seemingly random tossing out there into the intertubes-universe the “unverified” rumors of the argument.

                I’m on the verge of tweet-messaging Yvonne Wingette Sanchez of AZCentral to ask her if she (who has written about this stuff) knows what happened to that hearing.

                • Bob Powers says

                  I like to class wild land fire accidents a little different……
                  Fighting Fire–Fire injuries and death.
                  Falling snags, rolling rocks. falling down, Chain Saws, All on the Fire line.

                  Other—-Vehicle accidents, Air craft Accidents, Hart attacks, Snake bites, All non Fire Line.

                  Wild Land FF have a higher exposure rate, Nation wide– verses local city county state.
                  Using only Fed statistics is incomplete.
                  There are State County and City Wild Land FF as well they have to be included in the totals.
                  So far this year no Fire Line Fatalities
                  How Many Non Wild Land Fire Fatalities Nation Wide?

          • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

            Marti,

            There are some nuances, which IF they come into play, could explain why certain information has been withheld.

            First, it is not the SAIT which may have been sitting on information since December, it’s the State. The SAIT was disbanded after the issuance of the report.

            The STATE, could have come into the possession of new information at any time, long after the SAIT had disbanded. ASFS staff could have had casual conversations with any number of people over the past year or so, which could have provided them with details that were not in any of the reports.

            IF the FOIA requests were specifically made for all the information which was gathered during the investigations to produce the reports, the State would not have been obligated to release information gathered outside of these investigation processes, including, AFTER those proceses were completed.

            Let’s face it, lot’s of information is exchanged during casual conversations over the course of time. For all we know, that specific information may not YET even be in written format. You can’t FOIA information that’s only in someone’s head.

            Although, I’m certainly not an expert on FOIA requests, I have a feeling that there has to be a certain amount of specificity involved, which the lack there-of, in this particular instance, would create enough wiggle-room for them not to respond to a request.

            Do I think that they released ALL the information they were supposed to with the FOIA requests? NO!!

            Do I think that they have accumulated information from outside the investigation process which they have not released? YES!!

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              >> mike wrote…
              >>
              >> Although, I’m certainly not an expert on FOIA requests,
              >> I have a feeling that there has to be a certain amount of
              >> specificity involved,

              Yes… but ‘general’ requests can also be made.

              It is not possible to make a ‘specific’ request for something when the reason the request is being made is because you don’t even know (yet) what someone may or may not have.

              Example: The FOI requests for the SAIT material itself.

              That was a ‘specific’ request in terms of it asking for ‘all material used in the Arizona State Forestry sponsored Special Accident INvestigation of the Yarnell Incident”… but also ‘general’ in that no one knew what they had yet.

              The GAME that Arizona Forestry then played was to actually then pretend that evidence they might have which didn’t result in any actual entries in the final SAIR report was ‘not used in the investigation’… hence… they didn’t have to release it.

              What Mike Dudley revealed in public on June 20, 2014 is a good example of that GAME they were playing.

              Mike Dudley admit flat-out that ‘they’ ( the SAIT ) received allegations from ‘more than one source’ that Steed and Marsh had an argument about ( in Dudley’s words ) “which way to go from that saddle”.

              Then Dudley says… “But we couldn’t validate that.”

              Apparently, then, the SAIT was performing the ‘mental gymnastics’ necessary to think that any evidence that had been submitted to them that was related to these ‘allegations’ which ended up NOT being ‘validated’ and NOT being used in ‘the investigation’ was automatically exempt from any FOI request.

              In other words… you asked for everything we have that was USED in the investigation. If we couldn’t validate something… then it was technically ‘not used in the investigation’ so Voila… we don’t have to give you all that kind of stuff.

              When someone is fundamentally trying to HIDE things and still attempting to CONTROL the ‘story’ itself… these are the mental gymnastics they will use in the FOI arena.

              >> mike also said…
              >>
              >> which the lack there-of, in this particular
              >> instance, would create enough wiggle-room for them not to
              >> respond to a request.

              You are right. You can’t just submit an FOI request that just says “Tell us everything you know”.

              FOI requests ( and Arizona’s Open Records Laws ) are primarily DOCUMENT related.

              In other words… if you are after ‘reports’ or ‘internal memos’ or even just ’emails’… they still have to be regarding a particular named ‘subject’ and within certain time constraints.

              As much as many people think there SHOULD be… there isn’t going to be another ‘better’ report about the Yarnell Hill Fire coming out of the Arizona State Forestry Division.

              They did that already.

              No one did anything wrong. Not even US. Period. End of story.

              So there certainly isn’t going to be a NEW report from them entitled SAIRU ( Special Accident Investigation Report UPDATE – What We Have Learned Since We Thought We Knew It All ) which, itself, could be the target ‘subject’ for NEW FOI requests.

              Not gonna happen.

              But YOU just hit on the ‘conundrum’ they now face.

              The whole thing didn’t just ‘go away’ once all the bodies were in the ground and all the parades ended… as they planned.

              Not by any means.

              Arizona Forestry failed to recognize the ‘historic’ significance of this incident and how tenacious people can be when they have the feeling that someone is (fundamentally) bullshitting them… especially parents who have just lost their sons and wifes who have just lost their husbands.

              ADOSH found plenty of ‘wrongdoing’… and an ‘unsafe workplace’ being run by AZFS… and FINES were issued accordingly.

              The ADOSH findings then sufficiently ‘lowered the bar’ for the families of the victims to now challenge the existing workmen’s comp ‘statutory limitations’ and ‘Exclusive Remedy’ clauses and go straight for ‘wrongful death’ claims.

              Now AZFS is kinds screwed.

              They now MUST either try to mitgate or defeat the ADOSH findings to again ‘raise the bar’ for any ‘wrongful death’ claims or suits back to the standard ‘stautory limitations’ and ‘Exclusive Remedy’… but that is going to take NEW EVIDENCE.

              However… as much as they might like to or even be trying to arrange… you can’t just say to ADOSH…

              “Meet us at Dunkin’ Donuts and we will just TELL you some things we now know ( or have known all along ) that should enable you to change YOUR conclusions… and don’t bring any tape recorders, either.”

              There will have to be new DOCUMENTS generated… and once those new DOCUMENTS exist… then they CAN be requested with FOI from EITHER Arizona Forestry OR ADOSH ( if they actually allow ADOSH to have copies of them and ‘take possession’
              themselves of the new information ).

              So they really are kinda screwed here.

              If they walk into court with that original ADOSH report still intact and not ‘mitigated’ in any way… they are going to LOSE.

              If they try this ‘please let us show you new evidence so will change your minds’ tacit… now they run the risk of ‘showing all their cards’ and being forced to release the very information they never wanted anyone to see.

              Their best bet really is to just SETTLE this ‘out of court’.

              I still hope that settlement will contain the kind of ‘action items’ that the families have already expressed they would insist on even if a ‘settlement’ is reached… and that would still include the release of more information and a full accounting of not only what happened in Yarnell… but the shenanigans that AZFS was always ‘up to’ in the wake of the tragedy.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Followup… apology.

                My ‘reply’ above was to what TTWARE has and not ‘mike’.
                Total mis-type up there.

    • Marti Reed says

      And, as I was digging around, mostly finding a great deal of NOTHING, I stumbled (as one often does while doing strange Google searches) across another fine little detail.

      In an article from July 02, 2013 (Tuesday) in the LA Times called “Fire’s Pain is Magnified for Residents of Yarnell, Ariz.”

      http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/02/nation/la-na-fire-yarnell-20130703

      The thing that first stuck out to me was this, regarding Wade Ward:

      “Ward said officials were still reviewing radio traffic but it appeared that McDonough did what he was required to do. ‘He left his post based on the protocol,’ Ward said. ‘He was doing his job.'”

      Officials were reviewing radio traffic? By Tuesday? What officials? When? Using what?

      And, given all the convoluted conversations we’ve had here about radios
      and whether or not anything can be “recorded” (or something) enough to be later “reviewed” and have pretty much ended up thinking there’s no there there,

      And it’s important to remember those Granite Mountain radios were all still sitting out there on that Deployment Site when this article was written.

      OK, thinking out loud. It could easily be the case that the “radio traffic” being “reviewed” was the dispatch logs, which is pretty much the only record that exists (in the public realm) of what could be considered “radio traffic.” Maybe.

      But that still begs the question, who was “reviewing” this “radio traffic”?

      Above this little tiny detail there are three paragraphs giving a narrative of McDonough. The third being:

      “When the fire reached that point, McDonough radioed to the hotshot captain that he planned to leave his position because of the conditions. He headed down the hill, back to a bulldozer line where he met up with a fire captain from a different hotshot team and turned around to reevaluate. The fire was moving so fast that it had tailed him.”

      So, obviously a whole lot of “investigating” was going on before the SAIT officially began the investigation on Wednesday July 3. But we aren’t, apparently supposed to know who was doing that investigating. And what they were collecting. Wink Wink.

      Oh, except for it does say:

      “Federal investigators arrived Tuesday in Prescott to examine such specifics as the direction from which the flames overran the hotshot crew and whether firefighters were following standard protocol.”

      • Marti Reed says

        Oh yowza!.

        (Still thinking out loud here.)

        Wade Ward is connecting “reviewing radio traffic” with the McDonough narrative (“Ward said officials were still reviewing radio traffic but it appeared that McDonough did what he was required to do.”). Dispatch logs wouldn’t have anything to do with that narrative.

        This has to do with “McDonough radioed to the hotshot captain that he planned to leave his position because of the conditions.”

        Riddle Me This. What “radio traffic” would McDonough have been communicating on to his captain about planning to leave his position that would be being reviewed in relationship to this?

        OK Maybe these two things don’t have anything to do with each other.

        But still, what does it mean that on Tuesday “officials were still reviewing radio traffic”?

        • Bob Powers says

          The only thing here I can think of was that When McDonough left (Abandoned)
          his assigned position.
          1. Did he notify his supervisor?
          2. Did the crew assign a new look out in another location?
          3. Did the crew move without a new lookout.

          I think those would be specific things at that point they would be looking for at that point in the investigation. However it was on Crew net and the fire overhead were not coping that frequency so they had to rely on written statements.

          Thus following protocol. At least for McDonough ……….

          • Marti Reed says

            Yes, thank you. That would be the “what.”

            There is still nothing nada about the who or the how. What radio investigation had been ongoing and by whom and using what kind of data from what radios in order for him to say what he said on Tuesday July 2, the day before the SAIT investigation officially started?

            It’s the same rabbit-hole down which the original Blue Ridge logs and the Peeples Valley Engine Guy’s photos, and who knows what else disappeared.

      • Marti Reed says

        Ahhhhh, thank you JD! Now Yvonne doesn’t have to respond to the twitter message I now don’t have to wonder whether to send her.

  22. calvin says

    Mr Powers.

    Thanks for relaying the information that was anonymously given to you. It really helps bring ever increasing clarity to what was happening that day.

    It appears to me that the information you received could be related to the comment on the post over at Wildfire Today on June 27,2014, by some FF named Robert.

    According to his post he was on the crew that moved the GM buggies and has lots of videos and photos leading up to the tragedy. He even made some other comments and said that GM were not risk takers, and that he might have made the same mistake.

    I agree that any picture or video that hasn’t been released to the public should be ASAP in order to get a better understanding of the events that led up to YHF fatalities. It is very important!

    • Bob Powers says

      Calvin—–
      My fear on the video is if a family member has it then the may not release it do to directly naming Marsh as the one that made the crew come down off the hill to him and to the ranch.
      That would eliminate as WTKTT has said any responsibility of the overhead or State as the crew acted separate of the fire overhead and violated the safety rules in doing so.
      A catch 22 for the families. My take on it any way. Marsh was not named in the suit so some legal mumbo jumbo to deal with.

      • calvin says

        I am quite sure there is at least one photo being held by a family member. I honestly thougjt the video would be from BR. Robert appears to wanna share. I wonder if his comments have anything to do with the revelation of an argument?

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to calvin post on August 29, 2014 at 4:23 pm

          >> calvin said…
          >>
          >> I am quite sure there is at least one photo being
          >> held by a family member.

          That’s the one that you believe was mentioned on Facebook and was
          supposedly taken by a GM crew person at the top of the saddle
          above the box canyon… yes?

          Do you still have a link to that original Facebook comment?

          >> calvin also said…
          >>
          >> I honestly thought the video would be from BR.

          It still might be.

          It might simply have been ‘given’ to a family member instead of
          to the SAIT or any other investigative body.

          The motivation might have been the same as it appears to have been
          with the Christopher MacKenzie videos themselves.

          Someone wanted a ‘family member’ to have something because it might contain something they would want to see or hear… and keep… but the person who had it didn’t really want investigators to have it.

          Someone seemed to have been keeping MacKenzie’s camera ( and
          what it contained ) OUTSIDE of the official YCSO Police ‘chain of
          evidence’… but they also recognized the need to get that camera back
          to a ‘family member’.

          The only reason we probably ever saw the MacKenzie Canon camera
          photos and videos is because it was Christopher’s father himself who
          then, in turn, felt the photos and videos from that camera would be
          important to the ‘investigation’ and then he, himself, made the effort
          to get the material BACK to investigators.

          >> Robert appears to wanna share. I wonder if his comments have
          >> anything to do with the revelation of an argument?

          I don’t see any direct reference to the ‘argument’ that SAIT Co-Lead
          Mike Dudley mentioned in public on June 20, 2014… but it is certainly
          fascinating to hear him say…

          “My crew ( Blue Ridge ) moved their trucks”.
          “I have MANY pics and videos leading up to the incident”.

          I suppose that COULD be BR Hotshot Ian McCord speaking… especially
          if he really was ‘collecting’ pics and videos from the other BR Hotshots and
          thats why his SAIT folder contains material that doesn’t even appear to have
          belonged to him… but somehow I doubt it.

          It really does sound like he is referring to ‘many pics and videos leading
          up to the incident’ that haven’t been seen/heard before.

          This is the comment from someone named ‘Robert’ you are
          speaking of, correct?…

          Wildfire Today
          Title: What have we learned from Yarnell Hill?
          Posted on June 27, 2014 by Bill Gabbert

          http://wildfiretoday.com/2014/06/27/what-have-we-learned-from-yarnell-hill/

          Comments…

          ————————————————————
          Robert on June 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm said:

          All I can tell you is I was on that fire a year ago and my crew movied there trucks. I have many pics
          And videos leading up to the incedent. I have spent many days going over my pics and all the events that day. I put all my info together and have went over it to help people understand and at first I thought like you. There where many things that you could have said were holes in the cheese. After talking threw it and knowing several of them as well as going to over a dozen of the funerals. They were not risk takers and I truly feel that from where they were that it had to look totally reasonable and with little to know risk. Now is this ok NO one life lost is too many but as a fire fighter this job has Curtain risk and it scars me more now that if I was in there shoes I may have made the same decision they did. They are greatly missed and as far as leas sons leaden I feel that we can saftey our what out of doing nothing. It may be ironic but if they just made one more watch out witch it would be #19 I would hope there is a chance that we will see it often enough to make us think how they thought it was doable and how fast thing can change
          ————————————————————

          By the way… ( and for what it is worth )… there is only ONE Blue Ridge Hotshot showing up in the PUBLIC list of crew members that were there that day whose first name is ‘Robert’.

          That would be ‘Robert Manry’… PUBLIC Resource Order C-3.17

          From “J- Resource Orders” document…

          Order for Blue Ridge IHC team…

          C-3 – 06/29/13 1819 PNT Crew, Type 1 – Blue Ridge IHC – REPORT TO YARNELL AZ AT 0600 6/30/13

          Individual Resource Orders for ALL crew members…

          C-3.01 – CREW BOSS (CRWB) Frisby, Brian Harold Salvatore (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.02 – CREW BOSS (CRWB) Brown, Rogers T (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.03 – FFT1 ( SQUAD BOSS ) – Fuller, Travis (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.04 – FFT1 ( SQUAD BOSS ) – Ball, Cory J (AZFDC)
          C-3.05 – FFT1 ( SQUAD BOSS ) – Gordon, Michael (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.06 – FFT2 – Schmitt, Greg J (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.07 – FFT2 – Jansen, Erik (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.08 – FFT2 – DeSoto, Nicholas D (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.09 – FFT2 – Gamble, Ronald R (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.10 – FFT2 – McCord, Ian (AZFDC)
          C-3.11 – FFT2 – Brownlee, Rhys (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.12 – FFT2 – Trahin, Erik T (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.13 – FFT2 – Hiett, Rory (AZFDC)
          C-3.14 – FFT2 – Trahin, William (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.15 – FFT2 – Papich, Jonathan (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.16 – FFT2 – Feist, Orion (AZFDC)
          C-3.17 – FFT2 – MANRY, ROBERT (AZFDC)
          C-3.18 – FFT2 – Quiroga, Juan C (AZ-FDC)
          C-3.19 – FFT2 – Cancelled UTF
          C-3.20 – FFT2 – Ward, Brendan (AZ-FDC)

          • Bob Powers says

            I thought I made it clear but will try again.
            I was told the video was taken at the rest area by a member of GM and sent to a family member.
            It has the entire radio argument on it.
            Question– would that have been taken with a cell phone or would it be a camera only that could e-mail a video like that?

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Bob Powers post August 29, 2014 at 6:12 pm.

              >> Bob Powers said…
              >>
              >> I thought I made it clear but will try again.
              >> I was told the video was taken at the rest area by
              >> a member of GM and sent to a family member.
              >> It has the entire radio argument on it.

              Well… that would make it probably the most valuable piece of evidence related to this tragedy that anyone could even possibly hope existed.

              For ANYONE to be ‘withholding’ a piece of evidence like that, or to have never made sure it was seen by investigators… is an absolute travesty.

              I hope anyone who might be in possession of evidence like that realizes that the penalties for altering, destroying or even withholding evidence like that related to a CIVIL proceeding are the same as they are if it were a CRIMINAL proceeding.

              It’s a FELONY.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> Question– would that have been taken with a cell phone
              >> or would it be a camera only that could e-mail a video
              >> like that?

              Most likely a smartphone.

              MOST digitial cameras do NOT have full ‘networking’ chips inside them that would allow you to connect to the Internet in real time.

              ALL smartphones do… and there were a BUNCH of those out there on that ridge that day ( at least SIX… probably more counting the ones that don’t seem to have even ever made into the YCSO Police investigator’s hands ).

              But here is a problem…

              If you are saying you were told that this video captured the ENTIRE ‘argument’ and or the ENTIRE ‘discussing their options’ conversation(s)… and you also seemed to indicate it took FOUR separate radio calls to accomplish all this ‘negotiating’ between Marsh and Steed…

              …that that means it must be a pretty LONG video.

              A LONG video would have taken a fair amount of time to transfer over the network… but that can also happen as a ‘background task’ on the smartphone.

              In other words… if the video was 10 minutes long… it might have taken almost as long to transmit it as an attachment to an email over a 2G cell network… but if the person just initiated the email ‘send with attachment’ and then left their smartphone ON while they were hiking then that ‘upload’ could have been happening WHILE they were hiking along.

              Did this person say how LONG the video actually was?

              • Bob Powers says

                No just that it was out there and a family member had it.
                Could be related to the privacy of information act.
                If the investigation did not pick it up from private cell phone at the scene. Or they actually have it but did not release it stating unsubstantiated radio traffic.
                Then again some Lawyer may be holding it as evidence and part of their case released only to the court in there case file.
                A lot of open questions here. There is a copy out there in a private persons hands as I was told. But I got no names.
                Dudley knows something. other wise why would he drop a off the wall revelation to his audience that had not been out there before?

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Right on all points.

                  This one is complicated.

                  If the ‘video’ was successfully offloaded from the smartphone and send to a family member ( before that crewmember died )… and that smartphone then became one of the ones that was basically destroyed and no data could be recovered from it… then it truly is the ‘personal property’ of whoever it was sent to.

                  If it wasn’t part of evidence ‘at the scene’… then it would not have entered into YCSO possession and, hence, been passed on to the SAIT.

                  Since the initial YCSO Police investigation ( combined with supposedly both autopsy and toxicology reports ) found insufficient evidence of any ‘foul play’ or ‘wrongdoing’ from a criminal standpoint… whoever ‘owns’ that video had no legal obligation to supply it to either the SAIT or ADOSH.

                  The CIVIL court proceedings are, however, another story. The attorneys for both sides have more options there than even the SAIT or ADOSH did.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            Mr. Powers has already made it clear that the ‘video’ in question that might have recorded the entire ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed would seem to have come from a GM crewmember…

            …but here are just some additional thoughts about this Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Robert’s comment that appeared over on Wildfire today.

            >> ‘Robert’ said…
            >>
            >> All I can tell you is I was on that fire a year ago and my
            >> crew movied there trucks.

            What ‘Robert’ seems to be saying there is that while he seems to have been ( still is? ) a Blue Ridge Hotshot… he, himself, was NOT one of the 2 Hotshots ( in addition to BR Captain Brown ) that was actually moving a GM vehicle that day.

            He says “my CREW moved their trucks”.

            I would think ( if he was one of the drivers of the GM trucks ) that he would have said “I helped move their trucks”.

            It’s pretty obvious from the BR Unit Logs that the other ‘two’ drivers submitted handwritten log notes amongst the 13 Unit Logs provided… but we still don’t know WHO those other 2 CR Hotshots actually were.

            >> ‘Robert’ also said…
            >>
            >> I have many pics.And videos leading up to the incedent.
            >> I have spent many days going over my pics and all the
            >> events that day. I put all my info together and have went
            >> over it to help people understand

            Went over it with WHO?
            WHO was he ‘helping to understand’?

            >> ‘Robert’ also said…
            >>
            >> and at first I thought like you. There where many things
            >> that you could have said were holes in the cheese.

            Such as?

            Captain Trueheart Brown himself is on record as having said to the men…”We need a piece of cheese. This is just one BIG HOLE”… but I wonder what ‘many things’ Robert is suggesting were ‘holes’ that day.

            >> ‘Robert’ also said…
            >>
            >> After talking threw it and knowing several of them
            >> as well as going to over a dozen of the funerals.

            ‘Talking through it’ with WHO?

            It appears obvious that ‘Robert’ is not just someone suddenly came out near the one year anniversary and is suddenly ‘revealing’ that he has a lot of evidence.

            He appears to be saying that a LOT of ‘other people’ knew all about it and he was ‘talking through it’ with them shortly after the incident.

            • Bob Powers says

              A possible— Could he have been the main camera man for BR?
              Going over all his pictures and video with his boss Frisby?
              and the information is being Shut down by FS and not released to the media? it is how ever in the investigation reports just redacted under freedom of information act to release or additional investigation unless legally done with lawyers.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Bob Powers post on August 29, 2014 at 3:48 pm

        >> Bob Powers said…
        >>
        >> My fear on the video is if a family member has it then the may
        >> not release it do to directly naming Marsh as the one that made
        >> the crew come down off the hill to him and to the ranch.
        >> That would eliminate as WTKTT has said any responsibility of
        >> the overhead or State as the crew acted separate of the fire
        >> overhead and violated the safety rules in doing so.

        I don’t believe I ever said that.

        If I did… then it was some kind of ‘brain fart’… because that is NOT the case.

        Even if it can be proven that Eric Marsh directly ordered Jesse Steed to do what they did that day… it would NOT eliminate any of the named plaintiff’s from ‘responsibility’ for what happened.

        The ‘wrongful death’ suits are all about the employer / employee relationship(s) that existed that day. At the moment of the tragedy, Eric Marsh was a 1099 contractor for the State of Arizona. It was THEIR workplace. It was THEIR fire.

        If it can be proved that ANY employee ( 1099 or W2 ) was ‘negligent’ that day and that negligence led to the deaths of other workers on that Arizona State run fire… then the State of Arizona is still very much ‘responsible’ for that actions of that employee.

        The only reason the City of Prescott was dropped as one of the plaintiffs in the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits is because the ADOSH report did not specifically find enough evidence of willful ( or unwillfull ) negligence on the part of the City of Prescott itself for things to rise above the City’s built-in ‘statutory immunity’ as part of ‘worker’s compensation’ and the inherent ‘Exclusive Remedy’ clause that goes along with any worker’s compensation claim.

        When the ADOSH report was released… the attorney(s) for the family simply advised them that it would be hard road to take to try and overcome these ‘Statutory Immunicty’ and ‘Exclusive Remedy’ provisions of worker’s compensation insurance that the City of Prescott would be claiming in this case.

        >> Bob Powers also wrote…
        >>
        >> A catch 22 for the families.

        No, it is not. That’s the wrong way to look at it.

        It’s not a ‘contest’ about whether Marsh decided to subject those under his charge to ‘needless’ or ‘reckless’ endangerment resulting in ‘wrongful death’.

        It’s going to be about whether ANY employee of the State or Arizona did so and whether the State of Arizona is responsible for the actions of its employees… or not.

        ADOSH has ALREADY determined that was an ‘unsafe workplace’ being run and managed by the State of Arizona that day. That what allowed the ‘wrongful death’ suits to proceed and overcome the ‘Exclusive Remedy’ clause of worker’s comp as it relates to Arizona Forestry ( the real employer that day ).

        It is just as important for BOTH sides, in this case, to find out the TRUTH about what happened that day. How they ‘present’ it in court is another story… but the TRUTH is going to be essential to both sides of the courtroom.

        >> Bob Powers also said…
        >>
        >> My take on it any way. Marsh was not named in the suit so some
        >> legal mumbo jumbo to deal with.

        It’s complicated…. but it’s really not looking good for the plaintiffs.

        They will probably just settle rather than go to court… unless the families themselves refuse to accept any offers and still want the TRUTH to come out.

        A number of them have already said that is the case ( for them ).

        The PRIMARY reason they filed the ‘wrongful death’ suits is to find out what really happened that day… and to try to effect some necessary changes so that what happened in Yarnell is less likely to happen AGAIN… and no amount of simple money is going to ‘buy them off’.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          I’m sorry…. total mis-type up above.

          What I meant was…

          “It’s really not looking good for the ‘defendants'”.

          The ‘plaintiffs’ are the families themselves.

          It’s the DEFENDANTS who will probably try to settle this without going to court… but the ‘plaintiffs’ ( the families ) might not LET them ‘settle’.

    • Marti Reed says

      I’m getting sorta kinda confused here with all of this.

      Are we talking about an argument/discussion that happened at the “Discussing their Options” location or an argument/discussion that happened at the saddle/drop-off into the bowl location?

      • Bob Powers says

        Marti–My understanding is it happened at the Discussing their Options location.
        The black rest area they were settled in. The crew was there and Marsh was below them possibly he was at the saddle. But this again is unsubstantiated.

        WTKTT— Sorry you had no brain fart I misread what The Prescott City rule was.
        Combined with the Families not naming Marsh or Steed in their Law Suit.

  23. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** WHO ACTUALLY REDACTED THE BLUE RIDGE UNIT LOGS?
    **
    ** ARIZONA FORESTRY?, US FOREST SERVICE?… OR BOTH?

    Reply to Marti Reed post on August 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    >> Marti said…
    >>
    >> Re the redactions etc.
    >> IIRC (and I don’t have time to go digging) the BR logs were written
    >> up around Tuesday night, under the auspices of the SAIT.

    Actually… when we finally got to see those 13 ( THIRTEEN ) individual Blue Ridge logs in public around February 27, 2014 ( albeit, heavily redacted )… 11 of the 13 had handwritten dates of Monday, July 1, 2013. One of them ( Captain Brown’s ) had a date 2 days later of July 3 and one of them ( the last one in the PDF file ) had no date whatsoever.

    See ( way ) down below for a list of all 13 BR Logs and what ‘date evidence’ is on them.

    The SAIT wasn’t even officially formed ( or given any official ‘authority’ to do anything ) until Wednesday, July 3.

    From page 8 of the SAIR itself…
    ———————————————–
    The State of Arizona convened a Serious Accident Investigation Team. A delegation of authority letter, signed by the State Forester on July 3, 2013, charged the Team with reviewing and reporting on the circumstances leading to entrapment of the Granite Mountain IHC.
    ———————————————–

    There WAS evidence being gathered prior to the official creation and ‘delegation of authority’ to the SAIT… but we really don’t know WHO was actually doing that or whether all that ‘early’ evidence ever made it to the SAIT itself.

    Someone TOLD those Blue Ridge Hotshots to sit down and write their ‘affadavits’ ( sic: Unit Logs ) on the very day following the incident… ( probably just before they were demobbed from Yarnell ) but we really still don’t know WHO that was.

    Likewise for the Peeples Valley firefighters who almost burned to death themselves in Harper Canyon. Someone was officially interviewing them and taking photos ( and videos? ) and cell phone records from them right after incident ( and before the SAIT was officially formed ) but we still don’t know WHO that was or WHAT ever happened to all that evidence.

    In both cases ( telling Blue Ridge to write their ‘affadavits’ and all the interviewing and evidence collection with Peeples Valley FFs ) I suppose it was probably someone associated with Arizona Forestry… ( maybe even Scott Hunt himself ) but we still don’t know for sure.

    It had to have been ‘someone in an identifiable position of authority’ or why would anyone have complied with those early interview requests or be handing them ‘Unit Logs’?

    >> Marti also wrote…
    >>
    >> So I don’t think the USFS would have redacted them before they were given to the SAIT.

    The ‘chain of possession’ for those Blue Ridge ‘affadavits’ ( sic: Unit Logs ) that were mostly all written the day AFTER the incident is more like this ( I think )…

    1. Someone told them to write those logs just before they were ‘demobbed’ from the Yarnell area itself the morning after the fire. That same someone collected all these handwritten ‘affadavits’ from them. 3 of them were then later retyped by someone else but the rest remained just the ‘handwritten’ originals dated July 1, 2013.

    2. Two days later… the SAIT is officially formed ( July 3, 2013 ).

    3. Whoever collected those original Blue Ridge ‘affadavits’ then probably handed them over to the SAIT once people started showing up on airplanes… but still with no REDACTIONS at all.

    4. The SAIT probably had them in their possession ( unredacted ) for the entire time they were conducting their investigation AND ( unlike ADOSH ) were able to actually INTERVIEW Blue Ridge Hotshots Frisby, Brown, Fueller and Ball. The SAIT may have even been referring to these ( unredacted ) BR Unit Logs WHILE they were interviewing the BR Hotshots.

    5. Initially… the ADOSH investigators were supposed to be participating in the SAIT investigation as well but only a few days after Arizona Forestry said that was going to be the case… they then suddenly changed their minds and kicked ADOSH out of the SAIT investigation. If ADOSH had been part of the SAIT investigation they would have had access to the same evidence the SAIT was seeing… including the (unredacted) Blue Ridge ‘Unit Logs’ and they also probably would have been able to be present at the Blue Ridge ‘interviews’.

    NOTE: For all we know… this may have been the actual REASON that Arizona Forestry changed its mind so suddenly and then kicked ADOSH out of their investigation. There has never been any real explanation for that ‘flip-flop’ decision from Arizona Forestry. It might have been because of some of this actual early ‘evidence’ and ‘testimony’ ( like the Blue Ridge Unit Logs themselves ) that was quickly appearing. They just didn’t want ADOSH to be able to ‘officially’ see exactly what THEY were already seeing. They wanted more freedom to ‘shape the story’ without ADOSH looking over their shoulders.

    6. ADOSH was now ‘on its own’ and had to deal with the US Forestry Service with regards to any interview requests or ‘Unit Logs’ related to the Blue Ridge Hotshots. ADOSH was denied any ability to interview or talk to any of them and only at the last minute did the US Forestry Service supply ADOSH with the ‘heavily redacted’ copies of the Blue Ridge ‘Unit Logs’ collected July 1, 2013.

    7. ADOSH specifically states in their report that they were denied the ability to interview any Blue Ridge Hotshots and that the ‘Unit Logs’ supplied by the US Forestry Service were ( by then ) so ‘heavily redacted’ that they were (quote) “useless to the investigation”.

    So… it looks very much like it was the SAIT that had the ‘originals’ FIRST ( no redactions at all )… and at some point they handed them over to the US Forestry Service ( and NEVER to ADOSH ) with no redactions, and then it WAS the USFS that did all the ‘redacting’ once Arizona’s ADOSH started asking for them.

    Mr. Bill Gabbert of WildfireToday did his own inquiries about this and he actually received some kind of of written response from USFS which pretty much proves THEY were the ones doing the ‘redactions’ for what was ultimately released to ADOSH.

    Wildfire Today – December 9, 2013
    Article Title: Forest Service’s explanation for their refusal to fully cooperate with Yarnell Hill Fire investigations

    http://wildfiretoday.com/2013/12/09/forest-services-explanation-for-their-refusal-to-fully-cooperate-with-yarnell-hill-fire-investigations/

    The actual ‘explanation’ to Mr. Gabbert from the USFS as to why they either withheld documents from ADOSH or could only supply REDACTED copies of things they had…

    ———————————————————–
    USDA Forest Service employees are subject to a variety of laws, such as the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 USC 55a, designed to protect personal and confidential information. We are legally required to withhold certain information due to the requirements of federal law to protect privacy and confidentiality of our employees. At their request, the Forest Service did provide ADOSH some documents for their investigation and offered to provide written response to remaining questions.
    ———————————————————–

    So it really does appear that all the BLACKOUTS in the Blue Ridge ‘Unit Logs’ originally written the very day following the Yarnell incident were done by USFS… and not by the SAIT itself.

    It was also the Arizona Republic newspaper ( AZCENTRAL ) that originally obtained these ‘redacted’ Unit Logs that ADOSH talked about in their own report but never published themselves.

    That’s how this ‘State’ versus ‘Federal’ level stuff works.

    Once AZCENTRAL knew that Arizona’s own ADOSH had these ‘Logs’ from the USFS… AZCENTRAL was able to easily and officially obtain copies via Arizona’s own ‘Open Records’ law(s) and didn’t have to file any more Federal level FOIA / FOIL requests. That only gave them the same REDACTED copies the USFS had given ADOSH… but that was good enough for AZCENTRAL’s purposes which was just to write an article about what ADOSH had.

    NOTE: As their own article says… AZCENTRAL did, in fact, make standard Federal level FOIA / FOIL requests for the UNREDACTED versions of the Blue Ridge Unit Logs but they then say the US Forest Service simply ‘failed to comply’. They never followed up with their own Federal level FOIA / FOIL request for the REAL ( unredacted ) Unit Logs.

    In that first public article regarding these logs is when AZCENTRAL also said that the REDACTIONS were performed by the US Forestry Service before them gave the BR Logs to ADOSH.

    Their own article says (quote) “Federal authorities blacked out key portions of the log”.

    From the AZCENTRAL article that first reported on these ‘late releases’ of BR Unit Logs…

    NOTE: An actual link to this article will be posted as a reply in order to comply with the ‘only one link per post’ rule.

    —————————————————————–
    Thousands of pages of records have been publicly released along with videos and photographs.

    But until now, there had been scant disclosure from the Blue Ridge Hotshots, a federal hotshot crew that worked on the fire line closest to Granite Mountain. The Blue Ridge crew’s work logs, which contain their recollections of what occurred, were released Thursday by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health after an inquiry about public records by The Arizona Republic.

    The state agency obtained the records from the federal government as a part of its investigation into the June 30 firefighter deaths. They were not included in records previously released as part of the agency’s December report.

    The logs, significantly redacted by federal officials, describe a chaotic retreat of civilians and firefighters as the Yarnell Hill Fire reversed direction and became an inferno.

    The U.S. Forest Service prohibited interviews with Blue Ridge Hotshots by agents of the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Members of the crew also have refused all media invitations to discuss the accident.

    Federal officials later released the logs to ADOSH.

    The Arizona Republic previously sought those logs from the U.S. government under the Freedom of Information Act. The Forest Service did not comply but provided redacted copies to ADOSH, which turned them over to the newspaper.

    Federal authorities blacked out key portions of the log.

    An ADOSH investigative report ripped fire commanders and other personnel for ignoring or breaching numerous wildfire protocols.
    ————————————————————————–

    >> Marti also wrote…
    >> The USFS (along with the BLM) didn’t formally “step in” until
    >> the ADOSH investigation. I’m sure their mindset involving
    >> “protecting employees” (for, historically speaking, IMHO, understandable
    >> reasons) was quite operative during the SAIT investigation.

    Yes. See above. The actual USFS response to Mr. Bill Gabbert says that is EXACTLY what they were doing and they not only the automatic ‘authority’ to do that… they were ‘obligated’ to do that.

    However… do you see the GAME that was going on here?

    The USFS did not ‘collect’ those written ‘affadavits’ from the Blue Ridge Hotshots on July 1, the day after the tragedy.

    Someone else did ( We don’t know who. The SAIT wasn’t even officially formed yet ).

    Whoever that was ( probably someone from Arizona Forestry ) then GAVE these handwritten BR ‘affadavits’ to the SAIT once it was up and running.

    So at this point… those BR Unit Logs are now ‘evidence’ that belonged to a STATE agency ( Arizona Forestry and its contracted SAIT team ).

    But now that means they are a ‘hot potato’.

    As long as that evidence is in the possession of any Arizona State Agency… it is subject to Arizona’s own 100 year old ‘Open Records’ law.

    So now the SAIT had a problem. They had something they didn’t WANT someone to be able to obtain via an Arizona FOI request OR have to turn over to ADOSH because of other established ‘Arizona State Agency Information Sharing’ Laws. They didn’t want ADOSH ( or any newspaper ) to be able to read these UNREDACTED Blue Ridge Unit Logs.

    So they then ( apparently ) just GAVE them to the US Forestry Service.

    Problem solved ( for the SAIT, anyway ).

    Now… anyone who wanted to see them ( even though the SAIT already had and most probably even retained their own copies of them ) had to deal with the US Forestry Service.

    So that’s what ADOSH had to do… and all they got was those copies that were so heavily redacted they were ( quoting ADOSH ) “Useless to the investigation”.

    By ‘dumping’ these ‘Unit Logs’ up to the FEDS… it was also then easy for the SAIT to pretend they never had them at all ( including any unredacted copies ) and so they never had to include them with any Arizona ‘Open Records’ FOI requests ( which they KNEW were coming ).

    Pretty clever, actually.

    THEY ( the SAIT ) got to see/read what THEY wanted totally ‘unredacted’ in those Blue Ridge Unit Logs… and then do whatever interviews with Blue Ridge that THEY wanted to… but before ADOSH really got going and before the Arizona FOI requests started to show up they ‘ditched’ that important evidence off to someone else who had more options for withholding and redacting the information than they did, and all they had to do now was pretend that evidence was never ‘in their possession’ at all.

    You can say a lot about Scott Hunt, Jim Karels and Mike Dudley… but ‘not sneaky’ and/or ‘not clever’ would probably NOT be included in the descriptions.

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> But I doubt they were “redacting” things during the SAIT deliberations.

    Agree. I think all the ‘redacting’ was on the part of USFS when ADOSH was forced to obtain things from them instead of the SAIT… but I also would bet a sawbuck that the SAIT people ( Mike Dudley was/is a USFS person ) were closely consulting with the USFS about how MUCH to redact before the USFS fulfilled the ADOSH request(s).

    >> Marti also said…
    >> Which means the SAIT read those logs etc un-redacted.
    >> They knew what was in them.

    No question. See the ‘chain of possession’ stuff up above.

    But all they did then with that ‘hot potato’ was dump it off to someone else and then pretend they never had them so that evidence would not be easily accessible by Arizona ADOSH or any Arizona ‘Open Records’ FOI request from the media ( or anyone else ).

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> And, if Bob Powers’ source is correct, they have a video.
    >> Which means Dudley knows the evidence. But, then, the SAIT has
    >> called other things we now know are documented “unable to be substantiated.”

    To this day… no one from the SAIT has ever explained this all-important ‘validation’ process that they seemed to have in place, or what criteria they were using to call something ‘validated’ or ‘unvalidated’.

    What did all that really mean?

    They ignore lots of actual clear background recordings and call them ‘unvalidated’ and then they end their own supposed ‘blackout’ with a truly ‘unvalidated’ piece of testimony coming from just one guy in an airplane who also says he had no idea who was beneath him or what their voices sounded like.

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> I don’t know who redacted them. But by the time they were FINALLY
    >> released, all things considered, I can imagine someone from both
    >> Arizona Fire and the USFS sitting down with those logs and deciding
    >> to use their black magic markers on them.

    Hmm… I wonder WHO that might have been who was sitting squarely in the driver’s seat for BOTH of those agencies and their ‘involvement’ in the Yarnell Hill Fire investigation.

    Someone like… say… a person who ACTUALLY works for the US Forestry Service but had been assigned as a Co-Lead for the Arizona Forestry investigation for this ‘State Run Fire’ where the fatalities took place?

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> Which begs the question:
    >> Who were they trying to protect with their black magic markers??

    Perhaps it really wasn’t a WHO… in the end.

    Perhaps it was more like a WHAT ( The entire ‘SAIT Narrative’ itself ).

    Perhaps the black magic markers were flying once they had decided on their ‘narrative’ and that it was going conclude that no one did ANYTHING wrong that day. Zero. Zip. Nada.

    At the same time Mike Dudley was helping to write the ‘Narrative’ for the Arizona State Forestry sponsored SAIR document… his own (actual) employer ( the USFS ) could have been asking him to help THEM with fulfilling the ADOSH requests for the Blue Ridge Hotshots Unit Logs and needed his input on ‘what to redact’ so as not to ‘compromise’ the State level ‘work’.

    Dudley was wearing ‘both hats’ ( and serving ‘two masters’ ) the whole time.

    ** ADDITIONAL INFO
    **
    ** WHEN EACH BR UNIT LOG WAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN

    From the ( redacted ) Blue Ridge ‘Unit Log’ notes that weren’t released until February 27, 2014…

    The FIRST ‘Unit Log’ in the released document is obviously BR Captain Trueheart Brown’s.

    Captain Trueheart Brown’s (heavily) redacted Unit Log ( typed ) has no official DATE on it at the top or anything… but Brown himself seems to indicate in his final paragraph that he wrote this Unit Log of his on the night of July 3, 2013… three days after the incident.

    Brown’s ‘Unit Log’ ends with this…

    ————————————–
    I have the guys drive Granite mountains rigs to the Yarnell Fire Station and leave them there.
    ( NEXT TWO LINES REDACTED ).
    We grab food for the guys and find a sleeping spot and have a informal AAR/QA.
    This is what I remember as of the night of 7/3/13. If there are any questions
    or more needs to be elaborated on I can do so.
    Sincerely,
    ( REDACTED )
    —————————————

    So nothing there after Sunday evening or about being interviewed officially… but he does mention this ‘informal’ AAR ( After Action Review ) and QA ( Question / Answer ) session they had amongst themselves the night of the tragedy. A time for everyone to ‘compare experiences’.

    The SECOND ( also typed ) Unit Log is obviously BR Hotshot Ball’s. As with all the other BR Unit Logs… his name / signature was redacted but someone forgot to redact Ball’s handwritten DATE above his signature at the bottom of this ‘typed’ document. It says the document was created 7/1/2013 ( July 1, 2013 )… the day after the tragedy.

    The THIRD ( also typed ) Unit Log in the document still isn’t attributed to any BR Hotshot… but it most probably belongs to the other Squad Boss ( Fueller ) since it is also ‘type up’ and is at the TOP of the PDF document. This one DOES have a TITLE and a DATE at the very TOP of the document. It says ( typed ) “Yarnell Hill Fire Notes July 1, 2013”. Same as Ball’s. It was ‘typed up’ the day after the tragedy.

    At the bottom of this one it says…
    ————————————————–
    The crew remains in this location for a while, and eventually after dropping off all GMIHC’s vehicles stays in the ranch area ( just NE of ICP ) for the night. The crew ( REDACTED ) beds down around midnight. We get up the next morning and get demobbed.
    Signed in good health ( handwritten, not typed )
    ( REDACTED )
    ————————————————–

    So nothing there, either, about getting ‘interviewed’ before getting ‘demobbed’ from Yarnell the very next day right after they ‘got up’. ( Even though that is when they were most probably all asked to sit down and write up all these handwritten ‘affdavits’ ( sic: Unit Logs ) ).

    NOTE: That is it for any ‘typed up’ Unit Logs. All the rest are just scanned copies of handwritten notes.

    The FOURTH Unit Log ( now totally handwritten ) is not attributed to any BR Hotshot… but it does have a handwritten date at the top ( in blue ink and not black ink as the notes themselves ) which says 07/01/13 ( July 1, 2013 ). Again… the day after the tragedy.

    The FIFTH Unit Log is not attributed to any BR Hotshot and also has a handwritten date ( also in blue ink and not in black ink as the notes themselves ) that says 7/1/13 ( July 1, 2013 ). The day after the tragedy.

    The SIXTH Unit Log is unattributed but has a handwritten date at the top ( this time the same black ink color as notes themselves ) which says 7/1/13 ( July 1, 2013 ). The day after the tragedy.

    The SEVENTH Unit Log is unattributed but also has a handwritten date at the top ( but now we are back to date written in blue ink with notes themselves written in black ink ) that says 07/01/13 ( July 1, 2013 ).

    The EIGHTH Unit Log is unattributed, also has a handwritten date at the top ( but now we are back to black ink for both the date and the notes ) which says 7/1/2013 ( July 1, 2013 ).

    The NINTH Unit Log is unattributed and the DATE is now at the bottom of the document, under the redacted signature. It is in blue ink with the notes themselves being in black in. The date is 07-01-2013 ( July 1, 2013 ).

    NOTE: Notice that even these handwritten dates that are in BLUE ink instead of BLACK ink like the notes themselves all appear to have been written using different date formats… which means they were not all ‘added’ to the documents by the same person.

    The TENTH Unit Log is unattributed but this one is the first one to have been handwritten using a standard ‘pre-ruled’ and lined ‘Log Report’ form sheet that says ‘U.S. Government Printing Office: 2007-679-009 – General Message’ at the top of it. There is a BOX at the top of the form for DATE… but it is BLANK. There is, however, a ‘handwritten’ date at the BOTTOM of this Unit Log which is also in ‘blue’ ink instead of ‘black’ ink like the notes themselves. This handwritten date says 7/1/2013 ( July 1, 2013 ).

    The ELEVENTH Unit Log has a handwritten TITLE and DATE at that top saying… “Record of Events – Yarnell Hill Fire – 6/30/15 – written 7/1/13” The ‘2015’ indication for the YHF itself is obviously just a handwritten mistake. The ‘written 7/1/13’ date is in black in just like the rest of the notes. This Unit Log also mentions the AAR ( After Action Review ) and the last part of this log just says…
    ———————————————–
    Later, we arrived at our overnight spot and conducted an AAR.
    We ate dinner and I bedded down at 23:16.
    ( SIGNATURE REDACTED )
    ———————————————–

    The TWELFTH Unit Log only has a handwritten date at the bottom center of its one and only page. It says 7/1/13 ( July 1, 2013 ). This Unit Log also mentions the AAR ( After Action Review ) and the last part of this log just says…
    ———————————————–
    Bosses make it back and we load up and head to ICP to talk to IC.
    We all head up to the sleeping area and have an AAR about the
    days events. Head to bed.
    ( SIGNATURE REDACTED )
    ———————————————–

    The THIRTEENTH Unit Log is only 1 handwritten page and it has no DATE anywhere on it.

    ** END OF BLUE RIDGE UNIT LOGS

    ** SUMMARY

    There are only 13 ( THIRTEEN ) actual BR ‘Unit Logs’ in the document.
    Only Captain Trueheart Brown’s Unit Log has a date of July 3 on it.
    11 of the other 12 Unit Logs have a date somewhere on them of July 1, 2013.
    The last Unit Log has no date whatsoever.
    3 of the logs mention they had their own AAR ( After Action Review )
    of the day’s events once they got to their ‘sleeping area’ NE of the ICP.

    NONE of these logs mention the circumstances under which they were actually being
    written such as ‘Someone ??? asked/told us to all sit down and write Unit Logs before being demobbed’ or anything of that nature.

    • Marti Reed says

      Thanks MUCHO for documenting all of this!

      I find the lack of documentation of who was collecting this early evidence to be quite troubling, all things considered.

      I spent a bunch of time trying to find a 24-hour report. since usually there is one and, according to the Interagency Serious Action Investigation Guide, it’s usually supposed to be done by the Safety Officer. But it doesn’t HAVE to be done. And, after digging thru all my files and bookmarks and stuff, I realized, DOH, there wasn’t one.

      The 72-hour report was published by the SAIT. On Friday. I don’t know how that ties into this really murky documentation.

      And I was going to go back into everything and look at who from the USFS was on the SAIT, but I had a slight computer melt-down, and no access to my files and stuff until today. The fact that Mike Dudley is USFS explains a WHOLE lot, I think. Thx for pointing that out.

      I’m interpreting things a little bit differently than you are. I have done a ton of reading “around” this fire and “around” this investigation. Maybe you have, too. I don’t know. I think we need to look at this whole thing a lot more systemically than we are doing here. Even as we still try to keep ferreting out the details.

      The USFS has painted itself/had to paint itself into a corner regarding how it investigates fatality fires (and even non-fatality incidents). The problem is that there needs to be seriously different kinds of investigations, producing seriously different kinds of reports, for seriously different stake-holders.

      This is a huge issue facing, not just the USFS, but other fire-fighting entities, also.

      In order for the fire-fighting community to honestly understand how mistakes were made, they need to be able to talk about them without fear of incrimination/liability/fault-finding etc. Nobody’s going to be gut-wrenchingly honest about their mistakes if they fear punishment.

      However, the larger community (which also includes fire-fighters), who may have suffered/died because of decisions made, needs to be able to hold the decision-makers accountable.

      These two (and actually there are more than two, so I’m even over-simplifying) different sets of stake-holders create some real conflicts in terms of what methods are used to investigate and document something like this. It’s a huge dilemma, it’s extremely controversial, it’s really a big ongoing mess, and this fire and its investigations have to be understood in that context.

      And the most recent new USFS investigation process (and also the very recent one that preceded it and, I think, played into this investigation) indicates that the USFS (and a whole bunch of other fire-fighting agencies) are still struggling with how to do it.

      MIke Dudley came into this SAIT with this mess very much inside his brain to begin with. It wasn’t secondary, it was primary. And, I would guess, it was fairly primary inside a bunch of other peoples’ brains also. This is a huge 20-year-old un-resolved conflict.

      IMHO the SAIT swung to far in one direction to protect people/systems. Possibly not realizing the power of the Internet to refute that attempt to protect them.

      And, given the current POLICIES of the USFS, in regards to how they (including Mike Dudley) understand/conduct their bi-focal investigations, the exclusion of the Arizona ADOSH team, at that point, to their process is totally understandable, POLICY-wise.

      (Their POLICY is to first conduct an AAR-type (no blame) review/investigation in order to get to the “Lessons Learned” stuff, and then, if something emerges that indicates serious obvious NEGLIGENCE on the part of someone, to conduct a separate investigation of that. At least, that’s my current understanding of all of this.

      So, yes, this wasn’t a USFS fire. But I think USFS thinking played a huge part in how the Interagency SAIT conducted its investigation.

      And, in reaction to that, IMHO, the ADOSH swung equally in the opposite direction to out the mistakes/mistakers. Thus we have the whole “let’s blame Musser” thing. Along with possibly a few others.

      And now we have the lawsuits as a result of that investigation. Which may or may not lead to any revelation of any kind of Truth. (Disclosure–I’m pretty much WTF????? regarding why the CYFD is a target, like really????)

      So back to the early evidence-gathering, and WHO did that, and who did the redactions (I think you are right) and why (I think this is a story unto itself).

      I think this whole protection of people (for some very good but conflicted reasons) was there from the start, and not done just to “protect” the SAIT narrative–but as something that SHAPED the mindsets that produced that narrative from the very beginning.

      I don’t know if I’m communicating this effectively. It’s excruciatingly complicated.

  24. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Even more news out of Prescott today.

    The entire Prescott Wildland Division ( including anything
    called the Granite Mountain Hotshots )… is no more.

    An $81,000 ‘study’ of the whole Prescott Fire Department setup had been commissioned some months ago and the final report and recommendations were presented to the Prescott City Council just before their regularly scheduled meeting yesterday.

    According to the article that appeared this morning in the Prescott Daily Courier… current Wildland Division Chief Darrell Willis will still be able to keep ‘double dipping’ with the Prescott Fire Department and will simply be ‘reassigned’ to some other job ( while he continues to be already retired from PFD and drawing a full pension as he was before he even took over as Wildland Division Chief from Duane Steinbrink ).

    Actually… whether or not the City of Prescott still retains anything resembling a ‘Hotshot Crew’ is still up to the Department itself… even if the ‘Wildland Division’ goes away.

    There are still people in Prescott who think there should be a fully-restored ‘Hotshot’ operation regardless if there is even a Wildland Division for them to be attached to, or not.

    From the article itself…
    ——————————————-
    As far as the future of a city crew of Hotshots (19 of whom died fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire in June 2013), Light said, “I think we’re still in a year of transition for the Hotshots.”

    Ultimately, he said, “The reconvening or re-establishment of the Hotshots will rest with a policy decision of the City Council, and what the community really wants.”
    ——————————————–

    So even without an actual ‘Wildland Division’ in Prescott.. the Prescott City Council COULD still decide to have ‘Hotshots’ somewhere within the Prescott Fire Department.

    Probably not likely… but still an outside possibility.

    Here’s the entire article that ran this morning…

    Prescott Daily Courier – 8/27/2014
    Article: Prescott Fire Department report: Consolidate wildland, prevention divisions

    http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=135444&TM=1490.339

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followups to above.

      I was wrong. The independent ‘study’ of the Prescott Fire Department cost $87,900 ( and not just $81,000 ).

      The ‘independent study’ also turned up an astounding ‘morale problem’…

      From the article above…
      —————————————
      Anonymous surveys completed by employees turned up morale issues within the ( Prescott Fire ) Department. A question on whether morale is high in the fire department, for instance, elicited a negative reaction of about 91 percent (including “disagree” and “somewhat disagree” responses), and a question about the department’s communication with city hall received a 100-percent total negative response.
      —————————————-

      A “91 percent negative” and a “100 percent total negative response”.

      Yikes.

    • Marti Reed says

      Thanks for catching this. I spent some time today looking into it.

      The $87,900 study wasn’t for just the Fire Department. It was also for the Police Department (which has a lot of issues, but not, according to the study, the seriously low morale).

      And it’s not fait accompli.

      It took me awhile to discover the process involved.

      According to “Analyst to present police dept. findings to City Council Tuesday” (http://dcourier.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=134082&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1086&utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=):

      “Coming discussions will focus on which of the recommended changes the council wants to implement. Then, McConnell said, the city will ‘tailor future-year budgets’ to reflect those changes.

      A city memo noted: ‘The findings of a thorough review will serve as a baseline to gauge the effectiveness of the city’s programs, identify options for changes that could enhance efficiency of the city’s programs, and measure the cost/benefit of providing various services in order to enable productive discussion of assured public safety funding at adequate levels.'”

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Marti Reed post August 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm

        A city memo noted: ‘The findings of a thorough review will serve as a baseline to gauge the effectiveness of the city’s programs, identify options for changes that could enhance efficiency of the city’s programs, and measure the cost/benefit of providing various services in order to enable productive discussion of assured public safety funding at adequate levels.’”

        Absolutely classic.

        In other words ( that cost less than $87,900 )…

        How do we do what the people who live around here expect us to do with the money we have?

        LMFAO

        • Marti Reed says

          “In other words ( that cost less than $87,900 )…

          How do we do what the people who live around here expect us to do with the money we have?

          LMFAO”

          That’s pretty much the feeling expressed by citizens commenting on the Daily Courier articles about this process. Along with low-level road-rage about not being consulted themselves and not having access to the actual reports being generated by that $88k process.

  25. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Some news out of Prescott today.

    The Speaker of the House for the Arizona State legislature has appointed Brendan McDonough to be part of the ‘board’ that will oversee the construction of the State funded permanent memorial for the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

    Prescott Daily Courier
    Article Title: Surviving Hotshot to help oversee firefighter memorial
    Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=135451&TM=75904.27

    IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no SALARY involved with serving on this board… but certain ‘advisory’ positions on the board ( including Brendan’s position ) are entitled to full reimbursement for travel expenses and other ‘reasonable expenses’ associated with serving on the board. It is Arizona State proposed law HB ( House Bill ) 2624 that allocates $500,000 to purchase the site for the memorial and establishes the ‘board’ that will oversee the construction. HB 2624 was introduced in the Arizona State Legislature on February 11, 2014. It has NOT actually passed both the House and Senate yet nor has it been signed by the Governor but it’s a pretty safe bet all those things will happen. There is no significant opposition to HB 2624.

    From the legislation itself…

    B. Members of the Yarnell Hill memorial site board are not eligible to receive compensation, but members appointed pursuant to subsection A, paragraphs 3 through 10 of this section are entitled to reimbursement from the Yarnell Hill Memorial fund established by section 41-519.02 for reasonable expenses in traveling on and attending to official board business.

    Brendan’s appointment is part of the ‘subsection A, paragraphs 3 through 10’ section mentioned above which actually looks like this in the legislation itself…

    A. The Yarnell Hill memorial site board is established consisting of the following members:


    6. A surviving member of the granite Mountain hotshot crew or a relative of a member of the granite mountain hotshot crew who lost his life fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, who is appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Correction for above ( regarding HB 2624 ).

      The Arizona legislation tracking site I was looking at was not ‘up to speed’.

      HB 2624 was introduced on February 11, 2014… but has since passed in both the AZ House and Senate. It was ‘amended’ when it passed in the Senate which means it then had to go back to the House for another vote.

      House Bill 2624 was amended on March 3, 2014, to give the widows of the firefighters the chance to buy the site themselves. Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott says the women approached her about the proposal and she agreed ( to add this amendment to the bill ).

      All the ‘amendments’ passed and it did go to Governor Jan Brewer and she signed it into law back on April 30, 2014.

      The $500,000 HAS been officially allocated to purchase the site and the board is now being officially established… but that amendment to the bill still gives the widows of the Granite Mountain firefighters the ‘option’ buy the site themselves instead of Arizona State Parks department.

      Still no word on whether the widows are going to exercise that option.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          I was able to discover that the ORIGIN of the ‘amendment’ to HB2624 that allows some / all of the Granite Mountain widows the ‘option’ of ‘buying the site’ over the State’s own option to do so apparently came from only ONE of the widows… but no names were given.

          ONE of the Granite Mountain widows seems to think no one SHOULD ever be able to go ‘out there’ where the men actually died. Not now. Not ever.

          It was another Prescott Daily Courier article that first mentioned this ‘amendment’ to HB2624 and that it was, in fact, Arizona State Representative Karen Fann of Prescott who had been approached by just ONE of the widows asking her to add an ‘option’ for her to buy the land herself ( and prevent any memorial from being built there ).

          Prescott Daily Courier – March 6, 2014
          http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=1&ArticleID=129222

          From the article…
          —————————————————————–
          PHOENIX – The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a bill setting aside $500,000 to preserve the site where 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots died in the Yarnell Hill wildfire last year.

          House Bill 2624 passed Wednesday on a 56-2 vote and now goes to the Senate.

          It was amended Monday to give the firefighters’ survivors the chance to buy and own the site themselves. Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott said a widow asked her if that would be possible, and she doesn’t want to exclude options that might come up for consideration. Her amendment also includes the option to leave the site as it is, instead of building a memorial.

          “My only primary goal here is to preserve the site,” Fann said. “The thought of somebody putting a water tower up there someday just didn’t seem appropriate.”

          The bill would allow the purchase of the state trust land where the firefighters fell. It creates a committee to design the memorial and administer the fund and any donations for the purchase. The committee would include relatives of the firefighters, state representatives and state parks board officials. Fann’s amendment added representatives of the Yarnell Fire Department and chamber of commerce.
          ————————————————————-

          NOTE: According to HB2624 itself… it is now basically up to the memorial management committee that has been formed ( which now officially includes Brendan McDonough ) to decide if the State of Arizona should actually purchase the exact property where the men died… or purchase some other piece of property for State of Arizona’s official memorial site.

  26. Bob Powers says

    WTKTT —I have said before the fire picture taken before the move was enough for me even not being there to tell my crew to get comfortable and watch the Fire activity and learn something.
    Dynamite would not have moved me from the black Safety Zone or Lightning or all the threats in the world but that is me and that is the way I was trained.

    I will say had Steed stood his ground and not moved we would not be in this conversation or know each other at this time.

    With out knowing the exact words in the report I can say Marsh used his authority to get Steed to move the crew down to the Ranch. That is why they picked up and moved so fast at the end of the Radio conversation.

    I still think the crew was a little faster getting to the saddle than was stated by the SAIT.
    That would explain them not seeing the fire movement at 1620 the crew and Marsh were in the canyon blind to the Fire. That is the only explanation that would keep the crew moving down rather than going back to the black. The 1620 fire activity has never made any since to me as why the crew would have continued off the saddle at that point and into a brush filed canyon .

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Bob Powers post on August 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      >> Bob Powers said
      >>
      >> I have said before the fire picture taken before the move was enough
      >> for me even not being there to tell my crew to get comfortable and
      >> watch the Fire activity and learn something.

      Copy that. Regarding the question I just asked you about whether anyone on that ridge might have been even entertaining any thought that the dozer-pushed east-west two track was going to stop any/all of that fireline… I went back and looked at all the photos taken out on that ridge circa 1550 to 1555 myself. It seems perfectly obvious that even the ‘flame lengths’ of the fireline as it was approaching that two-track out there were probably at least TWICE as high as that little two-track was WIDE. Not a good scenario. That ‘Big Dog’ was EATING and was going to just LAUGH at the two-track when it finally reached it… dozer-pushed or not.

      It was time to just watch the ‘Big Dog’ EAT.

      >> Bob Powers also wrote…
      >>
      >> Dynamite would not have moved me from the black Safety Zone or Lightning
      >> or all the threats in the world but that is me and that is the way I was trained.

      If more details emerge about this supposed ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed… we may discover that it was Marsh himself using ‘verbal dynamite’ to try and get Steed to do what HE ( Marsh ) wanted to do and something that was against Steed’s better judgement. Steed might have been thinking exactly like you would have… but somehow Marsh was able to get him to move, anyway.

      It was Steed himself telling Marsh over the radio ( at 1555 ) “I copy… and it has ALMOST made it to that two-track road we walked in on”. That means Steed was telling Marsh that it was really only a matter of minutes before that two-track was going to ‘burn over’… and then just a finite ( short?) amount of time after that when it would be ‘all black’ and have cooled enough for them all to just walk back down the way they came up that day. Everybody goes home alive.

      >> Bob Powers also wrote…
      >>
      >> I will say had Steed stood his ground and not moved we would not be in this
      >> conversation or know each other at this time.

      If we didn’t have the MacKenzie videos and photos… it would still be a total mystery where Steed himself and the crew themselves were at 1555.

      But we DO have that non-debatable photographic evidence. ( Thanks to Christopher, may he Rest in Peace ).

      Regardless of where Marsh really was… the scenarios ALL point to it being Marsh as the one who had to convince Steed to ignore all the various SAFE options… and go for the RISKY one.

      If Marsh wanted to come charging into Glen Ilah like Captain America…. he was free to do that all by himself. He had been ‘floating around’ by himself all day, anyway.

      If he wanted the entire Granite Mountain team to come charging in like the cavalry that day… then Marsh had to convince Steed to ‘move them’. from where they were.

      It looks like Marsh wanted ( and accomplished ) the latter… not the former.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> With out knowing the exact words in the report I can say Marsh used his
      >> authority to get Steed to move the crew down to the Ranch. That is why
      >> they picked up and moved so fast at the end of the Radio conversation.

      I think I hear you saying that, in the end, it wasn’t any of the ‘negotiating’ or ‘be nice’ skills that Duane Steinbrink and Darrell Wills had been teaching Marsh since 2005 that came into play.

      Marsh just simply ORDERED Steed to “bring them down here right now”.

      I really hope that doesn’t ( ultimately ) turn out to be what happened that day.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> I still think the crew was a little faster getting to the saddle than was
      >> stated by the SAIT. That would explain them not seeing the fire movement
      >> at 1620 the crew and Marsh were in the canyon blind to the Fire. That is the
      >> only explanation that would keep the crew moving down rather than going
      >> back to the black. The 1620 fire activity has never made any since to me as
      >> why the crew would have continued off the saddle at that point and into
      >> a brush filed canyon .

      You may be right about ALL of that.

      If Marsh really did ORDER Steed to ‘get them down here RIGHT NOW’… then they would have been making pretty good time on that first part of the hike. Maybe the initial hiking order from Steed was “ON THE DOUBLE, GUYS!” and that does explain the VERY abrupt end to the ‘picture taking’ session.

      As the ADOSH panorama ( and some of the recent YouTube videos made from them ) show… they had a ‘good view’ out to the middle bowl for the entire initial hike… but if they missed that SAIT / ADOSH estimated 4:15 to 4:20 fireline progression… then they would have also missed the chance to see how FAST the fire was ‘picking up speed’ out there.

      So it may be a matter of them going much FASTER to that ‘top of the saddle’ area than even the SAIT has said… but then getting ‘bogged down’ on the descent to a much worse degree than the SAIT also suggested.

      They may have been almost literally CRAWLING down that drainage for that final descent to the place where they would die.

      The question still remains… though.

      WHERE was Marsh… and WHY was he either unable ( or unwilling? ) to notice the predicament they were getting into and ‘call them off’ before it was too late.

      • Bob Powers says

        Marsh could not have been very far from the crew when Steed noted the flaming front. Marsh was to the crew quickly which means he saw the flames the same time as Steed. The major mistake no lookout watching the fire activity. Along with several other huge mistakes in situational awareness.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Bob Powers post on August 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

          >> Bob Powers said…
          >>
          >> Marsh could not have been very far from the crew when Steed
          >> noted the flaming front.

          Absolutely true. Since we first heard the ‘Helmet Cam’ audio… there has always been a TIME component and a RADIUS component involved there.

          Draw a circle around the deployment site and given those 2 minutes it took for Marsh to appear on the radio saying “I’m here ( now ) with Granite Mountain”… the RADIUS of the furthest edge of the circle indicating where Marsh could have been only extends out but so far from the center in any direction.

          >> Marsh was to the crew quickly which
          >> means he saw the flames the same time as Steed.

          Only if it was the PULL scenario ( Marsh out ahead even circa 1639 ).

          In the PUSH scenario… with Marsh still behind them… then Steed had ‘point’ for that hike and Marsh might have only learned of the predicament when he, himself, heard Steed’s first MAYDAY going out on the A2G channel.

          Maybe that’s why the PUSH scenario was just ‘assumed’ for so long.

          Maybe the fact that it is Steed making the first MAYDAY call that seems to cause the ‘assumption’ that if he was the first one noticing that ‘flaming front’ coming right at them then he MUST have also been farther ahead than anyone else.

          To assume that Marsh was up to 2 minutes AHEAD of Steed out there but it ends up being Steed being the first one to sense the danger and making the first MAYDAY call is almost a little harder to accept.

          Maybe ( wherever Marsh really was ) it was, as you describe, a ‘simultaneous’ recognition… .or maybe even in those circumstances… Marsh himself didn’t feel the need to even call anyone until AFTER Steed had started doing so.

          That actually still leaves a lingering ( big ) question.

          Who DECIDED to call Air Attack in the first place?

          They had obviously already realized their predicament, decided to deploy, found a place to deploy, got people assembled there, decided it needed to be ‘improved’ ASAP, got at least 2 sawyers to pull the ropes on their saws and get to work… and only THEN do we hear the first radio call from Steed.

          Did Steed make that decision to call ‘Air Attack’ himself… or was Marsh already there and TOLD him to do that while Marsh himself remained busy directing the improvement of the deployment site and starting the burnout operations.

          Still all part of the mystery of what really happened out there.

          >> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> The major mistake no lookout watching the fire activity.
          >> Along with several other huge mistakes in situational awareness.

          I think what we are establishing here is that even in the PULL scenario… Marsh could NOT have been acting as ‘forward lookout’ or could have had much better ‘eyes on the fire’ at 1639 than Steed did… or the tragedy might have been averted.

          That establishes some pretty tight ‘guidelines’ for even the ‘Get them down here right now” ORDER that possibly came from Marsh circa 1555.

          It means that Marsh might not have even started his own descent into the canyon at 1555 and got severely ‘bogged down’ himself as he decided to drop into the canyon still marking bushes with pink tape.

          It would mean that the possible ORDER from Marsh came as he was still standing at the top of the saddle and putting some pink tape there at the point where he wanted Steed to leave the two-track.

          In other words… Marsh made the final decision they were going down into the canyon WITHOUT actually ever having gone down into it himself.

          He simply ‘saw the ranch’… decided it was reachable… and then called Steed and said “get ’em down here… we’re gonna do this.”

          Somehow… someway ( however it really went down ) any scenario has to account for that predictable RADIUS that puts Marsh still within 2 minutes of a wild run away from Steed at 1639.

          • calvin says

            WTK

            How do you conclude that Marsh was only a 2 minute wild run from Steed and GM? Do you think Marsh only started moving towards GM after Steed makes the “we are in front of a flaming front” call?

            At 1639, Marsh reports that “our escape route has been cut off” It seems to be assumed that the first time Steed sees the fire, he calls in with “we are in front of a flaming front” At the beginning of the helmet cam video, B33 is in mid conversation concerning the valley and doing the “best we can”, before Steed radios in the mayday call.

            I am not sure we will ever know at what point Marsh, or GM knew of the trouble they would soon be facing. But I believe it was before the mayday call from Steed. The Papich photos seem to support that GM had visibility of the fire before the call from Steed.

            • calvin says

              Follow up to my comment.

              When the helmet cam video starts, it is undeniable that B33 and the Prescott crew with the go pro are aware of what is going on.

              The 3 Prescott guys have made it out f their trucks and one has actually turned on his helmet camera, and when he pans around they (the other 2) appear to be standing at ease. So it appears that you could add additional time onto the known amount of time that GM/ Marsh knew they were in trouble, and also add that amount of time to Marsh’s mad dash toward the crew.

              I also think the fact that Marsh announces their escape route has been cut off means that the fire has progressed across their intended (scouted?) route, and not just coming into view or around the corner (little round top?)

              After listening to the helmet cam video a few times today a
              few things come to mind.

              1. Who is B33 talking to when the video begins?
              2. Is that Musser at the (app.) 30 second mark?
              2. It seems that B33 is pretty sure of the location of GM. He asks directly if they are on the south side of the fire. He verbalizes a VLAT, the heavies, and several aircraft are coming but never asks where they are? He does say the helicopters are going to have a hard time seeing you, but doesn’t voice hesitation concerning their location.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to calvin post on August 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm

                >> calvin said…
                >>
                >> Follow up to my comment.
                >>
                >> When the helmet cam video starts, it is undeniable
                >> that B33 and the Prescott crew with the go pro
                >> are aware of what is going on.

                Well… I’m not sure I’d push it into the ‘undeniable’ category yet but YES… it sure as hell looks and sounds like they did… or at least Aaron Hulburd did and that’s why he was switching on his Helmet Camera for the first ( and only? ) time that day.

                Just a few seconds into the Helmet Cam and right after Steed’s first MAYDAY at +13 seconds… one of the 3 Prescott off-the-radar hires other than Aaron Hulburd is heard asking “Is Granite Mountain still in there?”. It was probably KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell. Didn’t sound like Jason Clawson.

                So even though they had already heard Steed’s first MAYDAY… at least one of them didn’t have a clue where they were or what this new radio traffic was all about.

                That doesn’t mean the other 2 didn’t know at that point or that it wasn’t obvious by then that ‘something was wrong’. It just means that ONE of them ( the one asking if GM was still ‘in there’ ) was totally confused at that point.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> The 3 Prescott guys have made it out f their trucks
                >> and one has actually turned on his helmet camera,
                >> and when he pans around they (the other 2) appear
                >> to be standing at ease. So it appears that you could
                >> add additional time onto the known amount of time
                >> that GM/ Marsh knew they were in trouble, and
                >> also add that amount of time to Marsh’s mad dash
                >> toward the crew.

                Yes… but I think the evidence that GM had already announced they were ‘in trouble’ is stronger in the testimony from Blue Ridge that they FIRST heard something like that on the TAC 1 radio channel BEFORE anything started showing up on the Air-To-Ground Channel 16… AND the fact that we might be hearing Burfiend telling someone at the very start of that Helmet Cam video that even he was already aware that GM was in trouble and his reference to “Not sure what we can do with that valley and all the smoke but we’ll do the best we can” was Burfiend telling this other someone they already KNEW some crew was ‘in trouble’ and ‘out in that valley’ somewhere.

                NOTE: This ‘other someone’ that Burfiend is talking to at the start of the Helmet Cam has actually always been ASSUMED to be Structure Protection Group 1 Supervisor Gary Cordes.
                The reason for that assumption is that Burfiend clearly ENDS that initial transmission in the video with “Break, Structure 1, Bravo 33, on Air-To-Ground”.

                That’s radio lingo for “This is Bravo 33 ending my conversation with Structure 1”.

                That still doesn’t mean that the conversation was NOT about Granite Mountain and their predicament. Burfiend MIGHT have been talking to SPGS1 Cordes at that moment but the conversation might still have been about Granite Mountain.
                Maybe Cordes heard that same initial MAYDAY that Blue Ridge reports hearing on TAC 1 and it was SPGS1 Gary Cordes that immediately got on the horn with Burfiend in B33 and was already asking him if there was anything he could do about the situation.

                The possibility that it was no coincidence whatsoever that Aaron Hulburd switched his Helmet-Cam on at the moment he did and it was because he ALREADY knew something *important* was now happening is just ‘additional’ possible proof that Marsh / Steed were very much aware of the trouble they were in before 1639… and that they HAD made some kind of transmission on TAC 1 before trying the Air-To-Ground frequency.

                So YES… anything that puts Marsh / Steed realizing their predicament BEFORE Steed’s first actual radio call at 1639 obviously adds TIME to any theory about what was actually happening out there in that box canyon.

                Keep in mind, though, that anything that adds TIME there also adds TIME to the possibility of them doing a ‘full reverse’ and getting the hell out of there and back up that ridge.

                One ‘ascent’ study we had here ourselves, based on the official Canadian study of how fast FFs can climb certain slopes actually showed that under ideal conditions ( sustained rate of travel and no one falling down )… they might have only needed another 80 seconds in there somewhere ( even based on all the SAIR time estimates ) to have made it back up and OVER that ridge.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> I also think the fact that Marsh announces their escape
                >> route has been cut off means that the fire has
                >> progressed across their intended (scouted?) route,
                >> and not just coming into view or around the corner
                >> (little round top?)

                I don’t think the photographic evidence would support that… not even the 4:35 PM Papich photos. That’s just 240 seconds before Steed’s first MAYDAY.

                I am not saying the SAIR / ADOSH estimated firelines are correct either. We STILL don’t know exactly how THEY came up with some of those specific estimates… but I don’t think the fire could have been all the way between them and the BSR at the moment Steed sent his first MAYDAY.

                In other words… I am sure their perception was that they were ‘cut off’… but I don’t think the fire had, in fact, physically ‘crossed their intended’ path just yet.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> After listening to the helmet cam video a few times
                >> today a few things come to mind.
                >>
                >> 1. Who is B33 talking to when the video begins?

                See above.

                The assumption has always been SPGS1 Gary Cordes because Burfiend clearly ends that transmission with “Break, Structure 1, Bravo 33 on Air-To-Ground” and that is just radio lingo for “This is Bravo 33 ENDING my conversation with Structure 1 on the Air-To-Ground channel”.

                If Burfiend was NOT actually just talking to ‘Structure 1’… then it’s a pretty short list of other candidates

                It would had to have been someone in a command position on the SOUTH end of the fire who would have been authorized to even be directly ASKING Bravo 33 to do anything… and also someone who would have known what ‘valley’ Burfiend was referring to at that time.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> 2. Is that Musser at the (app.) 30 second mark?

                At +30… that is OPS1 Todd Abel asking Bravo 33 if they ‘copied’ that first MAYDAY from Jesse Steed.

                However… I AM hearing Paul Musser in there at +38.

                Musser is trying to raise someone on the radio and the first ‘call sign’ ( the person he is calling ) is cut-off in the video by Robert Caldwell’s own “How do you read?” transmission up to Bravo 33. The only part of that first call-sign from Musser that is left seems to suggest he was saying FIVE, or something like that.

                However… the second part of his callout where he identifies himself as the ‘caller’ is clearly “Operations”. It definitely SOUNDS like Musser’s voice and that would match him identifying himself as ‘Operations’.

                NOTE: This second call-sign of ‘Operations’ captured there in the video at +38 has always been documented as being there in the official transcript released with the Helmet-Cam video.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> 2. It seems that B33 is pretty sure of the location of GM.

                I’m not sure why you would assume that, really.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> He asks directly if they are on the south side of the fire.

                Yes, he does… but still not sure what makes you think that is proof he was ‘pretty sure of their location’ prior to him asking that.

                I believe any assumptions on Burfiend’s part that the caller was ‘on the south side of the fire’ at that point goes back to the initial MAYDAY call of “We are in FRONT of the flaming front”.

                Burfiend heard that… and that certainly didn’t mean anyone was on the NORTH side of the fire, at that time. The only good guess at that time about someone being “in front of the flaming front” would be that they were, in fact, somewhere on the SOUTH side of the fire at that moment.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> He verbalizes a VLAT, the heavies, and several
                >> aircraft are coming but never asks where they are?

                It is still amazing how much time Burfiend WASTED just ignoring all those radio calls ( for 2 minutes ) when that was plenty of time to get an exact fix on their location… but it is equally amazing that once Marsh was asked directly where they were… over a clear and strong radio connection… he also didn’t give more information than just his “Affirm” to that vague guess by Burfiend of “So… you’re on the south side of the fire, then?”.

                Totally ‘missed opportunity” on the part of BOTH of those men that day.

                >> calvin also said…
                >>
                >> He does say the helicopters are going to have
                >> a hard time seeing you, but doesn’t voice hesitation
                >> concerning their location.

                Yes… it is rather odd that even though Marsh only gave him an ‘Affirm’ to his “So… you’re on the south side of the fire, then?” guesstimate… that Burfiend wasn’t coming right back with “Copy your Affirm… but WHERE, exactly, are you?”.

                At that point… I guess even Burfiend knew that unless he could get a visual on them… there wasn’t going to be anything he could do… and the ‘south side of the fire’ general location was enough for him to go on while he tried to obtain that VISUAL that he desperately needed.

                Something tells me that even at that point… Burfiend was going ‘by the book’ but already knew that if they were, indeed, being entrapped on that ‘south side of the fire’ there really wasn’t anything he was going to be able to do. Not at THAT time. Not with the way that smoke column was ‘laying over’ and filling that entire area down there.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Followup…

                  Don’t forget about the ‘slash across the throat’ gesture from French over to Musser as soon as Marsh did his ‘Affirm’ of them being “on the south side of the fire”.

                  What that means is that the moment the guy in the airplane knew that someone was deploying anywhere there on the ‘south side of the fire’… he could tell from what he was seeing out his window that they were most probably ‘goners’… and there wasn’t going to be anything they were going to be able to do about it.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Another followup…

                  Even though that conversation at the start of the Helmet-Cam ( and before Steed’s first MAYDAY ) clearly ends with Burfiend saying “Break, Structure one, Bravo 33, on Air-To-Ground”… and that means Burfiend was officially ending his current conversation with SPGS1 Gary Cordes…

                  Gary Cordes himself says NOTHING about this conversation with Burfiend in his ADOSH interview.

                  It that really was Gary Cordes already realizing Granite Mountain was in trouble ‘out there’ ( because he had heard the same initial TAC 1 transmission that the Blue Ridge notes seem to say happened before the A2G calls ) and we are hearing Gary Cordes himself already asking Burfiend if there is anything Air Support can do about the situation…

                  …you would think Gary Cordes would have mentioned this little ‘event’ to ADOSH investigators.

                  He didn’t. Not one word. Zero. Zip. Nada.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    B33 was Breaking with some one else and calling structure one.
                    Like—-Bla bla bla 10-4 break. Structure one Bravo 33
                    on air to ground. That is always used to switch to another contact. Also some times is— Break WITH Structure one.— DIV-? bravo 33 on air to ground. You are breaking with one contact to contact another.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Copy that… I think it appeared ( at first ) as if it WAS the ‘formal’ kind of ‘break’ and you also say who you are breaking WITH ( and off of what channel )… but now that doesn’t appear to be the case.

                      As Calvin pointed out… Gary Cordes supposedly lost his ability to ‘transmit’ on the A2G channel before this conversation… so it really couldn’t have been ‘B33 talking with Structure 1 on Air-To-Ground’.

                      That means what Burfiend says IS, in fact, a ‘break with whoever else he was just ‘reporting’ to ( Abel? Musser? ) and then ( for some reasons ) he needed to then speak RIGHT AWAY with SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

                      According to Cordes… the A2G channel in use that day wasn’t even programmed into his Motorola Unit at all so he probably didn’t even hear Burfiend’s attempt to talk to him mere seconds before Steed’s first MAYDAY.

                • calvin says

                  The primary reason I assume B33 knew the location for GM is because he ” assumed correctly” that they were on the south side. There were other flaming fronts at this time on the East side of the fire. Another appropriate guess would have been “So you are on the EAST side of the fire”.

                  After Marsh affirms that they are on the south side, B33 repeatedly announces help is on the way. He never once seems unsure of their location or does he follow up with any questions concerning their location. And it appears that he thinks the helicopters are going to get really close, and asks Marsh to listen for them.

                • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                  A couple of thoughts:

                  WTKTT, the word ‘BREAK’ in a radio conversation ends THAT conversation,… period. Anything spoken AFTER that word, is a new conversation, spoken to a new party.

                  Calvin, ‘our escape route has been cut off (or compromised), simply means the fire is already burning it up, OR, that by our observation, ‘by the time we get to that crossing, the train is going to beat us there’.

                  • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                    RE: BREAK

                    Ah… OK… Thank you ( Copy that )

                    I thought that all had been settled some time ago… that Burfiend might have been using a more formal ‘break’ where you DO specify WHICH conversation you are actually ‘breaking’ out of so there is no confusion. I guess that wasn’t the case here.

                    So scratch what I said above about any kind of assumption that Burfiend was reporting to Cordes at the start of that Helmet-Cam video.

                    It had to be someone else. Maybe Musser. Maybe Abel.

                    Calvin is also right to remind that Cordes had, in fact, supposedly lost his ability to transmit on A2G before this timeframe.

                    • calvin says

                      Ok. So it appears that B33 was NOT speaking with /to Cordes (SPGS1) at the beginning of the helmet cam.

                      Why would B33 then callout to SPGS1 immediately following the partial conversation we hear?

                      The partial conversation at the beginning of the helmet cam video is concerning Granite Mountain. While we do not know 100%, the evidence strongly suggests that.

                      Following that conversation, B33 immediately calls to SPGS1. SPGS1 was on the south side of the fire and ultimately admitted to knowing GM’s location. SPGS1 was not the direct supervisor of DIVA., right?Why would B33 want to contact Cordes?

                      The Prescott 3 pulled their trucks to a stop and got out and started videoing with the helmet cam because of what was being transmitted over air to ground, and possibly other channels.

                      I really find it interesting that Abel, and Musser (Operations) are heard at the beginning of the helmet cam video, but B33 wanted /needed to talk to SPGS1.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to calvin post on August 28, 2014 at 2:30 am

              >> calvin said…
              >>
              >> WTK… How do you conclude that Marsh was only a 2
              >> minute wild run from Steed and GM?

              Well… At +13 seconds in the Helmet-Cam video is when Steed starts his first MAYDAY call saying “We are in front of the flaming front”. That transmission ends at +19 into the video.

              At +2:11 into the video the the first moment we hear Eric Marsh coming on the radio saying he is “With Granite Mountain”.

              So that’s just 1 minute and 58 seconds between the start of Jesse’s first MAYDAY and Eric appearing on the radio ( or 1 minute 52 seconds from the END of Jesse’s first MAYDAY ).

              So I’ve always been just calling it ‘2 minutes’ between Jesse’s first MAYDAY and when Eric comes on the radio.

              Eric DOES sound ‘out of breath’ when he comes on the radio.. but not all that bad. It would tend to indicate he had come ‘running’ towards Steed when he heard that first MAYDAY, but any number of other scenarios have always been possible as well.

              Examples…

              1) Marsh could have been very much aware of the emergency before Steed ever gets on the radio and could have already been ‘running’ towards him even prior to 1639.

              2) Marsh might have already been right there the whole time and he, himself, was already organizing the clearing of the deployment site and the ‘burnout’… and Marsh simply just TOLD Steed ( face-to-face ) to call Air Attack. Marsh might have been busy continuing to organize the site improvement and burnout for the entire 2 minutes we hear Steed AND Caldwell trying to raise Air Attack. They were getting nowhere… so Marsh might have then stopped what he was doing and took over the attempts to contact Air Attack as ‘DIVSA’ since Steed and Caldwell weren’t having any luck getting Burfiend to responds to call sign ‘Granite Mountain 7’.

              Probably other scenarios have always been possible here as well.

              >> calvin also said…
              >>
              >> Do you think Marsh only started moving towards GM
              >> after Steed makes the “we are in front of a flaming front” call?

              Well… yes… but ONLY when my mind is tending to favor the PUSH scenario that puts Marsh WEST of Steed and either at the end of the single-file line of men or even still ‘catching up’ to them.

              In the PUSH scenario… Marsh would have been even more blind than Steed at 1639 and Steed’s first MAYDAY might have been the first time Marsh even realized there was ‘trouble up ahead’.

              In the PULL scenario… with Marsh EAST of Steed and even closer to the Boulder Springs Ranch… I am not really sure WHAT to think.

              That scenario seems to imply that Marsh MUST have seen the same ‘flaming front’ BEFORE Steed did… but then why was there no radio traffic?

              Marsh COULD have been running BACKWARDS at that point when Steed decided to make that first MAYDAY… but something still really bothers me about any scenario where Marsh might have been farther EAST than Steed… and yet those men still had to find out they were in deep shit by themselves.

              Something is still not ‘adding up’ for me in the PULL scenario
              and having to explain the Helmet-Cam traffic and the timing there.

              >> calvin also said…
              >>
              >> At 1639, Marsh reports that “our escape route has been
              >> cut off” It seems to be assumed that the first time
              >> Steed sees the fire, he calls in with “we are in front
              >> of a flaming front”

              That “out escape route has been cut off” statement from Steed at 1639 has always been a mystery and it remains so ( in my opinion ).

              Even the SAIT’s own 1640 fireline progression estimate does NOT support that statement. The fireline was NOT actually ‘bewteen’ them and the BSR at that point. It was coming in from the NORTH and entering the box canyon… yes… but their direct path to the Ranch had not been ‘cut off’.

              Truth is… if there had been nothing but flat ground and no brush for those final 640 yards… these men COULD have still taken off hauling ass at 1639 and been able to cover those final 640 yards to the Ranch in time to still be alive today.

              So, technically speaking, “our escape route has been cut off” was not totally accurate at 1639. It most certainly was Steed’s *perception* at that moment… but not altogether (technically) true.

              >> calvin also said…
              >>
              >> At the beginning of the helmet cam video, B33 is in mid
              >> conversation concerning the valley and doing the
              >> “best we can”, before Steed radios in the mayday call.

              Yes… and it has ALWAYS been possible that what we are hearing there is Burfiend already being aware that the men are ‘in trouble’ out there ‘in that valley with the smoke’ and he is actually telling someone they are already planning on trying to do something about ‘Granite Mountain’ but it’s going to be (quote) “tough because of that valley and all the smoke”.

              >> calvin also said…
              >>
              >> I am not sure we will ever know at what point Marsh,
              >> or GM knew of the trouble they would soon be facing.
              >> But I believe it was before the mayday call from Steed.

              There has always been that bit of testimony in the Blue Ridge Notes that they FIRST heard Steed ( or Marsh ) issuing some kind of MAYDAY call over the TAC 1 radio channel… BEFORE any of that Channel 16 Air-To-Ground traffic started.

              I have always thought THAT might be the reason that Aaron Hulburd suddenly reached up and turned on his Helmet Camera.

              There has never been a good explanation WHY Hulburd chose that one moment in time to suddenly start recording video and audio with his Helmet Camera that ( supposedly ) one and only time that day. SOMETHING made him chose that moment to turn that camera on.

              NONE of the Prescott off-the-radar hires ( Hulburd, Clawson, or Yowell ) have ever been interviewed, as far as we know.

              Combine the testimony about the TAC 1 transmission BEFORE any of the Air-To-Ground traffic with what we actually hear Bravo 33 saying at the start of the Helmet-Cam video PLUS the decision by Hulburd to activate his Helmet-Cam at the moment he did…

              …and a VERY good case could be made that everyone WAS aware GM was in trouble BEFORE the Helmet-Cam video ever starts.

              >> calvin also said…
              >>
              >> The Papich photos seem to support that GM had visibility
              >> of the fire before the call from Steed.

              There are now all kinds of photos that support that.

              They SHOULD have been able to see a LOT… .even during their descent.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Followup to above…

                Forgot to mention… it really is pretty clear WHO Burfiend was talking to at the very start of the Helmet Cam video.

                It appears to definitely have been SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

                He is telling someone that other ( air ) resources are entering the area and that they will do the “best they can” ( about something specific? ) given that valley and “all the smoke out there”… and then he ENDS his conversation with…

                “Break, Structure one, Bravo 33, on Air-To-Ground”.

                Radio lingo for…

                “This is Bravo 33 ENDING my current conversation with Structure One on the Air-To-Ground channel”.

                That doesn’t mean for one second that the actual conversation might not have been ABOUT Granite Mountain and that Cordes was already aware of their predicament and had already called B33 to ask them if there was anything they were going to be able to do about it.

                Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t.

                SPGS1 Gary Cordes makes no mention whatsoever in his ADOSH interview of this conversation with Burfiend just seconds before Steed’s first MAYDAY hit the radio.

                • calvin says

                  I thought Cordes lost the Air to ground channel prior to deployment?

                  My interpretation of that callout is . BREAK… as in end of prior conversation followed by a callout from B33 to SPG1 (Cordes)

                  Cordes doesn’t answer

                  • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                    I agree as well. Scratch whatever I said above about ‘assuming’ it was Cordes just because of how Burfiend ends that transmission.

                    It most likely WAS the end of a ‘report’ by Burfiend to someone else ( Who? Abel? Musser? ) and then ( for some reason ) Burfiend wanted to talk to Gary Cordes immediately after that.

                    Maybe the part of the conversation that was not recorded was someone ( Abel? Musser? ) ASKING Burfiend to get in touch with Cordes right away because he might know more about this ‘ranch’ thing and/or where GM might really be.

      • mike says

        This is a really muddled picture right now. However, in order to understand how Marsh saw things that afternoon, knowing where he was at an given moment really is important. If there was a GPS, it would reveal a lot I am sure. There is a lot we do not know about this supposed argument, and it would be easy to assume things that might not be the case. Remember Musser’s “request” – and I am not sure we yet have the full story on that. Not sure why this tape would come out at trial – the plaintiffs are suing Arizona Forestry and CYFD, not Eric Marsh’s estate or employer. The defense might want to get ahold of it. Seriously, if Marsh ordered his men to move over the strong objections of his captain and possibly crew bosses, that would be just awful for the families to deal with. We do not yet know this to be the case although we do not know it isn’t either.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to mike post on August 27, 2014 at 11:06 pm

          >> mike said…
          >>
          >> This is a really muddled picture right now.

          It always has been… thanks to Arizona Forestry.

          The opportunity to do the best job possible of finding out EXACTLY what happened out there that day was right after it happened.

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> However, in order to understand how Marsh saw things that
          >> afternoon, knowing where he was at an given moment really
          >> is important.

          Yes. It is.

          We still haven’t heard enough from the mysterious Mr. Rory Collins.

          He didn’t leave the fire until 1558 ( that is even AFTER Christopher MacKenzie’s videos and the now supposed ‘Gaggle up right now’ moment at 1555 and not 1604 like the SAIR thought ).

          Did Rory Collins SEE Marsh down there… scouting ahead… at any time after 1542 when Collins was still ‘circling’ around that area?

          Where did Bravo 33 actually SEE the men when Todd Abel asked them to go check on them in the 1610 to 1615 timeframe?

          Were they really still ‘in the safe black’… even that late?… or were they already standing at the top of the saddle above the box canyon?

          Did Bravo 33 see Marsh when they did they ‘check’ for Abel?

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> If there was a GPS, it would reveal a lot I am sure.

          There is no IF about it. There WAS at least one GPS out there.

          It was that Oregon 450 Unit clipped right there to Robert Caldwell’s pack strap that Calvin found ‘hiding in plain sight’ in a photograph taken that very morning.

          Marsh listed GPS exptertise on even his application for a job with the Prescott Fire Department.

          Brendan McDonough told ADOSH they normally have at least 4 handheld GPS units ‘out there with them’.

          If there was even just ONE more handheld GPS out there that day in addition to the KNOWN Orgegon 450 Unit attached to Caldwell… then it was probably Eric Marsh who had it.

          WHERE is Caldwell’s Oregon 450?
          WHERE is Marsh’s GPS Unit ( if he had one )?
          WHERE are the other TWO units Brendan says should have been out there?

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> There is a lot we do not know about this supposed argument,
          >> and it would be easy to assume things that might not be the case.

          Of course… but between Mike Dudley’s public admission that even the SAIT was told about it early on… and now the supposed attempt by someone to get more information about it out into the public arena… my money says it happened… and an ‘argument’ is an ‘argument’.

          That means someone wanted someone to do something the other someone didn’t want to do… and they were ARGUING.

          We know who those ‘someones’ probably were… and what they were probably arguing about. Sometimes you CAN assume some things until more evidence shows up.

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> Remember Musser’s “request” – and I am not sure we yet have
          >> the full story on that.

          Yes… but we also have to remember Marsh’s response ( at 1542 ).

          I now believe that the timing was such here that Marsh had his conversation with Musser just seconds BEFORE Frisby was finally able to raise Marsh on the GM intra-crew and tell Marsh that he wasn’t going to make the face-to-face meeting Marsh requested.

          If that is true… then I believe Marsh told Musser he ( and GM ) were still “committed to the ridge” ( Marsh never said “committed to the BLACK” ) only because he was standing up there expecting Frisby to show up at any moment for the ‘face-to-face’ he had requested.

          The moment Marsh heard Frisby say he wasn’t coming… it was then all about getting the hell out of there.

          Maybe Musser’s call that seemed to say “We could use you guys down here” was ringing in his ears… maybe not.

          >> mike also wrote…
          >>
          >> Not sure why this tape would come out at trial – the plaintiffs
          >> are suing Arizona Forestry and CYFD, not Eric Marsh’s estate
          >> or employer.

          For all intents and purposes… they ARE suing ‘Marsh’s employer’.

          From the moment Granite Mountain was HIRED to work that fire… they were now ‘working’ for the Arizona State Forestry Department.

          It was THEIR fire… and THEIR ‘workplace’ ( as ADOSH established ).

          As it turns out… there IS a law on the books in the City of Prescott which basically says that even if an employee of the City of Prescott goes crazy and takes out a gun and makes 18 other guys walk directly into a fire while he is ‘on the job’… the City of Prescott cannot be held responsible for that employee’s actions.

          THAT is why City of Prescott and PFD fell ‘off’ the list of defendants for the wrongful death lawsuits. The lawyer(s) for the families were just being honest with them and saying that would be a hard road to go even if they had a video of everything that happened that day.

          However… not the same story for State of Arizona or Arizona Forestry.

          While Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed, and the Granite Mountain Hotshots were working that Yarnell Fire and de-facto ’employees’ of the State of Arizona… there IS ‘liability’ involved for ‘their actions as employees of the State’..

          So the importance of ‘the tape’ ( if it exists )… or the importance of ANY evidence that might show what REALLY happened that day… has to be viewed in that context.

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> The defense might want to get ahold of it.

          There are good reasons for BOTH sides of the courtroom to ‘get ahold of it’.

          They BOTH have an interest in knowing what REALLY happened.

          One of the most interesting things ( if this really ever does go to trial ) will be who amongst the many, many witnesses that are going to be called to the stand can be considered a ‘hostile witness’ by either side.

          It’s gonna be confusing in that regard alone.

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> Seriously, if Marsh ordered his men to move over the strong
          >> objections of his captain and possibly crew bosses, that would
          >> be just awful for the families to deal with.

          Maybe. Maybe not.

          ALL of the families involved in the wrongful death suits have ALL said the same thing at this point.

          No matter what else happens… they want to know the TRUTH.

          >> mike also said…
          >>
          >> We do not yet know this to be the case although we do not
          >> know it isn’t either.

          And the beat goes on…

          “Oh what a tangled web we weave… when first we practice to deceive”.

          I hope the ‘web’ eventually gets ‘untangled’.

          • mike says

            I was only bringing up Musser as an example of something we heard and thought was true, and then the “truth” changed a lot when more facts were released. Not prejudging anything, but I think AZ Forestry really would like to portray Marsh as the driving force behind this – his idea, his motivation, his insistence. Maybe these are all true, but if they are, “defacto employee” or not, I tend to think they will have a really good defense. They would argue that nothing they had done had put the GMHS in any danger, and then Marsh, even against the advice and wishes of his crew, forced them to move and then get killed. I am not a lawyer, but pushing liability for that onto AZ Forestry seems to be a reach.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to mike post on August 28, 2014 at 6:02 am

              >> mike said…
              >>
              >> I was only bringing up Musser as an example of
              >> something we heard and thought was true, and then
              >> the “truth” changed a lot when more facts were released.

              I am still not sure the full word ‘truth’ can be applied to the Musser situation because ( as you also said above ) “we still don’t have the full story on that”. What ADOSH published was just a HYBRID of two different accounts ( Abel’s and Musser’s ) and neither of those ‘storys’ have been backed up by testimony from any of the many people who must have also heard Musser’s 1542 conversation with Marsh.

              It’s still sort of amazing to me that we ( and others ) have spent countless hours just trying to hear some things in some background radio conversations ( like finding Musser’s actual radio call directly to DIVSA at 1542 )… yet it seems no one really bothered to interview the people that were STANDING there and hearing the conversations themselves.

              Eric Panebaker himself was never really ‘interviewed’ by anyone.

              Granted… it wasn’t his job to be monitoring radio traffic… but we also know he was listening intently most of the day. His own ‘Unit Log’ from that day does recall certain specific transmissions and he even wrote down the call sign. Panebaker was sure about the time he heard Marsh’s report to Todd Abel about the fire blowing through the retardant line and he recorded both the time and Marsh’s call sign ( Division Alpha ) accurately in his Unit Log.

              So for some of these other radio transmissions that are obviously present in the background of Panebaker’s own videos ( like the 1542 callout from Musser to DIVSA )… what ELSE did Eric Panebaker hear?

              The Panebaker video that captures Paul Musser calling directly to Marsh is only 24 seconds long and it cuts off before Marsh even responds to Musser… but Eric Panebaker was still standing right there with the radio on the same channel.

              Did Eric Panebaker himself hear what the actual conversation was between Musser and Marsh just a few seconds after that video ended?

              I don’t think anyone has even bothered to ASK him ( yet ).

              That’s just ONE example.

              Perhaps Panebaker himself heard a LOT more that day or heard some of the transmissions that we KNOW took place but we struggle to hear over wind and microphone noise a LOT more clearly… complete with CALL SIGNS.

              The minute those videos turned up… he ( and whoever else was standing with him at any time during the day ) SHOULD have been extensively interviewed. They should have been sitting with him and PLAYING the videos during the interview in case that would help him remember the parts of the conversations that were NOT actually captured in the videos themselves.

              >> mike also said…
              >>
              >> Not prejudging anything, but I think AZ Forestry really
              >> would like to portray Marsh as the driving force behind
              >> this – his idea, his motivation, his insistence. Maybe
              >> these are all true, but if they are, “defacto employee”
              >> or not, I tend to think they will have a really good defense.

              No one was hovering over those men in the helicopters with a machine gun pointed at them and yelling down… “Move to the ranch NOW or we will open fire.”

              Even if it turns out there IS proof of someone who was not out there being the one to insist that they ‘come to town’… the move itself is on Eric Marsh and Jesse Steed alone.

              That isn’t going to change.

              So on a certain level… what you are wondering about above is already KNOWN to be true. It WAS most probably Eric Marsh’s ‘agenda’ that was the driving force behind the ‘move’ once the ‘move’ became ‘the plan’.

              That doesn’t change the ‘liability’ issues for the State of Arizona in any way. We are still talking about the decisions made by employees of the State of Arizona ( albeit… 1099 and not W2 ) that led to the ‘wrongful deaths’ of 19 men.

              >> mike also wrote…
              >>
              >> They would argue that nothing they had done had put
              >> the GMHS in any danger, and then Marsh, even against
              >> the advice and wishes of his crew, forced them to move
              >> and then get killed.

              See above. Still decisions being made by AZ State employees at the time they were being made. The liability still exists.

              ADOSH ( Arizona’s own Occupational Safety and Hazards Agency ) has ALREADY concluded that was an ‘unsafe’ workplace with mis-placed priorities, less than complete and less than competent management in place, and insufficient resources to support plans put into place.

              If the lawyers for the defendants still try to float the argument that “nothing anyone did put GMIHS ( or anyone else ) in DANGER that day”… the ship has already sailed on that.

              ADOSH has already determined that EVERYONE was being ‘put in DANGER’ that day because of that ‘unsafe workplace’.

              That includes the 6 men who also almost lost their lives in Harper Canyon… and many, many civilians who came close to dying as well.

              It really is a miracle they weren’t hauling bodies out of that part of Arizona for DAYS following this incident.

              >> mike also said…
              >>
              >> I am not a lawyer, but pushing liability for that onto
              >> AZ Forestry seems to be a reach.

              So… if either someone who works for an Airline calls out to one of the Airlines’ planes in flight and asks them to fly through a dangerous thunderstorm to make it to an airport they want them to land at ASAP… OR the pilot of that plane decides to take his crew and his passengers through that dangerous thunderstorm all by himself….

              …and then the plane crashes and everyone dies…

              Are you saying the Airline can just get onto NBC News and announce… “One of our pilots made a terrible decision… that’s not our fault”?

              Same deal here.

              Every family of every passenger that died in that plane crash would have a valid ‘wrongful death’ suit against the Airline that employed the pilot… regardless if he was 1099 and not W2 at the time of the crash and regardless of whether it could be proved one of the Airline’s other employees TOLD him to do it.

              It wasn’t some impromptu gathering of firefighters in Yarnell that day. It was a WORKPLACE. That fire was being RUN by the ‘State of Arizona’… and EVERYONE who was there and getting paid for their time was an employee of the State of Arizona that day.

              • mike says

                Several things:

                First, the fact that other people might have died if largely irrelevant to the case of the GMHS – unless they want to argue they were pushed to move because others were at risk. It is the GMHS survivors suing, and the actions of AZ Forestry vis-à-vis the GMHS are all that is going to matter.

                Second, I would not be so sure the airline analogy is applicable. AZ state law may have a lot to say on this matter. In addition, it was not like AZ Forestry turned over one of their planes to the GMHS. And hotshot crews have a tradition of some freedom of action and independent judgment, especially in matters of safety (the turn-down option etc).

                I think a jury would look at the liability of AZ Forestry very differently between these 2 scenarios. First, someone with AZF suggested to Marsh that he move, and he ended up doing so. Yes, Marsh was responsible, but not really the driving force. Or second, he was told to stay put, and then proceeded to basically order his men to move. A jury I think would blame Marsh much more there, and would be less likely to say that AZ Forestry could have reasonably prevented that. Maybe AZ Forestry would be on the hook because they “hired” Marsh, but a jury might not go along with that and might award a lot less in the second instance, if anything at all.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to mike post August 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

                  All good points.

                  No… this wasn’t an actual airplane crash.

                  Whether the ’employer is always ultimately responsible for actions of employees’ rule will apply is going to be the entire essence of the litigation. I am not completely familiar with Arizona law but something tells me that if the State of Arizona had the same kind of ‘get out of responsibility free’ card that the City of Prescott seems to have… they would have played it by now.

                  Yes… it will be VERY important to establish whether the audio recording of Abel talking to Marsh constituted a ‘clear order’ or not. Abel was a 1099 contract employee for the State of Arizona that day just like Marsh was. If it can be established that the directive to ‘Hunker and be safe’ was a clear ORDER from one superior 1099 contractor to a subordinate… and the other 1099 contractor just ignored it and ended up killing people… well… now you have one 1099 contractor doing the ‘right’ thing by the State of Arizona and one 1099 contractor doing the absolute ‘wrong’ thing ( directly disobeying an order ).

                  I’m not sure how that will play with a jury.

                  Ultimately, though, the jury might be given some pretty strict guidelines that they will have to follow here.

                  They MIGHT be told that regardless of what any other AZ State employee did that day ( like Abel trying to do the RIGHT thing )… if they, the jury, find that ANY AZ State employee did the WRONG thing and subjected other employees to reckless endangerment… resulting in death… then they must STILL find for the plaintiffs and award accordingly.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Followup…

                  mike… this might constitute ‘more than you wanted to know’ but here is the actual ‘readers-digest’ version of what that ‘get out of responsibility free’ card really looks like for the City of Prescott… and why that same ‘get out of responsibility free’ card isn’t in the deck for the other plaintiffs named in the wrongful death suit(s).

                  Believe it or not… it all comes down to the rules and regs of ‘workers comp’ insurance and the inherent ‘statutory immunity’ clauses usually associated with that.

                  Just about anyone who ever employs anyone has full ‘workers comp’ insurance for those employees. That insurance includes ‘death benefits’ in case of work-related accidents.

                  NORMALLY… the buck stops there ( as far as the employer’s responsibility goes )… because the death benefits paid out by worker’s comp fall into the legal category called ‘exclusive remedy’.

                  In other words… we’re sorry the employee died… but we pay lots of money for our worker’s comp insurance and they, in turn, have paid out a death benefit that qualifies as an ‘exclusive remedy’… and so there is no more responsibility on our part.

                  In order to go anywhere beyond the ‘exclusive remedy’ provided by worker’s comp… and on to ‘wrongful death’ claims against the employer… plaintiffs have to prove that that it wasn’t just a ‘terrible accident’. There has to be evidence of ‘negligence’ ( willful or unwillful ) on the part of the employer.

                  In the case of Yarnell Hill… it was the ADOSH report itself that pretty much provided for this ‘next step’.

                  The ADOSH report DID find evidence of BOTH ‘willful’ and ‘unwillful’ negligence in that workplace known as the Yarnell Hill Fire.. .and they issued FINES for these infractions.

                  However… the ADOSH report did NOT find that the City of Prescott itself was involved in creating that ‘unsafe workplace’ that day. Well… they did ( kinda )… but not to same extent as Arizona Forestry.

                  So the attorneys for the families KNEW that was going to make it REALLY difficult to pursue ‘wrongful death” suits against the City of Prescott itself… since they still have their ‘statutory immunity’ in place because of ‘worker’s comp’ and the ‘exclusive remedy’ clause.

                  So they advised the families that it would not be likely that the City of Prescott could be held liable for the deaths of these employees of theirs to any extent beyond the ‘exclusive remedy’ already provided by worker’s comp.

                  That is ALSO why the SAIR report was so namby-pamby and refused to find any ‘wrongdoing’.

                  If they had… then they would have ALSO been supplying ‘independent testimony’ that there was more involved here than just a simple ‘accident’ fully covered by the ‘exclusive remedy’ clause of worker’s comp.

                  So it is the ADOSH report itself that gave the ‘green-light’ for these ‘wrongful death’ suits to proceed because enough evidence of ‘negligence’ was found to rise above the ‘exclusive remedy’ and ‘statutory immunity’ clauses of worker’s comp.

                  There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that at the time they died… all the members of Granite Mountain were technically employed by BOTH the City of Prescott AND the State of Arizona ( and were also subject to decisions being made by Central Yavapai County employees ).. but since only Arizona Forestry and Central Yavapai were being ‘cited’ in the ADOSH report for both ‘willfull’ and ‘unwillful’ negligence… it would have been tough to pursue anything beyond the ‘exclusive remedy’ worker’s comp coverage already provided by City of Prescott.

                  Does that make ANY sense at all?

          • Bob Powers says

            For every ones benefit I had to first prove the possibility that Marsh could have been ahead of the crew to drop my undocumented evidence on this investigation.
            I need and this investigation needed enough evidence to put marsh in front of the crew to make what I had been told plausible.
            Had I just dropped the info on you guys with out any written facts I would have been hung out to dry and we would have never looked at the new possibility of marsh actually being in front and below the crew.
            So we have put together a lot of circumstantial evidence to reach this new scenario
            We will have to wait for the hidden evidence to show its self to justify what we now suspect.
            If the person who posses the video would release it to John it would solve a lot of our searching and give a clearer picture of what happened that day. As WTKTT said no one can sue Prescott city or there employees so maybe we will see this evidence.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Bob Powers post on August 28, 2014 at 6:20 am

              >> Bob Powers said…
              >>
              >> For every ones benefit I had to first prove the possibility
              >> that Marsh could have been ahead of the crew to drop
              >> my undocumented evidence on this investigation.

              It has ALWAYS been a ‘possibility’.

              As I have said before… I think the only reason(s) the theory that Marsh was BEHIND the crew had been the favored one for some time was because of the following ‘facts’ and ‘assumptions’.

              1) Marsh was NOT with the crew in the 1550 to 1555 timeframe. He was ‘somewhere else’ and had to talk with Steed via radio. The MacKenzie videos prove that as fact… but ‘not with the crew’ could mean anything. He COULD have been farther NORTH and trying to ‘catch up’ to their location… or he COULD have already been farther SOUTH and going down to ‘check out’ the ‘predetermined escape route’.

              2) Jesse Steed makes the first MAYDAY call at 1639. This just established an ‘assumption’ that Steed must have been the first one to see the fire as they descended towards the Ranch and that would mean Eric Marsh was BEHIND him somewhere and only heard about the emergency when he also heard Steed hit the radio.

              3) Eric Marsh ‘appears’ on the radio at 2+ minutes into the MAYDAY calls and he sounds out of breath. That makes for the ‘assumption’ that he had RUN up to Steed as fast as possible when he heard Steed’s 1639 MAYDAY call. Combined with assumption (2) above… that also leads to the assumption Marsh was still ‘catching up’ to the men from behind circa 1639.

              As I have also said before… the ONLY thing that would make the ‘PUSH’ scenario ( Marsh to the NORTH and telling Steed to go ahead and he would ‘catch up’ ) more plausible than the ‘PULL’ scenario ( Marsh ahead of Steed to the SOUTH and then, at some point, calling Steed and telling him to bring the crew south ) is some hard evidence that Marsh was so far NORTH ( and perhaps even up on the top of Weaver Mountain ) that he and Steed would have agreed it to be prudent if Steed took off SOUTH with the crew BEFORE Marsh reached their location and that Marsh would simply ‘catch up’ as fast as he could. Basically just a realization on their part that TIME was the enemy and even though that is not the way they normally do a ‘move’… there was no need under those circumstances for Steed to WAIT for Marsh to get there before taking the crew to the SOUTH.

              There is no such ‘hard evidence’ of that scenario.

              Indeed… the recently noticed testimony from Brendan McDonough that Eric Marsh seemed to be (quote) “Literally right above me” for most of the day would tend to indicate that the PUSH scenario is not plausible at all.

              There is no point up on the ridge that would qualify as being ‘right above Brendan’ that day that wasn’t more than just a few minutes hike from the location where we see Steed and the crew circa 1550-1555 in all the photos and videos.

              About the farthest point north on the ridge where Marsh could have been that would still qualify as being ‘right above’ Brendan’s lookout mound would be the Helispot itself where the Lewis DOC crew was flown out to the same anchor point the day before and then flown out that Sunday morning. It was still only about 1/4 mile north of that ‘resting location’ where we see Steed and the crew circa 1550-155.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> Had I just dropped the info on you guys with out any
              >> written facts I would have been hung out to dry and
              >> we would have never looked at the new possibility of
              >> marsh actually being in front and below the crew.

              Obviously I can only speak for myself… but that is nonsense.

              If you had just come out and said “I got a phone call last night and someone is actually verifying what Mike Dudley said about there being an ‘argument’… but the ‘argument’ was with Steed still back at the anchor point and not down at the saddle”…

              I would have believed you… and I would have still pointed out that all of that has always both ‘plausible’ and ‘possible’.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> We will have to wait for the hidden evidence to
              >> show its self to justify what we now suspect.

              I suppose so.

              I wish someone would just come out and either FIRE anyone who was working the Yarnell Fire that day… OR… issue statements that no one who was there can possibly lose their frickin’ job just because they talk about what happened there.

              BOTH of those scenarios would remove this stupid component of people being afraid to lose their jobs for talking about something they heard or witnessed ( or reveal they HAVE something that no one has seen yet… like… say… Caldwell’s Oregon 450 GPS unit? ).

              If everyone is either already FIRED or already ‘CANNOT be FIRED’ then maybe people can just stop worrying about their damn job and just do the right thing… fer chrissakes.

  27. Bob Powers says

    WTKTT —My thoughts
    I Think the statement might be in those that were almost totally blacked out as there were a few of those that we could not even know what had been said.
    So those with the complete documents/copies may have the statement.
    I am sure the Lawyers would have the full report.

    Otherwise they just edited what they wanted to release and filed the rest.
    There task was not to show fault on the fire fighters or overhead. so they were free to edit what they wanted. Glad the FS got away from this form of investigation.
    It may just come back to haunt the investigators before it is all said and done.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Mr. Powers… if you are referring to some of those extensive blackouts in the individual Blue Ridge Hotshot unit logs that weren’t even released by the SAIT until February 27, 2014… I hear ya. Redacting a word here or a word there to prevent names, addresses or phone numbers from showing is one thing.

      Redacting entire paragraphs of testimony is something else altogether.

      It has never even been made clear WHO ( which agency ) did these redactions. Were the documents intact as they reached the SAIT ( from the feds ) and Arizona Forestry freaked out about what they contained… or were the redactions already in the documents as they arrived from the feds?

      In other words… WHO felt they had the freedom and the right to just redact whatever the hell they wanted to without even following proper procedure and requesting exemption coverage for the larger redactions?

      Also… if you are referring to those redacted Blue Ridge unit logs… did you just admit that you know this ‘friend’ of the person who called you is, in fact, a blue Ridge Hotshot?

      • Bob Powers says

        No I do Not Know but BR is suspect biased on access to GM vehicles and there crew freq. only saying if it was a BR person that may be where there statement is in all the blackout areas. Just a suggestion as to where the testimony ended up. The only thing I was told was the person was on the fire and heard the crew net for GM and copied the radio traffic it was before they left the rest area if I did not make that clear.
        It was also at the same time as the Video that was released So just before or just after, I think Ashcrafts video. at the rest site.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Bob Powers post on August 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm

          >> Bob Powers said…
          >>
          >> No I do Not Know but BR is suspect biased on access to GM
          >> vehicles and there crew freq. only saying if it was a BR person
          >> that may be where there statement is in all the blackout areas.
          >> Just a suggestion as to where the testimony ended up.

          Copy that. Thank you. Yes… IF one of the reports about this ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed was coming from a BR Hotshot… then it might be in one of those LARGE redactions in the Feburary 27, 2014 Blue Ridge Unit Logs. All of the MAJOR redactions in all of those unit logs ( sometimes entire paragraphs ) come at around the same ‘critical’ time(s)… like when this (supposed) ‘argument’ might have been heard over the radio and on into what these fellas heard shortly before and DURING the deployment.

          >> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> The only thing I was told was the person was on the fire and
          >> heard the crew net for GM and copied the radio traffic it was
          >> before they left the rest area if I did not make that clear.

          I think you did, yes.

          The (supposed) ‘argument’ was about whether to LEAVE that ‘rest area’ and the ‘safe black’ or not… unless I misunderstood what you were saying.
          >:> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> It was also at the same time as the Video that was released
          >> So just before or just after, I think Ashcrafts video. at the rest site.

          I was just wondering… though… based on what you were told was being said ( which I understand you won’t even try to repeat without more proof )… do you think the ‘discussing their options’ conversation we hear in the MacKenzie videos was part of the 4 ( FOUR ) separate radio calls you mentioned as part of this ‘argument’… or do you think the conversation in the MacKenzie video about “Marsh: I knew this was comin’… I could just feel it, ya know” and then “Steed: I copy… and it’s almost made it to that two track we walked in on” was an entire separate exchange either BEFORE or AFTER the ‘argument’.

          The reason I ask is that I think the ‘PULL’ theory with Marsh out ahead of the crew and then trying to ‘convince’ Steed to ‘bring the men down here’. presents a new perspective on why Steed might have said “I copy… and it’s almost made it to that two track we walked in on.”

          I still believe Calvin has always been right in that one of the only reasons Steed would feel the need to report that to Marsh over the intra-crew is because Steed knew Marsh was not in a good position to see that at the time he was reporting it.

          In the ‘PULL’ theory… that would mean that Marsh was SOUTH of Steed at that point and MAY have been able to see that fireline just about to reach that ‘road that we walked in on’… but Steed simply wasn’t sure Marsh could see that with any clarity or not so that’s why he said what he said.

          However… Steed’s MOTIVATION for saying that might have been a little different given the report(s) that at some point here they began ‘arguing’ about the ‘move’.

          Steed might have ( and rightly so ) realized that ONE of their options at that time was to just LET the fireline overtake the ‘road we walked in on’ and then once it cooled a little just ‘walk back down the way we came’… even though they knew the vehicles had been moved.

          So Steed might have been telling Marsh “It’s almost made it to that two-track road we walked in on” in support of HIS idea about just waiting a little bit and then walking back down the way they came up.

          In other words… Steed might been ‘reminding’ Marsh, at that time, that this other ‘option’ they had of just heading down the way they came up once it was ‘black’ was about to become a very viable option.

          Steed might have been reminding Marsh that it wasn’t going to take an HOUR to have that option. The fire had already ALMOST made it to that two-track they walked in on and it wouldn’t be long before that would become their ‘safest option’ for getting back to town.

          If that was part of Steed ‘arguing’ for that option… obviously that didn’t fit with what Marsh wanted to do or that’s what they would have done that day.
          Marsh obviously didn’t say “Well if it’s already that close to that two-track then just wait until it is ‘black’ and ‘safe’ to head down that two-track again and go back to town that way.” Marsh wanted to get ‘where the action was’ ASAP and waiting until the fire had simply passed over that two-track ( even if that only meant a 30 minute wait ) and then doing a long walk through the black BEHIND the fire wasn’t ‘cutting the cake’ for Marsh. That ‘option’ didn’t fit Marsh’s agenda that afternoon so he stayed in PULL mode and ended up convincing Steed to bring the men SOUTH instead.

          Just a thought.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Here is a ‘followup’ thought to the other ‘thought’ above that maybe Steed was telling Marsh “I copy… and it’s almost made it to that two-track road that we walked in on” because he wanted to inform Marsh that HIS ‘favored option’ was to just WAIT until the fire burned over that road… and that it wasn’t going to take very long at that point.

            Here is another ‘what if’ to go along with that ‘thought’.

            That two-track road had been ‘dozer pushed’ pretty damn well that morning and on into the afternoon before the dozer was moved over to the Cutover Trail to ‘push’ that stretch of trail as well.

            Hernandez and Ball had done a pretty good job of widening that east/west two-track all the way west to the old-grader itself. They had even ‘cleared’ all around that old-grader and supposedly well enough for Marsh and Steed to TELL Brendan that was his ‘safety zone’ from his lookout position.

            The only reason Hernandez and Ball didn’t ‘keep pushing line’ to the west with the dozer is because just past the old-grader it started to get very rock, very steep, and the dozer had a 12 foot non-angled blade that proved inadequate for that final push to the west up to the existing black.

            Anyway… what I am saying here is that the two-track that Steed and Crew had ‘walked in on’ that morning had been IMPROVED after they passed by on it. It was not WIDER and could supposedly have been considered a FIRE BREAK.

            We can even see how WIDE it was after the ‘dozer push’ in Brendan McDonough’s photos that he took after Frisby dropped him off at Marsh’s Superintendent truck.

            It wasn’t a 4-lane highway… fer sure… but it had certainly been ‘improved’ along its length from what it was even that morning when Steed and the Crew hiked out to the ridge on it.

            Is it possible that when Steed told Marsh “It’s almost made it to that two-track road that we walked in on” that they really might have had all their fingers and toes crossed that this ‘improved’ two-track now qualified as a pretty good ‘fire break’ and it *MIGHT* have had a chance of stopping the advancing fireline that day?

            What if Steed was WAITING to simply see if that was going to happen, or not?

            Obviously that ‘improved’ east-west two-track didn’t stop the fire.

            It was not ENOUGH of a ‘fire break’ to stop that south-advancing fireline out there that day… but in the minutes leading up to the fireline reaching that two-track, when Steed told Marsh “It’s almost made it to that two-track we walked in on”… they didn’t KNOW what was going to happen. Maybe they were still hoping it would stop some or all of the advancing fireline…. and Steed somehow wanted to stay right there where they were to see whether that was going to happen… or not.

            That improved two-track MUST have had some effect.

            Obviously flame lengths were such that it just ‘burned to the other side of the road’ when it reached that east/west two-track fire-break… but there’s never been any testimony from Air Attack ( or anyone else ) as to whether all that work they did with the dozer had any impact at all that day. Maybe it did… or maybe more people ( like Steed and/or Marsh? ) were HOPING it would and were ‘waiting to see what was going to happen’ around that time.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Bad ‘single word’ typo above that changed the meaning of a paragraph. I typed ‘not’ instead of ‘now’.

              Paragraph above should have read like this…

              “Anyway… what I am saying here is that the two-track that Steed and Crew had ‘walked in on’ that morning had been IMPROVED after they passed by on it. It was NOW WIDER and could supposedly have been considered a FIRE BREAK.”

              • Bob Powers says

                You are very close to some of the facts.
                Like Bring the crew down to the ranch NOW..
                Which put Marsh below the crew in the statement I was given.
                Some of the other catches you noted could be part of the 4 radio conversations.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Mr. Powers… I forgot to ask you directly above… but I’d really love to hear your opinion as a professional firefighter about the *possibility* that anyone up on that ridge that afternoon ( Steed, Marsh, anyone ) just *might* have been hoping that the ‘dozer line’ was going to have any effect on the approaching fire.

                  You’ve seen the MacKenzie photos and videos, including the very moment when Steed is telling Marsh “I copy… and it’s almost made it to that two-track road we walked in on”.

                  Forget what I said above for a moment about that statement from Steed being any kind of indication that he was favoring the ‘wait until the fire passes and go down the way we came’ option.

                  What I’d really love to hear is an opinion from a professional FF who has seen those MacKenzie photos and who also knows about the work that was done with the dozer on that two-track road all day.

                  The whole east/west two-track had already been ‘pushed’ and was no longer just a ‘wildland jeep trail’. It was cleared by a dozer from Brendan’s lookout mound all the way back east to the ‘Sesame area’.

                  Do you think even the possible ‘expectation’ that the cleared two-track was going to act as a ‘firebreak’ that afternoon factored into any of the decision making?

                  Do you think they ( Steed, Marsh, etc. ) had all their fingers and toes crossed that the ‘pushed’ dozer line might provide some ‘stoppage’ for parts of the fireline that day… or should it have been perfectly obvious to anyone with WFF experience that it was useless to even entertain that possibility even for one minute?

                  • Bob Powers says

                    The Dozer line was dependent on how the fire hit it.
                    If it backed in it might have held. Indirect line with out backup help from fire fighters is suspect at best. I think it was part of the Firing out plan that never got completed. 1 or 2 blade cat line wasn’t going to hold a running fire and there was hand line above it to the black that was really suspect to any type of containment with out firing it out. The fire basically over ran the indirect lines because the plan to fire them out was not completed. In the burning conditions that afternoon there was no way that dozer line was going to hold flame lengths and spotting were very prevalent in those kind of conditions fires jump highways.
                    It was useless to entertain that possibility……
                    also the fie run into Glen Illa was out side the line and with the wind switch would have run back up on the opposite side of the cat line the fire had already compromised the cat line, jumped its containment lines. Indirect lines are only as good as the ability to enforce them.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Thank you. Exactly the kind of ‘professional opinion’ I was looking for about that.

                      So it’s pretty safe to assume that no one up on that ridge was ‘waiting to see what would happen’ with regards to the fireline reaching the east/west two-track.

                      They were professionals.
                      They knew it wasn’t going to stop anything.

                      Whatever the ‘discussions’ were over the radio circa 1542 to 1604… they most probably didn’t include any kind of “let’s wait and see how well the dozer line does before we decide to go anywhere” component.

                      That was the reason I asked.

                      It struck me that there might have been a possibility here that Steed and/or Marsh were NOT really sure that fireline was going to fully threaten Yarnell until they saw what might happen as it hit that dozer line.

                      If they had been entertaining any ‘hopes’ at all that the pushed dozer line might STOP all or part of that south-advancing fireline… then they might have been ‘wating’ to ‘see what was going to happen’ before fully committing to any ‘mission’ to try and get to town ahead of the fireline.

                      I guess that really isn’t’ possible.

                      The minute that fire turned and it blew through that retardant line ( as Marsh reported to Todd Abel at 1542 )… they knew that there was nothing that was going to stop it from reaching town.

                      So the ‘importance’ of them (perhaps) trying to get to town BEFORE the fire got there was ‘on their minds ( or at least… on Marsh’s mind ) even at 1542 and there was really no other ‘event’ to wait for to ‘see what might happen’.

      • Marti Reed says

        Re the redactions etc.

        (Sorry, I’ve had to invest my time/energy/focus elsewhere lately, and will continue to have to do so, but…..)

        IIRC (and I don’t have time to go digging) the BR logs were written up around Tuesday night, under the auspices of the SAIT. So I don’t think the USFS would have redacted them before they were given to the SAIT.

        The USFS (along with the BLM) didn’t formally “step in” until the ADOSH investigation. I’m sure their mindset involving “protecting employees” (for, historically speaking, IMHO, understandable reasons) was quite operative during the SAIT investigation. But I doubt they were “redacting” things during the SAIT deliberations.

        Which means the SAIT read those logs etc un-redacted. They knew what was in them. And, if Bob Powers’ source is correct, they have a video. Which means Dudley knows the evidence. But, then, the SAIT has called other things we now know are documented “unable to be substantiated.”

        I don’t know who redacted them. But by the time they were FINALLY released, all things considered, I can imagine someone from both Arizona Fire and the USFS sitting down with those logs and deciding to use their black magic markers on them.

        Which begs the question:

        Who were they trying to protect with their black magic markers??

        And, btw, remember that Peeples Valley engine guy who said he turned over his photos to the SAIT. Why weren’t they released? Which then begs the question, What else does the SAIT have that hasn’t been released?

        Which leads me to the question of how much power/authority the Arizona FOIA laws may/may not have over a Federal Agency i.e. the USFS. That doesn’t explain the with-holding of the Peeples Valley guy’s photos, but it might have to do with the redacting of the Blue Ridge logs (and maybe etc.)

        BTW I’m still trying to think about this fire systemically and in a historical context. It’s really complicated because it involves a State Fire (with Federal Resources dispatched to it) rather than a Federal Fire (which can be excruciatingly complicated enough to investigate these days).

        I think this fire was woefully under-resourced. I think all this CYA stuff is related to that.

        So there’s this otherwise really good but possibly really tired and obviously frustrated IHC crew (sorta kinda federal and sorta kinda not) over here that, while the fire is turning around and overwhelming everybody, including their overhead, goes off on their own mission, without keeping their overhead (who is overly busy with the details of a structure protection operation in a relatively distant area) apprised of what they’re doing.

        Within a context of a whole lot of not-very-accurate communication going on a whole lot of that fire.

        So much of what did go (and could have also gone) wrong, IMHO, most likely wouldn’t have if there weren’t so many holes in places where more people needed to be.

        And thanks, WTKTT, for the vid showing the fire behavior during the time they were approaching around the drop-off point.

        The most recent stuff I’ve been studying regarding LCES has, for awhile, emphasized that LCES, all by itself, is NOT enough. It needs to be surrounded by DYNAMIC situational awareness of, not only what the fire is doing, but what it COULD, given a WORST CASE SCENARIO, do.

        That tells me that something is not getting from the “best practices” folks to the folks risking their lives on the ground on this fire.

        • Bob Powers says

          Wow For some one who never fought fire you learned a lot.
          Remember the 10 and LCES…….LCES is only 4 of the 10 Situation awareness is covered by the other 5 and they all fallow #10.
          Thanks for the black ink info as well

  28. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    ** ANOTHER ‘THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS’ STYLE CROSSFADE VIDEO
    **
    ** CROSSFADES FROM ADOSH PHOTO IMGP0247 TAKEN AT THE DESCENT
    ** POINT INTO A GOOGLE EARTH 3 DIMENSIONAL GROUND LEVEL VIEW
    ** COMPLETE WITH VISIBLE SAIT / ADOSH FIRELINE ESTIMATES.

    Includes the official SAIT and ADOSH ‘fireline estimates for 4:15, 4:20, 4:30 and 4:40 PM translated to 3 dimensions and transposed onto the ground in Google Earth.

    This new video begins with ADOSH photo IMGP0247 ( from the Online ADOSH dropbox folder ) that is the ‘center’ of that ‘panorama’ taken by an ADOSH investigator who was standing directly on the two-track road at the top of the saddle above the box canyon. The photo was taken almost exactly where Tex ‘Sonny’ Gilligan found the ball of PINK flagging tape.

    That ADOSH folder ( which also contains the 7 other photos that go with IMGP0247 making up their entire panorama from the Descent Point ) is here…

    ADOSH Yarnell Hill Investigation / Photos and Videos / ADOSH 7-18 photos w GPS

    At +19 seconds into the video a very slow CROSSFADE begins.

    The ADOSH IMGP0247 photo then sorts of ‘melts away’ and reveals the exact Google Earth ‘Ground Level’ viewpoint from the same exact point on the two-track road where the ADOSH photo was taken.

    At +30 seconds the CROSSFADE has ended and you will now see all of the SAIT and ADOSH official fireline estimates transposed onto the terrain in full 3 dimensions. The firelines shown are the ones from 4:15, 4:20, 4:30 and 4:40 PM. These are not ‘guesstimates’. They are a careful transposition of all the 2 dimensional SAIT / ADOSH fireline estimates onto the 3 dimensional ‘Google Earth’ ground surface and can be considered highly accurate ( or at least just as accurate as the SAIT / ADOSH estimates themselves ).

    The SAIT / ADOSH estimated fireline boundaries themselves are represented by transparent ORANGE firelines and each of the time regions are filled in with some transparent BLACK to show all the areas that had already ‘burned’ as the fireline advanced out there in that ‘middle bowl’.

    Contrary to what some may have been believing… both the ADOSH IMGP0247 photo AND this new 3 dimensional look at the fireline visibility from that ‘Descent Point’ location prove that there was, indeed, a HIGH level of VISIBILITY out into that ‘middle bowl’ area from that ‘Descent Point’ location up on the saddle.

    The ADOSH photo and this new Google Earth ground level view from the saddle also prove that Granite Mountain both COULD and SHOULD have been acting as their own ‘lookouts’ for the entire hike SOUTH from the anchor-point area and on up the moment they were standing just above that box canyon and ‘deciding’ what to do next. There was, basically, as good a view of that ‘middle bowl’ and the area back towards Glen Ilah and Yarnell from the ‘Descent Point’ itself as any designated ‘lookout’ could have achieved from any other location on that ridge or anywhere along that high-ridge two-track road.

    The video ‘pauses’ 10 seconds or so after the crossfade and then just shows the identical Google Earth ground level view from the two-track road and out into the ‘middle bowl’.

    The location where the PINK flagging was actually found is marked in with a ‘pink locator balloon’ there in the bottom right corner of the video. It is at the exact GPS coordinates supplied by Tex ‘Sonny’ Gilligan for where he found that PINK flagging tape right there by the side of the high-ridge two-track.

    The red pointer balloon marked ‘D’ represents the location of the Deployment site. The actual location for deployment site ‘down there’ is NOT actually fully visible in either the ADOSH photo or the Google Earth ground view display. The actual deployment site is ‘hidden’ by the foreground terrain at that spot on the high-ridge two-track… but in both the ADOSH photo and the ‘Google Earth’ ground level view you can clearly see the ‘dozer line’ that was created coming from the Boulder Springs Ranch and leading out to the deployment site.

    Since the ADOSH image was taken post-fire ( on July 18, 2013 ), the Google Earth ground view is also using ‘post-fire’ satellite imagery and that is why the ‘bulldozer road’ coming WEST from the Boulder Springs ranch is clearly visible in both the photo and the Google Earth view.

    The red pointer balloon marked ‘B’ is at the center of the Boulder Springs Ranch in the distance.

    The red pointer balloon in the distance marked ‘Y’ in the upper-left-center of the video frame is pointing to the center of the Youth Camp at the western end of Shrine Road. This is where all the Blue Ridge and Granite Mountain vehicles were ‘staged’ in the 4:10 PM to 4:20 PM timeframe after having been ‘moved’ from their original parking spot out in the ‘Sesame’ area clearing.

    The red pointer balloon marked ‘C’ represents the exact ‘parking’ location for the Granite Mountain Crew Carriers out in the Sesame area when they first arrived that morning. The ORANGE fireline that is right near that pointer is in the 4:20 PM timeframe shows that the SAIT believed the fireline was just about to burn over that original GM ‘parking spot’ at about 4:20 PM.

    4:20 PM is also the time that the SAIT has given for when Steed and the Crew actually arrived at the very spot where this ADOSH photo was taken, so they also would have had a clear view of this original Sesame area ‘parking spot’ location from that ‘Descent Point’ in that timeframe.

    So… according to this new view from that location ( complete with the SAIT’s own estimated fireline boundaries ) Steed and the Crew COULD and SHOULD have seen ( circa 4:20 ) that the fireline was now ‘thrusting out’ into the Sesame area very quickly and ‘racing’ towards town out there in the distance and, indeed, also advancing very rapidly now on its western edge towards their current location and towards that box canyon.

    Even just the ‘difference’ between where the fireline was at 4:15 ( while they were supposedly still hiking south towards the saddle ) and where it could now be seen at 4:20 from that ‘Descent Point’ location represents a ‘dramatic’ difference that SHOULD have been clearly visible at 4:20 PM and should have given them a good idea of how FAST the fire was already moving and was, indeed, still ‘picking up speed’ out there.

    NOTE: Obviously this ‘View from the Descent Point’ does NOT show what would happen to the ‘visibility’ once you started a descent from that two-track location, but I still think it is significant to be able to ‘see what they SHOULD have been able to see’ before they started their descent.

    If Steed and the crew really were standing at this exact location in the 4:15 to 4:20 PM timeframe, ( as the SAIT says they were ) then they could/should have been able to see a LOT ‘out there’ before making the decision to actually drop into the fuel-filled box canyon.

    Also remember that the newly examined IMG_1334 and IMG_1335 photos taken at exactly 4:30 PM looking west from Highway 89 show that even as late as 4:30 ( 9 minutes before Steeds first MAYDAY ) the smoke column had not ‘laid down’ yet… so all of the SAIT / ADOSH fireline estimates being shown in this new Google Earth ‘ground level’ view from the ‘Descent Point’ SHOULD have also been clearly visible from that location circa 4:20 PM.

    At +41 seconds the video actually begins to PAN LEFT ( NORTH ) from that same ‘Descent Point’ location where ADOSH image IMGP0247 was taken.

    The views that will then appear from this point until the end of video now simply match that other series of ADOSH photos taken at that same ‘Descent Point’ location making up their own ‘panorama’ series… but this time we can see what the ‘visibility’ of all the various firelines should have also been from that same ‘Descent Point’ location.

    At about +1:14 into the video… the view from that ‘Descent Point’ is now approaching due NORTH and you can see that while the SAIT / ADOSH fireline 4:30 PM estimates do have the fireline ‘cresting’ that other mound known as ‘Big Round Top’… the 4:15 and 4:20 PM fireline location estimates were still also clearly visible from that ‘Descent Point’. Again… even just the difference between the 4:15 fireline location and the 4:20 PM location when looking in THAT direction was dramatic and should have been telling anyone up on that ridge how FAST the fireline was already moving circa 4:20 PM.

    At +1:25 the view from the ‘Descent Point’ is now back at the ‘Old Grader’ location and ( just beyond that ) the location of Brendan McDonough’s lookout mound. The Old Grader location is marked in the distance with a red pointer balloon that says ‘G’ and Brendan’s Lookout mound is marked in the distance with a red pointer balloon that says ‘L’.

    The 4:15 PM SAIT fireline estimate is well past Brendan’s prior lookout position and the 4:20 PM SAIT fireline estimate shows the fire well past the old-grader location and beginning to ‘fill’ that ‘upper middle bowl’ area on the western side of ‘Big Round Top’ and basically head ‘right at them’.

    At +1:50 in the video the ‘view’ from that ‘Descent Point’ location is now looking back NORTH along the high-ridge two-track and BACK towards the anchor point where the late afternoon ‘hike’ began. The view at this time now matches exactly that same ADOSH photo in their ‘panorama’ sequence when they were also ‘looking back north’ towards the anchor point.

    The red pointer balloon marked ‘M’ is the exact location where Christopher MacKenzie shot his photos and videos in the 1555 timeframe, and where the ‘Gaggle up’ took place and the hike to the saddle began.

    The red pointer balloon marked ‘R’ represents the location of that ‘Notched Rock that appears in ALL of the GM photos and videos taken between 1550 and 1555.

    At this point in the video we now also see ( in the top left corner of the video frame ) that the SAIT / ADOSH 4:40 PM fireline estimate has the fireline already ‘cresting’ the ridge to the north and along the route they had already come. This ‘cresting’ estimate in this location at 4:40 PM was apparently based solely on the Matt Oss time-lapse video footage taken from the Congress side that day… but has still not been completely verified.

    The video then ‘pauses’ still looking NORTH from the ‘Descent Point’ back along the two-track road and back towards the ‘anchor point’ area… and then the video ENDS.

    Direct link to this new YouTube CROSSFADE / PAN NORTH video…

    YouTube Video Title: Descent-point-fade-to-firelines

    http://youtu.be/qPRLiWFpFzg

    ** SUMMARY

    This new ‘crossfade’ from ADOSH image IMGP0247 ( taken at the exact place where the PINK flagging tape was found ) into a complete Google Earth ground level view from that same ‘Descent Point’ proves that the ‘visibility’ out into that ‘middle bowl’ in both the EAST and NORTH directions was probably much better than some had previously thought. The smoke column had not even begun to ‘lay down’ even as late as 4:30 PM so the transposed SAIT / ADOSH fireline estimates that are visible out there in that ‘middle bowl’ should have been easily seen by anyone standing there at this ‘Descent Point’.

    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

      While the found roll of flagging may represent the actual decent point, it’s also quite possible that it just represents the farthest point south on the two-track they progressed before deciding that it looked like it went to Congress.

      There is a relatively flat area that I would call sort of a ‘bench’ just below the two-track and on the east side of the area of the saddle from where the flagging was found, and it lies directly at the top of the drainage where some have speculated the actual descent occurred.

      Without anything specific to back it up, I still believe that they descended along this drainage. Descending directly from where the tape was found would have initially been a steep slide and a bit of a cluster for 19 men, whereby, it would have been an easy walk from the tape area down to the top of the drainage, giving them a better look into the bowl for a possible route.

      If that indeed was the case, the point I’m referring to at the top of the drainage, sets just enough below the N/NE terrain so that several of the points you refer to in the video would not be visible. Thus, they could have been in this lower area, ready to descend, during the moments the fire behavior intensified. That fire behavior would have been clearly visible from the ‘roll of flagging’ location above, but NOT from the top of the drainage.

      • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

        An additional comment to the one posted above:

        The terrain was steep heading down-hill at the point where the flagging was found, and if 19 men had descended there, there would have been a SIGNIFICANT disturbance to the hill-side. There has never been any suggestion or reports that something like that was found or seen.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to TTWARE post on August 25, 2014 at 8:29 pm

          >> TTWARE wrote…
          >>
          >> The terrain was steep heading down-hill at the point
          >> where the flagging was found

          Yes. It was. much ‘steeper’ for the initial ‘drop down’ than just heading down that drainage off to the left.

          >> …and if 19 men had descended there, there >> would have been a
          >> SIGNIFICANT disturbance to the hill-side.

          Probably so.

          >> There has never been any suggestion or reports that something
          >> like that was found or seen.

          Correct… and nor have there been any other ‘official’ reports about exactly where they DID leave that two-track… other than that ‘yellow squiggly line’ that was simply showing up in a random PDF graphic in the SAIR.

          There is still no question there a lot of ‘IF’s here.

          IF Marsh was actually ‘scouting ahead of the men’ and IF Marsh actually marked the two-track at the point where Sonny found the tape remnants and IF Marsh intended for them to descend there… and IF Steed actually reached that tape instead of bailing off the two-track before that….I still think at least one thing is known.

          The VIEW of the fire and its progression ‘out there’ from the two-track was pretty damn good.

          It was ‘good enough’ for them to be serving as their own ‘lookouts’ right up until the point where they left that road.

          Maybe this actually RAISES more questions than it answers… but the ADOSH photo is not debatable. It is what anyone standing at the spot where that pink flagging was found could actually ‘see’ out there in any timeframe.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to The TTWARE post on August 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

        >> TTWARE said…
        >>
        >> While the found roll of flagging may represent the actual decent
        >> point, it’s also quite possible that it just represents the farthest
        >> point south on the two-track they progressed before deciding
        >> that it looked like it went to Congress.

        Absolutely true. In the ‘PULL’ theory that Marsh was ‘ahead’ of the crew scouting and then had to convince Steed and the crew to ‘come south’… we don’t even know if Eric Marsh might have gone much farther south to actually ‘check out’ the alternate escape route, decided it would take too long to suit him, or something, and then came BACK to what is now called the ‘Descent Point’ above the Box Canyon.

        The reason the video just published is from the viewpoint of exactly where the pink flagging tape was found is because that is where the ADOSH investigators decided to be standing when their IMGP0247 was shot and then they also decided to take that full ‘panorama’ from THAT spot.

        AFAIK… the actual specific point where GM actually left the two-track to descend has still never been pinpointed. According to the SAIR document… it would have been a little NORTH ( to the LEFT in the ADOSH photo ) of where the pink flagging tape was found and their path was more directly down that drainage and up against the boulders.

        For the purposes of just trying to ‘see what they could see’ ( circa 4:20 PM or whenever they arrived in that saddle area )… there isn’t much difference.

        The view out towards the ‘middle bowl’ would have been pretty much the same from a spot just north of where this pink tape was found as is shown in the ADOSH IMGP0247 photo ( and this Google Earth ground view ).

        >> TTWARE also said…
        >>
        >> There is a relatively flat area that I would call sort of a ‘bench’ just
        >> below the two-track and on the east side of the area of the
        >> saddle from where the flagging was found, and it lies directly
        >> at the top of the drainage where some have speculated the
        >> actual descent occurred.

        Yes. See above… but until they actually left that high-ridge two-track… their VIEW out into the middle bowl anywhere along that last leg of the hike would have been similar to what ADOSH photo IMGP0247 shows.

        >> TTWARE also said…
        >>
        >> Without anything specific to back it up, I still believe that they
        >> descended along this drainage.

        Well… there (supposedly) is something ‘specific’ to back it up.
        A lot of people got highly paid by the Arizona Division of Forestry to do a ‘Special Accident Investigation Report’ and although no specifics about this are ever really mentioned in the final ‘report’… there is at least one DIAGRAM included that has that ‘yellow squiggly line’ which is (supposedly) these investigators indicating exactly where THEY thought the actual descent took place.

        Again… no more information than just a ‘yellow squiggly line’ on a PDF diagram… but I have to believe they had some ‘evidence’ to back this up whether they wanted to talk about it or not. Maybe they found something there in that drainage that made them sure where to draw that ‘yellow squiggle line’ but they didn’t want to talk about ( or admit to even having ) that evidence.

        I can’t believe they would just freakin’ GUESS about something so important to understanding how 19 men died and then just ‘call it a day’.

        >> TTWARE also said…
        >>
        >> Descending directly from where the tape was found would have
        >> initially been a steep slide and a bit of a cluster for 19 men, whereby,
        >> it would have been an easy walk from the tape area down to the
        >> top of the drainage, giving them a better look into the bowl for a
        >> possible route.

        Agree. Even pre-fire satellite imagery shows there was less vegetation to deal with at first on a direct EAST descent line from where that pink flagging was found… but it was also a ‘steeper dropoff’ once you started that way.

        Again… if Marsh was ahead of the men ‘scouting’ that one can only assume he knew this. Why he would put the pink tape where it was found is still just part of the mystery if it was, in fact, some of Marsh’s tape and not just something that fell off the pack of one of the other men.

        The new video is not attempting to solve any ongoing mysteries other than, perhaps, what kind of VISIBILITY either Marsh, or Steed / crew actually had from that location before deciding to leave that two-track.

        I would also still tend to say that the ADOSH photo IMGP0247 and this Google Earth ground view also proves that as far as having an established ‘lookout’ goes that day… that the view from that two-track was such that it can be said they were their OWN ‘lookouts’ right up until they decided to leave that two-track.

        It doesn’t appear that there was any better spot to actually BE a ‘lookout’ up there on that ridge that afternoon than the very two-track they were walking south on.

        If that indeed was the case, the point I’m referring to at the top of the drainage, sets just enough below the N/NE terrain so that several of the points you refer to in the video would not be visible. Thus, they could have been in this lower area, ready to descend, during the moments the fire behavior intensified. That fire behavior would have been clearly visible from the ‘roll of flagging’ location above, but NOT from the top of the drainage.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Whoops… I forgot to ‘bracket’ the last paragraph above which
          was still something TTWARE was saying.

          Bottom of post above should have looked like this…

          >> TTWARE also said
          >>
          >> If that indeed was the case, the point I’m referring to at the top of
          >> the drainage, sets just enough below the N/NE terrain so that
          >> several of the points you refer to in the video would not be visible.
          >> Thus, they could have been in this lower area, ready to descend,
          >> during the moments the fire behavior intensified. That fire
          >> behavior would have been clearly visible from the ‘roll of
          >> flagging’ location above, but NOT from the top of the drainage.

          Again… I agree.

          We still don’t know WHAT they actually did.

          As far as we know… no matter what the ‘visibility’ out there was from the two-track itself… they might have been so convinced they had all the time in the world ( or at least 2 hours, as Rory Collins told them circa 1550 ) that they never even bothered to look out there.

          But if the ‘PULL’ theory is correct… and Marsh WAS ‘scouting ahead’ and had marked that trail spot with his own pink tape… it’s not a far stretch of the imagination to believe that they at least walked UP to where this tape was… and THEN started making ‘other decisions’.

          So maybe ( even if only for a brief moment ) the VIEW from that ADOSH IMGP0247 photo and the new Google Earth ground view would have been a VIEW that they had that day before making any other ‘decisions’.

          If Marsh left that tape right there for some specific reason… but Steed / crew never even reached that tape and had already left the two-track at a point of their own choosing farther north of this spot… well… I guess that’s possible but until the moment they left the two-track ( wherever that was ), the VIEW out into the middle bowl would have been as good ( if not even better ) than this VIEW from the ‘pink tape’ location.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Followup…

        >> TTWARE said…
        >>
        >> The point I’m referring to at the top of the drainage, sets just
        >> enough below the N/NE terrain so that several of the points
        >> you refer to in the video would not be visible.

        If you can give me a lattitude / longitude for this exact ‘point’ you are referring to, I can do the same ‘ground level view’ with SAIT / ADOSH firelines as the video above.

        A really EASY way to do this is to just use the following online page…

        http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html

        It’s just like using regular Google Maps… but anywhere you ‘click’ with your mouse on the satellite imagery you will get a precise lat/long showing under the map.

        Just go to the page, enter ‘Yarnell, AZ’ into address bar, zoom down in satellite mode onto the ‘Descent Point’ area… and see if you can make out this exact ‘point’ you are referring to.

        Then just click it… and the exact lat/long for that point will appear in the boxes underneath the map.

        • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

          Utilizing the itouchmap tool I got different coordinates for the same location than I did when utilizing google earth.

          These are the google earth coordinates:

          34 13.308′ N
          112 46.860′ W

  29. Bob Powers says

    Getting to deep into the conversations below—-
    Calvin and WTKTT—–On Abel I again will say there are reasons with in the radio systems on fires at high activity points where people are on different channels and there for are not coping each others transmissions it is impossible to monitor all frequencies and be talking on another one. Todd Abel had to be very busy at that point in time he was responsible for several different resources. Each supervisor under him were operating on other freq. that day. Air attack could be talking at the same time he was on TAC, or a Eng. Strike team freq. or even a local city or county freq. depending on how the Freq. assignments were set up. Fire camp could have had several different radios monitoring the different freq. on the fire with different operators for each one.

    I have reason to believe and some roomer that the Argument between Marsh and Steed happened a little different than Mr. Dudley described it. Marsh was below the crew at the saddle and Steed and crew were still at rest area in the black. The crew was not at the saddle. My understanding is there are two separate pieces of information out there that the SAIT was aware of but not put in there report. Thus Mr. Dudley’s Revelation. The crew did not get to the saddle and have the argument but had it prior to leaving the Black Safety zone.

    I wonder if some of this was redacted in statements from FS employees on the fire?
    I also have hear say evidence that there is a video out there with the Argument on it from one of the GM crewmen’

    I will state here I have no solid proof or factual evidence to support these clams at this time.

    I needed to know if there was any possibility that Marsh could have been in front of the crew to tie this in.

    I will also say I use argument only because of Mr. Dudley it could as well have been a discussion interpreted as a argument.

    You have both hit on some very interesting information in this discussion.

    Now we are stuck again with the search for the facts and the information to fill in the facts.
    I am sure Dudley knows and that really pisses me off. What else is out there????

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Bob Powers post August 24, 2014 at 8:28 am

      >> Bob Powers said…
      >>
      >> I needed to know if there was any possibility that Marsh could have been
      >> in front of the crew to tie this in.

      There is more than just ‘any’ possibility… even without the newly noticed testimony from Brendan McDonough that Marsh was ( almost all of the day? ) “Literally right above me” it has always been a possibility.

      The ONLY thing that would make it NOT really possible is if there was some definite evidence that even by 1555… Marsh was still so far NORTH of Steed and the Crew that he and Steed would have agreed it to be prudent if Steed took off SOUTH ahead of Marsh and that Marsh would ‘catch up from behind’. It would have been a concern about TIME and a conclusion that if they were going to do this ‘mission’… that Steed and the crew better ‘get going’ even though Marsh hadn’t reached them yet ( from somewhere NORTH of them ).

      As you have pointed out… there really IS no concrete evidence that was the case.

      The only real reference in the testimony to Marsh being WAAAY ‘up north’ at any point in the day comes from Rance Marquez’s ADOSH interview. Marquez says that somewhere in that ‘argument’ he was having with Marsh he requested a ‘face-to-face’ with him.. .but Marsh’s response was that it wasn’t possible because he was “so FAR up the line”.

      Some have taken that to be proof that Marsh did put himself almost all the way to the top of Weaver Mountain itself and was being ‘DIVSA’ from way up there ( and that is what he means later by ‘workin’ my way off the TOP’… but this simple (vague) statement from Marquez cannot be considered absolute proof of that.

      Besides… according to the timeframe seemingly being referenced by Marquez for when Marsh said he was “too FAR up the line” to meet with him… it would appear Marquez is talking about somewhere in the NOON to 12:30 PM timeframe when he was still down in the valley talking to Marsh on the radio.

      Well… if that is the TIME that Marquez is saying he asked for this ‘face-to-face’ with Marsh then it is perfectly possible that Marsh was just bullshitting him ( and didn’t really WANT to have a face-to-face with Marquez ).

      In the NOON to 12:30 PM timeframe… Marsh was NOT ‘way up the line’.

      No way.

      He was standing right there at the same place where MacKenzie would later shoot his videos and still having that ‘face-to-face’ with Steed, Frisby and Brown.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Followup….

        Copy that on why Todd Abel might have been ‘missing’ some of these supposed “to whom it may concern” fly-by ‘announcements’ from Eric Marsh. Abel was pretty much the busiest guy on the radio in that timeframe and even the Panebaker Air-Study videos verify that. He was not only Field OPS for the entire fire… he had put himself out there on Miner’s Camp Road with Todd Foster and was personally trying to take care of the ‘structure protection’ at that location.
        I still say that it appears clear that Marsh made no standard ( and normal ) attempt to make SURE his own supervisor knew what he was doing. In the haphazard radio environment you describe… the kind of “to whom it may concern” announcement that people say they heard Marsh making were just a stupid thing for him to be doing if Marsh had any intentions of specific people being SURE they heard ( and understood ) what he was saying.

        Unless you call someone directly.. and repeatedly… and make sure they COPY your transmission… then you NEVER have any ‘guarantee’ that they heard it.

        Re: The Argument.

        If that ‘argument’ now being referred to in public by SAIT Co-Lead Mike Dudley really did happen… then your theory about Steed still being ‘in the black’ when it happened is perfectly possible.

        We don’t know enough about this ( supposed ) ‘argument’ to pin down a TIME for it or a LOCATION for any of the participants.

        Surely whoever heard it was also remembering some specific DIALOG and what people were SAYING to each other… otherwise… how could they have been characterizing it as an ‘argument’.

        I suppose it is still perfectly possible that this alleged ‘argument’ is part of what Brendan McDonough was telling the SAIT he heard but the SAIT just lumped that into the “Brendan heard Marsh and Steed discussing their options” statement that ended up in the SAIT… with no further explanation on that at all.

        • Bob Powers says

          You need to reread what I said…………..
          I have known for the past 4 weeks about the 2 peace’s of witness info.
          Neither are in the released statements or are redacted in the testimony.
          It is not McDonough I asked that specifically.
          Some one else monitoring GM crew net heard the Argument and made a written statement on it…………Possibly BR crewman or some one else that could monitor GM frequency.
          We have a plausible time frame that could put Marsh in front of the crew which makes what I was told by a person who would not identify himself or the other two people who have this info and Reported to the SAIT.

          I had contact thru a phone # with no name. So again unless some one on here jumps in and adds names we are stuck. Or we wait to find out in court.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to Bob Powers post on August 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

            Mr. Powers… thanks for that followup and that clarification.

            That really is getting pretty specific.

            If it was NOT Brendan reporting this ‘alleged’ argument and you are now being told it WAS heard over the GM intra-crew ( crew net ) channel… then it’s a pretty short list of who could have been reporting it and the BR guys who were moving the other GM vehicles have always been on that ‘short list’. There were FOUR vehicles that day ( being moved around ) that ALL had the GM intra-crew frequency programmed into the radio. Brendan only drove ONE of them around that afternoon.

            >> Bob Powers said…
            >> It is not McDonough I asked that specifically.

            Super. Thank you.

            The reason I thought you might still be including Brendan is because you only said…

            >> My understanding is there are two separate pieces
            >> of information out there that the SAIT was aware of
            >> but not put in there report.
            >>
            >> I also have hear say evidence that there is a video out there
            >> with the Argument on it from one of the GM crewmen’

            Neither of those statements were specifically EXCLUDING Bredan as being one of the ‘candidates’ for at least one of the ‘reports’.

            We know Brendan had an iPhone. He was able to shoot a video and capture some audio at any time that day.

            My bet is that the ‘reports’ were coming from one or more of the THREE Blue Ridge Hotshots who were moving the OTHER vehicles that day.

            The alleged ‘argument’ probably fell right within the timeframe when they were either moving the vehicles to the Youth Camp OR had just arrived there and were parking them.

            Unless those THREE Blue Ridge Hotshots actually made an effort to turn the radios OFF… then I would imagine they were hearing ALL the GM intra-crew traffic the whole time they were in the vehicles and the key was turned on.

            Wouldn’t those onboard radios, themselves, pretty much have the GM private intra-crew frequency set as their PRIORITY channel… because that ‘private’ frequency would be the one they would always use when traveling and communicating between the vehicles themselves?

            • Bob Powers says

              WTKTT
              Yes the truck radios would be on that Freq.
              The other info on the Video was not from McDonough either but had been sent to a family member. I got no names including the caller I was surprised with the call and more surprised with the Info.
              I gave my word I would not try to track them down as they were very concerned about losing their job.
              So while I believe it is correct Info it is still unsubstantiated I hope some one reads this and puts the info on here. It is defiantly a new twist to the story and I believe Karles and Dudley have knowledge of it. Dudley dumped it out there with no back up proof either so what is going on here?

              Also Right now I would not single out any one person as we could have several others that could have monitored GM crew net. It could have been BR crewman I don’t know. The caller was not specific. and gave me no names.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to Bob Powers post on August 25, 2014 at 8:25 am

                >> Bob Powers wrote…
                >>
                >> WTKTT
                >> Yes the truck radios would be on that Freq.
                >> The other info on the Video was not from
                >> McDonough either but had been sent to a family
                >> member. I got no names including the caller I
                >> was surprised with the call and more surprised
                >> with the Info.

                So… just to be clear… you are saying someone just called YOU ( on the telephone or cellphone ) ‘out of the blue’ with this ‘information’?

                If so… do you have any guess as to how they got your actual phone number? Through RTS, perhaps? ( RTS is the one who knows the Blue Ridge Hotshots, correct? ).

                >> Bob Powers also wrote…
                >> I gave my word I would not try to track them down
                >> as they were very concerned about losing their job.

                Well.. .it’s really a shame that someone who might have information that would help clear up what really happened on June 30, 2013 AND might help save more firefighter’s lives in the future would have that ‘fear’.

                There are no doubt a lot of guys still out on the line who are putting THEIR lives at risk who might appreciate more specific ‘Lessons Learned’ from Yarnell so that every precaution is taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again ( to THEM ).

                A job is just a job… fer chrissakes.

                Besides… I REALLY doubt that anyone could lose their job just because they reported something they might have heard or they might know about a fatal accident that happened in Yarnell on June 30, 2014. There are laws that cover the release the of that kind of information and whether or not an ’employer’ can ever take ‘revenge’ against you for just ‘telling what you know’ about something.

                I think ANYONE who knows more about what happened that day should find a way to get that information out so that it can be vetted and help with the ‘Lessons Learned’ objective that everyone ( US Forestry included ) says is the ‘ultimate’ goal’ here following the incident.

                I believe whoever called you is TRYING to do that.

                They wouldn’t have told you what they did unless they EXPECT you to ‘do something’ with the information ( which you are obviously trying to figure out yourself ).

                Nothing can change what happened that day… but even the smallest detail can still contribute to the EXPLANATION of what happened and help save lives in the future.

                >> Bob Powers also said…
                >>
                >> So while I believe it is correct Info it is still
                >> unsubstantiated I hope some one reads this and
                >> puts the info on here. It is defiantly a new twist
                >> to the story

                Yes. It would tend to explain why so much time was lost… and TIME was the ‘enemy’ that day.

                It is also still VERY important to find out to know ( even if we never know ALL the details ) whether this was primarily a PUSH or a PULL scenario.

                The PUSH scenario is the one that has Marsh north of the crew during the entire ‘discussing their options’ phase and because TIME was a fact… Marsh and Steed decided the crew should head south BEFORE Marsh had rejoined them from the north and ‘working his way off the top’. That puts Steed at the saddle before Marsh and being the one with the ‘visual’ on the next important decision.

                The PULL scenario is the one that has Marsh out AHEAD of the crew sometime after 1542 and he found out Frisby was abandoning Marsh’s requested ‘face-to-face’ meeting. It’s still actually the more disturbing scenario in that it really does seem to establish Marsh himself as the ‘forward lookout’ for GM that day ( but he still let them walk into a death trap ) and also seems to suggest that Marsh alone made the decision to cut through the fuel-filled box canyon with no consultation with Steed ( hence… the argument? ).

                >> Bob Powers also wrote…
                >>
                >> …and I believe Karles and Dudley have knowledge of it.

                So do I.

                >> Bob Powers also wrote…
                >>
                >> Dudley dumped it out there with no back up proof
                >> either so what is going on here?

                Sometimes, when someone KNOWS something that they are afraid to talk about it… the catalyst for them doing so is to have someone ELSE sort of ‘put it out there’ first. That way… whatever their fears are about talking… it makes it look like they are just ‘following up’ on what is now already public knowledge and they can’t be accused of being that one that ‘ratted’ on anybody or something like that.

                Maybe Dudley knows exactly who is ‘afraid to say something’ and exactly WHY… and perhaps Dudley thought that by ‘breaking the ice’ on this… that person would ‘come forward’ and not be accused of being the first to talk about it.

                The phone call you received ( and our discussion of it here ) might be the beginning of the exact result that Dudley himself was ‘hoping’ for.

                Some people wonder why we ‘guess’ at things here a lot on this PUBLIC forum. The truth is that sometimes… because of the exact scenario I am describing above… a good GUESS that actually hits on the TRUTH can, itself, be the catalyst for someone who knows something to then come forward.

                Once that (correct) GUESS has appeared… some people can feel like that is the ‘trigger event’ to allow them to come forward with something. It allows them to say ( and rightly so ) that they are not RELEASING the information… they are simply backing up what someone ELSE ‘already knows’ and is already ‘out there’ as common knowledge.

                That’s just how it works with this stuff, sometimes.

                >> Bob Powers also wrote…
                >>
                >> Also Right now I would not single out any one person
                >> as we could have several others that could have
                >> monitored GM crew net. It could have been BR
                >> crewman I don’t know. The caller was not specific.
                >> and gave me no names.

                Agree… but it’s still a pretty short list.

                Someone from Prescott ( including all the off-the-radar hires from Bea Day’s team who where there )… or someone who was driving a GM vehicle that day.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Followup….

                  I should have said…

                  It is PROBABLY still a pretty short list.

                  Truth is… it could have even been someone who was even just STANDING next to someone from Prescott who happened to have the GM private intra-crew frequency plugged into their radio.

                  Todd Foster himself includes several crucial pieces of testimony in his ADOSH interview where he says he only heard it because he was STANDING near OPS1 Todd Abel when a radio transmission took place.

                  Testimony about radio transmissions can go that way.

                  It doesn’t really matter if the CALL was directed AT you or not… if you were in a position to HEAR the actual transmission itself… then your testimony about what YOU heard is still valid.

                  If you heard it… then you heard it.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    First the call was on my home phone because of what I said about where I live it would be easy to look me up in the phone book. Also I am on Face Book and Have replied to some of the Safety matters postings. So I am Fairley easy to find.

                    The caller stated he was a friend of the person who gave him the info. He stated his friend filed a statement of what he heard to the SAIT. He also personally knows that a family member of a GM crew member has a copy of the Video and that was also given to the SAIT.

                    The person told me he was a fire fighter but had not been on the Yarnell Fire. He did not want to get his friend in trouble. But felt this needed to come out.

                    Marsh was scouting ahead and below Steed. and called Steed to bring the crew. What was said in the argument was recorded and witnessed on the radio by at least one person word for word. Both pieces of evidence compliment each other. No mention of him being a look out. How far did he get?????

                    With out that transcript I do not want to put out what I was told was said. I am not going to say something I cant prove

                    It is also a possibility that McDonough herd it as well (the discussion ) as was stated in the interview with him. The SAIT covered what they knew here.
                    But it goes back again to the failure to use the 10 standard orders.

                    I drought if there is much in lesions learned here. It is like the 10 and 18 and other directives, you use them or ignore them. They are nothing new.

                    From what I have said you can probably guess what was said It took some time and 4 radio calls.

                    If I wasn’t pissed before this really got me really mad.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to Bob Powers post on
                      August 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm

                      >> Bob Powers said…
                      >>
                      >> He stated his friend filed a statement
                      >> of what he heard to the SAIT.

                      Then that matches exactly what the SAIT Co-Lead Mike Dudley chose to say in public on June 20, 2014.

                      —————————————-
                      Mike Dudley: There’s some allegations that there was an argument between the Captain and the Superintendent about which way to go… from that saddle.. Some people made that allegation. We can’t validate that.
                      —————————————-

                      If even just one of the ‘allegations’ was made in WRITING… and that document was withheld from the numerous FOIA / FOIL and Arizona FOI ( Arizona Public Records Laws ) requests… then that’s pretty serious.

                      And so are the penalties for doing so.

                      Arizona has a few special ‘exemptions’ to an Arizona FOI request, but it would still be a stretch for Scott Hunt, Mike Dudley or Jim Karels to think they could get away with withholding an actual document submitted as evidence to them by claiming the information it contains falls under one of standard ‘exemptions’.

                      We are not talking about Exxon Mobile here.

                      ALL of these men… their employers… and EVERYTHING they do… and ALL the documents related to what they do are part of totally taxpayer funded operations and subject to ‘open access’ laws with only a very limited set of standard ‘exemptions’.

                      From the ‘National Freedom of Information Coalition’ website…

                      http://www.nfoic.org/arizona-foia-laws

                      —————————————
                      Arizona FOIA laws – Summary

                      The Arizona Public Records Law has been in existence for more than 100 years and mandates that all public records be open to inspection by any person at all times during office hours. Public records include books, papers, maps, photographs or other documentary materials. Lake v. City of Phoenix recently established that digital meta-data, attached to files stored in any electronic form are considered part of that document and are thus subject to open records requests.

                      The Arizona Public Records Law does have some exceptions which include: student records, research records, donor information, or if the release of a record would constitute an invasion of personal privacy and that invasion outweighs the public’s right to know, of if the disclosure of a record is detrimental to the best interests of the state.
                      —————————————

                      NOTE: The ‘Best interests of the State’ exemption category is not carte-blanche and does NOT include the ability for any state official ( State Forestry or whoever ) to make the determination themselves. If you try to go for THAT ‘exemption’ there is a shitload of paperwork that has to go with it… including the official statement that you ARE trying to claim that ‘exemption’ for something.

                      To just ‘pretend you don’t have something’ is the worst possible scenario… legally speaking.

                      Mike Dudley must have known what he was doing on June 20, 2014. He’s a smart guy.

                      He MUST have known that his little “Oh… by the way… some people told us ( the SAIT ) that they heard Marsh and Steed arguing” was going to be a tacit admission that evidence which had entered into the SAIT’s possession was NOT released in accordance with legal requests for everything they had related to the Yarnell HIll Investigation.

                      Dudley seems too ‘politically savvy’ to have just ‘slipped up’ like that in a public speech to some Utah firefighters.

                      As for the VIDEO that supposedly exists and is now supposedly in the hands of a ‘family member’… that’s another story.

                      If the SAIT received the written testimony AND they also saw / heard the VIDEO… then even as of June 20, 2014, Mike Dudley’s statement that the information could not be ‘validated’ is a lie.

                      As for NONE of this even ‘transferring’ from the SAIT to ADOSH during THEIR investigation… that’s another whole set of ‘laws’ that kicks in that were probably violated that go far behind any ‘Arizona FOI’ requests.

                      There are also governmental agency ‘sharing of information’ laws on the books that kick in there, as well.

                      There’s more to come on this, I’m sure.

                      I’m still convinced that only the Eric Marsh of 2005 who was put on probation for his behavior in the workplace would have just been YELLING at his subordinates and just ‘ordering people around’. on June 30, 2014.

                      Eric had been taught carefully by Duane Steinbrink and Darrell Willis to be a good ‘negotiator’ in order to get what you want.

                      But if the evidence is there that Marsh simply did a successful ‘sell job’ on Captain Jesse Steed to get those trusting young men to leave a ‘safe’ place and do what HE wanted them to do that fateful day… and against their own better judgement… I would love to hear what he said.

                    • seymour says

                      the video is the one from Mckenzie where marsh says ‘ that’s why i asked ya before what your comfortable level was ‘
                      that is the family video and we have it allready.

  30. Joy A Collura says

    only 1 comment I saved in my draft box—here it is:

    posted earlier this week—

    I am pulling weeds over on Ridgeway and some have come to me and spoke on the fire so you can see 4 people on Manzanita/Foothill/Ridgeway/Lakewood state electricity went out at 4:34pm but one can confirm with APS their time but Barb’s home survived even though other areas to their property burned and her clock said that time and the fire I am hearing reached at 4:15-5pm but not in any glorifying way says one when it reached Ridgeway- low ground fire that could of been put out but instead the owner said a man wearing yellow on atv alerted all to evacuate at 5-5:30pm. He said plus 2 others the cloud of smoke was bright orange. It is very important to anyone properly assessing this fire to get out and learn these things I am hearing—one man watered his home and still he felt the slow going on the ground not high flames could of been put out but not one firefighter tried and he just will not talk to you or reporters or anyone because he feels very wronged in this whole weekend (MANY OTHERS FEEL THE SAME WAY) and he will talk to his lawyer and close knit pals but anyone else—well, they all can wait until this hits the court room…it is that kind of feel I have felt since day one of returning from others so I know now there is photos and videos and accounts but they all prefer to just be quiet—
    (8-20-14 2:21pm)

    Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:41 PM
    someone posted—maybe Bob Powers:

    We disagree with this point won’t argue with you.

    Each type of crew has their own bonds and special relations.

    Try living with a group 24 hours a day 80% of a 6 month work time. Eat Sleep and work, Shower and live on the ground in sleeping bags. You become very close.

    YES YOU CAN BECOME VERY CLOSE IN DOING THAT—YET THERE CAN BE A DYSFUNCTIONAL CLOSE AND A WORK FORCE CLOSE AND A HEALTHY CLOSE—OR ALL THE ABOVE AT DIFFERENT MOMENTS AND THAT I LEARNED ON MY JOURNEY AWAY FROM COOKIE CUTTER LIFE SLEEPING IN A SLEEPING BAG UNDER THE MOONLIT STARS KNOWING SONNY—ALSO KNOWING THE KIND OF FOLKS I HAVE IN MY LIFE TIME I ALSO KNOW WHAT APPEARS TO BE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN IT IS WHAT IT IS—HOW MANY TIMES I HUNG OUT ON A PERSONAL NOTE OR WORK OUT WITH A SOAP OPERA STAR/ACTRESS/ACTOR AND THEY LEAD LIFE DIFFERENT—I MEAN ONE GIRL I KNEW AND A GUY TOO THEY HAD 5-6 SERIOUS LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS AT THE SAME TIME BUT NONE OF THE OTHER GIRLFRIENDS/ETC. EVEN KNEW ABOUT ONE ANOTHER—I DO NOT EVEN WANT TO PUBLICLY THROW OUT DIRECT ASSESSMENT BUT FOR AN ODD EXAMPLE USING ME AS THE LEADER AND SONNY AS MY PERSON I EVALUATE ANNUALLY (HYPOTHETICAL)— THE EVALUATION THESE MEN ARE GIVEN BY AN AUTHORITY IS MY MAIN TOPIC WHEN WRITING MY SCENARIO—IT CAN PAINT IN WORDS A PRETTY SCENARIO WITH A MARK OFF HERE AND THERE TO AREAS BUT SAY I AM YOUR LEADER I AM NOT GOING TO WAIT UNTIL EVALUATION TO DO THIS GRADE I AM GOING TO REDIRECT YOU BEFORE THAT EVALUATION TO IMPROVE BECAUSE I TRULY AS YOUR LEADER DO NOT WANT ANYONE UNDER ME TO FAIL BUT SHINE AND SUCCEED ESPECIALLY IF I WANT YOU TO BE IN MY POSITION SOME DAY AND I AM GROOMING YOU FOR THAT POSITION SO WHAT IF I AM THAT LEADER AND I TELL THE WORLD SONNY IS A GEM AND GENUINE AND THEN IN THE CHECK OFF BOX MARK OFF MY VIEWS OF HIS FLAWS— WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME AS A LEADER— I WOULD SAY SONNY IS A GEM AND GENUINE. SUCH AND SUCH DATES I ADDRESSED SONNY ABOUT THE CHECK MARKED CONCERNS AND THEY CONTINUED ON SO I AM TIME STAMPING AND WELL DOCUMENTING HOW I CAME TO THAT FINAL CONCLUSION VERSUS IT BEING SOME GENERAL OPINION AS I AM THE LEADER OF SONNY AND THIS IS WHERE I SEE HIM—I MEAN SHAUN MCKINNON FROM AZCENTRAL LABELED SONNY A BOURBON-HOUND AND I HAVE BEEN WITH HIM 3 YEARS THIS 8-23-11 ALMOST 24/7—FEW OFF TIMES—AND IN IT I CAN FACTUALLY STATE SONNY IS NOT A BOURBON-HOUND BUT WHEN HE DOES…HE SURE DOES KNOW HOW TO ENJOY HIS LIFE…SO SAY I LIKE SONNY AND I WANT SONNY TO THINK I LIKE HIM AND I PUT OUT WORDS LIKE OLD MARRIED COUPLE AND HE IS THINKING “OH…THIS LADY WRITES AND SPEAKS PUBLICLY SO SWEET ABOUT ME BEING THIS GEM…I THINK I COULD HAVE A CHANCE TO BE NEXT IN LINE TO BE THE LEADER HERE…I MEAN I SHOULD BE NEXT IN LINE…I CREATED THE WHOLE THING”…BUT THEN THERE IS JOY WHO IS GROOMED A CERTAIN WAY IN LIFE AS A LEADER AND I AM SEEING MORE POTENTIAL IN ANOTHER MAN TO BECOME THE LEADER BUT I STILL HAVE THE GEM HERE I PUBLICLY STATED WILL BE GROOMED FOR MY JOB SO HOW CAN I GET THE ONE I REALLY WANT GROOMED TO BE THE LEADER WITHOUT ANY PUBLIC SHAKE-UPS ESPECIALLY FROM THIS UNIQUE SOUTHWESTERN SONNY I CREATED THE IMAGE HE WAS NEXT IN LINE…OHHH—OK, THE CHECK MARK AREA—MORE DAMAGING THAN ONE REALLY KNOWS—BECAUSE LOOK AT YOU ALL NOW—YOU AND ONLY YOU THAT WHO DO NOT KNOW THE MEN ARE ON HERE NOT TALKING ABOUT FOLKS WHO KNOW THE MEN BUT THE ONES WHO DON’T—ARE MAKING COMMENTS OF YOUR OWN HYPOTHETICAL WITH NO WAY TO DOCUMENT HOW YOU REACHED TO THIS POINT BUT REMEMBER LIKE THE SUN SET AND RISES THEORY I MENTION ON THIS PAGE OVER TIME—WHAT IS SHOWN IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT IT IS—I TELL PEOPLE STRAIGHT UP I AM MARRIED AND BEEN WITH MY HUSBAND FOR ALMOST ROUNDING UP THE THIRTY YEAR MARK AND FACTS YET DUE TO SEVERE TRAUMA I FACED EARLY IN LIFE THE DYNAMICS TO WHAT MAKES JOY—JOY IS NOT EASILY EXPLAINED BUT PRESCOTT VALLEY COUNSELOR SET COUNSELING GAIL EDWARDS EVALUATED SONNY AND I WAS THE SIDE KICK THERE AND SHE HAS SEEN US AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS OUR HIKING JOURNEY AND SHE JUST SAID THIS WEEK DEEPLY KNOWING US PERSONALLY AND RAW NOT WHAT WE APPEAR TO BE—SHE CAN GIVE YOU THE CORRECT ASSESSMENT AS TO HOW VERY UNIQUE AND WONDERFUL IT IS– OUR JOURNEY AND GAIL HIKED WITH ME AND SHE KNOWS MY HUSBAND AND SHE UNDERSTANDS IT AND APPLAUDS THIS SPECIAL MOMENT—SO PLEASE WHEN READING PEOPLE’S THEORIES AND SOME HAVE SOME GOOD POINTS BUT LIKE I TOLD SONNY DO NOT PUT OUT STUFF PUBLICLY UNLESS WE CAN SHARE HOW WE CAME TO THAT CONCLUSION. LIKE IN THESE EVALUATIONS IF THEY SAID THE REMARKS WITH CO-WORKER CONCERNS—LABEL A FILE # TO REDIRECT IT TO WHERE THEY CAN LEARN ABOUT THE CONCERN IN MORE DEPTH—I GET THE EVALUATION IS LIKE MY SOAP NOTES FOR MY MEDICAL DOCTOR BUT IN THE END THOSE SOAP NOTES CAN BE PROVED WITH MRIS/CAT SCANS/THERMOGRAMS/ETCS —ANYONE FOLLOWING WHAT I MEAN—JUST BOTHERS ME WHEN PEOPLE GUESS ERIC MARSH TO BE AT CERTAIN LOCATIONS AND YET NOT NUMBER ONE NEVER EVEN HIKED IT OR GOT THE GENERAL IDEA NOT ENOUGH DOCUMENTATION TO PROPERLY MAKE ASSESSMENTS—BUT HEY MAYBE SOME LOVED ONE OF THE GMHS HAS DETAILS AND CAN’T SAY AND IT WILL ALL COME OUT IN THE COURT TRIALS—JOHN DOUGHERTY WAS EMAILED A COPY OF THE PHOTOS IN QUESTION THAT SONNY BROUGHT ATTENTION TO HERE WHEN HE WAS IN MONTANA—

    I will say if a Div. Sup. that was not attached to the crew had ask them to go off the mountain There may have been a different story. TRUST

    OR EVEN A MORE DIFFERENT STORY—AND IT MAY TAKE THE LOVED ONES OF THE GMHS TO FINALLY OPEN UP WITH PURITY IN THE COURT ROOM ON THAT—

    While you went around in circles the pay ain’t that bad.

    Definitely almost double Min, Wage.

    BREAKS MY HEART—THE TOPIC OF PAY—LAST NIGHT I HEARD A YARNELL LOCAL STATE THAT AS WELL AS THESE MEN KNEW THEY HAVE A DANGEROUS JOB BUT WE LOST OUR LIFE IN THAT FIRE AND I RECONFIRM TO THEM “NO, THE 19 MEN DID” AND “WHO KNOWS HOW MUCH THAT BURNING DATURA PLAYED A ROLE IN THE DECISION PROCESS BECAUSE I JOY WAS MAKING POOR CHOICES THAT DAY TOO” BUT SONNY NEVER STAYED IN THE SAME AREA LONG ENOUGH JUST CAME BACK FOR ME BUT I WAS IN AREA OF THAT ABUNDANCE DATURA—”

    ALSO NEW NOTE: HOLLY BECKER IS WILLING TO SHARE TO PEOPLE INVESTIGATING THIS–HER SNAIL MAIL IS PO BOX 57 YARNELL ARIZONA 85362. SHE IS NEAR THE HELMS AREA. YOU CAN GO TO THE LOCAL REAL ESTATE OFFICE AND HEAR DORMAN OLSON WHO LOST HIS HOME OR NINABILL OVERMEYER BUT NOT SURE WHAT THEY CAN OR WILL SHARE BUT I CAN SAY IN TALKING TO DORMAN IT WAS MORE LIKE 5PM WHEN HIS AREA WAS ON FIRE SO NOW YOU ARE SEEING TOO MUCH OF A VERBAL GAP OF 3:38PM-5PM AND YET HE DOES HAVE TIME STAMP PHOTOS. I HOPE THAT HELPS PEOPLE IN THEIR ASSESSING PROCESS. I AM PULLING WEEDS BY HANDS AND MEETING ALL KINDS OF LOCALS IN DOING THAT—I RECKON THE OL’ YOU CAN DO MY WEEDS NEXT TALK—BUT CRYSTAL STATED LAST NIGHT MAUGHAN RANCH STILL WANTS TO CATCH UP OUT THERE ON THEIR LAND TO ARREST US AND I AM AGAIN PUBLICLY STATING YCSO TOLD MANY OF US THERE IS NOTHING MAUGHAN RANCH CAN DO LEGALLY OR MAKE AN ARREST WITH OPEN CATTLE GROUND AND NO FENCE OR NOT EVEN POSTING NO TRESPASSING BUT LEGALLY THE OLD GRADER IS ON THEIR LAND AND PARTS OF THE MOUNTAINS SO YOU ALL ARE AWARE SO IF THEY WANT TO ARREST ME THAN I GOT PHOTO PROOF OF MANY WHO VIOLATED IT AND IT WILL NOT STAND UP—HEY I AM NOT THRILL SEEKING PEOPLE OUT THERE—THIS IS TO MAKE SURE ALL AREAS ARE LOOKED AT—LIKE CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS/FULGURITES IN AREA OF THE REPORTED LIGHTNING STRIKE TO HOW THESE MEN MADE SUCH A WRONG DECISION BUT SONNY MADE THE RIGHT ONE BECAUSE WE 2 ARE ALIVE. SIMPLICITY AND PURITY IS ALL I WANT TO SEE FROM THIS—

    I WOULD BE GREAT ON THAT JURY FOR COURT BECAUSE I AM NOT A CHEERLEADER TO ANY SIDE, NO AGENDA, NO ANGLE YET I WILL NOT ACCEPT PEOPLE BASH ERIC MARSH, WILLIS OR STEED JUST BECAUSE WHAT YOU READ—AND ASSUME THAT IS WHAT IT IS—

  31. Joy A Collura says

    I replied to a few comments this week—some say moderation awaiting and some never posted but says “duplicate” if I try and I emailed John D.

    But I did reply to people’s ?s just so you know

  32. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** ARIZONA STATE ENGINE 151 – UPDATE

    This post is an ‘update’ to the research that appeared not long ago regardiing Arizona State ‘Engine 151’.

    It will contain links to a new photo of ‘Engine 151’ that was taken when it was ‘staged’ at the Yarnell Fire Station and now shows the entire RIGHT side of the vehicle… as well as some new information about the actual CREW members for ‘Engine 151’.

    There is still no positive ID on the FF who was driving ‘Engie 151’ when it was assisting with operations on Model Creek Road and who is obviously wearing his own ‘Go Pro’ Helmet Camera… but it *might* be an FF named Phil Bruglio.

    If that Helmet Cam was ‘in use’ that day… there is still a good chance it may have captured some background radio transmissions at crucial times that haven’t been heard yet.

    ** THE GEORGE DELANGE PHOTO OF ENGINE 151

    On Saturday, June 29, 2013, Yarnell resident George Delange was at the Yarnell Hill Fire station just before dark. He climbed the hill to the EAST of the Fire Station and at exactly 8:03 PM he took a photo looking WEST at the fire out on Yarnell Hill.

    In the bottom right corner of this photo he captured ASFD Engine 151 ‘staged’ in the dirt parking lot just to the EAST of the Yarnell Fire Station.

    THIS time… we can see the DRIVER’S SIDE of Engine 151.

    It still doesn’t look much like a ‘real’ Engine ( as compared to others that were there in Yarnell ) but that all-black cylindrical object seen in other photos at the top of the truck bed on the DRIVER’S side does, in fact, look much more like a HOSE REEL than a SPARE TIRE. Also… the official resource order for Engine 151 says it only had a 300 gallon tank onboard so that could easily be it seen in the Delange photo mounted in the CENTER of the ‘flatbed’.

    George Delange’s Yarnell Hill Fire page ( photo with Engine 151 is second one from top with Engine 151 seen in bottom right corner ) is located at the following URL…

    http://www.delange.org/Yarnell_Forest_Fire/Yarnell_Forest_Fire.htm

    Caption under the photo…
    Photo Of The Yarnell Hill Forest Fire That Started From A
    Lightning Strike On June 28, 2013 In The Evening.
    Yarnell Fire Station At The Bottom Of The Photo.
    This Photo Taken On June 29 At 8:03 PM.
    Click On This Photo For A Video Of
    The Yarnell Forest Fire. 31.2 MB.

    Here is a corresponding entry in Russ Shumate’s official ‘Unit Logs’ from Yarnell covering Saturday, June 29, 2013. This is the Shumate Unit Log that was released ‘late’ by the SAIT as part of that ‘second’ release of Unit Logs that didn’t take place until February 27, 2014.

    This log entry of Shumate’s proves that ‘Engine 151’ was, in fact, staged at the Yarnell Hill Fire station on Saturday evening.

    —————————————————————————
    Russ Shumate Unit Log for Saturday, June 29, 2013

    1530 released VFD and BLM engines back to home units. BLM had their severity engines staged in Yarnell, I released BLM 1660 back to BLM severity. Eng 151 stayed on scene staged at YFD.
    —————————————————————————

    So Engine 151 ended up ‘staged’ at the Yarnell Hill Fire station later in the afternoon on Saturday and Mr. Delange’s photo captures it still ‘staged’ there at 8:03 PM.

    ** RESOURCE ORDER FOR ENGINE 151

    The actual ‘resource order’ for Engine 151 is the very FIRST Resource Order in the ‘J- Resource Orders’ PDF file sitting in the online Dropbox that contains all the SAIT FOIA / FOIL material.

    The ‘Resource Order’ for Engine 151 was not accompanied by any ‘sub-orders’ for the crew members itself… but the ‘Resource Confirmation Notes’ for this ‘order’ end up mentioning at least two of the assigned crew members.

    The Resource order for Engine 151 is as follows…

    —————————————————————————
    Request Number: E-1
    Ordered Date/Time: 06/28/13 2118 PNT
    From: AZ-ADC (Dispatch) 800-309-7081
    To: AZ-ADC
    Qty: 1
    Resource Requested: Engine, Type 5
    Needed Date/Time: 06/29/13 0800 PNT
    Deliver To: YARNELL HILL
    From Unit: AZ-ADC
    To Unit: AZ-ADC
    Assigned Date/Time: 06/28/13 2121 PNT
    Resource Assigned Unit ID: AZ-A1S ( Arizona Division of Forestry )
    Resource Assigned: ENGINE – T5 – AZ-A1S – LIC# G578EG –
    PHOENIX – E-151 (2006 INTL 4200 – 300 GAL) (AZ-ADC)
    M/D Ind.: D
    Estimated Time of Departure: 07/02/13 1400 PNT
    Estimated Time of Arrival: 07/02/13 1600 PNT
    Released Date: 07/02/13 1400 PNT
    Release To: AZSF PREPARED SEVERITY 2
    Travel Mode: ( No Entry )
    Financial Code: AZ-A1S-130688
    Special Needs: ( No Entry )
    Reporting Instructions: ( No Entry )
    ————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: Odd things about this resource order…

    It says this E-151 Engine was ORDERED late at night on Friday, June 28, 2013… but then the ‘Estimated Time of Departure’ is listed as 1400 ( 2:00 PM ) on July 2, 2013. It then also says it was ‘Released’ at the exact same moment ( 2:00 PM on July 2 ) even though the estimated time of ‘Arrival’ is being listed as 2 hours later at 1600 ( 4:00 PM ) on July 2, 2013.

    Ordered Date/Time: 06/28/13 2118 PNT
    Estimated Time of Departure: 07/02/13 1400 PNT
    Estimated Time of Arrival: 07/02/13 1600 PNT
    Released Date: 07/02/13 1400 PNT

    So this was obviously just some kind of ‘backfill’ order being created ( or updated ) on July 2 but it doesn’t SAY it is a ‘backfill’ order like others in the same document do if that’s what they really are.

    ** AZ-A1S Unit ID explained…

    In case there was any doubt that this ‘Engine 151’ was dispatched from the ‘Phoenix’ area…

    From the official Government list of ‘Unit ID’s….

    Geographic Area: SW
    State: AZ
    Unit_ID: A1S
    Unit: Arizona – Phoenix District
    Unit Type: US State
    Department: AZ
    Agency: DVF ( Divisiona of Forestry )

    * FULFILLMENT NOTES FOR ORDER E-1 MENTION WILL BREWER, PHIL BRUGLIO

    From page 121 ( of 213 pages ) in the official ‘J- Resource Orders’ document…

    Req No.: E-1
    Documentation: Request E-1 – Engine, Type 5 – [AZ-A1S-130688] YARNELL HILL
    has been filled with ENGINE – T5 – AZ-A1S – LIC# G578EG – PHOENIX – E-151
    (2006 INTL 4200 – 300 GAL) (AZADC) by NORVAL TYLER@AZ-ADC ROSS.
    Entered By: NORVAL TYLER (AZADC) 06/28/2013 2121 PNT

    Req No.: E-1
    Documentation: WILL BREWER, PHIL BRUGLIO
    Entered By: NORVAL TYLER (AZADC) 06/28/2013 2121 PNT

    So even though there were no sub-resource orders for the Engine 151 crew itself we now see at least TWO of the assigned CREW members ( Engine bosses? ) named.

    Will Brewer ( who we already knew about ) and Phil Bruglio.

    ** MORE ABOUT STATE ENGINE 151 CREW MEMBERS

    We now know about William Brewer and Phil Bruglio.

    As shown above… they are both mentioned in the actual E-1 Resource Order fulfillment notes in ‘J- Resource Orders’ document.

    Here’s some other evidence of who else was on the State Engine 151 crew…

    From Darrell Willis’ own typed ‘Unit Log’ notes ( that weren’t released by
    the SAIT until February 27, 2014 )…

    ——————————————————————–
    Incident Name: Yarnell Hill
    Date Prepared: 7/22/13
    Unit Name/Designators: Structure Group #1
    Unit Leader ( Name and Position ): Darrell Willis, DIVS / Group Sup.

    SIDENOTE: So here we see Darrell Willis officially saying that he considered
    HIMSELF to be BOTH a DIVS and and SPGS at the Yarnell Hill Fire.

    Operational Period: Night/Day: 6/29 – 6/30

    Prepared By ( Name and Position ): Darrell Willis,
    DIVS / Group Supervisor, ( this information was taken from my notes from 6/29/13 ).

    Personnel Roster Assigned:
    Name – ICS Position – Home Base
    ——————————————————————–
    BLM E-3665, Shawn +3 – Engine
    TNF E-58, Sawyer +5 – Engine
    BLM E1660, Larwoc + 5 – Engine
    AZ State E-151, Phil +5 – Engine
    Bruce Olsen BLM – TNSP – Wearver BLM Station
    Yuma DOC Crew +20 – Crew – Yuma
    Todd Foster AZ-Tempe Fire Department – TFLD TF#1 – Tempe Fire Department
    Cory Moser – TFLD(t) – Prescott Fire Department
    Groom Creek Structure Protection Trailer +2 – Equipment – Groom Creek Fire Department
    WT-1
    E-61
    E-156
    WT-401
    Brush 441
    WT 304
    Other resources assigned to TF#1 unknown.
    ——————————————————————–

    NOTE: Willis’ entry for E-151 is as follows…

    AZ State E-151, Phil +5 – Engine

    The ‘Phil’ that Willis is referring to must be ‘Phil Bruglio’ who also shows up assigned to E-151 in the official ‘J- Resource Orders’ document but only as a ‘sidenote’ in the ‘fulfillment note’ for E-151.
    Willis tended to only list the names of ‘Engine bosses’ so this entry in Willi’s Unit Log would tend to confirm that Phil Bruglio was, in fact, one of the ‘Engine bosses’ for ‘Engine 151’.

    NOTE: There is still no actual resource order for either Phil Bruglio or William Brewer in the official ‘J- Resource Orders’ document.

    So ( according to Darrell Willis ) the COUNT of individuals that actually accompanied E-151 seems to be FIVE and we KNOW that two of them were Phil Bruglio and William Brewer. If that really is ( Non FF? ) Larz Garcia in E-151 taking those photos then he would be a THIRD identifiable crew member for E-151. That still leaves TWO E-151 crew members unidentified. One of those ‘unidentified’ crew members would seem to be the one who was driving E-151 up on Model Creek Road and the one wearing the ‘Go-Pro’ Helmet-Cam.

    ** Barry Scott – Former E-151 Crew Member… ( Rest in Peace ).

    Back in November of 2012… someone named ‘Barry Scott’ who was a ‘frequent crew member on State Engine 151’ died of a heart attack…

    Central Arizona Wildland Response Team Meeting Notes
    Date: November 7, 2012
    Location: Tempe Fire Training Center
    State Fire Updates – Jim Downey & Will Brewer
    Jim announced that Barry Scott from ADEM passed away as a result of a heart attack.
    Barry was a part of the ADEM/ASFD Type 2 Team organization and was a frequent crew member on State Engine 151 out of the Phoenix District. Barry will be greatly missed.

    This post will be continued with some ‘replies’ in order to obey the ‘one link per post’ rule.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Phil Bruglio ( who is named as one of the other members of the crew of Engine 151 in both the official resource order fulfillment notes AND in Darrell Willis’ Unit Log’ ) has a PUBLIC Facebook page.

      Phil Bruglio’s PUBLIC Facebook page ( Has a Smokey the Bear background image )…

      https://www.facebook.com/pdbruglio

      Lots of Arizona Forestry Wildland photos and photos of him in Nomex shirts fighting Arizona fires.

      He updates fairly regularly and there are lots of PUBLIC entires on his ‘Timeline’ but there is NO mention of Yarnell or of him ever ‘being there’ on his Facebook timeline.

      Looks like he used to work for Yarnell Fire Department?

      He posts pictures of a Ball Cap with ‘Yarnell Fire’ on it but the date is in May of 2010.

      One of his posts in