Comments

  1. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to calvin post on February 13, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    NOTE: Brought up from a thread somewhere down below.

    >> calvin said…
    >>
    >> You know B33 had a pretty good idea where GM was.
    >> He heard they were moving to a SZ. He possibly heard they were
    >> moving towards Yarnell as did Eric Tarr.

    Possibly… yes.

    Matter of fact… the transmission(s) ( plural ) that Eric Tarr accidentally overheard while standing next to Helicopter Ranger 58 ( at approx 1630, according to Tarr ) were BOTH (supposedly) transmitted directly TO B33 ‘Air Attack’ on the “Air-To-Ground” channel, and the ‘call-sign’ being used by the ‘transmitter’ for BOTH of these transmissions was “Granite Mountain 7” and NOT “Division Alpha”.

    This most LIKELY means these TWO transmissions on the A2G channel were originating from Jesse Steed ( or someone else in the GM7 crew ) and NOT DIVSA Eric Marsh himself… who was ( right up until his death ) preceding HIS radio calls with call-sign “Division Alpha” that afternoon.

    We also know that the way French and Burfiend had decided to handle the ‘Lead Plane/Air Attack ‘double duty’ that got dropped into their laps at 1558 was to have French concentrate on the A2A channel and Burfiend concentrate on the A2G channel.

    So if these TWO transmissions from ( probably Steed ) went up to ‘Air Attack’ on A2G… then it WAS John Burfiend who most likely heard BOTH of them.

    The FULL content of BOTH of those transmission(s) has never been fully proven or fully reported by anyone. Not even by Burfiend.

    Eric Tarr himself doesn’t even fully recall the transmission(s).

    To the best of his recollection… he overhead TWO sequential calls from caller “Granite Mountain 7” in the 1630 timeframe but all he could recall hearing was…

    1) He ( GM7 ) advised on the radio they were moving towards Yarnell in the black

    ( Just a few seconds?/minutes? later )

    2) He ( GM7 ) came back up on the radio advising they were heading to a ranch they had in sight.

    For the sake of completeness…

    Here are those relevant ‘cuts’ regarding BOTH of those ‘GM7’ transmissions
    from DPS Officer/Paramedic Eric Tarr’s signed deposition in document
    “M-Law-Enforcement no-redactions.pdf”
    ———————————————————————————————–
    EMERGENCY RADIO TRAFFIC

    Around 1630 hours I was standing near the aircraft ( Helicopter Ranger 58 ) monitoring traffic on channel Air-To-Ground ( A/G ) 16 when I heard a voice come up on the radio with a Call sign of Granite Mountain 7. He advised on the radio that they were moving towards Yarnell in the black.

    A short time later he came back up on the radio advising they were heading to a ranch they had in sight.

    It was shortly after THAT Granite Mountain 7 came back up on the radio sounding excited, out of breath, and repeatedly clearing Air Attack with no response.

    Granite Mountain 7 (then) advised their escape route had been cut off and they were deploying their shelters.

    SEARCH FOR GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOTS

    I saw the ranch house appear through the smoke and knew the Firefighters had said they were trying to get to a ranch house from their prior radio transmissions. We began searching toward the Ranch house from the ridgeline when I located a group of deployed fire shelters off the nose of the aircraft at approximately 1810 hours.
    ——————————————————————————–

    >> calvin also said…
    >>
    >> And when he finally answers the frantic calls from the trapped WFF’s. He doesn’t
    >> even ask where they are. He says in his own words. So you are on the south side
    >> of the fire, right?

    Correct… but it’s also possible he made that simple assumption by just recalling the FIRST MAYDAY from Captain Jesse Steed when he yelled into the radio “We are in FRONT of the FLAMING FRONT”.

    The ‘flaming front’ WAS now heading almost ‘due south’ at that point.

    Anyone’s ‘best guess’ at that time as to what that simple statement meant as far as a possible location goes might have been “So… you’re on the SOUTH side of the fire, then?”

    I see what you are trying to establish… and I actually DO believe that ‘Bravo 33’ DID see them (previously) ‘behind those hills there’ right before they asked someone to call them and see if “Division Alpha’ was with them and we then get the 4:16 PM “Granite Mountain… what’s your status right now?” call from some ‘mystery caller’…

    …but taking JUST the MAYDAY / DEPLOYMENT radio traffic all by itself I still think the same “So… you’re on the SOUTH side of the fire, then?” assumption would have been anyone’s ‘best guess’ just based on that transmission sequence alone.. at THAT time.

    >> calvin also said…
    >>
    >> And as Elizabeth said. The bodies of the GMIHC were found as
    >> soon as the smoke cleared enough for Ranger 58 to get into that valley.

    Unless you think a DPS Officer’s signed deposition is somehow ‘false’ or being ‘made up’… then YES… there is really NO QUESTION that the reason DPS Helicopter Ranger 58 was finally able to locate the deployment site is because DPS officer Eric Tarr really DID overhear someone ( Steed? ) say something over the A2G channel about a ‘ranch’ in the 1630 timeframe.

    Okay… all that being said…

    Was there some kind of POINT you were trying to make?

    I really don’t see one.

    My best ‘guess’ at a ‘point’ y0u might have been trying to make might be along the lines of…

    “There is evidence that Eric Tarr heard someone say they were heading to a ranch… and there is evidence that ‘Bravo 33’ also kinda-sorta knew where they were.”

    And?…. So??….

    Are you ALSO trying to say this is some kind of PROOF that DIVSA Eric Marsh’s DIRECT SUPERVISOR on the fire, OPS1 Todd Abel, was then also properly and automatically INFORMED of exactly what Marsh/Steed/Crew were DOING that afternoon… and that OPS1 Todd Abel is some kind of liar when he says that he had NO IDEA they were even ‘moving’?

    • calvin says

      My point is that Cordes was not the only person who heard/ overheard radio transmissions from GM/ Marsh that they were moving, and where they were moving. As you stated as a fact earlier, in agreement with Bob.

      They were not sneaking around in the brush trying to play some sort of hero role as you have asserted more than once.

      That is all.

      • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

        They were moving, yes, BUT, not one of those people except for Cordes knew exactly WHERE they were headed, OR what route they were taking to get there. Their own supervisor, the one person that absolutely should have known, never had a clue.

        The whole ‘south side of the fire’ thing is all relative. They were on the ‘south side of the fire’ when they first started cutting line that day. The ‘south side of the fire could have been anywhere along a several mile long fire front.

        You NEVER leave an assigned area unless being chased out by fire, UNLESS you have discussed it with you supervisor.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          TTWARE… looks like we pressed TRANSMIT at the same time.

          See below.

          Yes. There is evidence a lot of people heard ‘snippets’ of radio como…

          …but in ALL of the interviews and ALL of the testimony we discover that SPGS1 Gary Cordes appears to be the only one who UNDERSTOOD what it all meant… and it was AOK with him ( paraphrasing Cordes’ testimony: “I felt they had plenty of TIME to get to the Boulder Springs Ranch” ).

          Not even this Division’s DIRECT Supervisor had any idea they were ‘moving’.

          That is still ‘off the reservation’. and deserves an explanation… because 17 men died horrible deaths right along with the TWO that LED them down into that deathtrap.

          It is still absolutely bizarre that there is ( and always has been ) ALL of this evidence that SPGS1 Gary Cordes knew EVERYTHING about the MOVE ( all the details… and not just the obtuse radio como )… yet he was never called back for a second interview and has yet to be DEPOSED under oath.

          • Bob Powers says

            Again I have to say SPGS1 Was not the immediate Supervisor of DIVS Marsh.
            They both worked for OPS1.
            Why would there be any contact between either on what Marsh was doing.
            OPS1 was left out of the info loop.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to calvin post on February 13, 2015 at 6:49 pm

        >> calvin said…
        >>
        >> My point is that Cordes was not the only person who
        >> heard/ overheard radio transmissions from GM/ Marsh
        >> that they were moving, and where they were moving.

        No, he wasn’t… but my point somewhere below is that it appears that SPGS1 Gary Cordes may have been the ONLY one overhearing these transmissions who actually UNDERSTOOD what the hell they meant.

        There is evidence that members of Blue Ridge heard almost all of these confusing ‘snippets’ of radio como that have been reported…

        …but they still had no frickin’ idea what any of it really MEANT.

        That’s because SPGS1 Gary Cordes didn’t give the same briefing to the SECOND Hotshot Crew to show up in his area that he did to the FIRST Hotshot Crew that morning.

        Both Hotshot Crews were working the same general area.

        ONE knew what “predetermined escape route” and “ranch” meant.
        The other was totally clueless.

        >> calvin also said…
        >>
        >> They were not sneaking around in the brush trying to play
        >> some sort of hero role as you have asserted more than once.
        >>
        >> That is all.

        Then what WERE they doing?

        Can YOU say for sure?

        I’m all ears.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            On whose authority?

            It involved ABANDONING a Division… and choosing to NOT notify one’s immediate Supervisor about it.

            That’s ‘off the reservation’.

            • Bob Powers says

              Exactly If OPS1 did not request a move to reengage.
              Marsh did not talk to OPS1 about any move
              Then what were they doing abandoning there Division.
              For no reason. They first said they were committed to the black.
              That’s all there direct supervisor knew.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                I just ran the following words through both a thesaurus and an ‘anagram scrambler’….

                OPS1 to his DIVSA….

                1) Hunker and be safe.
                2) Keep ME informed.
                3) We’ll get some Air Support down there ASAP.

                No piece of word-scrambling software I have comes back with…

                “And go ahead and tie in with adjoining forces and don’t tell me anything about it… or even HOW you’re doing it.”

  2. calvin says

    WTK said

    OPS1 Todd Abel had seen that entire area TWICE from a Helicopter.

    He was VERY familiar with the topography, the fuel loads, and distances down there.

    Well if that is true. And Abel was familiar with the terrain and topography. Then When Marsh says I am trying to work my way off the top, at 1550, Abel should and would have known that he was coming down off the ridge (off the top).

    Todd Abel’s hunker and be safe is the immediate response Abel gave Marsh after Marsh gave him an update stating that he was actively coming off the top. How is that interpreted as obtuse?

    You know I would not keep hammering this point if the exchange had went like this.

    Marsh…. Yeah, we are sitting here in the black watching the fire move toward the old grader.

    Abel… Hunker and be safe, yada yada.

    But that is not what was said in the Caldwell video.

    • calvin says

      And if Marsh had stopped in his tracks when Abel says hunker and be safe, he would have been burned over. Because at 1550 Marsh reported to Abel that he was moving (off the top) and he was in the green at that point

      • Bob Powers says

        Calvin remember he was on top in the black to meet with Frisby.
        So my interpolation he was working his way off the top of the black towards the crew.
        I do not believe he said any thing about the Green, Black or what ever.

        Frisby came back and asked if he was in the black?
        Marsh replied working our way thru the black towards the Ranch. Not a very good explanation. Frisby was not sure exactly what he meant other than he was in the black. And he was moving toward a ranch.
        Based on Our current info the Crew and Marsh never moved out of the Black till 1604. At this point we have no actual location of Marsh.
        And currently still have no actual location of him from 1530 till 1650 when he radioed he was with the crew.
        That’s what we have been discussing for severial months he could have been behind the crew in front of the crew or with the crew.
        We have assumed he was on the ridge on the tow track to meet with Frisby when that meeting was canceled. We assume that because Frisby said the were going to meet in the same location as the first meeting.
        My Belief he was doing what we have believed and returning to the crew from the meeting place on top of the mountain above the crew.
        ” Thus– I am moving off the top thru the black” Very vague and non committal.
        No mention of moving to the Ranch SZ–Ever.
        Again Very Vague——-When asked by Frisby all they committed to was they were in the Black or moving thru it.—Still no real info.

      • calvin says

        And. Unless I have missed something. We do not hear abel direct marsh (at circa 1550 when marsh was in green, descending from the ridge), to retreat to the black. No?

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to calvin post on February 13, 2015 at 5:14 pm

          >> calvin said…
          >>
          >> And. Unless I have missed something. We do not hear abel
          >> direct marsh (at circa 1550 when marsh was in green,
          >> descending from the ridge), to retreat to the black. No?

          See post directly below.

          You are still ASSUMING that “coming off the top” meant he was coming all the way off the ridge.

          We still do NOT KNOW if that is what Marsh really meant.

          If Marsh had only been just 1/2 mile north of GM and doing his ‘observing the fire’ from the Helispot… he was at least 311 feet HIGHER than the anchor point and standing on the TOP of a PEAK there.

          So his “coming off the top” could have meant simply that.
          He was coming ‘off the top’ of that peak and heading back south.

          That trip would have been pretty much ALL in BLACK… not GREEN.

          Also… see the excerpts below from OPS1 Todd Abel’s ADOSH testimony.

          He was putting his finger on a MAP and pointing directly at the anchor point and testifying that at NO TIME did he EVER think Marsh/Steed/Crew were anywhere OTHER than that point up on the ridge.

          Until he heard about a deployment… and it was time to figure out WHERE the hell they really were.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to calvin post on February 13, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        >> calvin said…
        >>
        >> And if Marsh had stopped in his tracks when Abel says hunker
        >> and be safe, he would have been burned over. Because at 1550
        >> Marsh reported to Abel that he was moving (off the top) and
        >> he was in the green at that point

        We don’t know that.

        If Marsh was actually even just at the Helispot ( an excellent vantage point that day ), then he was 311 feet HIGHER than where GM was working and his “working my way off the top” could have just meant he was coming that 1/2 mile back south ( and DOWN ) to where GM was.

        That ‘coming off the top’ move would have been pretty much completely in BLACK.

        • calvin says

          Marsh was not at the helispot. He had been heading South for 20- 25 minutes (since 1525-1530)and and when Frisby cancelled the meeting, Marsh continued to head south. Then 5 minutes later Steed gives him an update on the fire progression because he has lost sight of the fire as he descended toward BSR

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to calvin post February 13, 2015 at 7:41 pm

            >> calvin said…
            >>
            >> Marsh was not at the helispot. He had been heading
            >> South for 20- 25 minutes (since 1525-1530)and and
            >> when Frisby cancelled the meeting, Marsh continued
            >> to head south. Then 5 minutes later Steed gives him
            >> an update on the fire progression because he has lost
            >> sight of the fire as he descended toward BSR

            You MAY be right…. but we still can’t say we know for sure.

            I hope Brendan’s testimony clears some of this up… but it’s going to also RAISE a lot more questions than it might answer.

            Example: If Marsh had decided they needed to go to BSR as early as the moment he knew Brendan had to be evacuated and Frisby wasn’t going to make that face-to-face…

            …then why the hell didn’t GM just ‘gaggle up’ and head that way at the same time?

            That would have made all the difference that day… and ALL of those men would probably still be alive.

            To have to accept the fact that Marsh may have insisted he ‘scout ahead’. at that late point in the day ( which could/should have been done at any time prior to that ) and that much TIME got wasted before he finally radioed back to Steed and said “Bring ’em down” anyway…

            …is going to be heartbreaking.

            That one TIME difference alone doing something that SHOULD have already been done earlier that day could, all by itself, account for their eventual deaths.

            • Bob Powers says

              Severial months back we decided we really did not know where Marsh was with out more info he could have been Behind the crew or in front.
              We were not sure when he left the meeting place after he found out Frisby would not be there. We only know the Crew started off the mountain at 1604.
              Where was Marsh?????????
              we need definitive proof not assumptions.
              We know he was with the crew just before they deployed.
              From 1530 till then we have no specifics to his location.
              He was some where on Division A??????

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                What calvin doesn’t mention, however, is that IF his proposed timing is right… that means that Marsh had ALREADY decided to take off and ‘scout’ the route to the Boulder Springs Ranch BEFORE he had that conversation with OPS1 Todd Abel captured in the Caldwell video.

                That’s going to raise a very ugly scenario whereby Marsh had already made up his mind what he was going to do ( WITHOUT consulting with his Supervisor )… and even when he was then eventually talkiing to his DIRECT SUPERVISOR ( Abel )… he was ‘hiding’ his true intentions.

                It means that Marsh was already walking south with every intention of taking the men to the BSR when his Supervisor told him…

                1) Hunker and be safe.
                2) Keep ME informed.

                We still do NOT know what the END of that conversation was like ( or if those were the last words and Marsh said NOTHING in response ).

                Did Marsh respond to those directives from Abel with…

                “Yes. We will do that”

                or did he say…

                “The hell we will”.

                If it was the latter… then how could OPS1 Todd Abel sit in a room with ADOSH and swear that at NO TIME did he think Marsh/Steed/Crew were anywhere OTHER than ‘in the safe black’ back at the anchor point.

                Somewhere in here… it still looks like Marsh was intentionally hiding his decisions ( and his real plans ) from his direct supervisor.

                • calvin says

                  Per Roy Hall’s YIN

                  Todd Able reported that the last communication with Eric Marsh was “We are on the west ridge descending a predetermined escape route.”

                  How do you dismiss that statement from the IC??

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to calvin post on February 13, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      >> calvin said…
      >>
      >> When Marsh says I am trying to work my way off the top, at 1550, Abel
      >> should and would have known that he was coming down off
      >> the ridge (off the top).

      Not necessarily.

      “Off the top” remains a ‘relative’ term when there are mountains and ridgelines and various elevations involved as you move from place to place ‘up there’.

      OPS1 Todd Abel’s ‘assumption’ might have been quite the opposite, actually.

      Having flown that area TWICE in a helicopter… OPS1 Todd Abel would have been perfectly aware that the ridge INCREASED in height as you moved north from the anchor area… and that the TOP of the ‘Weaver Mountains’ was to the NORTH of that area, not the SOUTH.

      Example: The “Helispot”… which is just 1/2 mile north of where GM was working and would have been an EXCELLENT place for Marsh to be ‘observing’ the fire from for most, if not all of the day… was upwards of 311 feet HIGHER than where GM was working. That’s a lot… and the ‘peaks’ of the Weaver Mountains even just north of the Helispot got even higher than the Helispot.

      OPS1 Abel ALSO knew that Marsh had been in a good position to watch the fireline burn through the retardant line just 8 minutes before their 1550 conversation… which means it WAS very likely Marsh had been ‘up the line’ ( to the NORTH ) from where GM was working.

      So having seen that area… OPS1 Abel could have easily just assumed that “working my way off the TOP” just meant Marsh was coming back SOUTH from those ‘higher points’ north of where GM was working.

      We do not KNOW where Marsh was at that point… and we also do not KNOW if his exact location was made clear to OPS1 Todd Abel during any of their conversations.

      SAIT Co-Lead Mike Dudley summed this up himself in his speech to that roomfull of Utah firefighters.

      Here is Dudley himself telling ‘the room’ about the snippet of conversation captured in the 1550 Caldwell video…

      ———————————————————————————–
      Mike Dudley said…

      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.
      ———————————————————————————-

      Perhaps Brendan McDonough still knows something here.

      The lawyers for Arizona Forestry have already notified Judge Michael A. Mosesso about what Brendan McDonough is EXPECTED to testify to ( under oath ) on February 26.

      From their Arizona Forestry Lawyers’ letter to Judge Mosesso…
      ———————————————————————————
      Mr. McDonough is believed to have information relating to the decision made by GMIHC to move from the “black”, i.e. the large, burned-out area where GMIHC was working and which was the primary safety zone for GMIHC, to the box canyon that ultimately became their deployment site.

      It is EXPECTED that Mr. McDonough will testify as to events that took place involving GMIHC on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, specifically DURING the timeframe that GMIHC moved from the “black” toward Helms Ranch, and MOMENTS PRIOR to GMIHC’s deployment.

      It is ALSO EXPECTED that Mr. McDonough will testify as to the whereabouts of Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed, and the other crewmembers of GMIHC on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, as well as radio communications between the later Eric Marsh, the GMIHC Superintendent, and the late Jesse Steed, GMIHC Crew Chief, DURING the MOVE from the “black” and MOMENTS BEFORE deployment.
      ———————————————————————————

      Here is the relevant quote from the lawyer’s letter to Judge Mosesso…

      “It is ALSO EXPECTED that Mr. McDonough will testify as to the WHEREABOUTS of Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed, and the other crewmembers of GMIHC on the afternoon of June 30, 2013”.

      So maybe we really will find out, once and for all, WHERE Eric Marsh really was at certain points that day… and what “making my way off the top” REALLY meant circa 1550 when he was talking to OPS1 Abel.

      >> calvin also said…
      >>
      >> Todd Abel’s hunker and be safe is the immediate response
      >> Abel gave Marsh after Marsh gave him an update stating that
      >> he was actively coming off the top. How is that interpreted as obtuse?

      Because when you are already up on a mountain ridge with a lot of TOPS involved ( some higher than others )… just saying you are “making your way off the TOP” is INCOMPLETE INFORMATION ( hence… obtuse ).

      obtuse
      adjective ob·tuse \äb-ˈtüs, əb-, -ˈtyüs\
      Lacking sharpness; difficult to comprehend; not clear or precise in thought or expression.

      >> calvin also said…
      >>
      >> You know I would not keep hammering this point if the exchange had went like this.
      >> Marsh…. Yeah, we are sitting here in the black watching the fire move
      >> toward the old grader.
      >>
      >> Abel… Hunker and be safe, yada yada.

      That would have been ‘less obtuse’ than what he DID say, yes.

      >> calvin also said…
      >>
      >> But that is not what was said in the Caldwell video.

      No, it’s not. What we hear in the Caldwell video is INCOMPLETE INFORMATION, and not enough to be fully SURE what Marsh really meant… or what his actual location was during that conversation.

      See above. Maybe Brendan’s testimony will finally help out here.

  3. Elizabeth says

    Let’s try this again:
    1. GM/Marsh *DID* communicate over the radio about where they were going. Eric Tarr, Bravo33, Paul Musser (Ops), Todd Abel (Ops), and Gary Cordes (essentially acting as Ops since Musser was deferring to him, according to Musser’s ADOSH interview) ALL heard this communication.
    Eric Tarr (in the Ranger58 helicopter) only FOUND the deployment area as quick as he did after the smoke finally lifted because he REMEMBERED hearing Marsh advising on the radio that GM was heading to the ranch (e.g. the Boulder Springs Ranch).
    The notion that GM was hiding what they were doing was a figment of Fred’s imagination. If GM/Marsh were trying to HIDE what they were doing, presumably they would not have advertised it on the radio clearly enough that Eric Friggin’ Tarr remembered it and used that intel to find the deployment site.

    2. I do not believe that Abel ever told Marsh or GM to stay where they were. Period. Abel himself has never said that he said it – indeed, he has indicated the opposite. Plus, Ops Musser had called GM/Marsh to see if they were available to bump to the east side (Yarnell) of the fire, so Marsh knew that the idea to shift within the division to the ranch seemed noncontroversial. We HEAR Cordes – to whom Musser himself had basically said in the ADOSH interview he was deferring – direct Esquibel (on the radio) to send resources to the Boulder Springs Ranch. It is a straw man argument for some of you to argue that Marsh somehow failed to vet the idea with his “supervisor” (whomever that was). Indeed, you hear Brian Frisby indicating that he is getting all of the crews out. Did BRIAN vet that idea with someone before doing it? With whom did he vet the idea? His supervisor? If you have never been on a wildland fire or you have not worked on a hotshot crew since the 1980s, your intel might not be the best on this point, such that it might make sense to pay attention to what guys like Frisby were actually DOING, before you point fingers at Marsh for NOT doing it. (To that end, Esquibel seems not to have briefed HIS boss about the fact that he was moving until he was already moving and his guys were OUT. Yeah – communicate with your supervisor in advance. Uhm, NOBODY was doing that that I can see.)

    3. Even if there WAS a rule that suggests that GM needed to advise that they were making what appeared to be a noncontroversial move BEFORE making the move and explicitly getting sign-off BEFORE making that move to restage, who do you think would have said “no”? Abel was at the other end of the fire, so he would not have said “no,” and Cordes was trying to TELL Esquibel to get an engine to the BSR, so Cordes would not have said “no,” so who was going to say “no”?

    • Otis says

      I suppose my main difficulty with your point was that it was “beyond dispute” that it was “made clear” and “These are the facts”.

      I didn’t actually remember any statements from Cordes/Musser/Abel and B33 about this subject that didn’t seem ambiguous to me. (actually a lot of what I’ve read from most transcripts seems ambiguous – and I don’t mean deliberately – just the way it seems to me). Which is why I genuinely requested you provide the transcripts – as I’m open to be proven wrong, and thought I’d missed something.

      Given the level of discussion about where GMHS were and why they did what they did, I’m still not convinced that I have seen anything in your post that is therefore “beyond dispute”.

      I’m not sure how to take being called Fred – I totally skipped that in your reply – thinking it was part of the following list of names, but he/she/it are not me, I don’t know Fred at all, actually I know none of you – you’re all on another continent to me. But I digress.

      • FIRE20+ says

        Here’s some Cordes examples of knowing where GM was and where they were going.

        SAI interview: “15:50 Was told to get the guys out, you have some time. Then there was a spot and I told them to get out now.”
        Contextually it is very difficult to say who Cordes is talking about and the actual time he is referring to, thank the SAIT for this.

        SAI interview: “Q: Were you surprised where they were?
        A: No”

        ADOSH pg 34: “Q: And so your assumption is…
        A: He had plenty of time to get there and, and he was headed to the
        BSR.”

        I realize we all do not hear the same thing in the audio throughout the YHF, but I stand by this.
        Cordes to Esquibel: “Can we have a couple of engines hold in place at the , ah, Boulder Springs Ranch. (Get with) Granite Mountain if you have any problems.” There is a difference in what you all are saying about Cordes ‘asking’ Esquibel to SEND an engine to BSR…Cordes believes there are already a couple engines there and to keep them there and tie in with GM because they’re either there already or almost there. Go back and listen to this audio, I’ve listened to it many times and I’ve always heard this from the beginning.

        And let’s not forget the Yarnell_Gamble audio:
        “Anyway, uh, come down, it’d help (us if) go a little faster, but your’e the supervisor. (unknown voice to us)
        To the community. (unknown voice to us)
        They’re coming from the heel of the fire.” (Eric Marsh)

        For what it’s worth in Mike Dudley’s presentation he eludes a few times regarding GM moving.. “No pressure on them to move, but there was internal conversations.” “Something triggered their mind, not pressure.” “Not complex. Crew decision and leadership to decide what they’re gonna do.” I wonder if Dudley wishes he could take back this presentation…or it played out perfectly for him and the SAIT. They do nothing that isn’t preplanned and manipulative.

        Don’t feel bad Otis, I am you and blah blah blah. Diversions, for what?

        • FIRE20+ says

          I noticed a word misused in my comment, no need to give ammo to anyone here. Should read allude not elude. Small potatoes but it matters.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Elizabeth post on February 13, 2015 at 9:39 am

      >> Elizabeth said…
      >>
      >> Let’s try this again:

      Okay.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> 1. GM/Marsh *DID* communicate over the radio about where they were going.

      Sort of. The ONLY information he ever actually imparted was using phrases like ‘predetermined escape route’ and ‘ranch’. That qualifies as ‘obtuse’ information because only people who knew what might be talking about would know what the hell you are talking about.

      Example: Blue Ridge Hotshots. They also heard some of these radio transmits… but still had no frickin’ idea what Eric Marsh was really talking about.

      >> Elizabeth also wrote…
      >>
      >> Eric Tarr, Bravo33, Paul Musser (Ops), Todd Abel (Ops), and Gary Cordes
      >> (essentially acting as Ops since Musser was deferring to him, according
      >> to Musser’s ADOSH interview) ALL heard this communication.

      Whoa. You are saying it is a FACT that Field OPS1 Todd Abel heard these
      same transmissions in REAL TIME… and has TESTIFIED as such?

      Where is that testimony?

      The only thing I know of that Eric Marsh’s direct supervisor ( OPS1 Todd Abel ) has ever testified is that he was SURE they were NOT MOVING… and were exactly where he thought they were supposed to be when he told Eric Marsh ( at 1550 ) to “Hunker and be safe ( in the black )… and keep ME informed ( of your situation and your whereabouts )”

      From OPS1 Todd Abel’s ADOSH interview…

      NOTE: At this point in the interview… they have MAPS in front of them and have been pointing to various locations with their fingers. When OPS1 Todd Abel says ‘right here’… he is actually pointing to the ‘anchor point’ on the map.

      Q1 = Dave Larsen, WFA / ADOSH investigator ( Rest in Peace )
      A = OPS1 Todd Abel
      ———————————————————————–
      2273 A: The ridge.
      2274
      2275 Q1: Right.
      2276
      2277 A: That was the last known location. I had NO IDEA they’d LEFT that location. Blue
      2278 Ridge Hotshots were working in the same area and thought they were up in
      2279 this location.
      2280
      2281 Q1: Blue Ridge thought they were there?
      2282
      2283 A: Mm-hm. The helicopters thought they were there, air attack thought they
      2284 were there, EVERYBODY thought they were right here, including MYSELF.
      ———————————————————————–

      Show me something else which contradicts this.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> Eric Tarr (in the Ranger58 helicopter) only FOUND the deployment
      >> area as quick as he did after the smoke finally lifted because he
      >> REMEMBERED hearing Marsh advising on the radio that GM was
      >> heading to the ranch (e.g. the Boulder Springs Ranch).

      That is TRUE… but there is NO EVIDENCE that Eric Marsh’s direct supervisor, OPS1 Todd Abel, ever ‘accidentally’ heard that same transmission.

      Eric Tarr himself testified he ONLY ‘accidentally’ heard that because it was over the “Air-To-Ground” channel that he was monitoring from outside the staged ‘Ranger 58’ Helicopter.

      If Marsh’s DIRECT supervisor ( OPS1 Todd Abel ) had also been either ‘busy’ or handling some other radio conversation when that message floated out over the Air-To-Ground channel… then he would have never also “accidentally’ heard it.

      According to OPS1 Todd Abel’s own ADOSH testimony… he did NOT hear this… nor ( more importantly ) did he ever hear DIRECTLY from his own DIVSA that he was ‘abandoning his assigned area’.

      >> Elizabeth also wrote…
      >>
      >> The notion that GM was hiding what they were doing was a figment
      >> of Fred’s imagination. If GM/Marsh were trying to HIDE what they’
      >> were doing, presumably they would not have advertised it on the
      >> radio clearly enough that Eric Friggin’ Tarr remembered it and
      >> used that intel to find the deployment site.

      See above. Eric Tarr only heard that float over the “Air-To-Ground” channel as
      he was standing outside the staged ‘Ranger 58″ helicopter.

      OPS1 Todd Abel could have easily ‘missed that’… and, indeed, testified that
      he did NOT hear any such transmit.

      This ‘obtuse announcement’ from Eric Marsh ( on any channel ) IN NO WAY represents
      any kind of proper communication from a DIVS to his direct OPS level supervisor that
      he is ‘abandoning his assignment’ and moving to another location.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> 2. I do not believe that Abel ever told Marsh or GM to stay where they
      >> were. Period. Abel himself has never said that he said it – indeed, he has
      >> indicated the opposite.

      That is true. The SAIT played the Caldwell video for Abel and while he absolutely acknowledges that is HIS voice saying ( specifically )…

      1. Hunker and be safe.
      2. Keep ME informed.
      3. We’ll get some Air Support down there ASAP.

      …Mike Dudley then told that roomful of firefighters that Abel ALSO said he
      didn’t ‘recall’ the REST of the conversation.

      I believe you have presented your own mental gymnastics before about how you are interpreting a common directive like “Hunker and be safe” to mean something other than “Stay where you are and be safe”… ( like anyone else would take it to mean ) but just for entertainment’s sake why don’t you explain that again for us.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> Plus, Ops Musser had called GM/Marsh to see if they were available
      >> to bump to the east side (Yarnell) of the fire, so Marsh knew that the
      >> idea to shift within the division to the ranch seemed noncontroversial.

      Moving from the anchor point to the Boulder Springs Ranch was NOT a move ‘within his Division’. It involved ABANDONING his Division and crossing over into Division ‘Z’ ( Ranch Marquez’s Division ).

      Look at a map. The ‘Division break’ that Marsh himself finally agree to was the old-grader location.

      WEST of there was ‘Division A’.
      EAST of there was ‘Division Z’

      The Boulder Springs Ranch was NOT in Marsh’s ‘Division A’.

      Regardless… as Mr. Powers has pointed out MANY times… a fully qualified DIVS does have the ability to decide for himself to abandon his assignment/Division….

      …but the idea that any DIVS would NOT directly notify his OPS level Supervisor that he is doiing this is ‘off the reservation’. To NOT do so would imply that you are following some kind of “forgiveness is easier than permission” policy and you don’t want him to override your own decision, or something.

      In other words… no explanation is necessary to justify when a DIVS would be notifying his direct supervisor OPS that he is ‘abandoning his assignment’. That would be NORMAL.

      What is NOT NORMAL is for a DIVS to NOT do this… and some explanation IS now required to explain THAT kind of behavior.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> We HEAR Cordes – to whom Musser himself had basically said in the
      >> ADOSH interview he was deferring – direct Esquibel (on the radio) to
      >> send resources to the Boulder Springs Ranch. It is a straw man argument
      >> for some of you to argue that Marsh somehow failed to vet the idea with
      >> his “supervisor” (whomever that was).

      There is no “whomever it was” about it.

      DIVSA Eric Marsh’s DIRECT SUPERVISOR on that fire was Field OPS1 Todd Abel.

      It is YOU now making the ‘strawman’ argument that maybe Eric Marsh didn’t know that ( or didn’t care ) in order to justify your own theories.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> Indeed, you hear Brian Frisby indicating that he is getting all of the crews out.
      >> Did BRIAN vet that idea with someone before doing it? With whom did he
      >> vet the idea? His supervisor? If you have never been on a wildland fire or
      >> you have not worked on a hotshot crew since the 1980s, your intel might
      >> not be the best on this point, such that it might make sense to pay attention
      >> to what guys like Frisby were actually DOING, before you point fingers
      >> at Marsh for NOT doing it.

      So let me get this straight… You are trying to COMPARE what Brian Frisby was
      doing in the Shrine Road area and helping to make sure EVERYONE was getting
      out of there ( even AFTER Cordes had issued their evac orders )… to what
      Eric Marsh did?

      If Blue Ridge was ‘working’ for anyone circa 4:00 PM and onward… it was as
      an attachment to SPGS1 Cordes’ resources in the Shrine Road area.

      Brian Frisby WAS keeping SPGS1 Gary Cordes ( his sic: supervisor ) DIRECTLY
      INFORMED about what he was doing… and WHY and WHEN.

      Just listen to the start of the M2U00264 video.

      That’s just one place Frisby was REPORTING directly to Cordes about what
      was happening back there… and why.

      Eric Marsh never did any similar thing.

      Eric Marsh’s own DIRECT SUPERVISOR on that fire ( Field OPS1 Todd Abel ) has testified any number of times that he was NEVER DIRECTLY INFORMED what his subordinate DIVSA was doing… or WHY he was doing it.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> (To that end, Esquibel seems not to have briefed HIS boss about the fact
      >> that he was moving until he was already moving and his guys were OUT.

      Tyson Esquibel was the DIRECT recipient of SPGS1 Gary Cordes ORDER to
      “get everyone out of there”. Everything he was doing from that point on was
      KNOWN to Cordes because Cordes TOLD him that’s what he should be doing.

      Absolutely NOT the case with DIVSA Eric Marsh and HIS direct supervisor.

      Again… ( sounding like a broken record now ) OPS1 Todd Abel has testified many times that he was NEVER directly informed by his subordinate DIVSA WHAT he was doing… or WHY he was doing it.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> Yeah – communicate with your supervisor
      >> in advance. Uhm, NOBODY was doing that that I can see.)

      Seriously?

      When was your last eye ( or ear ) exam?

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> 3. Even if there WAS a rule that suggests that GM needed to advise
      >> that they were making what appeared to be a noncontroversial
      >> move BEFORE making the move and explicitly getting sign-off
      >> BEFORE making that move to restage, who do you think would
      >> have said “no”?

      Any number of people… if they had been SURE what Marsh meant was he was about to go bushwhacking in front of a rapidly advancing flamefront… with no lookout.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> Abel was at the other end of the fire, so he would not have said “no,”

      Being at the other end of the fire would not have made a difference.

      OPS1 Todd Abel had seen that entire area TWICE from a Helicopter.

      He was VERY familiar with the topography, the fuel loads, and distances down there.

      If OPS! Todd Abel had been fully and directly informed of this planned ‘move’ ( as he should have been )… it is VERY likely he would have reiterated his 1550 instructions to just “Hunker and be safe (in the black… where you are )”. Anything else is too risky right now.

      Add in any knowledge on OPS1 Abel’s part that what Marsh really had in mind was a total bushwhack through explosive fuels in front of a charging, unpredictable firefront and WITHOUT a lookout…

      …and YES… the likelihood that OPS1 Abel would have said “DON’T DO IT” is HIGHLY LIKELY.

      >> Elizabeth also said…
      >>
      >> and Cordes was trying to TELL Esquibel to get an engine to the BSR,
      >> so Cordes would not have said “no,” so who was going to say “no”?

      See above.

      Just about ANYONE who had been PROPERLY informed of what Eric Marsh’s real intentions were regarding this ‘bushwhack’… at THAT time… in THAT area… under THOSE conditions… and WITHOUT even setting a damn lookout.

      • Bob Powers says

        WTKTT—-Isn’t this at least the fourth time we have gone thru this with Elizabeth?
        She keeps trying to change the facts to fit her conclusions. Every thing you said you have said before and you have always been right on

        Also the being on a Hot Shot crew since the 1980’s was a remark directed at me.
        Fire Fighting has changed little since I retired in 1994.

        The Safety requirements have not changed since 1956.
        The 10 and 13 /18, and LCES was added but LCES is taken from the 10……

        They still have the Same PPE, Fire Shelters, Line construction Tech. Weather, fuels, topography, Fuel Moisture, even Drought has come and gone a few times since the 1940’s. I could go on Ill stop here.

        They are responsible to the next supervisor in the Chain of command. Get the Red Book and read it. DIVS are responsible to and answer to the OPS. Any change that a DIVS makes on the assignment must be approved by OPS. OPS works for the IC and carries out the IC’s Orders, directions and plans to suppress the FIRE.
        STLD have Crews, Engines, Tractors etc. under them and answer directly to the DIVS, or in DIVS absence to the OPS.
        Just a refresher———–

      • Robert the Second says

        WTKTT,

        Outstanding rebuttal on all counts! She continues to have NO clue what she is talking about and in classical Logical Phallacy delusional fashion, even uses her own Straw Man fallacy to attempt it. So predictable.

        Once again, outstanding and accurate points made here.

        Fire Order Number 7 CLEARLY states to: “Maintain PROMPT communications with your forces, YOUR SUPERVISOR, and adjoining forces.” Marsh NEVER did this. Marsh NEVER directly radios his supervisor(s) (Abel or Musser) of his intention and/or his actions or those of the GMHS. Classic Marsh!

        And who is ‘Fred’? There is NO one on this with that name. Only in the mind of the delusional it appears. And the multiple personalities in the mind of the delusional as well.

        I also want to point out that the GMHS safety violations regarding improper PPE, i.e. sleeves rolled up, is an ATTITUDE thing. “It’s not going to happen to me/us, therefore …” Bad Decisions With Prior Good Outcomes – Normalization of Deviance. Yes, there are photos/videos of others doing the same, however, that is the classic Straw Man Fallacy.

        • Elizabeth says

          Robert-the-Second said “And who is ‘Fred’? There is NO one on this with that name. Only in the mind of the delusional it appears. And the multiple personalities in the mind of the delusional as well.”

          You are kidding, right? You honestly are not aware of anyone who posts on this website using multiple made-up names whose REAL name is Fred (or Fredrick or some such)?

          • Robert the Second says

            Elizabeth,

            Correct, I am “NOT aware of anyone who posts on this website using multiple made-up names whose REAL name is Fred (or Fredrick or some such)..” I empathize with your delusional disability. There is hope for you though with educated and trained professionals in that field. There is hope. There is NO Fred that posts on THIS site – only in YOUR mind.

  4. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Rocksteady post on February 12, 2015 at 10:09 am

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

    >> On February 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm, Elizabeth asked ‘rocksteady’…
    >>
    >> Have you ever personally seen a fire go from a ROS of .75 mph to a ROS of
    >> roughly 12 mph (or more) in less than 10 minutes?
    >>
    >> On February 12, 2015 at 10:09 am, rocksteady replied…
    >>
    >> Yes, I have seen that sort of behaviour.
    >>
    >> How I dealt with it:
    >>
    >> 1) Read and disseminated the potential fire behaviour from the FBAN to ALL
    >> personnel on my division/branch.
    >>
    >> 2) Had definitive trigger points (behaviour/wind, etc) when we were going to do
    >> a “tactical retreat”, not an emergency drop packs and run.
    >>
    >> 3) Ensured that we always had a helicopter in the air, be it a rotor wing bird dog,
    >> bucket ship, OPS or whomever watching fire behaviour for us, rather than using a
    >> ground based 2 year guy from the crew, as a lookout.
    >>
    >> 4) Made the call to get out early, rather than waiting til its too late
    >> and then being screwed.
    >>
    >> Once fire behaviour reaches this state, there is NOTHING that can be done.
    >> No amount of heavy equipment, helicopters or air tankers will stop it, so why
    >> risk your neck for something that is going to fail anyways.

    With regards to…

    “We were going to do a “tactical retreat”, not an emergency drop packs and run”.
    AND
    “Made the call to get out early, rather than waiting til its too late”
    AND
    “Why risk your neck for something that is going to fail anyways”…

    I think the following should be noted regarding the Yarnell HIll fire…

    ‘Bravo 3’ ( Rusty Warbis and Paul Lenmark ) testified to ADOSH that it was plainly obvious to THEM ( as early as about 12:45 PM ) that whatever almost 6-hour-old ‘plan’ it was that Granite Mountain was working on ‘down there’ was now ( due to observed fire behavior ) POINTLESS..

    Warbis and Lenmark also testified that it was so obvious to THEM that Granite Mountain was ( even as early as 12:45 PM ) “out of the game’… they were convinced that Granite Mountain was simply ‘staging’ out there and just waiting for some other more useful assignment.

    OPS2 Paul Musser himself ALSO testified to ADOSH that whatever plan they had developed for Granite Mountain that morning to try and ‘direct attack’ the fire with ‘one foot in the black’ and ‘keep it small’ became USELESS as early as NOON that day… even WHILE Frisby and Brown were having their ‘face-to-face’ meeting with Marsh and Steed.

    In BOTH of these cases… that left more than THREE HOURS for Granite to have been safely ‘pulled’ from that (now) ‘worthless’ assignment with a simple ‘Tactical Retreat’.

    This is exactly what the ADOSH report cited as something that SHOULD have been done that day… but was NOT done.

    A (safe) “Tactical Retreat” from a work assignment that had become a worthless assignment because of the increased fire activity itself.

    At the very END of OPS2 Paul Musser’s interview is when he was asked the same question ADOSH was asking all the interviewees regarding “Is there anything you would have done differently?”.

    Musser said NO. There was NOTHING he would have done differently.

    But that wasn’t the END of the actual interview.

    ADOSH investigator Barry Hicks picked up on something Musser said in his response and then another brief exchange happens before the recorder is turned off where we hear OPS2 Paul Musser ‘summarizing’ what their ‘intent’ had been on Sunday… and how the ‘intent’ changed when the fire behavior picked up much earlier than anyone had planned on.

    Musser says the ‘plan’ had, in fact, been to get Granite Mountain up there early to try and do some ‘direct attack’ with ‘one foot in the black’ and ‘keep it small’ BEFORE the fire activity ‘picked up’. later in the day.

    But once that ‘fire activity’ did ‘pick up’ much earlier in the burn cycle than anyone anticipated ( even as early as the NOON timeframe )… OPS2 Paul Musser himself then admits that they had now ‘lost the opportunity’ for that ‘plan’ with Granite Mountain to make any difference that day.

    Q2 = Barry Hicks, ADOSH investigator
    A = OPS2 Paul Musser
    ——————————————————————————————–
    2785 A: And, no I don’t know of anything that I would have done different. They were
    2786 given a safe assignment. Uh, we had – I mean our job was to suppress the fire.
    2787 The only thing we could have done different is not suppress the fire.
    2788
    2789 Q2: Right.
    2790
    2791 A: And had we not been there and taken over the fire, that wouldn’t have
    2792 happened, but we may have lost 1000 civilians.
    2793
    2794 Q2: Yeah.
    2795
    2796 A: Uh, and so no there’s – there’s nothing prior to the accident that I would do
    2797 different.
    2798
    2799 Q2: Well, let me – uh, you – you bring up a very good point and I want – I wanna
    2800 just follow that just for a minute. Uh, uh, because the one thing that you did
    2801 say is that the only thing that we could have done different was not suppress
    2802 that fire. And I’m assuming you mean in that location. Uh, because there’s
    2803 other suppression techniques that you can use without going up on that hill.
    2804 Uh, and, um…
    2805
    2806 A: The safest place to attack a fire is when it’s smallest and you have one foot in
    2807 the black.
    2808
    2809 Q2: Yeah.
    2810
    2811 A: That was our intent. Our intent was to keep it as small as possible, one foot in
    2812 the black. We had people out for point protection if that failed.
    2813
    2814 Q2: Yeah.
    2815
    2816 A: But our emphasis was direct attack with one foot in the black and…
    2817
    2818 Q2: But – but didn’t that fail yesterday? Not today?
    2819
    2820 A: It failed…
    2821
    2822 Q2: It was 100 acres when y’all got there.
    2823
    2824 A: No I would think a little bit bigger than that.
    2825
    2826 Q2: But that – I mean that’s my point. Is that at that point and time the – the keep it
    2827 small and – and – and, uh, one foot in the black…
    2828
    2829 A: A hundred acres is small compared to 8000.
    2830
    2831 Q2: Well, yeah, it’s all relative.
    2832
    2833 A: Yeah.
    2834
    2835 Q2: Um – and, uh, but is there still a point where – where you don’t put somebody
    2836 up on that hill, uh, at – and – and say we’re gonna go and do point protection
    2837 and that’s – that’s gonna be our strategy?
    2838
    2839 A: Um, in hindsight, I guess you could say that.
    2840
    2841 Q2: That’s what – exactly what I was looking for, is hindsight.
    2842
    2843 A: Yeah, I guess in hindsight you could say that.
    2844
    2845 Q2: Yeah. Yeah.
    2846
    2847 A: But no our – our emphasis was to go in and keep it as small as possible. Direct
    2848 attack, one foot in the black.
    2849
    2850 Q2: Right.
    2851
    2852 A: Uh, and get on it as soon as we possibly could. That’s…
    2853
    2854 Q2: Right.
    2855
    2856 A: …that’s why they were put up there early. It’s before we had activity. When
    2857 we still had an opportunity.
    2858
    2859 Q2: Right.
    2860
    2861 A: Our oppor- our opportunity went away about noon. And…
    2862
    2863 Q2: Yeah. And, uh, well I – I’m glad you said that, because I – I do believe that
    2864 that was – uh, and in my hindsight now looking at this thing from a far is that,
    2865 uh – that, uh – and – and I – I guess the way I would ask the question is this. Is
    2866 can the State of Arizona, make that kind of decision to use that tactic as
    2867 opposed to, uh, uh, the direct attack staying with it…
    2868
    2869 A: Yes.
    2870
    2871 Q2: Once it – once it has escaped initial attack?
    2872
    2873 A: Yes we have a full range of suppression options that we can use. Uh, point of
    2874 protection being one of them.
    2875
    2876 Q2: And so, uh, for Roy Hall’s team to come in and say we’re gonna back off and
    2877 do point protection is an option that you guys probably have used in the past
    2878 and didn’t have any issues with exercising then in this case?
    2879
    2880 A: That’s correct.
    2881
    2882 Q2: Okay. Uh…
    2883
    2884 A: And after it es- basically escaped – or that’s what we went to was…
    2885
    2886 Q2: Yeah.
    2887
    2888 A: Point protection. Uh, the box that we drew was south of Weber Peak –
    2889 Weaver Peak, uh, north and west of 89. We had the one slop over at the café,
    2890 but that was – we were able to pick that one up.
    2891
    2892 Q2: Yeah.
    2893
    2894 A: And east of the railroad, which is at the bottom of the hill. That’s the box we
    2895 drew.
    2896
    2897 Q2: Okay.
    2898
    2899 A: I don’t know what the type 1 team did when they took over. But that was the
    2900 box that we drew.
    2901
    2902 Q2: Okay. Well Paul I wanna thank you. You had good information.
    2903
    2904 Q: Well official time is about 10:50, I’m gonna stop the recorded interview.
    2905
    ——————————————————————————————–

    Once again… here is the KEY part where OPS2 Paul Musser tells ADOSH that whatever ‘plan’ they had at 7:00 AM that morning… their ‘opportunity’ for that to make any difference was LOST around NOON…

    ——————————————————————————————–
    2847 Our emphasis was to go in and keep it as small as possible. Direct
    2848 attack, one foot in the black. ( Granite Mountain’s assignment at 7:00 AM ).
    2849
    2850 Q2: Right.
    2851
    2852 A: Uh, and get on it as soon as we possibly could. That’s…
    2853
    2854 Q2: Right.
    2855
    2856 A: …that’s why they were put up there early. It’s BEFORE we had ACTIVITY. When
    2857 we still had an OPPORTUNITY.
    2858
    2859 Q2: Right.
    2860
    2861 A: Our oppor- our OPPORTUNITY WENT AWAY about NOON.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    So if even OPS2 Paul Musser KNEW that the ‘opportunity’ for the 7:00 AM plan to make any difference was LOST around NOON…

    …then what in God’s name were Granite Mountain doing still beating their brains out up there on that ridge for the next FOUR HOURS?

    WHY ( anytime during those next FOUR HOURS ) wasn’t a simple ‘Tactical Retreat’ ordered for Granite Mountain… and then none of us would even be here having these conversations?

    WHY were those poor men left working up their for the next FOUR HOURS when even ‘Air Attack’ and OPERATIONS level people knew they were ‘out of the game’ as early as NOON or 12:45 PM?

    • Bob Powers says

      You said every thing that I have questioned or said all along.
      By no later than 3PM or 1500 All the crews in the uncontrolled areas should have been
      off the line and much better if it was 1400.
      Base all actions on current and expected Fire behavior—-Fire fighting order #3
      Fire weather Forecasts—Fire Fighting order #1
      Every thing GM should have been aware of so should the IC and OPS.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Bob Powers post February 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        >> Bob Powers said…
        >>
        >> You said every thing that I have questioned or said all along.
        >> By no later than 3PM or 1500 All the crews in the uncontrolled
        >> areas should have been off the line and much better if it was 1400.

        I actually forgot to include testimony that even TWO other command level personnel felt ( as early as circa 12:45 PM or 1:00 PM ) that the ‘anchor and flank’ plan conceived at that morning’s 7:00 AM briefing was no longer ‘an option as early as 1:00 PMish.

        In addition to “Air Attack” AND OPS2 Paul Musser… those OTHER TWO command level persons appear to have been…

        DIVSZ Rance Marquez
        and
        DIVSA Eric Marsh himself.

        From DIVSZ Rance Maquez’s SAIT Interview Notes…
        ——————————————————————-
        I got back on the horn with Eric to iron out the plan. Eric suggested and I agreed to go back and find another way in; possibly the Shrine Rd. He mentioned, the we need to consider point protection. No division breaks were decided on. I found that a lot of the roads on the maps aren’t actually there. My conversation with Eric led me to believe that he felt he wasn’t going to be effective where they were.
        ——————————————————————-

        Key phrase from DIVSZ Rance Marquez’s testimony…

        “ERIC led me to believe that HE felt HE wasn’t going to be effective where they were.”

        So (apparently) even as early as 1:00 PM… DIVSA Eric Marsh had ‘joined’ that list of ‘command’ personnel who saw the futility of continuing the 7:00 AM plan after the fire activity picked up circa 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM… and he SHARED that feeling with the only other DIVS on the fire… DIVSZ Rance Marquez.

        So if anyone had the ‘authority’; to call for a ‘Tactical Retreat’ of a Hotshot Crew named Granite Mountain at that time ( with PLENTY of time to just get back to their buggies the same way they walked up )… it would have been DIVSA Eric Marsh himself.

        But he didn’t.

        He kept Granite Mountain working on a now-6-hour old ‘plan’ that had already been rendered moot ( by 1:00 PM ) by the pickup in the fire activity itself.

        They were NOT going to be able to ‘anchor and flank’ as they had originally planned 6 HOURS earlier at 7:00 AM that morning.

        It just wasn’t going to happen.

        Not from where they were up on that ridge, anyway.

        As for WHY OPS2 Paul Musser himself didn’t (then) order a ‘Tactical Retreat’ when he, himself, became aware of the same futility of that ‘morning plan’… I believe a ‘cut’ from Rance Marquez’s actual ADOSH interview provides some insight there.

        Rance Marquez told ADOSH that he, himself, is the one that basically informed OPS2 Paul Musser that that ‘anchor and flank plan’ was ‘not achievable’ following these discussions and communication he had with Marsh circa 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM.

        When Marquez left Yarnell and returned to the ICP… the first thing he did was ‘report’ all this to OPS2 Paul Musser.

        According to Marquez… it basically went “in one ear and out the other”.

        Musser was now realizing the ‘Incident’ was going to have to go from the morning’s “suppresssion mode” plan to just full blown “structure protection mode”… and his (multiple) radios were now humming trying to get that going.

        He basically said “Yeah, OK, whatever” to Marquez’s report about the futility of Granite Mountain’s ‘mission’ on the south side… and Musser brushed Marquez off.

        So right there was the opportunity for this OPS person ( Musser ) to realize then and there that if that Hotshot Crew was now working on a ‘useless exercise’ that they needed to get OUT of there and back to town in a SAFE and CONTROLLED manner.. with plenty of time to spare.

        This was the actual “Order a Tactical Retreat for that Resource” opportunity.

        That ‘opportunity’ just fell through the cracks.

        OPS2 Paul Musser was ‘preoccupied’ and not really paying attention to what DIVSZ Rance Marquez was reporting to him…

        …and so Granite Mountain IHC became the ‘forgotten resource’ at that point.

        No one was even thinking about them anymore until the weather/fire REALLY started to go bat-shit-crazy… and when they finally ‘remembered’ they were still actually up there on the ridge the concerns were then just “are they safe up there”.

        From Rance Marquez’s ADOSH interview 9-23-13

        Q2 = Barry Hicks, ADOSH investigator
        Q3 = Dave Larsen, ADOSH investigator ( Rest in Peace )
        A = DIVSZ Rance Marquez
        ———————————————————————-
        Q3: Okay. And you tied in with Musser and told him the – the – looks like a tough chance down there and uh, and anchoring and flanking. No tough – well – well don’t let me speak to you. What did you tell him?

        A: No. It – basically, that’s exactly – it – I don’t know exactly what I told word for word but I just told him that I tied in with Eric. We could not find an anchor point. We could not agree with one and there’s not even one to be had really if we had agreed. Um, the ground’s really tough and there just isn’t – there aren’t any good options right in – right in that uh, in that area.

        Q3: Okay.

        Q2: Is that – any other strategy at that point uh, Rance?

        A: Uh, for which portion? We basically went to point protection after that. It was forced on us.

        Q2: And yeah – yeah, I know it was forced on you, but did you and – you and Musser have that discussion uh, at all at that point in time?

        A: No. We did not. Um, he understood what I was saying, but he had about two other radios going off in his ear plus other things going on, so he just said, “Yeah. Um, we’re off – we’re going to have uh, at a later – later time.” and started to prioritize information.
        ————————————————————————-

        So what OPS2 Paul Musser did not ‘prioritize’ then was that his DIVSZ had just informed him that he had been consulting with his ONLY other DIVS ( DIVSA ) and now they BOTH felt there just wasn’t a good place to ‘anchor and flank’ down on the south end anymore ( circa 1:00 PM ) and that “suppression mode” was now basically OVER that day.

        OPS2 Musser basically just said “Yeah… whatever… I’ll deal with that LATER” and went about his ‘structure protection mode’ business. He didn’t transmit any instructions to his DIVSA to do a ‘Tactical Retreat’ and get the Hotshot resource(s) off that ‘obsolete’ assignment and down off that ridge.

        Remember that OPS2 Paul Musser was still just ‘Planning OPS’ at this time and ensconced at the ICP helping IC Roy Hall. Musser was only now ( circa 1:00 PM ) beginning to realize he needed to transition into being the SECOND active ‘Field OPS’ on the fire now that they were abandoning “suppression mode” and going to a pure “structure protection” effort that day.

        So DIVSZ Rance Marquez was really reporting this critical information to the WRONG person at this time ( circa 1:00 PM ).

        There is NO evidence that the current Field OPS1 Todd Abel heard ANY of this report from DIVSZ Marquez about the ‘futility’ of that 6-hour-old ‘anchor and flank’ effort on the south side of the fire… or that it was now ( circa 1:00 PM ) just a ‘useless exercise’.

        If he HAD ( heard this news )… perhaps OPS1 Todd Abel would NOT have been as ‘distracted’ as OPS2 Paul Musser and would have recognized the need to get that Hotshot resource down off that ridge ASAP… with plenty of time to spare before things REALLY went (literally) ‘south’ that day.

    • calvin says

      The question of why GMIHC were left out on that ridge with no real effective assignment and with decreasing amount of time to retreat safely to safety has always been on my thoughts.

      I wonder how/if this “assignment” had anything to do with the decisions made later in the day?

      • SR says

        They were already safe, and had at least two (in fact more) safe options if they wanted off. 1. Follow the black to town. 2. Drop off the backside.

        • calvin says

          SR.

          Both of the options you listed above would have taken GM out of the fire fight. Right?

          All I am saying is WHY did GM stay out on the ridge until there was not a way to get back to their trucks. Evacuate to the Ranch house and re engage the fire.

          Why did they not evacuate earlier. Who had the authority to bring them off the hill? Abel?

          • Bob Powers says

            Two Things
            One– they were working next to the Black with 400 plus acres of safety zone. They had that option all day and the rest area seemed to indicate they had pulled up into it. They basically dropped packs and were in lets wait this out in the BLACK.
            Two– They had a route to their trucks or pickup by dropping off the back side and hiking to Hwy 89. Roughly 2 miles thru the desert from the rest site down to the saddle then down a fairly open ridge with light to medium fuel and out to the road. Based on topography maps that I looked at not a really steep decent at all. Looked doable to me.

            I think most overhead here felt GM was in a good location and could retreat to the black at any time if things went bad. No one thought they would leave the black. Or would move without notifying OPS.

            The question then is what was Marsh doing keeping the crew on their assignment If they could not accomplish it. 1230 to 1300 seems the decision point. A fully qualified Division Supervisor Can make the decision to abandon the line assignment and pull out. When they pulled back to the rest area they were pulling back to the Anchor Point..
            They abandoned a Mile or more of line along the fire edge.

            You could as well ask if they as stated were going to a SZ the BSR they could not get to their trucks from there or their trucks could not get to them. They could see the fire was moving into the towns and cutting off the road access to BSR before they left the rest area.

            If the decision had been made to leave the mountain at 1300 they could have hiked back to their trucks and moved the them selves. After the meeting with Frisby and never posted a Lookout.
            They had almost 3 hours to do that.
            So did Marsh really believe the fire was going to move in their direction
            If he didn’t why post a look out to watch the fire advance?
            My thoughts.

  5. Rocksteady says

    To follow up on a previous mini thread, there were accusations the GMIHS were an unsafe crew, because they were on the line with their sleeves rolled up.

    Be the judge yourself. Go to Youtube, search “hotshots 2014”

    You will see many videos of the crews activities from last year.

    Safety concerns I saw on other crews:

    Sleeves rolled up (so not just a Granite Mountain thing)
    Many workers within striking distance of trees being felled.
    Crews within a tree length during heli drops from Mediums and Heavies.
    Driving UTV’s without seatbelts on.

    I guess, using the logic that called GMIHS unsafe because of teh sleeves, you could call these crews “Darwin Nominees”.

    1 minor safety infraction does not make you an unsafe crew.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Rocksteady post on February 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      >> Rocksteady said…
      >>
      >> Driving UTV’s without seatbelts on.

      Just adding to the ‘list’ here with regards to UTV/ATV.

      Helmets and Gloves.

      The NIFC regulations for operating ATV/UTV on a fire are pretty specific when it comes to required PPE and whatnot.

      Chapter 14 of the National Interagency Fire Center’s “Firefighting Equipment Standards” publication is here…

      http://www.nifc.gov/PUBLICATIONS/redbook/2015/Chapter14.pdf

      On page 6 is the section that covers ATV/UTV ‘Standards’…

      ——————————————————————————–
      All Terrain Vehicles (ATV)/Utility-Terrain Vehicles (UTV)

      The operation of ATV/UTVs can be high risk. The use of ATV/UTVs should be evaluated to ensure that use is essential to accomplish the mission, rather than for convenience.

      Because of the high risk nature, agencies have developed specific operational policy (refer to current agency policy). ATV/UTV operators will meet the training and certification requirements of their agency; employees certified by their agency will be considered qualified ATV/UTV operators regardless of incident jurisdiction. Common policy requirements for wildland fire operations are highlighted below:…

      If operating ATV/UTV on the fireline, the following are required:

      – Leather or leather/flame resistant combination gloves. Flight gloves are not approved for fireline use;
      – Yellow flame resistant shirt;
      – Flame resistant trousers;
      – Wildland fire boots; and
      – Appropriate head protection ( and other PPE ) as described…

      Required PPE includes:

      ATV Head Protection for Wildland Fire Operations:

      – ATV Helmets must be worn at all times during ATV operations (on and off the fireline); and
      – ATV Helmets must meet Snell SA2005, SA2010, or DOT certification.
      – A 3/4 face model meeting Snell SA2005 or SA2010 certification is acceptable for use.
      – Use of half “shorty” helmets requires a JHA/RA for fireline use and must include justification for its use. Refer to MTDC Tech Tip publication, A Helmet for ATV Operators with Fireline Duties (0651-23 2350-MTDC).

      UTV Head Protection for Wildland Fire Operations:

      – Helmets must meet DOT, ANSI Z90.1; or Snell SA2005 or SA2010 unless:
      – UTV is used for low speeds and smooth travel surfaces, administrative use (e.g., campgrounds, incident base camps) UTV operators are not required to wear hardhats or helmets; or
      – UTV is equipped with approved Rollover Protection System (ROPS)
      ——————————————————————————–

      There are a number of photos from Yarnell showing Blue Ridge Captain Trueheart Brown DRIVING the BR Polaris Ranger UTV and Blue Ridge Superintendent Brian Frisby riding in the passenger side.

      Neither one is observing the NIFC regulations.

      Brian Frisby is never seen wearing a Helmet ( he was only wearing his cloth baseball cap all day ) and Driver Trueheart Brown is never seen wearing gloves. That’s why we are able to see the wedding ring on his finger in close-up in the Hulburd video shot just as they pulled up to the “3 Prescotteers” ( Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell ) during the Shrine Road evacuations.

      Here are just some of those photos from the evidence record…

      – Blue Ridge Hotshot Desoto’s photo “yarnell-desoto 002.jpg” is the one showing the Polaris Ranger in full profile having just pulled up to where the Blue Ridge Crew Carriers are parked. Brian Frisby is standing next to the Polaris only wearing his cloth baseball hat. Trueheart Brown is driving… He has his blue helmet on but is wearing no GLOVES whatsoever and we can see his wedding ring on his finger, which has helped to identify him in OTHER photos in the evidence record.

      – Blue Ridge Hotshot Papich’s photo “IMG_3955.jpg” shows the BR Ranger at the Youth Camp with FLAMES in the background coming over the ridge. Brian Frisby is visible riding in the passenger side of the Ranger and he is wearing only his cloth baseball cap.

      – Blue Ridge Hotshot McCord’s photo “yarnell 106.jpg” is the one that was taken in the Ranch House Restaurant parking lot just seconds after Frisby and Brown had arrived there in the Polaris UTV.

      Brian Frisby is still only wearing his cloth baseball hat.

      • Bob Powers says

        BS is not true. The shirt thing is in fact a PPE requirement by the safety rules of the Federal Government. The manufacture requires that the shirt be fastened around the wrist. It is also a statement in the Fire Shelter Training that the sleeves must be down and securely fastened and gloves on.
        While in its self not the one thing to consider as far as Safety, it is a indicator of a lack of safety awareness by a crew and their supervisors. What else do they consider as necessary to follow. Hiking with no sheathes on tools. sharping tools with out gloves on or File guards. They just all start adding up.

        Like the Two violations of safety protocol below
        Like McDonough’s statement Fire Orders are Hillbilly.
        Leaving your fire assignment without notifying your supervisor of what you are doing.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Elizabeth… read what Bob Powers actually said.

            Their SUPERVISOR has testified MANY times that HE was NOT INFORMED.

        • Elizabeth says

          Bob, I believe it is beyond dispute that GM advised via radio what they were doing when they starting moving to the Boulder Springs Ranch. Cordes made clear that he wanted resources at the Boulder Springs Ranch. Musser contacted Marsh to see what resources were available for that area.
          These are the facts.

              • Bob Powers says

                Elizabeth none of what you stated is correct Marsh never stated where he was moving to. nor did any of them know where the Crew was when they went to shelters. As Otis said Provide the transcripts. I assumed you called Otis Fred which he isn’t.
                Cordes, Musser, Abel and B33 did not know where the crew was. Thus the confusion in RESCUE.

                The IC thought they were in the black, B33 had seen them on a ridge on the south side of the fire, one OPS had only herd them on the Radio when they were in trouble. The other OPS after the fact thought they may have been going to BSR. Because he had told them it was a good SZ.

                So we go chasing Rabbits again. Along with your paranoia over All the Fred’s which now includes Otis.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to Bob Powers post on
                  February 13, 2015 at 9:15 am

                  >> Bob Powers said…
                  >>
                  >> Cordes, Musser, Abel and B33 did not know where
                  >> the crew was.

                  Absolutely true… except for the first gentleman.

                  SPGS1 Gary Cordes knew EXACTLY what they were doing… WHERE they were going… and probably exactly WHY they were doing it ( but has still never said so ).

                  That really IS him ( Cordes ) telling Esquibel to send some people to the Boulder Springs Ranch to be SURE that Granite Mountain gets (quote) “out of there safely”.

                  When Cordes gave that directive to Esquibel to send people to ‘get’ Granite Mountain… he actually thought they were either ALREADY there… or just about to ARRIVE there.

                  What Eric Marsh (apparently) NEVER did, however, is directly and properly inform his OWN direct SUPERVISOR ( Field OPS1 Todd Abel ) what he was doing.

                  As far as we know, anyway.

                  No one has still ever seen Eric Marsh’s or Todd Abel’s cellphone records.

                  • calvin says

                    WTK

                    You know B33 had a pretty good idea where GM was. He heard they were moving to a SZ. He possibly heard they were moving towards Yarnell as did Eric Tarr.

                    And when he finally answers the frantic calls from the trapped WFF’s. He doesn’t even ask where they are. He says in his own words. So you are on the south side of the fire, right?

                    And as Elizabeth said. The bodies of the GMIHC were found as soon as the smoke cleared enough for Ranger 58 to get into that valley.

                    • Bob Powers says

                      Will SAY again the south side of the e was from
                      the anchor point to BSR Ranch that’s roughly 1.5 Miles. The last B33 saw Marsh and Crew they were on a ridge near the anchor point that’s a ways from where they were found.

                • Elizabeth says

                  Bob, you said “The IC thought they were in the black, B33 had seen them on a ridge on the south side of the fire, one OPS had only herd them on the Radio when they were in trouble. The other OPS after the fact thought they may have been going to BSR. Because he had told them it was a good SZ.”

                  Not true. You cannot make up the facts, Bob – that does not HELP the situation. It only hurts the survivors.

                  • Bob Powers says

                    Elizabeth I do not know why I am even answering you.
                    Read what WTKTT said above in full agreement with me, except the Information on Gary Cordes. He never actually testified to knowing or talking with Marsh.
                    Cordes was not Marshes direct Supervisor.
                    Did he know where Marsh and Crew were or did he assume he knew where they were. Based on trying to send an Engine Esquibel to check on them?????
                    More explanation needed here.
                    Did he think they were at the BSR
                    Did he know they were at the BSR
                    Did he think they would move to the BSR when safe to do so??????? A lot of open questions here that were never asked..

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to Elizabeth post on February 13, 2015 at 4:35 am

            >> Elizabeth said…
            >>
            >> I believe it is beyond dispute that GM advised via radio
            >> what they were doing when they starting moving to
            >> the Boulder Springs Ranch.

            It is also beyond dispute ( if you believe that OPS1 Todd Abel’s interviews are accurate ) that their DIRECT SUPERVISOR was NOT INFORMED that they were abandoning their assigned area.

            It’s almost as if… following being told by his DIRECT SUPERVISOR to “Hunker and be safe… and keep ME informed ( of your situation and your whereabouts )”… that Eric Marsh suddenly decided he was “working for someone else now” and just didn’t feel the need to DIRECTLY inform his own OPS level supervisor that he was abandoning his assigned area.

            Throwing some obtuse answers over the radio to ( still unknown ) people asking you what your ‘status is’ does NOT represent ( in any way, shape or form ) proper notification of your SUPERVISOR what you are ‘doing’. during a dangerous, dynamic fire situation.

            • Elizabeth says

              WTKTT, as you know, I do not agree that we know that anyone was asking GM for their “status.” I do not agree with you on a lot of what your ears are hearing in those background sounds in the recordings. Regardless, we know that Cordes (who was basically calling the shots on the east side of the fire), the acting air attack folks, Paul Musser, Eric Tarr, and others all heard GM advising that they were moving.
              Why are you of the view that (a) it was necessary for GM/Marsh to say more than that and (b) that it would have made a difference had GM/Marsh done so?

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to Elizabeth post on February 13, 2015 at 9:56 am

                >> Elizabeth said…
                >>
                >> WTKTT, as you know, I do not agree that we know
                >> that anyone was asking GM for their “status.” I do
                >> not agree with you on a lot of what your ears are
                >> hearing in those background sounds in the recordings.

                And as I have told you before… I would be the FIRST to agree that SOME of these things are hard to hear… but YOU still maintain that you cannot hear things which are CLEARLY heard by anyone with NORMAL hearing.

                I still suggest you get you ears checked.

                Seriously. I mean it.

                If you really can’t hear that person calling out to Granite Mountain in the Panebaker 1616 video and saying…

                “Granite Mountain… what’s your status right now?”

                …then you really do need your hearing checked.

                My wife just got an AMAZING new hearing aid.
                They are really, really sophisticated these days and can even be tuned to accomodate specific ranges of frequencies.

                A lot of people are DEAF in certain very specific frequency ranges just like a lot of people are color-blind to some very specific color wavelengths.

                The new technology is doing wonders for these people.

                It is literally a “I never knew what I was missing” revelation for them… like it was for my wife.

                >> Elizabeth also said…
                >>
                >> Regardless, we know that Cordes (who was basically
                >> calling the shots on the east side of the fire), the
                >> acting air attack folks, Paul Musser, Eric Tarr, and
                >> others all heard GM advising that they were moving.

                Ah… so now you ARE leaving OPS1 Todd Abel out of your little ‘list’? I assume that means I’m not going to see your proof for your prior statement that Eric Marsh’s direct supervisor ALSO (accidentally) heard these things?

                >> Elizabeth also said…
                >>
                >> Why are you of the view that (a) it was necessary
                >> for GM/Marsh to say more than that and (b) that
                >> it would have made a difference had GM/Marsh
                >> done so?

                I’m going to answer these two ABSURD questions with an old saying…

                To those who understand… no explanation is necessary.
                To those who do not… no explanation is possible.

                Guess which category you fall into?

    • SR says

      Not just the sleeves. When the same day you nearly get your lookout burned over and don’t think it’s a big deal, when you have a history of repeatedly having to get your buggies rescued, when you repeatedly get lectured by peers that you aren’t doing things the right way, when you get told in written performance reviews that you need to speak when spoken to, when you can’t assess distance correctly — when all those things are present, there may be some issues that are specific to that crew. The reality is that safety or lack thereof is a cultural thing, and does tend to travel in groups both positively and negatively.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        In Christopher MacKenzie’s Canon photo name IMG_0876, taken that very Sunday morning in Yarnell… Robert Caldwell is photographed using his DRIP TORCH.

        He has gloves on… but his right SLEEVE is still ROLLED UP and his bare forearm is showing.

        Fer cryin’ out loud.

        The guy is wearing an expensive fire resistant shirt… using a LIGHTED DRIP TORCH with flaming gas dripping out of it… and he doesn’t even bother to roll his sleeves down?

        C’mon… that can’t even be attributed to “We’re Ranger Danger!” stuff.

        That’s just plain STUPID.

      • calvin says

        SR

        If you truly believe that Mcdonough almost got himself burned over then you must accept that Frisby was also putting himself at unnecessary risk. And not even wearing a helmet while operating his UTV, against the rules?

        Come on guys (and girls). As Rocksteady said. Go watch some 2014 hotshot videos and judge for yourself.

        WTK

        As for the Mackenzie photo of Caldwell. It appears to me that both sleeves are rolled up once. And I think that has been described (accurately) as the sleeves are sometimes too long as they are not made to order.

        But either way. There are so many pictures and videos of these WFF guys working on the fireline with sleeves at some level of rolled up that it seems to be a common practice. Even f it is against the rules.

        Also. Is that image taken at the exact location that Mackenzie, Parker, Caldwell and Norris take videos and photos circa 1550 that day?

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to calvin post on February 13, 2015 at 3:18 am

          >> calvin also said
          >>
          >> WTK
          >>
          >> As for the Mackenzie photo of Caldwell. It appears to me that
          >> both sleeves are rolled up once.

          His BARE FOREARM is showing… WHILE he is using a frickin’ DRIP TORCH.

          What else is there to say?

          It’s a DIRECT VIOLATION of NWCG safety rules.

          From the OFFICIAL ‘National Wildfire Coordinating Group’ ( NWCG )
          Training and Safety manual regarding ‘Firing Devices’…

          NOTICE the SPECIFIC references to keeping ALL shirt sleeves completely rolled DOWN when using one of these puppies ( and when using fusees )…

          Module 7: Firing Devices

          http://training.nwcg.gov/classes/s130/508%20Files/071231_s130_m7_508.pdf

          ————————————————————————-
          Topic 1: Introduction

          * Firing devices module overview

          It’s time to turn up the heat. This topic introduces you to the tools you will use to fight fire with fire. Each firing device has its own advantages and hazards, but all of them are reliable when you need to burn out or backfire during wildland firefighting operations.

          In this module, we’ll discuss the following firing devices:

          – Drip torches
          – Fusees

          Firing devices are powerful tools with the potential to be POWERFULLY DANGEROUS, so we’ll also run down the SAFETY features and PROCEDURES of each device.

          * Drip torches

          The drip torch is perhaps the most commonly used ignition device for burning out. When you’re carrying the torch, it allows the burning fuel to drip onto the vegetation where you want to burn.

          Drip torch HAZARDS and SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

          Drip torches have MANY HAZARDS, including flaming fuel, PERSONAL BURNS, improper fuel mix, flash back or explosion, and injuries from improper carrying and handling.

          To overcome these hazards, there are several drip torch safety precautions to take.

          – Wear all personal protective equipment (PPE) properly, including SLEEVES DOWN.

          * Fusee hazards and safety precautions

          The two primary hazards of burning fusees are from the released particles and fumes. Fusees burn at 1,400° F (760° C) and can BURN YOU SEVERELY.

          Also, when fusees burn, they give off toxic fumes. Avoid these fumes as well as CONTACT with HOT SPLATTERING PHOSPHOROUS SLAG.

          When using fusees:

          – Wear all PPE properly, including SLEEVES DOWN.
          ————————————————————————-

          Also remember… Robert Caldwell is the one who was promoted to ‘Crew Boss’ at the beginning of April, 2013… to replace Philip Maldonado who had taken a job with the Prescott Solid Waste Division.

          So Robert Caldwell isn’t just a ground-pounder when this photo was taken.

          He is now a ‘Crew Boss’… and a LEADER… and supposed to LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

          That is almost proof-positive that there WAS a ‘relaxed’ culture within this GM organization when it came to following established industry SAFETY rules.

          >> calvin also said…
          >>
          >> And I think that has been described (accurately) as the sleeves are
          >> sometimes too long as they are not made to order.

          This is a multi-BILLION ( with a ‘B’ ) industry.
          The shirts themselves are expensive.

          If they don’t come in the range of correct sleeve lengths so that someone doesn’t have to use THAT as an excuse for rolling up their sleeves all the time… then the WFF industry needs to get with the manufacturers ASAP and ‘figure it out’.

          >> calvin also said…
          >>
          >> But either way. There are so many pictures and videos of these
          >> WFF guys working on the fireline with sleeves at some level of
          >> rolled up that it seems to be a common practice. Even f it is
          >> against the rules.

          And this is OKAY with you?

          Are you actually DEFENDING the ‘common practice’ of ‘breaking the rules’ in an industry that is supposed to pride itself on SAFETY FIRST?

          >> calvin also said…
          >>
          >> Also. Is that image taken at the exact location that Mackenzie, Parker,
          >> Caldwell and Norris take videos and photos circa 1550 that day?

          No. It was down the slope a ways where they were trying to burn from the edge of the existing cold-black over towards the tw0-track they walked up on. This was before Air Attack Rory Collins just dumped retardant all over everything they were doing because HE just wanted them to go ‘direct’.

          • Elizabeth says

            Collins claims he dumped on the burn to cool it down. I vaguely recall someone saying in a written statement that Marsh actually asked Collins to dump to pre-treat the edge where they were going to burn, which would obviously be consistent with what Hotshot Sups or Assistant Sups often want.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Elizabeth post on February 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

              >> Elizabeth said…
              >>
              >> Collins claims he dumped on the burn to cool it down.
              >> I vaguely recall someone saying in a written statement
              >> that Marsh actually asked Collins to dump to pre-treat
              >> the edge where they were going to burn, which would
              >> obviously be consistent with what Hotshot Sups or
              >> Assistant Sups often want.

              Go check your notes.

              Yes… Marsh requested that the SEATS pre-treat the edges of where they wanted their indirect burns to terminate up against the green side of the two-track… but Collins had other ideas.

              This has been discussed before.

              The Oregon fly-boys don’t really believe in ‘indirect’ attacks and Collins thought if he dumped right on the heat they could then just go DIRECT…. like HE wanted them to.

              After the first dump right on their own heat… Marsh called back up to Colliins and ARGUED with him. That was NOT what he wanted.

              Collins didn’t give a shit.

              He had the SEATS dump on the rest of the ‘heat’… and FORCED DIVSA Marsh to change his plans and left him with only one option… go DIRECT now.

        • SR says

          Calvin,

          No, it doesn’t work that way. Frisby had mobility on his side, whereas GM’s lookout, in plain view of them all, was walking around looking at deployment sites because on foot he didn’t have that mobility. And, news that he was doing so was received “calmly.” There are multiple levels of wrong there. Not intentional, simply cultural as a result of not having experienced bad outcomes YET. If McDonough HAD been burned over, I’m sure the next time GM’s lookout was about to be burned over, their reaction would have been different.

          Culture and training and history.

  6. Bob Powers says

    As I said I would do, I went Back to the Videos of the Rescue grouped going thru the fire and power lines. At no time did I consider any thing viewed on the video riding thru the left over burning debris or the power lines that were sagging or down as any serious safety problem than what I have walked thru on many occasions. The power lines were a problem but negotiable. Frisby walked in to check the route and the venting propane tank as I have said before, he evaluated that the venting was not a problem.

    The house and the Tank were burning hot and a lot of reflective heat they had to go close to that to stay on the road thus the Hot, Hot, Lots of smoke. They manipulated thru the power lines which were ganging low across their path and probably would not have gone under them in a full sized Truck.
    Although not clear I think that was the reason for telling anyone else not to go the way they did. other than ATV’s or UTV’s. What they did and how they went was is within the bounds of what Fire Fighters do all the time after a fire passes and the work their way into the burned area on Roads, on foot or in vehicles. My observations based on what I could see in the Videos.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Copy that.

      You also wondered if the power lines were still ‘live’.

      There is no definite proof that the ‘grid’ had been shut down circa 1735 ( 5:35 PM ) or so when this ‘breakthrough’ took place… but OPS2 Paul Musser DOES talk about getting the ‘grid’ shut down at some point in his ADOSH interview.

      The following ‘cut’ from Musser’s ADOSH interview seems to suggest that no one got with APS ( Arizona Public Services Co. ) to make sure all the power lines were dead until sometime AFTER the bodies were discovered and they then started figuring out how they were going to push that dozer road from the Helms’ place out to the deployment site.

      NOTE: At this point in the interview… when Musser says “The people on the ridge came down to the deployment site” he is referring to Frisby, Brown, Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell and the moment when they pulled their UTVs up to the Saddle point and then ran/walked on foot down the same path GM had took to get to the floor of the canyon.

      Q2 = Barry Hicks, ADOSH
      A = OPS2 Paul Musser
      ————————————————————————————-
      2398 A: The people off the ridge
      2399 came (down) to the deployment site and then started trying to find
      2400 ground access. Uh, to get us in there. Still active fire going on structures and
      2401 stuff. Uh, a lot of power lines down. Um, so we had to figure how we could
      2402 get in and get around the power lines and stuff like that…
      2403
      2404 Q2: Right.
      2405
      2406 A: …to gain ground access. Met with, uh, APS – several different people in APS
      2407 to make sure that everything was dead. Which took us a while to do. ‘Cause
      2408 we had confirmation that it was dead, but I couldn’t talk to the person that
      2409 gave that confirmation, so…
      2410
      2411 Q2: Oh yeah.
      2412
      2413 A: …so I had to talk to them personally that everything was dead, um, because
      2414 we were gonna bring a dozer in to, uh, help clean up and create access. Tried
      2415 to get them to cut the lines, they said just push it over and move on. Which
      2416 then tangled up in the dozer
      —————————————————————————————

      SIDENOTES….

      This is just FYI… but APS ( Arizona Public Services, Co. ) are also the ones who did the following two things in the days following the tragedy…

      1) APS donated and installed that ‘flagpole’ that is currently at the deployment site.
      2) APS completely PAID for ALL of the Hotshots funerals.

      ** TAGGING ALONG

      I think it’s also important to note that regardless of exactly how DANGEROUS this ‘breakthrough’ was or wasn’t… or how many safety rules may have been being stretched… I don’t think there is any real evidence that the “3 Prescoteers” were even ‘officially’ supposed to be involved in this ground rescue mission.

      Frisby and Brown were ‘officially’ given permission by IWIC ( Incident Within an Incident Commander ) Todd Abel to act as the ‘search team’ to go in there and try and find where GM had deployed.

      Frisby and Brown FIRST tried to ‘break through’ down in the Glen Ilah area, which has always been SOME indication that sometime before they left that Ranch House Restaurant parking lot in their UTV it had become known it was ‘highly likely’ they were out there beyond the BSR

      When everything was deemed ‘TOO DANGEROUS’ down there… THAT is when they headed back up to the Shrine area to take a route they were already familiar with.

      When Frisby and Brown arrived up at the end of Shrine Road… the “3 Prescotteers” had already unloaded their own ATV and UTV and had been considering trying to ‘break through’ themselves.

      Remember… Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell were still ‘off the radar’ at this point and basically just ‘freelancing’ at the Yarnell Hill Fire.

      I don’t think IWIC Todd Abel ( or Frisby or Brown ) really had any idea they were still ‘hanging around’ up there on Shrine Road… or that they were contemplating trying to go look for GM themselves.

      My point here is that Frisby and Brown knew what they needed to do.

      They had to try and just find the location, then relay it back to the FULL ‘Medical Team’ that was still assembled and waiting back at the Ranch House Restaurant.

      Frisby and Brown did not NEED Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell to particpate.

      I think what happened is that once Frisby and Brown actually met with the “3 Prescotteers” up on Shrine Road… Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell just sort of ‘invited themselves’ to TAG ALONG behind Frisby and Brown.

      So it was Frisby and Brown who made the decision to ‘bust through’ ( since THEY were the ones who KNEW what was on the other side ). I don’t think they even fully realized that Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell were going to just TAG ALONG behind them.

      Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell had been there for some time and were deciding it WAS, in fact, TOO DANGEROUS to try and bust through there… but it was because they, themselves, had NO IDEA what was really ‘on the other side’.

      When Frisby and Brown showed up… evaluated the situation… and then ‘went for it’ anyway… THAT is when Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell just trusted their judgement and had their own “Fuck it, let’s go for it TOO’ moment.

      I’m actually not even sure that as Frisby and Brown hauled ass west out towards the anchor point that they really had any idea that Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell had decided to follow them and were behind them.

      It really still would be nice if SOMEDAY… these THREE critcal witnesses to events leading up to, during, and after the deployment ( Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell ) would actually get INTERVIEWED and/or DEPOSED by someone.

      OR… if Arizona Forestry already did… that they someday ‘find’ these interviews down there behind that filing cabinet along with the Peeples Valley Firefighter interviews, photos, and cellphone records.

  7. calvin says

    Bob

    I began riding dirt bikes when I was 5. I have hundreds or even thousands of hours on motorcycles and 4 wheelers. But never been on a UTV.. And I have lived in the largest mountains in the East , all my life. And all my favorite hobbies are outdoor/ adventure oriented.

    My past work experience includes being a member on an aero medical team. I have over one hundred helicopter rescue missions under my belt. I have been in the hero business.

    And now I own a small business and maintain and operate small and medium sized machinery daily. Both tracked equipment and equipment with air filled tires as well as flat free tires. I am aware of the importance of preventative maintenance but understand that break downs do indeed happen at the most inopportune / inconvenient time.

    But I want to make clear that never once did any of my pilots look at me and say “Fuck it lets go for it”

    NEVER! And we knew that someone was in dire need of our services

    • Bob Powers says

      Thank that gives me some perspective on your background. I would not expext pilots to push the envelope very far 1 skid landings under power are a little in the gray area but are done when needed. And allowed by some companies.

      With some of the questions I was trying to get a feel where people were and their experience.
      ATV’s operate a little different than Motorcycles but mostly the same uses the main difference
      is balance and trail size a motor cycle can climb side hill where a ATV would have trouble on a steep slope.

      Maybe you can reflect on this question.
      Have you ever wanted to go some place on your motor cycle that was a little tricky
      and you just decided you could do it and went for it?
      You had confidence in your ability that would have looked dangerous to some one else.
      in your brain you said fuck it I’m going for it??????
      That’s kind of where I am trying to get an understanding here. Confidence Knowledge and ability. Make any since????

      • Elizabeth says

        My expertise lies more in things like fact-finding and human behavior than in operating an atv/utv/motorcycle (though I have operated such things before). Therefore, I want to comment on Bob’s incorrect statement above, that “I would not expext pilots to push the envelope very far….”

        One of the largest air rescue companies in the nation recently adopted a black-and-white rule regarding conditions under which its pilots were prohibited from accepting an assignment from dispatch, because the company realized that there was huge (and dangerous, from a risk exposure standpoint) variation among its employee pilots in terms of conditions under which they were willing to attempt a transport when it was not certain that the flying conditions would be great. To wit, the company realized that, when conditions were not HORRIBLE, but were a bit… sketch, some pilots would try to take an assignment coming through dispatch, and some would flatly say “no.” The company adopted a basically black-and-white rule to take away what Bob would consider the “pushing the envelope” discretion of the pilots, because the company realized that some pilots WOULD push the envelope (which was a bad thing) while some would avoid the envelope completely. (According to a source close to the situation, the younger guys, who were former pilots in the military, for example, would take the dicier assignments, while the older pilots, who were close to retirement and had nothing to prove, had no problem turning down every single assignment on their shift if they did not feel 100% confident in the potential trips.)

        The empirical research regarding human behavior suggests that, generally speaking, people – including highly-trained hotshots, pilots, retired AFMOs, etc. – tend to be irrationally over-confident in their abilities and freakishly naive in their own “it could never happen to me” or “I would never make THAT mistake” mindsets.

        In a sort-of related vein, I have always wanted to ask Sonny why he never put the YHF out himself, since he said one person with a shovel could have done it himself or herself on Friday night. If Sonny was there, is there any reason why he did not take a stab at putting the fire out himself, since he indicated that he thought that that was do-able. (That is a sincere question – I am not being sarcastic. If I recall correctly, Joy was hiking in the Yarnell area that Friday and Saturday, and presumably Sonny – her hiking partner – was with her.)

        • Rocksteady says

          Seriously Elizabeth???

          Irrationally over confidenttheir abilities?
          Freakishly Naive?

          I would like to see this study and who conducted it.

          Was it conducted by an experienced FF who pointed out that or was it some desk jockey psychology intern who does not even know what the job is?

          FF build confidence by being at fires, many fires, differing terrain and fuel types, as well as different fire behaviour.

          Now you are classing us as the above mentioned insults?

          If you were such a fact finder, as you state, you would not even print something like that…

          BTW, time for a new chapter, this one is bogging down hard on the site..

          • Elizabeth says

            RS, I said “PEOPLE” – all people (on average) – not just FFs, WFFs, etc.

            ALL PEOPLE tend (on average and speaking generally (and generically) to overestimate and underestimate in the way that I described above. I made a general statement about the empirical research regarding human behavior, not about any FF-specific study!

            Go back and re-read my comment.

          • Elizabeth says

            Rocksteady, I apologize for offending you – I was not intending to single out folks like WFFs and pilots as outliers, but, rather, I was mentioning them specifically in order to INCLUDE them with the rest of us humans, in order to essentially say “these biases and cognition issues tend to impact ALL of us, including seasoned WFFs, pilots, etc.”! (FYI, it is frustrating when posters here on IM like Bob Powers get a pass on horrible wording, spelling, and communication, while I get jumped on for phrasing things poorly now and again. Weird, that….. 🙂 ) Let me try to fix things by saying the following:

            I want to clarify a point about human behavior that I made above, that apparently I made poorly (for which I apologize to Rocksteady). ☺

            When talking about humans taking various risks, Bob Powers had said “I would not expext pilots to push the envelope very far….”

            In response to Bob’s point (and perhaps recent other posts), I attempted to make the point that, speaking in broad generalities about human behavior, the empirical research does not tend to support Bob’s point.

            To wit, the empirical research suggests that humans are not great at NOT pushing the envelope too far, in part because humans tend to UNDERESTIMATE the chances that they will make the same missteps or misjudgments or bad decisions that others have made and OVERSTATE their ability to avoid problems/missteps/accidents. “I would NEVER go into the green like Granite Mountain did” is an example of the type of statement I sometimes see on here that makes me think of the relevant behavioral (and cognition) research.

            In my post below regarding Bob’s specific point about pilots, I shared intel regarding one of the biggest air rescue companies in the nation and an explicit rule the company recently adopted, in part to mitigate the potential for (or the practice of) some of their employee pilots sometimes pushing the envelope.

            To be clear, the behavioral or cognitive tendencies to which I am referring (e.g. those that motivate statements such as “I would NEVER do what [insert names of dead folks here] did”) tend to impact EVERYONE (on average), myself included! One of the most effective ways to deal with these tendencies or biases or cognitive weaknesses is to be aware of them and be prepared to challenge them. Or you can adopt black-and-white rules designed to address them (like the company I reference above did).

            So, apologies, Rocksteady, for offending you, apparently by seeming like I was somehow saying that only WFFs or pilots or whomever exhibited these overestimation and underestimation biases. My point – poorly worded – was that I tend to believe based on the research and speaking generally that NO category of person (such as pilots or seasoned WFFs or researchers ☺ or whomever) are categorically exempted from these overestimation and underestimation problems with respect to risk management/mitigation/avoidance. I believe – speaking generally – that we ALL risk falling prey to these typical human behavior and cognition biases or weaknesses.

            I hope this clarifies, and, again, I apologize.

            • Bob Powers says

              You kind of shoveled a deep hole in your explanation,
              How ever I already know what you think of me and could care less.
              I have apologized before for some of my spelling but if it bothers you I will just leave it as is. on top of my key board skipping letters it is what it is.
              I DO NOT EXCEPT YOUR WIMPY APOLAGY.
              Nor do I consider you a viable source in this discussion.

              .

                • Bob Powers says

                  No Confusion here.
                  But what you said about Fire Fighters, Hot Shots, Retired AFMO’s, Etc. covered me as well as severial others on here.
                  So your apology was not meant for all but Rocksteady.
                  You really said what you believe. I know it and so do you.
                  You have about wore out your welcome here.

  8. Bob Powers says

    WTKTT, Calvin and Elisabeth seem to be struggling with safety, fire spread, and vehicle break downs .
    Realizing none of you have any Fire experience, ATV or UTV experience and I am not sure about Western Mountain experience, We are having a large disconnect here.
    I have tried to explain some of my experiences down below here to familiarize you with what wild land Fire Fighters experience and the exposures they face every day.

    I know none of you have ever fought wild fire or been up close and personal.
    Do any of you have experience with ATV’s or UTV’s like 200 plus hours of operation in mountainous terrain???
    Have any of you flown in a Helicopter landing and taking off in the Mountains???

    Not trying to be critical of your lack of knowledge here but trying to help you see what a Fire Fighter is and dose year after year.

    Fire is an interesting phenomena like other acts of nature. like Thunderstorms, Tornados, Hurricanes, so like the above they all react different in different places and do different things.
    Fire can simply start and laydown or go out or creep around with no real activity. They can lay down at night and in the morning, and increase activity after 1200. They can also burn intensely day and night. There are many factors that produce different burning conditions. Wind is one of the bigger factors how ever Drought and prolonged drought can change things drastically.
    So first the fire fighter has–Fuels, Fuel types, fuel density, next is topography, Canyons, slopes or flat. and a lot in between. Fuel moisture can have an effect cause by drought. The amount of moisture in fuels are measured in 1 Hr. 10Hr. 100Hr. and 1000Hr fuels. From Grass to Timber fuels.
    The less the moisture content the faster the fuel ignition and the hotter it burns. Influenced by winter snow packs and rain as well as low temperatures, rain and night time humidity’s high and low day time humidity’s all of these things along with others affect what a fire dose.

    A good Fire Fighter understands when they can be aggressive and when they need to back off.
    You do not learn this in books you are thought by old experienced Fire Fighters and you learn by experience of fire after fire all sizes and burning conditions.

    Which brings me to the UTV of Frisby and Brown what you perceive as taking a chance with fire is not necessarily so. When they took the trip up to where the fire was burning after dropping McDonough off. I would venture a guess at that time the fire was not very active before or around noon. Using the UTV is an accepted practice, qualified drivers and good equipment you are not concerned with what ifs. Your concerned with following safe operations.

    You also question them going thru fire to go on a search mission. I have tried to explain that severial times. One more time– This was not a flaming fire head but debris and downed trees burning not a flaming front while there was fire it was not a wide flaming area so there was room with fast UTV’s to go thru with very little exposure to prolonged heat. Experienced fire fighters would understand that and just go thru it. If you need to get to the burned area some times you have to deal with some, fire experience dictates where the best place and time is to do that.
    So my reflection is both of these things happened with a knowledge and for thought that it was Safe. You will have to believe me when I say based on the information I have seen and read I believe what they did was safe. Based on all my back ground and experience you will have to believe me.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Bob Powers post on February 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

      >> Bob Powers said…
      >>
      >> WTKTT, Calvin and Elisabeth seem to be struggling with safety,
      >> fire spread, and vehicle break downs .

      Nope. Not ‘struggling’ with it all all ( speaking for myself, anyway ).

      You had said that EVERYTHING Blue Ridge did was all ‘tickety-boo’ that day… and no

      chance that they, themselves, had been ‘pushing the envelope’ that day with regards to

      safety.

      Calvin respectfully disagreed with that carte-blanche assumption.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> Realizing none of you have any Fire experience, ATV or UTV experience

      Not a good assumption on your part.
      I used to own a UTV with a covered roll-frame and a dumper bed.
      Used it a lot to reach my back 40 and haul firewood back uphill.
      It was a Kawasaki KAF620A4 Mule 2510 (4X4).
      It was a piece of shit.
      It was well-maintained… but crapped out on me any number of times
      when I was least expecting it… and I had long walks home.

      Fortunately ( for me ) there was never an ‘active fire’ in the area when it happened.

      So I’m glad you never had consistent ‘breakdowns’ in any UTV/ATV you were riding in… but I did. I got rid of it. It was ( in my opinion ) an “unreliable”.piece of machinery.

      I won’t even mention the actual Granite Mountain UTV that crapped out on THEM… and in a place where it was too late to do anything about it so they just let it burn up.

      SIDENOTE: In a very bizarre ‘connected’ way… if GM had REPLACED that burned-up UTV and had another with them on June 30, 2013… a LOT of things might have actually turned out differently that day. They SHOULD have had one up on that ridge that day.
      Maybe then it wouldn’t have been up to just another Hotshot crew to save McDonough’s life… and maybe then they could have actually done the ‘scouting’ they should have done to save their OWN lives that day.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> We are having a large disconnect here.

      No. We’re really not. We’re having a discussion.

      You are defending just one perspective on the topic.

      You are maintaining that the Blue Ridge Hotshots were ‘tickety-boo’ with regards to safety that day and ‘within acceptable safety guidelines’ at all times.

      Calvin (respectfully) disagreed.

      Read on and see if you still think it was the case.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> I have tried to explain some of my experiences down below here to familiarize
      >> you with what wild land Fire Fighters experience and the exposures they
      >> face every day.

      YOUR experiences and insight into firefighting ‘in general’ are always valuable… but now I will try to familiarize YOU with a few more ‘facts’ about what was happening in Yarnell on June 30, 2013 that you seem to be unaware of.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> Which brings me to the UTV of Frisby and Brown what you perceive as
      >> taking a chance with fire is not necessarily so. When they took the trip
      >> up to where the fire was burning after dropping McDonough off. I would
      >> venture a guess at that time the fire was not very active before or around noon.

      Your guess would be wrong.

      At the time Frisby and Brown were heading DEEP into the unburned fuel of that northern bowl ( and driving straight towards the fireline on roads that only another UTV could have navigated if a ‘rescue’ was needed )… the fire behavior was already VERY ACTIVE and had ALREADY started TURNING.

      They were (apparently) UNAWARE of this and kept driving right towards the now-shifting fireline through massive amounts of VERY volatile unburned fuel.

      This is all verified in the ADOSH interview with ‘Bravo 3’ ( Rusty Warbis and Paul Lenmark ) who arrived over Yarnell about 12:15 PM.

      First… let’s look at the actual TIMING here.

      You just said you were assuming this ‘scouting trip’ was in the NOON timeframe and the only consideration was the fire activity around THAT time.

      That’s not the case.

      From NOON to about NOON-THIRTY was when Frisby and Brown were still up in the high ridge having that face-to-face with Marsh and Steed.

      The ‘scouting trip’ was in a later timeframe.

      They were far to the north there in the middle of nowhere and right at the active ( and now shifting ) fireline more like an HOUR later… at 1:08 PM.

      Here is a summary of the actual TIMES involved based on the Blue Ridge GPS data…

      ——————————————————————————–
      1225 ( 12:25 PM )
      Frisby and Brown begin to leave the anchor point where they had been having their face-to-face with Marsh and Steed and head back east on the two-track road ‘in the bottom’. Brendan McDonough is now ‘onboard’ the BR Polaris Ranger and Frisby and Brown are going to drop Brendan off near the old-grader on their way back east.

      1232 ( 12:32 PM )
      The second time that day they are at the exact spot labelled ‘Mystery panel’. on the Blue Ridge GPS tracking data background map. We still don’t know what ‘Mystery panel’ means.

      1240 ( 12:40 PM )
      The actual moment they stopped near the old-grader location to drop Brendan off so he can begin his lookout duties. They only stop here for 1 minute before continuing back east on that dozer-improved east-west two-track.

      1249 ( 12:49 PM )
      They arrive back at the top of the Sesame Clearing area where the Grainite Mountain Supt. and Chase trucks were parked. They only stop there for 1 minute before beginning a ‘scouting trip’ north from the Sesame area on what is marked on the visible map as the ‘Jeep Trail’. Despite it being called a ‘Jeep Trail’. on the TOPO maps… none of the roads they will take on this entire ‘scouting trip’ have been improved in any way and the only way anyone could have reached them if they had any kind of emergency during the next 45 minutes would have been with another UTV or ATV or by chopper.

      1250 to 1308 ( 12:50 PM to 1:08 PM )
      Their ‘scouting trip’ north on the ‘Jeep Trail’. At 1308 ( 1:08 PM ) they are at the farthest point north that they would travel and are actually at a point where both the SAIR and the ADOSH fire progression charts seem to say should have been ‘inside the fire area itself. They may have actually ‘broken through’ the actual fireline on the ‘Jeep Trail’ itself as part of this ‘scouting trip’. If not… then they certainly went RIGHT UP to the fireline that day.

      1308-1332 ( 1:08 PM to 1:32 PM )
      A slow trip back doing more ‘scouting’. They arrive back at the top of the Sesame Clearing area where this ‘scouting’ trip started and where the Granite Mountain Supt and Chase trucks were still parked at 1332, but only remain there for 7 minutes before heading back south to rejoin the BR Crew.
      ———————————————————————————–

      ‘Bravo 3’ ( Warbis and Lenmark ) arrived over Yarnell about 12:15 PM… WHILE that ‘face to-face’ was still going on up on the ridge between Frisby, Brown, Marsh and Steed.

      About 12:40 PM, at the same moment Frisby and Brown were dropping Brendan off at the old-grader and still 10 minutes BEFORE they would even BEGIN their ‘scouting trip’ north into the unburned fuel and towards the fire… ‘Bravo 3’ took their ‘first full pass’ around the fire and made their evaluations of the situation.

      Here is what they told ADOSH they saw at the time ( circa 12:40 PM )…

      Q = Barry Hicks, ADOSH investigator
      A = Rusty Warbis ( Bravo 3 )
      A1 = Paul Lenmark ( Bravo 3 )

      —————————————————————————————-
      Q: If you could describe the fire behavior you all were seeing at that point in time, that would be good, I think.

      A or A1: Um, the fire behavior – it was, ah, for earlier in the day, it was pretty substantial. Um, that fire was burning, ah, downhill to the north from that upper rim, point of origin, ah, pushing downhill, um, which would be unusual and, ah, it was advancing, um, it was advancing along pretty good. It was, ah, it was chomping right along.

      That fire’s running down that ridge you can see (unintelligible). Peeples Valley and Yarnell sits over here and you can see that the fire’s been running downhill.

      Q: Right.

      A or A1: Every once in a while, that fire would swing a little bit to the east, and when it did, it would stand up of course because it was a long front.

      A or A1: …um, portray y to Division Zulu that he had, um, a lot of fire that Yarnell was um, we’re in a lead plane and we’re looking up kind of at Yarnell. It was vey obvious…

      Q: Yeah.

      A or A1: …of that train. And, ah… On that – on the first pass as we came around there, we identified that.

      A or A1: I remember the discussion with division (Zulu) talking about trigger points. You know, and at that point, we’re not thinking crews at all. We’re thinking evacuation of Yarnell.

      Q: So were they able to describe that to ya – what the trigger points were?

      A or A1: They didn’t, we had, ah, they gave – I had a conversation with Zulu that hey, um, you got a lotta fire… when it became obvious that the fire was going to go to Yarnell, um, when that – when – when the winds and, ah, terrain aligned.

      I remember having a conversation with him about having trigger points, um, letting him know that w- that this is what we’re going to use – don’t know what you got in place, but, um, this fire’s gonna get to ya TODAY.

      A or A1: This is the first turn, you know, so this is – we’re gathering, you know.. we’re just trying to gather that assessment…

      We’re identifying, okay, Yarnell’s gonna be in trouble here.
      —————————————————————————————

      So on their very FIRST pass around the fire circa 12:40 PM… ‘Bravo 3’ was noticing all of the following…

      1) The fire was already SUBSTANTIALLY active for that early in the afternoon.
      2) It was already ‘swinging’ and trying to SHIFT to the EAST.
      3) It now had mulitiple heads burning in multiple directions.
      4) The fire was GOING to go into Yarnell THAT day, during THAT burn cycle.
      5) Yarnell was going to need to be evacuated.

      And they made all these observations BEFORE Frisby and Brown even STARTED on their ‘scouting trip’ all the way to the north towards that ‘substantially active’ and ‘switching’ fireline through all that unburned fuel.

      So an argument COULD be made that that ‘scouting trip’ Frisby and Brown took was not only totally unnecessary ( given the changing fire conditions and no chance of ‘the plan’ ever working on the south side )… it was potentially DANGEROUS.

      Thankfully… nothing terrible happened there.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> You also question them going thru fire to go on a search mission.
      >> I have tried to explain that severial times. One more time– This was
      >> not a flaming fire head but debris and downed trees burning not a
      >> flaming front while there was fire it was not a wide flaming area so
      >> there was room with fast UTV’s to go thru with very little exposure
      >> to prolonged heat. Experienced fire fighters would understand that
      >> and just go thru it. If you need to get to the burned area some times
      >> you have to deal with some, fire experience dictates where the
      >> best place and time is to do that.

      I understand perfectly what you are saying… and that it is your (current) OPINION that this was just “all in a day’s work” for WFF’s like Blue Ridge and YOU ( yourself ) are (currently) convinced it was NOT all that DANGEROUS.

      What you seem to either be forgetting or were never aware of is that this “Fuck it, let’s go for it” break-through by Frisby and Brown was ALREADY classified as being WAAY too dangerous for anyone to attempt RIGHT after it happened… and a specific ORDER was given after the break-through took place that NO ONE ELSE should try to attempt it BECAUSE of how DANGEROUS it really was.

      NOTE: According to BR Captain Brown’s own ‘Unit Log’ it was HIM ( and not Frisby ) who actually eventually said “Fuck it… let’s go for it”, and they then disregarded all safety concerns and did just that.

      The radio message that came right after the break-through informing everyone else that it had been so DANGEROUS that NO ONE ELSE should attempt it came from the same man who, moments earlier, had said “Fuck it… let’s go for it”.

      Blue Ridge Captain Trueheart Brown himself.

      From Blue Ridge Captain Trueheart Brown’s own ‘Unit Log’…
      ————————————————————————————
      1710 – Brian (Frisby) and myself depart the staging area ( at the Ranch House Restaurant ) and try to find access.

      We initially try to gain access via shrine rd.

      This is NOT POSSIBLE due to propane tanks exploding/venting and a large wall of fire as well as trees across the road.

      Then we try via the Lakewood rd. We determine very quickly that it is TOO DANGEROUS and we tie in with (xxxxxx) on an ATV on Lakewood rd and tell him to not let anyone back into the area.

      We try another route off Lakewood and when we are heading back to 89 after determining that this way is ALSO TOO DANGEROUS we see (xxxxxx) sending in engines to engage and we turn them around and send them back to 89.

      There were multiple propane tanks venting and exploding on BOTH routes as well as multiple flame fronts impeding the way.

      1725 – We then try to access again via shrine again and tie in with ( PFD guys Clawson, Hulburd ) and ( Yowell? ) and they have a Polaris razor and a ATV. We only have a few bottle of 02 (oxygen), one med bag and a backboard.

      We drive up as far as we can on shrine and then sit there for a few minutes contemplating the situation.

      We all know that it is cold black beyond the first wall of heat and the propane tanks that are venting.

      I remember saying “Fuck it lets go for it” and then we all just go for it.

      There are multiple trees across the road and POWER LINES are hanging very low too.

      We punch it and make it through.

      I transmit this over crew to (xxxxx) at the staging area who relays this to the Medical group leader.

      I also relay the access that we took into the black and tell the resources to wait until we find them because it is SO DANGEROUS to get through the WAY WE CAME.
      ————————————————————————————–

      So after trying MULTIPLE times to ‘break-through’ and deciding everything was ‘TOO DANGEROUS’… BR Captain Brown’s intelligent, safety-minded decision was “Fuck it… let’s go for it”… and they did it anyway.

      And right AFTER doing it Captain Brown himself was the one informing everyone else ( via the radio ) to NOT try the same thing THEY just did because it was TOO DANGEROUS.

      Does that STILL sound ( to YOU ) like “all in a day’s work” and ‘by-the-book’ tickety-boo safety conscious decision making on Blue Ridge’s part?

      • Bob Powers says

        My thoughts were they were talking more about the down Power lines than the Fire
        My only comment they made it thru with out any problems. From what I saw with the camera at that place seemed to not be fire critical. That’s the rescue picture ride in the first of the last three videos. I will have to go back and take another look.

        On your UTV No wonder a Kawasaki Mule WOW.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Bob Powers post on February 10, 2015 at 7:24 pm

          >> Bob Powers said…
          >>
          >> My thoughts were they were talking more about the down
          >> Power lines than the Fire.

          Well if that’s what they encountered/saw only AFTER deciding “Fuck it… let’s go for it”… I would certainly HOPE that’s why they made sure no one else tried the stupid move THEY just made.

          >> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> My only comment they made it thru with out any problems.

          Thank goodness. Yes… but how COMMON is what happened here?

          That a crew would make a VERY risky decision and then… just moments later… actually get on the radio themselves and call back to their compadres saying ( basically ) “Okay… NOBODY better try what WE just did. It’s TOO DANGEROUS. You might get KILLED. We almost did”.

          I mean… really… does that happen often?

          Is THAT “all in day’s work?” on a typical WFF fireline?

          >> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> From what I saw with the camera at that place seemed
          >> to not be fire critical. That’s the rescue picture ride in the
          >> first of the last three videos. I will have to go back and
          >> take another look.

          Don’t forget to watch the NEXT video with KC ‘Bucky” Yowell practically screaming “HOT! SMOKY! HOT! HOT!”.

          He almost sounded like he was genuinely in PAIN.

          Sounds like they are VERY lucky they didn’t get clotheslined ( or even electrocuted ) by some power lines they (apparently) didn’t see BEFORE they said “Fuck it… let’s go for it”… or that they didn’t suffer some lung injuries if the HEAT was still that bad on the breakthrough… OR that their own tires didn’t melt and/or explode.

          >> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> On your UTV No wonder a Kawasaki Mule WOW.

          Okay… so that begs a question given the nature of this discussion.

          If it is ‘accepted’ among WFFs that some makes/models of UTVs are more reliable than others ( as you yourself just seemed to express )… then what are the WFF STANDARDS for purchasing/using these things?

          Are there only SOME types of these things that are ALLOWED on the firelines… or not?

          What if the Coconino National Forest ( essentially the Blue Ridge Hotshots’ parent company’ and sponsor ) had been trying to save a few bucks and Blue Ridge had been out there with a Kawasaki rather than a Polaris?

          Did you just say that if that WERE the case… your opinion(s) about whether anything they were doing that day in their UTV would be completely different?

          SIDENOTE: I actually would HOPE that a lot of ‘testing’ HAS been done and that… yes… there are only certain (tested/trusted) types of ATV/UTV that are ‘allowed’ or ‘licensed’ to be used in critical WFF situations.

          I would hate to think that the WFF industry knows what is or isn’t a piece of shit… but they still allow the equipment considered to be ‘unreliable’ out on the firelines.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            Chapter 14 of the National Interagency Fire Center’s “Firefighting Equipment Standards” publication is here…

            http://www.nifc.gov/PUBLICATIONS/redbook/2015/Chapter14.pdf

            On page 6 is the section that covers ATV/UTV ‘Standards’…

            ———————————————————————
            All Terrain Vehicles (ATV)/Utility-Terrain Vehicles (UTV)

            The operation of ATV/UTVs can be high risk. The use of ATV/UTVs should be evaluated to ensure that use is essential to accomplish the mission, rather than for convenience.

            Because of the high risk nature, agencies have developed specific operational 8 policy (refer to current agency policy). ATV/UTV operators will meet the 9 training and certification requirements of their agency; employees certified by 10 their agency will be considered qualified ATV/UTV operators regardless of 11 incident jurisdiction. Common policy requirements for wildland fire operations 12 are highlighted below:…

            ( List of requirements for ATVO certification ).
            —————————————————————–

            There is NOTHING in this publication about which TYPES of UTV/ATV are either ‘acceptable’ or even ‘allowed’ out on the fireline.

            Even though this is the National Interagency Fire Center’s official “Firefighting EQUIPMENT Standards” publication… the UTV/ATV section ONLY deals with ‘ATV/UTV Operator requirements’ and ONLY outlines the steps needed to get the “All Terrain Vehicle Operator” ( ATVO ) designation punched into your own red-card.

            There is NOTHING about the EQUIPMENT itself.

            What is ‘accepted’ or what isn’t.

            So according to even the “National Interagency Fire Center” itself… a piece of shit Kawasaki would ( apparently ) be considered just as ‘safe’ and ‘reliable’ to be using ‘out there’ as anything else.

            Yikes.

            • Bob Powers says

              I would say you are probably correct on Polaris. The Government would release some requirements and specifics for bids or set certain requirements that they would then recommend or require a specific manufacture. Gov. red tape.

              I would have to say this was not a Fire mission but a rescue mission to find and assist so some of what they did was a decision to get there
              I have seen it before so I do not know if I would or would not do the same if lives were at risk. It is a spur of the moment decision on a search and rescue mission I am sure they felt they could make it and put the pedal to the metal. Right or wrong there choice.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to Bob Powers post on
                February 10, 2015 at 10:04 pm

                >> Bob Powers said…
                >>
                >> I would say you are probably correct on Polaris.
                >> The Government would release some requirements
                >> and specifics for bids or set certain requirements
                >> that they would then recommend or require a
                >> specific manufacture. Gov. red tape.

                Well… best I could discover with the limited time I had this evening about this is that what you just said is still, as late as April of 2014, just something that people would LIKE to see start happening with regards to these UTVs and ATVs.

                At the GBCG ( Great Basin Coordinating Group ) Spring Meeting held back on April 1 -2, 2014 in Wendover Nevada,
                they put forth just some ‘proposals’ related to UTV/ATV on the fireline… like even just making sure they are listed in resource orders… and someone coming up with some STANDARDS for when these things have to be ordered for use on firelines.

                They even think it would be nice if these things had to be APPROVED and/or INSPECTED for proper running condition ( by ICs or Safety Officers ) before being allowed on the fireline.

                Apparently… there isn’t even any requirement for THAT to happen yet… so pretty much any piece of shit could currently be ‘out there’ being used in critical situations.

                http://gacc.nifc.gov/gbcc/GBCG/Meeting%20Notes/Spring%20Meeting%20Notes%202014.pdf

                Page 2 ( of 5 pages )
                ———————————————————
                ATV/UTV Guidance:

                Propose that the IC or Safety Officer will approve the use of ATV/UTV on incidents. If a resource assigned to a fire arrives with an ATV or UTV it will need to be placed on a resource order (either as a support request, special needs, etc) if it’s going to be used on the incident. If the equipment is not on an order the home unit will be responsible for damages etc. Also need some/direction and specifications for Buying Teams when incidents order ATV/UTV equipment to that they get the appropriate type of vehicle. Will send out a memo with ATV/UTV protocol and work with the IBIB to get specifications.
                ———————————————————

                >> Bob Powers also said…
                >>
                >> I would have to say this was not a Fire mission but
                >> a rescue mission to find and assist so some of what
                >> they did was a decision to get there

                I understand. You do realize, though, that this discussion IS related to Granite Mountain?

                What if Brendan McDonough testifies that he heard Eric Marsh truly believing that ‘lives were in danger’ in town and that it was their “responsibility’ to ‘get there”… and THAT is what all the ‘discussion’ and possible ‘argument’ was with Steed? Steed wasn’t ‘onboard’ with that and (perhaps) ended up having to be ORDERED to move.

                Does that change the rules… as you seem to be suggesting it did for Blue Ridge now?

                I know this “does the motivation change the rules” discussion has come and gone many times before… but it seems like we have sort or ‘back-assed’ into it again with this whole thread about whether Blue Ridge was all ‘tickety-boo’ that day… or not.

                >> Bob Powers also said…
                >>
                >> I have seen it before so I do not know if I would
                >> or would not do the same if lives were at risk.
                >> It is a spur of the moment decision on a search
                >> and rescue mission I am sure they felt they
                >> could make it and put the pedal to the metal.
                >> Right or wrong there choice.

                Once again… you seem to now be saying that whether or not you have to follow all the ‘rules’ totally depends on what YOU think you ‘have to do’… with no consultations or permissions.

                In the ‘spur of the moment’… you can decide you have some kind of ‘critical mission’ and throw all the safety rules out the window.

                It really will be interesting to hear what Brendan McDonough heard that day… and whether Eric Marsh really believed they were now on some kind of ‘life saving mission’… and all he had to do was convince Steed of the same thing to get HIM to ‘break the rules’ as well.

                There’s gonna be a HUGE ‘Lesson Learned’ takeaway here… if that turns out to be the case… and ( hopefully ) some equally HUGE policy changes for the WFF industry.

                • Bob Powers says

                  No They could do nothing with people in town as a hand crew. GM’s move was not an emergency. They were not asked to leave their assignment to go save people and as a Supervisor making a decision to put 19 men at risk is not acceptable.
                  Frisby was asked to see if he could get to the Trapped Deployed GM after the fire went thru as he knew how to get to the area with a UTV. A huge difference. In exposure and a known injuries and Possible Fatalities.
                  Once past the blockage point there was no other exposure. You are asking if the blockage met any of the 10 Standard Orders I would say no.
                  My thoughts you run into a feature that stops your progress building hot line. a seep canyon, a rock bluff
                  you consider a way around it some times a little scary but you estimate the best route and maneuver thru it.

                  Driving thru burning materials and down power lines Can be accomplished even if it looks hairy so my main point is we do not have all the information or a picture of it to determine what they actually did. They accomplished it and moved on.
                  I would have also said do not send any one else thru here its not a good access.
                  To the Statement—–Fuck it lets go for it can be thought of in severial ways. A general statement? The Hell with safety? It looks doable lets go. Back to your knowledge, ability and experience verses some one else.
                  I am sure it was going to be smoky and hot.
                  Were the down power lines hot??
                  If you are driving across them with no metal touching them the rubber tires act as a insulator between the electricity and the vehicle. or were they able to dodge the power lines completely by maneuvering thru them
                  which they saw as a path to the black?
                  I think we need some more answers here.
                  The only thing we know for sure they made it thru with out injury. All I am saying is they saw something that they felt they could get thru with out to much risk and did it.
                  Some of us may have not made that choice.
                  If your the one standing there looking at it you are the one that will make that decision we were not there so we do not have all the data to make a decision.
                  I’ll just have to leave it there.

                  • rocksteady says

                    Risk tolerance changes due to what is at stake. The same rules of safety apply, but its hazard X time of exposure = risk.

                    The fact that they had a couple speedy ATV/UTV, as compared to hiking, lessened the exposure time. The assignment was to get to 19 FF who had declared an emergency, having to deploy shelters and then no further contact, heightened the stakes.

                    Look at it this way, a fire department shows up to a burning barn, they set up hose lays, prevent it from spreading and let it collapse onto itself. The exact same department and crew show up to a burning apartment complex, which may or may not have occupants trapped, they don there SCBA and do a room to room search of the whole complex. Risks are higher, consequences are higher, however the need for action (stakes) are also much higher. They still follow safety protocol, but if they don’t do anything, they are not doing their job, not doing what they are trained to do.

                    I believe part of the quote “Too dangerous, don’t send anyone else in” could also be the fact that the crew on the UTV’s were basically going on a recon mission. They would go in (again limiting exposure to other workers that MAY or MAY NOT be needed) until they had reached the crew and determiined if more help was required or if it was a false alarm (or in this case, too late). IF there were seriously injured survivors, I am sure he would have said “Yep, you can get in here the way we came, but there is downed powerlines, some venting of tanks, but be careful and you will have no problems”.

                    Another issue that I have observed many times, is an incident of some sort takes place, everyone responds, you end up with way too many people and no one is dedicated as the I/C, (AKA the person in charge). People are all trying to do their best, but there is no coordination, so there is lots of confusion, duplication of work, confusion of what the priorities are, who is doing what. Imagine 30 people going in from various work units, everyone has a radio and all 30 trying to contact dispatch for a medivac machine. What a cluster that would have been. Some would be radioing dispatch, others the I/C or OPS, others their TFL, still others may be calling the Medical dispatch directly on cell phones, giving bad coordinates or details. ONE person needs to take the lead and manage the incident within an incident.

                    TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE SOUP!!!

    • Elizabeth says

      Marti, I, also, am so sorry to hear about your loss. Godspeed to your mother. Peace to you and Terra. My condolences, and namaste.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Likewise. VERY sorry to hear of this loss to you and your entire family, Marti.
      Please know that others are holding you in their thoughts during this sad time.
      Namaste.

  9. Elizabeth says

    Calvin made the following comments below:
    “Brian Frisby was at the same exact location as Mcdonough (at the old grader) and only a minor mechanical failure or accident away from trouble. And why exactly would he place himself in that position? [Meaning that Brian could have certainly said “no” to Marsh when Marsh asked Brian to come for a face-to-face meeting.]”

    A point that both Calvin and I have been trying to make is that the extreme fire behavior and the very specific “blow-up” or series of blow-ups on the YHF on June 30, 2013, seem to have caught even the WFFs whom guys like Fred respect (and perhaps even trained) off-guard.

    It is important to recognize that even senior WFFs who were NOT Eric Marsh failed to accurately time/anticipate the extreme fire behavior on the YHF. Had Brian Frisby’s UTV unexpectedly crapped out as he was going to the face-to-face with Eric Marsh, Brian would have been in as bad a position as Brendan, and guys like Fred and Bob Powers would be likely saying “prior bad decisions” about Brian as well if Brian therefore died, despite the fact that Fred earlier on these threads sang the praises of Brian (and/or his crew or crew leaders).

    If MULTIPLE senior guys on the YHF were all failing to accurately anticipate the fire behavior, and the only difference was that GM died due to their failure, then maybe the problem at issue on the YHF is bigger than just “prior bad decisions” or “human factors,” to use the phrases that some folks on here have been using.

        • Bob Powers says

          Frisby acted with in safety guide lines.
          when he picked up McDonough.
          Notified Marsh that he could not meet with him do to the need to move the Vehicles No immediate danger of the fire trapping him or McDonough as they returned on the ATV to the vehicles. Chasing Rabbits–T he vehicle quitting running never happened You could considered that as a possibility or the trucks not starting and burning up lets just stick to facts and a perfectly good running vehicle that took less than 5 min. to return to the Trucks. at this time the fire was not being pushed by wind toward the Old Tractor area it was moving slowly in that direction with topography fuels and weather. It did not chase McDonough off the hill with Flames burning his shirt Tails.
          This is a ridiculous discussion base on fact and Fire behavior at this point.
          I believe if nothing else Frisby planed on picking up McDonough any way Before or after meeting with Marsh. The need to move the trucks was a needed priority. Again Frisby knew where he was what the fire activity was what he was doing and what the need for safety was that’s why he did not meet with Marsh. Last comment on this ridiculous question.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Elizabeth post on February 9, 2015 at 6:57 am

      >> Elizabeth said…
      >>
      >> Calvin made the following comments below:
      >> “Brian Frisby was at the same exact location as Mcdonough (at the old
      >> grader) and only a minor mechanical failure or accident away from trouble.

      That is not a false statement. Something COULD have happened ( to the UTV ) and then, yes, they would have BOTH been in some Tapioca…

      …but remember… that east-west two-track that people decided that morning was only navigable by UTV’s or hiking had been IMPROVED by the dozer that morning all the way from the Sesame Clearing area out west to the old-grader.

      If Frisby’s UTV had crapped out at that critical moment… It MIGHT have been possible for one of the light chase trucks ( or any light pickup or four-wheeled vehicle ) to run out there and save BOTH of them. It would have to have been QUICK… but remember that GM Supt and Chase trucks and the Blue Ridge vehicles had NOT been ‘moved’ out of the Sesame Clearing area yet. That only happened AFTER Frisby ( successfully ) returned with Brendan.

      What calvin did NOT use as another valid example for the point he was trying to make was that ‘scouting’ trip that Frisby and Brown made right after they came back down from the NOON to NOON-THIRTY face-to-face with Marsh and Steed.

      As far as possible ‘risky behavior’ goes… that might have been an even better example than Frisby’s dash out to meet with Marsh when the fire was already bearing down on Brendan.

      Once Frisby and Brown got all the way back east to the top of the Sesame Clearing area after that face-to-face ( where the GM Supt and Chase trucks were still parked )… they took off NORTH and headed directly towards the active fireline.

      That ‘trip’ took place on trails that had NOT been improved at all and were ONLY navigable by UTVs or ATVs.

      They went EXTREMELY FAR up into that ‘upper bowl’ and their GPS tracking indicates they pretty much drove all the way up to the fireline itself before turning around.

      At that point… they were in the middle of NOWHERE ( in the middle of just as much unburned explosive gasoline-on-a-stick as was in the southern middle-bowl and box-canyon ) with only the possibility of another UTV coming to rescue them if their UTV had crapped out of they had an accident of some kind.

      So… was that ‘off the reservation’ and were they taking ‘too much risk’ at that point?

      Here’s the online report about the Schoolhouse fire ATV fatality.

      The death was caused by that actual ATV rolling over onto the firefighter and breaking his neck… but the REPORT actually discusses this now commonly-accepted practice of ‘bombing around’ on your little four-wheelers either by yourself or without making sure you have fast/safe rescue options if something goes wrong ‘out there’….

      Report released on Schoolhouse Fire ATV fatality
      http://wildfiretoday.com/2014/01/14/report-released-on-schoolhouse-fire-atv-fatality/

      This guy was ALONE… ( and that’s why they didn’t find his body for NINE days )… and the incident was truly labeled an ‘unfortunate accident’… but the reports DO touch on this now ‘commonly accepted’ practice of just ‘bombing around’ ( either by yourself OR with others ) in these little machines that can go where ONLY other UTVs or ATVs could affect any kind of quick rescue, if necessary. The report doesn’t recommend any ‘policy’ changes… but it does suggest that this sort of now ‘commonly accepted practice’ should be looked at carefully.

      • Bob Powers says

        Just for reference This was not Frisby or Browns First Rodeo.
        I would suggest they were well verse and very familiar with their ATV.

        In the FS you have to be trained and carded to operate ATV’s, 4X4’s, Snow Machines and Snow Cats. Crew carriers and Busses, as well as tow trailers.

        Also scouting the Fire and line is done quite often. I would have loved to have had a ATV back in the 70’s can cover a lot more ground in a hurry We had 4×4 jeeps and motor cycles tote goats and horses used them all to scout line and the fire when the least active usually morning..

        I am also well trained on an ATV I ride trails with mine all the time its a 2006 and has never broke down on me. if you maintain them and keep them in good condition they are very good at getting you to and from any location. I have a 1987 Jeep Wrangler 4×4 and 2 4×4 trucks never been stuck or had a breakdown in 40 years. So I guess I am saying what is the chance of This ATV of BR breaking down or having a accident? Let talk about reality not what ifs. We use to do that.

        When they were scouting it was earlier and this fire was not doing much very easy to get into it and asses it.

        Any equipment can break down including a dozer you would never get the job done if you worried about breakdowns. Those are classed as unexpected events.

        You keep your safety in mind and do not push the envelope. Simple to those of us who have been there in many different situations.
        Again the education of wild fire gives you the information to make the decisions to do what you do.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Bob Powers post on February 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm

          >> Bob Powers said…
          >>
          >> You keep your safety in mind and do not push the envelope.

          Exactly… but after the guy at the Schoolhouse fire was miles and miles away from everyone and rolled his ATV on that not-even-drastic 30 percent grade slope… and it broke his neck and they couldn’t even find his body for 9 days because no one really knew WHERE he was in his little machine…

          …THAT is when the official report said… “Have we even bothered to define what the ENVELOPE is with these little buggies and what we are letting people do with them… so that we can even tell when someone IS pushing the (safety) envelope… or not”?

          MILES away from safety… just “bombing around”… and no GPS transmitter required so no one even knows where you are?

          Is that (already) ‘pushing the (safety) envelope’ with these things?

          It’s a good question to ask.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Remember… we are not talking about guys who are just out at deer camp and a gunshot away from their buddies to use as a location tool if they get stranded ( or badly hurt) in the boondock.

            The situation we are talking about is that SOMEWHERE very near where these guys are ‘bombing around’ in these things is a FIRE.

            Whatever might happen… you only might have a very limited amount of TIME before you could DIE if someone can’t get to you.

            The ‘envelope’ is defined by the situation itself. There is a FIRE there somewhere and it could KILL you ( even if the machine doesn’t ).

            • Elizabeth says

              This goes back to my point about both Dr. Brett Butler’s Safety Zones video and the comments guys as senior as Bucky and Paul are making in the YHF videos. That fire caught EVERYONE off guard with how fast it changed and exploded between 4:25 and 4:39. Dr. Butler, one of the federal government’s best fire scientists, basically admitted in his most recent webinar that the state of fire science is still nascent. We just do not have a good, definitive way to predict down to a ten-minute or even 20-minute window what a “bad” fire is going to do, and it is not yet the norm for WFFs to completely stand down in a huge safety zone any time things get a bit “bad” (whatever “bad” means).
              Sea World has no decent way to predict when an orca is going to be in a good mood versus when it is going to grab a trainer by the arm (e.g. Dawn Brancheau) and drown her. So Sea World is claiming it will be keeping all trainers OUT of the water with respect to the orcas in the indefinite future.

              • Bob Powers says

                The Good Doctor is Right and wrong. Fire Fighters have been standing down for years in the Black and Safety zones when things are predicted to turn bad. Yarnell had the predictions and fire activity for a warning to pull back an hour before it went crazy. Some did not heed that warning.
                BR pulled out had there crew in vehicles and was re grouping at the Restaurant. Some other crews and Eng. were there as well.
                The only thing you can predict during the drought conditions and erratic fire behavior is that it is going to happen and be prepared to stay ahead of the fire thru Weather forecasts, LCES, and stay alert if you wait till a 10 or 20 Min. window your behind the fire projections.
                Back in the 60’s and 70’s on southern California Brush Fires we learned and practiced that without fail you become a different type of Fire fighter. You learn and teach others what signs indicate things are about to go south you learn to stay ahead of the Fire.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed ( and all the men they were in charge of ) could see the ORCA better than anyone else that day. They could SEE the ORCA was in a very, very bad mood. No question.

                But they jumped into the water, anyway… with a VERY long way to go to make it to the other ‘safe’ side of the pool… and without even making sure someone was keeping an eye on the ORCA.

                They broke the rules… and paid for it with their lives.

              • Rocksteady says

                Doctor Butler is just that.. A Dr. of fire science. Likes looking at algorithms, bell curves and scientific things. He is not an experienced fire fighter (as far as I know) who has learned this stuff on the fireline versus a lab.

                His work is suggesting that dependant on the fuel/fire behaviour/tree ehight etc that the BTU output (according to the algorithms) is going to be XXXX and therefore a safety zone needs to be X number of feet square.

                Wildland fire is dynamic, it is not a science and the variables fluctuate very quickly.

                A wind of 5 mph on a fire no big deal, a wind of 12 mph, big difference in fire behaviour, BTU, spotting and thus the size of the safe zone.

                He is only one source, do not take it as gospel (Look at all of the scientists preaching 20 years ago “global warming”…. No one uses that anymore, its climate change….

        • calvin says

          Bob

          Are the UTV’s like the one BR had equipped with flat free tires? I understand your point about using well maintained equipment. But some mechanical issues and unforeseen issues can happen without warning.

          • Bob Powers says

            Good Question Calvin— First these tire’s are very heave duty and most carry a can of air that has I just call it goop to re inflate and patch a hole. Also these larger UTVs can have a spare tire.
            My son has a Razor UTV he got a flat that was a small tear could not patch. Teaching his wife to drive. The drove on the flat 5 miles back to their vehicle the tire did not come apart but the rim got beat up. He now carries a spare.

            If in every job where there are hazards and exposures you did not do your job like climb a mountain to a fire for fear you could break a leg. or run a chainsaw or use a Pulaski or ax because you might cut yourself.
            Get on a helicopter because it might crash.
            First the percentages are very slim and I doubt you would stay very long on any fire crew. or in that line of work.

            Each job has its hazards but what are The percentages connected to well maintained equipment failure with highly qualified operators.
            I am not saying it could not happen but the chances are very slim and should not get in the way of your job.

            In my years in Fire Fighting I have seen More Helicopters Crash than I would like to talk about. On the Angeles NF The Helitack Foreman on my district Died in a crash with 4 Redding hot shots. Out of 4 Helicopters on that forest 3 Helitack Foreman over a 8 year period Died. A very close friend that I started FF with during that period and the 4th Foreman had a close call with a power line that put the helicopter down. He quit the FS and started a land scape business.
            The Story here is yes accidents do happen dose that stop you from doing your Job? I still flew on Helicopters for the next 20 years and did my job. Wild land Fire Fighters have Vehicle Accidents on some of the dirt roads in the Mountains and some Die.
            No one ever said it was not a hazardous occupation. Like every job there are safety practices and procedures you follow and train in and follow.

            I do not know how else to explain it. If you worry about flat tires you will never get your job done Every vehicle you drive has tires and you are in mountainous terrain most of the time.. If you think your horse will fall of a mountain Trail you will never ride a horse in the mountains. If you are afraid to ride a ATV in steep terrain for fear it will roll over and break your neck then you will never ride one. As a Fire Fighter if you are afraid every time you get in a Helicopter it will crash then you probably will not last long in your job. Most FF will get a Helicopter ride to the Top of a mountain a minimum of 4 times a summer.
            My information says out of a 1000 fires all with 5 or more UTV’s you may have only 1 accident that requires Medical treatment.

            To discuss here Unforeseen Issues that never happened is to me outside our investigation discussion. The exposures are always there but they do not stop getting the job done. Practice safety, keep your equipment in good condition and the rest will take care of its self.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              VERY well said. Same in the construction business. Almost everything you do involves some piece of equipment that COULD hurt you if you’re not careful… OR break down when you weren’t expecting it to… but if you stood around worrying about that the work would never get done.

              I think the only point Calvin was originally trying to make is that there MIGHT have been circumstances in Yarnell on June 30, 2013 when people other than Granite Mountain might have been ‘pushing the envelope’ with regards to safety.

              That actually is a given.

              ADOSH found ample evidence to issue citations for at least FOUR potential/actual entrapments that day.

              1) Willis’ forces at the Double-Bar-A Ranch
              2) McDonough at his lookout location
              3) The forces in Harper Canyon
              4) Granite Mountain

              It was an ‘unsafe workplace’ that day… and a LOT of other firefighters ALMOST died… in addition to the 19 that DID.

              There have GOT to be significant “Lessons Learned’ coming out of this. If this is just ‘business as usual’ and ‘getting the job done’ then it’s a wonder we aren’t hauling DOZENS of dead young men out of these fires every single season.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Excuse me… I wasn’t being properly inclusive up above.

                Meant to say…

                There have GOT to be significant “Lessons Learned’ coming out of this. If this is just ‘business as usual’ and ‘getting the job done’ then it’s a wonder we aren’t hauling DOZENS of dead young MEN and WOMEN out of these fires every single season.

                • Bob Powers says

                  WTKTT Again I will say the 4 above potential entrapments above Are not the Norm this fire was a mess and I have noted over and over they were all on the fringes of the 10 Standard orders and the real need for LCES.
                  Lack of lookouts and close true safety zones. Having the safety zone at a restaurant a ways from the Fire?????
                  As a Division Super. or an OPS I would have pulled every body out until a SZ could be build or not gone back.
                  The overhead on this fire were not in the real world.

                  At some point you have to say the plan is stretching us to far from Safety for my crew and Stop and fix it or move back to safety till it is fixed.

                  I have said all along McDonough’s Look Out spot was a very bad choice. He could have done just as well in the Black above the old grader and probably seen more.
                  He should have never been there to begin with. one of the foreman should have been chosen for lookout.

                  Just another crazy twist in this fire.

    • rocksteady says

      The meet never would have happened if the BR and GMIHS had seen fire behaviour occurring near the meeting spot that caused them concern for their safety. Its not like they met up there with blinders on. They picked that spot because it was close to both parties AND SAFE.

      Even in the biggest blowups of fires, its not like flipping a swith from calm to inferno. It starts gradually, a wind change, either direction or speed, smoke changes colour, fire behaviour intensifies slowly.. Once the fire has reached inferno, its too late to be making observations on the little things that are changing. As a Fire Behaviour Analyst, using the fire modelling software, there is a term used, “Equilibrium Rate of Spread”.

      This means a fire starts at “X” time, slowly growing (depending on fuel type) until it reaches equilibrium, that the fire is now the lead factor. Wind, slope etc are minimal influences. The fire is burning how it wants. Usually, as a guide, we have a 30 minute period from ignition to the Equilibrium.

      This also applies to an ongoing larger fire, such as Yarnell. The existing fire was burning moderately active (as can be seen in photos), but you can see the fire transitioning to something more in the pics from the lunch spot. How much later were GMIHS trapped in the canyon by a flaming inferno coming at them? I would say around 30 minutes.

      Even with a predicted weather system coming at them, there would have been subtle changes well before hand. Experienced, observant fire fighters pick up on this, process the information and act accordingly.

      I am sure Bob Powers can confirm my opinion.

      Rarely is there any changes in weather, thus fire behaviour, that come with absolutely no warnings and indicators.

      For some reason, GMIHS (at the lunch spot) observed the transitioning fire behaviour and did not process where and how the fire was going to change and go, but still made the decision to try to get around the advancing front to the Ranch.

      So, in my opinion, it was human error. Either the GMIHS said “We can beat the train” or someone said “Get to teh ranch, or you are gonna be in trouble once we get back to the home unit, you wusses”…

      • Elizabeth says

        Particularly in the SW in areas that have not had proper fuels management, “eruptive fire behavior” means that a fire can go from a ROS of .75 mph to 12 mph in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict down to a ten or even 15 minute window when such an eruption is going to happen. Worse, that type of fire behavior – when it is ramping up to an actual “eruption” – does not always escalate at a constant rate.

        The escalation (or worsening in fire behavior) can become exponential, which is why we often see the phrase “blow-up” or “eruption” used. Some scientists would say that sometimes (due to mass ignition or a “blow-up”) it is indeed like a switch was flipped (meaning that there was no obvious ramp-up, but, rather, there was just a transition from a fire with a ROS of, say, .5 mph to a fire with a ROS of 10 mph). To that end, WFF/FF Kelly Close (who is a well regarded guy in the W/SW who is (or was) on the NWCG fire behavior committee and has seen more fire in the W/SW than most men will ever see) did a paper a while ago about the difficulty that WFFs have with fire behavior that does not increase at a constant rate of speed to an actual “equilibrium,” but, rather, that EXPONENTIALLY exacerbates. It is like a car that is coming at you on a residential street at, say, 35 miles per hour, and that then speeds up in a matter of seconds to, say, 300 mph. It is hard to mitigate (or even anticipate) that.

        And my impression is that the insane winds on the YHF between 4:33 and 4:37 were more a product of indrafting and convection than they were any forecast weather cell (that was actually separated from the fire by a huge honkin’ layer of clouds, air, smoke, etc.). Meaning, just as with the Beaver Fire or the South Canyon Fire (according to Dr. Viegas, anyway), it is hard to blame the entrapment on the weather more than the extreme fire behavior creating its own indrafting and convection (aided by terrain).

        (For lack of a better place to make mention, the pictures that RS references were taken almost an hour before GM was entrapped, not 1/2 hour. I’m not sure that that matters, but I just wanted to point that out. Indeed, even less than 10 minutes before GM was entrapped, the fire was still roughly 3/4 of a mile or so away from GM.)

        I’m not sure any of my comments add anything, but I thought I’d reiterate them, regardless. Obviously folks like RS know far more than me about fire behavior! 🙂

        • Bob Powers says

          First spend a little time and read Rocksteadys information he imparted as a Fuels Specialist. SW, NW, and western US. All have the Fuel build up,
          As I said earlier if you are paying attention to all the indicators you can see the build up coming to a erratic fire Behavior some times 1 to 2 hours based on severial factors again your to late with a 10 to 15 minuet window..
          Winds help push Blowups and even in drafting.
          Based on the charts the last Pictures taken by GM were 1600 to 1604.
          They had fire in front of them at 1648. The fire spared charts showed the fire with in and behind the ridge line on the crews left at 1640 only a 1/4 mile from the crew with in 8 minuets of that the fire was in front of the canyon mouth and on the ridge line on there left. The fire never covered 3/4 of a mile in 10 minuets.
          The Fuels Topography weather and time of day the dry conditions all were predicting this to happen as early as 1400 and absolutely by 1500.
          Plane and simple no one paid attention. Every thing was primed for a Blow up, for crying out loud it happened at almost the same time on Saturday when the fire took off from the ridge and burned over 400 Acres..

          • rocksteady says

            Every fire tells its story, and it never lies!!!!

            But if you are not listening (and seeing the indicators) that the fire is giving you, that is when incidents like this happen.

            The PRIMARY job of the LOOKOUT is to observe, record and report changes in fire beahviour and weather. Having a juniour crew guy in this role is asking for bad intelligence and thus bad decision making.

        • Rocksteady says

          Whether you wish to use the term “equilibrium rate of spread” or “exponentially” is semantics.

          The truth is a fire does not go from a small fire to an inferno in miliseconds.

          Depending on conditions it may transition quicker than other times, but even if it transitions quicker than normal, the fire/weather is still giving indications

          These clues were ignored by some people on teh Yarnell Fire (from start to finish)..

          • Rocksteady says

            Elizabeth,

            go to your nearest National Forest, build a campfire, actually 100 of them and see if they exponentially (without use of an accelerant) grow or if they transition. You will be amazed at how it takes time for the campfire to become that.

            Report back to us…

            • Elizabeth says

              RS, go watch Butler’s video. He actually has video of a mass ignition out on an actual fire. He or his colleagues put cameras out in the middle of actual fires.
              Then watch the video from the Beaver Fire.
              My understanding is that uber-extreme fire behavior can behave in a way that is… uber-extreme. Have you ever personally seen a fire go from a ROS of .75 mph to a ROS of roughly 12 mph (or more) in less than 10 minutes? (I have never seen such a thing, and most WFFs that I have grilled have never witnessed such a thing firsthand. Yet it happens.)

              • rocksteady says

                Yes, I have seen that sort of behaviour.

                How I dealt with it:

                1) Read and disseminated the potential fire behaviour from the FBAN to ALL personnel on my division/branch.

                2) Had definitive trigger points (behaviour/wind, etc) when we were going to do a “tactical retreat”, not an emergency drop packs and run.

                3) Ensured that we always had a helicopter in teh air, be it a rotor wing bird dog, bucket ship, OPS or whomever watching fire behaviour for us, rather than using a ground based 2 year guy from teh crew, as a lookout.

                4)Made the call to get out early, rather than waiting til its too late and then being screwed.

                Once fire behaviour reaches this state, there is NOTHING that can be done. No amount of heavy equipment, helicopters or air tankers will stop it, so why risk your neck for something that is going to fail anyways.

                You MAY be able to steeer the column and pull the fire a different direction using aerial ignitionwith several torch ships but still a “hail Mary” manuever.

  10. Bob Powers says

    I know it is hard for those of you that have never been on the fire line or trained in fire suppression to understand what I am trying to impart to you.
    Its not a collage course it is a school of hard knocks an on the ground learning process some of which is not written in black and white and changes with each Fire its a mental understanding if you are
    fatigued not thinking clearly and paying attention you can make the wrong decision. That is why I memorized the 1o Standard orders so they always led me to the safest out come.

    Other Fire Fighters know what I am talking about I hope you can reflect on what I am trying to impart to you. I am trying to give you an understanding of what we do.

    • Bob Powers says

      On a Personal Note——–
      AS we have gone thru the Fire the pictures and all the stories I mentally have been able to relate to them what happened why it happened and the out come.

      The reason I am here and still here Is Granit Mountain.
      My brain can totally relate to what they were doing all day on the fire line, when the moved into the black dropped packs and were safe watching the Fire.
      My brain has yet to understand the reason they left the black and went into a brush field canyon.

      My brain has been unable with all my back ground to understand justify or find reason for
      what they did. In other words I have found nothing to understand that move or why all of them went down there with out a question. There has been severial reasons stated but none have made any sense or given me a OK I see that and relate to it.

      Again I can relate good or bad to every thing else that happened on this fire I have seen it and lived it. Bad and good Supervisors, Crews Etc. Even the AA.
      If I had been in Frisby’s shoes I would have done what he was doing keeping my crew safe and paying really close attention to what this crazy overhead team was doing at this point not trusting anyone but myself and my crew bosses.

      Been there done that and in that position its never easy. You just know someone is going to get bad hurt or Die. You go into protection mode and deal with it.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Bob Powers post on
        FEBRUARY 7, 2015 AT 12:03 PM

        :: Bob Powers said…
        ::
        :: My brain has been unable with all my
        :: back ground to understand justify or find
        :: reason for what they did. In other words I
        :: have found nothing to understand that
        :: move or why all of them went down there
        :: with out a question.

        If Brendan ever tells all he knows I think we will discover that while we will never truly know what the in-person conversation was like amongst all those men who died… there WILL be some evidence that Steed himself DID have some serious questions and/or doubts about this ‘mission’ they were undertaking.

        Unless Brendan has some radical new evidence I think it has always been pretty safe to assume that the actual IDEA to take on this ‘mission’ and depart the safe black was coming from DIVSA Eric Marsh.

        It then involved checking Steed’s “comfort level” and whatnot.

        It also involved TWO separate ( and equally critical ) decision points. The first was deciding to take on ‘the mission’ at all. The second was deciding to drop into that canyon KNOWING they would be losing sight of the very active fire and also deciding to do it WITHOUT setting a lookout.

        I think Steed MAY have gone along with ‘the mission’ at first up at that rest spot… but I think the SECOND decision point at that saddle is when he probably had his own WTF moment and that is when ( if it really happened ) the ARGUMENT took place.

        I’ve also said this before but if it turns out that Marsh really was ahead of Steed/Crew and the way he won that argument with Steed at the Saddle decision point was to tell Steed that HE would function as their lookout…

        …that’s going to be even more disturbing than to just try and accept the fact that NONE of these men knew where the fire was… but they just kept moving ahead straight to their deaths.

        If Eric Marsh himself had promised Steed he would act as ‘forward lookout’…then it’s pretty safe to then say he obviously FAILED that task pretty miserably.

        I still really ( personally ) don’t want to have to start even considering WHY Eric Marsh might have been forward of those men and might have had ‘eyes on the fire’… yet he still LET them keep coming forward to their deaths.

        • Bob Powers says

          WTKTT– The Last part of what you said still dose not register in my Brain with any reality or understanding of why they moved or even if Marsh could have possibly had eyes on the Fire It makes no sense he would have not seen what was happening unless he to was blind to the fire activity.
          I could understand a order direct to Steed to move the crew or else.
          But the choices made are just out side reality right now for me. Going into unburned heavy brush fuel in a canyon, no lookout lost site of Fire. no scouted route. move from a 100% safe black area to a very dangerous fuel area in a canyon what for??????

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              I’m very sorry to hear that… but thank you for passing that along. Extended hospice situations can become a nightmare for the patient AND anyone else involved. I know. Been there. Done that.

  11. calvin says

    Bob said

    This Fire is a total training session in its self of Fire Safety only a few like BR and some Eng. Crews were really paying attention every one else was depending on there OPS to take care of them.

    I really cannot understand how you say BR was being safe. I do not want to sound insulting or disrespectful but…..

    1. Brian Frisby was at the same exact location as Mcdonough (at the old grader) and only a minor mechanical failure or accident away from trouble. And why exactly would he place himself in that position? Marsh did not have the authority to ORDER Frisby to come up for a meeting , did he? Also, did Frisby have a lookout for himself when he was traveling in front of the fire line when he picked Mcdonough up?

    2. We can see for ourselves in McCord’s images that the flames are rapidly approaching and that there are embers and ash falling all around. Not only the crew carriers, but also the UTV.

    3. There is seeming evidence that Brown and Frisby were the LAST people to evacuate, therefore putting themselves in danger. Where was there SA, and where was there lookout?

    4. We also know that following deployment, Frisby himself says “Fuck it, lets go for it” and proceeds into the fire where power lines are drooping/ falling, and propane tanks are venting. Remember how the Prescotteers saw the propane tank venting and said something like “yeah I don’t want to go in there right now” (M2U00267 at 115), yet they seem to have just followed in line and were led into the fire area by Frisby.

    5. And also we see Frisby himself walk directly towards a venting propane tank. And I do remember the past discussion as to how it was actually safe to walk towards that propane tank as the venting was actually a safety feature. However, Frisby was not aware of the integrity of the steel walls of the vessel itself and also couldn’t know if an overhanging tree branch could actually fall and pierce the vessel causing an explosion. Honestly, that really seems like a careless/ wreck less move on Frisby’s part.

    Again, no disrespect, just different perspective.

  12. calvin says

    It seems that Marti and WTK both agree that Frisby and Brown were the last ones seen evacuating in the video M2U00264.

    This leads me back to a question I had a wile back. concerning WHO is speaking at the 205 mark in video M2U00264.. This person says “Yeah Im the last one coming out right now, well regroup at the café and then send somebody in”

    In my analysis, that almost has to be Frisby. Right?

    • Marti Reed says

      Actually, that’s Tyson Esquibel. Conversing with Gary Cordes.

      I think he’s referencing his Task Force, not the entire everybody that was coming out. Which is what Cordes was referring to. He was asking Tyson for a “couple of engines.”

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Yes. Esquibel was talking directly to Cordes, at that point, and Esquibel’s statement of “I’m the last one out” pertained ONLY to the Task Force resources that were back there in Harper Canyon.

        Esquibel wasn’t considering Blue Ridge to be ‘part of that Task Force’.

        Blue Ridge was, essentially, a ‘free agent’ that day.

        There is still disagreement among the witnesses interviewed about WHO they were even ‘attached to’ that day. Some thought DIVSA, some thought SPGS1, and even others thought they answered only to the ‘disappeared’ DIVSZ.

        Truth is… they were ‘on their own’ that day.

        They were doing work FOR various people that day… as the need(s) arose.

    • Bob Powers says

      Calvin & Marti
      We went thru this before I will try to revisit.
      Frisby fully operated with in Safety on this Fire.
      Marsh and Frisby were working to gather to meet the line requirements.
      I do not believe Marsh Ordered Frisby to meet with him.

      Frisby in a ATV picked up McDonough at the time no Fire problem that he could not negotiate
      His ATV was functioning there was no reason to think his equipment would fail. He was his own lookout.

      Ash Falling HAPPENS ALL THE TIME Not sure your concern here.

      Driving into the Burned area was not a unsafe act driving thru the fire edge or even running thru it happens all the time. It totally depends on the amount of flame and what’s burning
      This was not a moving flaming front but the derbies still burning.

      Watching a venting tank or walking near it is not a problem when the tank is not venting then get worried. THEY DO NOT EXPLODE IF THEY ARE VENTING WITH FLAME. Believe me I have been there many times.

      As Supervisors or on the Line with others it dose not surprise me that Frisby and Brown were the last out or even close to the last out with Tyson the Eng. STL The person in charge is usually the last out to insure all their resources are out. I Have been there many times as
      Hot Shot Asst., STL, DIV, and Crew boss. It is part of you job you responsibility you want to know all your recourses people are out and safe there for the last one.

      Calvin— I understand your questions the best I can say there are just things you learn know and understand after a few years as a wild land Fire fighter that allows you to make– is it a hazard or threat or not– in each of your questions. I believe most Fire Fighters would tell you the same from their exposures over the years.

  13. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Bob Powers post on February 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

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

    >> Bob Powers said…
    >>
    >> A question I have How big was the Youth camp?

    It was a fairly ‘open’ area there in Harper Canyon at the end of the dirt part of Shrine Road. Enough ‘parking space’ for all the GM vehicles ( four ) and the two BR Crew Carriers… but the area was filled with plenty of tall TREES and BRUSH and GRASS and other fuels ( wood structures ).

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> and did it burn?

    Yes. Completely. The ‘tall trees’ were not totally ‘skunked’ and never fell down… but the area was basically ‘moonscaped’. Just go to ‘Google Maps’, enter “Yarnell, AZ’ in the search bar, then go into satellite mode and zoom down to the end of Shrine road and you will see what I mean.

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> I have never read if it survived or not. or if it could have been a safety zone?

    It was at NO TIME considered by ANYONE to be a ‘Safety Zone’.

    There was a BRIDGE there over a dry creek ( about 80 feet from where all the Crew Carriers had been ‘staged’ ) that also had about the largest ‘grassy, open area’ next to it. No larger than the ‘tennis court that Darrell Willis was using for his ‘Safety Zone’ at the Double-Bar-A Ranch.

    Whether that could have been a survivable spot out at the Youth Camp by firefighters trying to deploy there is anyone’s guess.

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> One more thing After the weather forecast predicting the wind
    >> at that time all I will repeat all personnel should have been pulled
    >> back to safe areas or moved into the Black. Overhead should have
    >> insured contact and moved there resources do not assume some
    >> one herd your Radio Confirm each crew and equipment.
    >> This is where things went to hell with last minuet movement.

    1) OVERHEAD SHOULD HAVE INSURED CONTACT ( WITH EVERYONE )
    2) DO NOT ASSUME SOMEONE HEARD YOUR RADIO ( ORDER ).
    3) CONFIRM EACH CREW AND EQUIPMENT ( GOT THE MESSAGE )

    NONE of that happened.

    From Gary Cordes’ one-and-only ADOSH interview, September 11, 2013

    Q2 = Dave Larsen, WFA / ADOSH ( Rest in Peace )
    A = SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

    At this part in the interview… Dave Larsen is going through Cordes’ Unit Log with him… line by line… and trying to verify the TIMES that Cordes’ has written in his Unit Log for certain things.

    Cordes first says he notified ‘the guys’ it was time to ‘get out’… then he backtracks and says he ONLY told this to his TFLD(t) Tyson Esquibel and was then just ASSUMING Esquibel would ‘pass it along’ and/or ‘confirm’ everyone got the order.

    Cordes himself then made no attempt to make sure ALL the resources under his command ever got the ‘message’… nor did he make SURE Esquibel had done so.

    Cordes then tells ADOSH he didn’t find out who heard the order until the NEXT DAY.

    Cordes tells ADOSH he ‘debriefed them’ ( the NEXT DAY ) and Cordes also tells ADOSH that they had (quote) “all heard that order”.

    That doesn’t match other tesimony.

    Some of the resources under SPGS1 Gary Cordes and TFLD(t) Tyson Esquibel testified they never heard ‘that order’ at all… much less anyone even trying to make SURE they did.

    ——————————————————————————————–
    1279 Q2: …1540 Yarnell, Yarnell evacuation trigger point met and you requested that,
    1280 so…
    1281
    1282 A: Right, and Of – Musser showed up and, and met with me where I was parked
    1283 on the road, asked me what I thought and I basically said this thing’s gonna
    1284 move, it’s moving pretty aggressively towards town. Um, during…
    1285
    1286 Q2: Okay.
    1287
    1288 A: …that time, within that time frame, as you drop to the next line, the trigger
    1289 point for crew rem- uh, removing the crew was met so I, I got on the, uh, told
    1290 the guys to start picking up and, and getting ready to get out of the area.
    1291
    1292 Q2: Uh, and you told that to your guys?
    1293
    1294 A: To, Tyson and then of course I’m sure all of our guys were – heard that, I got
    1295 feedback from the crews the next days after I debriefed ‘em and they had all
    1296 heard that order.
    ——————————————————————————————–

      • Bob Powers says

        While I do not like to assign Fault to some of these over head it just seems like the They were never in control or operating as such— when in charge take charge.
        This also falls to better direction and orders to GM to stay in the black and ride the fire out hunker down in the black till I call you to pull you out. The IC or The OPS should have been giving orders not asking questions.

        Was trying to remember the Youth camp lay out— thanks WTKTT
        No one mentioned it as a SZ so I did not think it was.

        Also there was a cat line around the parked trucks GM and BR It might have been big enough for a Deployment site in a real pinch grass burns fast. If your trapped you have few choices. I always looked for and planed SZ not deployment sites

        —Every body got out so no deployment ever happened in that youth camp area Just my double checking thoughts.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Bob Powers post on February 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

          >> Bob Powers said…
          >>
          >> Also there was a cat line around the parked trucks GM and BR

          Slight correction. There was NO ‘cat line’ around the ‘parked trucks’ over on the Youth Camp. They were all parked in a grassy/cleared area right
          off the dirt road and just over that ‘bridge’ over the dry creek.

          The one-blade-wide ‘ring’ that Cordes had the dozer put around the ‘GM vehicles’ was just the GM Supt and Chase trucks where they HAD been parked that morning up at the top of the Sesame clearing area.

          >> Bob Powers also said…
          >>
          >> It might have been big enough for a Deployment site in a real
          >> pinch grass burns fast. If your trapped you have few choices.

          Yes. It’s possible. If those 6 firefighters trying to ‘escape’ from the western end of Harper Canyon had been ‘cut off’ by the fire ( like the Perryville Crew was in Walk Moore Canyon at the DUDE fire )… they MAY have found a place there to survive.

          There were places where it wouldn’t have been like the DUDE fire.

          There were places to deploy where the ‘flamefront’ wouldn’t have been tearing at their shelters like it did with the poor Perryville crew.

          I still don’t think it’s been discussed much how the ‘Air Support’ also failed here in NOTIFYING the ground forces about the location of the charging flame front. At the time that flame front came charging up over that ridge ( which was the only visual warning those 6 FFs in Harper Canyon got and then they started hauling ass )… the ‘Air Support’ over the fire was not helping in any way down there on SOUTH end.

          Air Attack Rory Collins had ‘bailed out’ of the fire at 1558 and just dumped both ‘Air Attack’ and ‘Lead Plane’ duties on French and Burfiend in “Bravo 33”.

          Burfiend was ‘playing’ Air Attack in the right seat of “Bravo 33″… but French was the pilot and “Lead Plane” and he was still preoccupied with finishing that retardant line up by Model Creek and Miner’s camp road.

          Nearly a half-hour had passed since Collins had TOLD French and Burfiend that (quote) “We got a lotta fire headed toward Yarnell and you need to go look at that”.

          I don’t know how aware ‘Air Attack’ is ever supposed to be of WHO is on the ground… and WHERE… but on this day “Bravo 33” was still preoccupied on the NORTH end of the fire as it was already charging into Yarnell and there was NO chance of even getting any WARNINGS from the Air about how fast the fireline was charging into Harper Canyon.

          • Bob Powers says

            NOTE–On type 2 and type 1 full teams there is a AA with the team that is directly connected to the ops and IC to support their plan.
            Again this short team had no cohesiveness or control it fluctuated as to who was calling the shots not a good out come as we have found over and over.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Bob Powers post on February 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

              >> Bob Powers said…
              >>
              >> Again this short team had no cohesiveness or control it
              >> fluctuated as to who was calling the shots

              And speaking of “who was calling the shots” ( at critical times)… at 3:50 PM and just shy of 10 minutes before Air Attack Rory Collins would exit the Yarnell airspace ( at 3:58 PM ) is when he called Thomas French in ‘Bravo 33’ on the Air-To-Air channel and informed him he only had “about ten minutes” before his pilot was going to ‘time out’ and he would be leaving.

              It was then ( 3:50 PM ) that Rory Collins told French (quote) “I don’t know if you noticed but we got a heck of wind shift goin’ on here. There’s a lotta fire headed into Yarnell and you guys need to go take a look at that”.

              Thomas French acknowledged that… but then the discussion turned to the inbound VLAT. French wanted to use it to ‘finish up’ that retardant line he’d been working on up there on the NORTH end of the fire in the Model Creek road and Miner’s Camp road area(s).

              Air Attack Rory Collins ( still technically in charge of Air Ops over the fire ) told French (quote) “Yea… why don’t you go ahead and do that.”

              So that’s what ‘Air Support’ ended up doing for as much as the next HALF-AN-HOUR… right on up through the time the fire on the SOUTH end was now charging into Harper Canyon and FFs on the ground were running for their lives.

              My point is… THAT decision about WHERE the Air Support focus should be at that point AND how to use the inbound VLAT was made by just two guys in their airplanes talking to each other
              on the Air-To-Air Channel ( and not Air-To-Ground channel ).

              There is NO evidence that either one of them was even BOTHERING to check with the IC or OPS ( or anyone on the ground ) about where the Air Support focus really SHOULD be or how that inbound VLAT should be used in that crucial 4:00 PM to 4:15 PM timeframe.

              They just made the decision between themselves… and that was that. Not even any attempt to consult with anyone else.

              • calvin says

                Lets pretend for one moment that T911had enough time to line up a retardant drop extending from the northern rim of the deployment bowl , and continuing to the east. Lets pretend there was a retardant line placed 15- 20 minutes before the fire arrived within sight of GMIHC

                Would that have slowed the fire progression enough to allow safe passage to BSR?

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to calvin post February 9, 2015 at 5:43 pm

                  >> calvin said…
                  >>
                  >> Would that have slowed the fire progression
                  >> enough to allow safe passage to BSR?

                  From the exact point where they all died to the very perimeter of the Boulder Springs Ranch was 1,899 feet.

                  That is measured pretty much following exactly along the ‘dozer push’ that was done to retrieve the bodies and probably represents the exact final route that running men on the ground would have also taken directly to the ranch without running up any of the ‘knolls’ along the way.

                  The TIME that would have been needed for this final 1,899 foot dash to safety is somewhere in the following chart…

                  1 mph ( 01.4 feet per second ) = 21 min 34 sec
                  2 mph ( 02.0 feet per second ) = 10 min 47 sec
                  3 mph ( 04.4 feet per second ) = 07 min 11 sec
                  4 mph ( 05.8 feet per second ) = 05 min 23 sec
                  5 mph ( 07.3 feet per second ) = 04 min 18 sec
                  6 mph ( 08.8 feet per second ) = 03 min 35 sec
                  7 mph ( 10.2 feet per second ) = 03 min 04 sec
                  8 mph ( 11.7 feet per second ) = 02 min 41 sec

                  • Bob Powers says

                    If the Tanker could have seen them to make the drop yes it may have worked the problem was smoke by 1648 and no location of the crew. TO LATE

                    You do not send a plane thru smoke with no visual to the ground it just dose not work.

                    If they had known 15 to 20 min. before they saw the fire in front of them. that just might have worked.
                    But they did not know they were even in trouble at 1630.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      One of the interesting things that might come out of what Brendan McDonough now wants to ‘get off his chest’ is HOW LONG some of these possible ‘discussions’ and/or ‘arguments’ regarding the ‘move’ actually took.

                      Example 1: How long did those ‘comfort level’ discussion really go on with Marsh talking to Steed up there at the resting spot ( as we hear part of in the MacKenzie videos ). Was Steed ‘onboard’ with ‘the mission’ just shortly after those videos… or did it take many minutes more back-and-forth between he and Marsh before they actually even left. Remember that we still do NOT know exactly when they actually ‘gaggled up’ and started heading south.

                      Example 2: When Steed/Crew reached that ‘saddle’ and (perhaps) that is when Steed had his own WTF moment AND (perhaps) that is where this alleged ‘argument about which way to go’ ensued that Mike Dudley said several people ‘reported’… how LONG did it take THEN to resolve THAT issue. 1 minute? 2 minutes? 3, 4, 5 minutes?

                      All of that TIME is going to ‘add up’ and might represent more of the TIME they would have needed to stay alive that day.

                      If Brendan supplies nothing else… I hope we get a better idea of EXACTLY when they even started this ‘mission’… and WHY they weren’t doing ‘double-time’ up on the two-track if it was really all that important… and then how much time might have been wasted at that saddle deciding whether to even try the box canyon route.

                      TIME was the real enemy that afternoon.

                      As ‘risky’ and ‘incomprehensible’ as that ‘move’ was… if they had just done it SOONER and QUICKER… we probably wouldn’t even be here having this conversation.

              • FIRE20+ says

                WTKTT said:
                “There is NO evidence that either one of them was even BOTHERING to check with the IC or OPS ( or anyone on the ground ) about where the Air Support focus really SHOULD be or how that inbound VLAT should be used in that crucial 4:00 PM to 4:15 PM timeframe.

                They just made the decision between themselves… and that was that. Not even any attempt to consult with anyone else.”

                I agree in the fact AA was doing their own thing, however Cordes did ask Abel to tell AA to ‘drop at will” because his A-G freq all of a sudden quit working for some strange reason. Hmmmm. Abel’s focus was narrowly to the North still, although the fire had turned and kept doing so unbeknownst to Abel (where the f*#k is his SA). And if OH has a priority for retardant don’t you think they would tell AA? Where and what were you doing exactly Cordes? Drop at will? When there’s an entire community that you were the Structure Group Specialist for? Now whether or not Abel gave this direction I can’t say…but again Abel’s head was down, doing his own thing up N.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to FIRE20+ post on
                  February 10, 2015 at 8:08 am

                  >> FIRE20+ said…
                  >>
                  >> I agree in the fact AA was doing their own
                  >> thing, however Cordes did ask Abel to tell
                  >> AA to ‘drop at will” because his A-G freq
                  >> all of a sudden quit working for some
                  >> strange reason. Hmmmm.

                  Well… yes… that is what Gary Cordes SAID he did in HIS Unit Log ( circa 1555 )… but there really is no other evidence to prove this really happened.

                  From SPGS1 Gary Cordes’ official ‘Unit Log’ ( that wasn’t released by Arizona Forestry until February of 2014 )…

                  NOTE: Cordes made a note on his log saying “All times are approximate”

                  —————————————-
                  Date/Time: 6/30 1550
                  Trigger point for crew removal met.
                  Ordered to start out of assigned area.

                  Date/Time: 6/30 1555
                  Fire hitting top of ridge north side of town.
                  Ask OPS-Abel to have Air Ops start dropping at will.
                  Also advised I had lost use of Air-To-Ground FX.
                  —————————————–

                  If we assume that Cordes’ recollection of WHEN he asked Abel to tell ‘Air Ops’ to ‘drop at will’… and we also assume Abel passed that on right away to ‘Air Attack’… then that means the message went up to AA Rory Collins, and not French and Burfiend in ‘Bravo 33’.

                  That also means the Rory Collins is the one who ‘received’ this ‘drop at will’ message just 3 minutes before he, himself, exited the Yarnell Air Space.

                  There is complete Air-To-Air radio channel traffic captured for that timeframe and there is NOTHING in there which indicates Rory Collins passed this ‘directive’ to ‘drop at will’ that he might have just received from Abel along to French and Burfiend in ‘Bravo 33’.

                  In the SAIT interview notes for ‘Bravo 33’ ( French and Burfiend ) there is also absolutely no mention of them ever being told by anyone to ‘drop at will’ on the SOUTH end of the fire.

                  Ditto for OPS1 Todd Abel’s ADOSH interview on August 22, 2013. Todd Abel makes absolutely NO mention to ADOSH of ever receiving a ‘drop at will’ request from Cordes’ OR ever giving any specific order like that himself to Air Attack.

                  The conversation between Rory Collinis and Thomas French I was detailing above happened at 1550.

                  If Cordes really did tell Abel to tell ‘Air Attack’ to ‘drop at will’ circa 1555… then that happened AFTER Collinis and French had simply agreed between themselves ( on the Air-To-Air channel ) that the best use of the inbound VLAT would be for French to just finish that liine he had been working on up there on the NORTH end of the fire.

                  If any ‘please drop at will now on the SOUTH end of the fire’ request ever DID go up to ‘Air Attack’ ( to Collins? French? Burfiend? )… then it was still apparently IGNORED for almost the next half-hour while French did what Collins gave him permission to do up on the NORTH end.

                  • FIRE20+ says

                    And Cordes didn’t write his Unit Log until 7/26/13…lots of time to be creative. Cordes is #1 on my list. I have also heard from sources he has said he hates the conspiracy theorists and he should…he has left too many holes to not speculate. You are right, there is no recorded audio of “drop at will”, and to just lose that A-G freq…it’s too conveniently weird. Pass the buck Cordes, stand back and be the important guy (weren’t you on the road with Musser and Sciacca at this point?) but you didn’t do shit for your people. I feel for Esquibel, not only being a TFLD-T, but having Cordes as your direct chain of command…Esquibel was left to figure it out as he went.

                    If that ‘drop at will’ did go to Rory Collins (which we have no proof in the A-A audio) then he did drop the ball. I’m not seeing this though. Rory Collins tells B33 the ground contact is Alpha then says go through OPS up N. Rory Collins tells (paraphrase–I am away from my files) B33 fire is pushing into Yarnell and they need to go check it out–they never did. They had their mind set on finishing that retardant line to the N and E. And what about Abel saying he asked B33 to go S and check on GM? That never happened either…in the end B33 says they had not been down S until they made it there when the fire had already turned.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Reply to FIRE20+ post on
                      February 10, 2015 at 11:29 am

                      >> FIRE20+ said…
                      >>
                      >> And Cordes didn’t write his Unit Log
                      >> until 7/26/13…lots of time to be
                      >> creative. Cordes is #1 on my list.
                      >> I have also heard from sources he
                      >> has said he hates the conspiracy
                      >> theorists and he should…he has
                      >> left too many holes to not speculate.

                      There is probably no one ( other than Brendan McDonough ) who can probably ‘fill in more blanks’ here with an under-oath deposition than SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

                      It’s also curious that Arizona Forestry is in such a tearing hurry to get Brendan ‘deposed’ before they have to get into the room with the ‘wrongful death’ plaintiffs ( on March 2 )… but (apparently) not concerned at all about getting any ‘additional’ statements or lingering questions answered by Cordes.

                      That really IS him in the Hulburd videos telling Esquibel to send some engines to the Boulder Springs Ranch to make sure Granite Mountain ‘gets out of there safely’.

                      Cordes thought they were ALREADY there… of just ABOUT to arrive there.

                      So all this stuff about Command/OPS ‘not knowing where GM really was or what they were really doing’ is total horseshit.

                      Cordes knew ALL about it… and still may have had more to do with them actually undertaking that ‘mission’ than has ever been adequately discovered.

                      >> FIRE20++ also said…
                      >>
                      >> You are right, there is no recorded
                      >> audio of “drop at will”, and to just
                      >> lose that A-G freq…it’s too conveniently
                      >> weird.

                      What is also ‘weird’ is that there appears to be absolutely NO information available about this ‘Aerial Firefighting Study’ that was going on that day and being paid for with taxpayer dollars.

                      I know. I checked.

                      There was a LOT of money behind that ‘Study’… and not only was it never finished… there is no evidence it was ever even authorized or contracted with anyone.

                      What I was trying to find were the ‘specifications’ for this ‘government contract’ that AUTHORIZED that study.

                      If we could see those ‘specifications’ for the study itself… I would find it hard to believe that the study was requiring FULL audio capture of the Air-To-Air channel ( as Panebaker was doing )… but somehow NOT also require the same full capture of the ‘Air-To-Ground’ channel as well.

                      It’s still ‘strange’ that Panebaker would have gone to so much trouble to make full recordings of the Air-To-Air conversation… but not had a similar setup going to capture the full Air-To-Ground traffic as well.

                      That’s just as important to an “Aerial Firefighting Study” as hearing what the planes are saying to each other.

                      It still would NOT surprise me to discover that Panebaker WAS also capturing the A2G channel… but it was NOT part of the package released by US Forestry.

                      >> FIRE20++ also said…
                      >>
                      >> If that ‘drop at will’ did go to Rory
                      >> Collins (which we have no proof
                      >> in the A-A audio) then he did
                      >> drop the ball. I’m not seeing this
                      >> though. Rory Collins tells B33 the
                      >> ground contact is Alpha then
                      >> says go through OPS up N. Rory
                      >> Collins tells (paraphrase–I am away
                      >> from my files) B33 fire is pushing
                      >> into Yarnell and they need to go
                      >> check it out–they never did.

                      There is one single statement from French ( in the A2A chanel captures ) when he was talking to one of the tankers along the lines of “We might need to go check something out”… but then there is nothing to prove that B33 ever did anything of the sort.

                      >> FIRE20++
                      >>
                      >> They had their mind set on finishing
                      >> that retardant line to the N and E.

                      I actually understand the ‘motivation’ there.

                      Leaving a big HOLE in a retardant line is about as bad as ground-pounders leaving a big hole in a scraped fireline. The fire COULD go right through that ‘hole’ and so much for all the work you were doing.

                      The problem was is that the fire had ALREADY shifted to the other direction and there really wasn’t the need to be so obsessive ( at that time ) about finishing that work on the NORTH.

                      The SOUTH end was where it was now critical but no one was making that crystal CLEAR to French and Burfiend.

                      >> FIRE20++ also said…
                      >>
                      >> And what about Abel saying he
                      >> asked B33 to go S and check on GM?
                      >> That never happened either…in the
                      >> end B33 says they had not been
                      >> down S until they made it there
                      >> when the fire had already turned.

                      Absolutely correct. When French was talking to that SEAT that was going to do the 1633 drop… he did say “This is my first time down here”.

                      However… there is also that possible radio capture in the Panebaker 1616 video of someone on the ground talking to ‘ASM2’ and verifying that they could “see Granite Mountain there on the corner of the fire” and that they had been repeatedly telling ASM2 they were ‘comfortable’ down there… but ASM2 found that ‘not credible’ and was then telling someone on the ground to “Call them and ask them if Alpha is WITH them”… which is then exactly what happened… and we then hear Eric Marsh’s obtuse responses to the direct “Granite Mountain… What’s your status?” query.

                      Combine that with what the SAIT says happened with all this “Should we go check on them?” talk with “Air Attack”… and who knows WHAT the real story is there.

                      This whole deal really is still one of the most ‘unfinished stories’ of the entire day.

                      WHO really asked WHO ( in Air Support ) to go do WHAT with regards to Granite Mountain… and WHEN… and if it ever happened at all.. WHAT were the actual results.

                      Did they get ‘called off’ that task when OPS Abel said “Nah… they’re OK… they’re in the black” like the SAIR says happened….

                      …or did they really go check and then there was all this “We see them behind those hills there” and “Are you comfortable down there?” stuff happening on the radio.

                      Who the hell knows.
                      None of this has ever been ‘sorted out’.
                      Hopefully… it WILL be.
                      It’s important.

  14. Marti Reed says

    I posted something way below that I meant to actually post up here at the top. It relates to Elizabeth’s very valid concerns about fuels mitigation, and the lack thereof, and the Yarnell Fire. And others’ saying that that doesn’t forgive Granite Mountain’s decision to leave the black they were in and walk down into a bowl full of fuel with an out-of-control fire headed toward it.

    I think we need to look at this in layers. Various points where things happened that, incrementally, led to this tragedy.

    Elizabeth said on FEBRUARY 6, 2015 AT 9:44 AM

    “That said, if, as you believe, the GM tragedy was the product of human error, then it seems to me that fuels mitigation becomes even more important, because, obviously, if 19 men can make whatever human error you are fingering, presumably others stand to do the same.”

    Elizabeth~

    I don’t know if you have read most of the last month’s worth of our conversations about what happened regarding what appears to have been a pretty badly mis-managed Initial Attack on this fire.

    It relates to what you are asking.

    I see this whole thing as a set of concentric circles.

    Circle One:
    Obviously, if Yarnell had taken more responsibility for mitigating their wildfire risk, including that around their homes, this fire wouldn’t have carried, relatively speaking, the probable highly disastrous risk it had. That’s why I wrote about Payson vs Sedona/Flagstaff.

    I think that lack of having taken responsibility will be a factor in the homeowners’ lawsuits.

    However,

    Circle Two:
    If the Initial Attack on Saturday (and I’m not faulting not attacking the fire Friday night, which is kind of 50/50 to me) had been managed by the Agency that decided to OWN it, in a much more responsible way (see all we have written about that over the past month), it is likely this fire would never have escaped the Initial Attack, thus not causing the whole debacle that happened on Sunday.

    Circle Three:
    As a number of us have written in various ways over the past YEAR, it is quite possible that, if Arizona Department of Forest had chosen, after Initial Attack Incident Commander Russ Shumate FINALLY admitted the fire had escaped Initial Attack and required a Type 2 Team. to assign Bea Day’s Type 2 Full Team instead of Roy Hall’s Type 2 Short Team (which he spent most of Sunday trying to reinforce with pieces of Bea Day’s team instead of actually fighting his fire), the fire would have been sufficiently resourced to have not had the massive HOLES in its resourcing, which MAY have prevented Granite Mountain from having fallen “under the radar” to the point that they ended up lost in the NOISE (as MANY other people almost were) as the fire reversed and headed toward Yarnell.

    Circle Four.
    At approximately 12:30 PM on Sunday, Bravo 3, according to its ADOSH interview, realized that the fire was HUGELY likely, given the probable afternoon thunderstorms coupled with the topography of the land, to reverse its direction and burn toward Yarnell that afternoon. Unfortunately, they didn’t bother to alert ANYBODY as to that, other than Rance Marquez, who, then abandoned his responsibilities to Division Z and went elsewhere. So NONE of Bravo 3’s concerns were EVER communicated to anybody who mattered. If that had not been the case, maybe a whole bunch of things would have turned out differently.

    Circle Five.
    Given that we still don’t know, over a year and a half later, WHY Granite Mountain decided to abandon their best-view-of-the-fire location in a LARGE safety zone (something that maybe Brendan McDonough has some perspective on) and descend into a chimney-canyon bowl full of highly flammable fuels without posting an effective LOOKOUT, it’s pretty apparent, still, that if they hadn’t done that, they would still be alive to this day and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    So what I’m saying is that, along with Yarnell’s apathy regarding their situation, there are a number of layered factors leading to this tragedy. There are a number of pressure points where, even given Yarnell’s apathy, other peoples relative apathy/ineffectiveness/misjudgment also contributed to what happened.

    For want of a nail…………….and………………and……………and……….

    As I have said in the past, and I’m sure WTKTT would agree, Shakespeare could have written this fire.

    And, yes, if this fire has any possibility of preventing future wildland fire-fighters deaths, ALL of these concentric circles need to be scrutinized.

    • Marti Reed says

      And, I might add, for ALL of these concentric circles to be scrutinized, a whole bunch more FACTS need to be released to the public.

      • Bob Powers says

        Kind of like the Swiss Cheese hole alignment. Or stacked dominos start one falling and y take the others each one is a failure that add ton the next till the whole thing comes apart. And the Fire blew up again like it did on Saturday. And every one was scrambling again. Plug 1 hole or eliminate 1 circle and the out come changes.
        Again this fire was a classic of what not to do till the Team took charge on Monday and finished it out.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        I think I would add something to one of the ‘circles’… but not sure if it should have just been PART of CIRCLE 2… or somewhere in-between CIRCLE 2 and CIRCLE 3.

        That would be the ‘sense of urgency’ that seemed to missing all day Saturday.

        Yes… the fire looked ( quoting both Shumate and Fernandez ) “fairly innocent’ during the Saturday morning 10:30 AM RECON in N14HX… but anyone who took just one look at that situation should have realized what MIGHT happen if that thing flared up and escaped.

        The topography was a NIGHTMARE.

        If that ‘innocent’ fire flared up and somehow got out into that massive bowl of gasoline-on-a-stick that hadn’t burned in 40 years… it should have been obvious on Saturday that there would be very little to stop it from consuming that entire valley. ( Which is exactly what eventually happened ).

        So there should have been NO QUESTION that thing needed to be absolutely DEAD-AS-A-DOORNAIL before any WIND picked up on Saturday afternoon.

        It didn’t happen. There just wasn’t that ‘sense of urgency’ about what MIGHT happen if that all-important Initial Attack FAILED.

        I gather that type 4 teams aren’t really even REQUIRED to have any FBANs… or someone who REALLY knows what all the risks are given the topography and the fuel type and the fire conditions?

        I think if there had been just ONE fully-qualified FBAN there on-scene with ICT4 Shumate Saturday morning… then HE could have injected the right ‘sense of urgency’ into the situation with a single question to Sumate…

        “Do you have ANY idea what might happen if you don’t knock this thing out before this afternoon?”

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Followup…

          At the end of ICT4 Russ Shumate’s first ( of two ) ADOSH interviews on August 15, 2013… Shumate was asked the same question the WFA investigators were asking all the interviewees.

          That was “Is there anything you would have done different?”

          Shumate’s response to that actually contained his own realization that what he SHOULD have done sometime Saturday ( before the wind ever picked up ) was to (quote) “wash it off the mountain”.

          Shumate’s exact words…
          ———————————————————————
          A: I don’t know if I can tell you a better way than what I did. I’ve felt I was reasonable in my responses that I knew what I had there. The flipped answer would be that I’d order the VLAT to wash it off the mountain when there is no smoke showing.
          ———————————————————————

          Notice that the DIFFERENCE between his two ‘flipped answer’ responses simply involves one simple phrase…

          “A sense of URGENCY”.

  15. Elizabeth says

    Within the past month or so, Bret Butler gave a webinar on Safety Zones. I suggest you all watch it. As you watch it, reflect on the videos that many of you have watched within the past month or so from the Prescott guys which show that even the most senior WFFs on the YHF were seemingly caught off guard by how bad the fire got as quickly as it did.

    Moreover, what those videos show – and what none of you are talking about – is the fact that, had the indrafting and two columns at the YHF not started directing the fire toward GM, it could have just as easily been the Shrine area guys who died.

    Here’s the take-away (or one of the take-aways) for me: There is not yet a reliable, 100% certain way to calculate – when dealing with explosive or “eruptive” fire (to quote Dr. Viegas) – how short an escape route needs to be and how big a safety zone needs to be. For those of you who think that the guys up in the Shrine area somehow had superior knowledge that day – as opposed to just getting lucky that the pieces of fire started interacting and things like indrafting and convection started pulling the fire away from Bucky et al and instead toward the south – you and I might have to agree to disagree.

    • Bob Powers says

      My comment—SAFETY ZONES—-The BLACK. The BLACK
      When in critical burning conditions like Yarnell Hill
      Direct line bring the black with you.
      Years of experience in Southern California Brush Fires.
      #1 Safety Zone — The BLACK
      #2 Safety Zone Built by Cats as they build indirect line
      Build or Identify new Safety Zones as your Line Progresses.

      Keep your Safety Zones with in 200 to 300 Feet of your crew scouted and marked.
      These are covered in training of Wild land FF’s every year.

      Always have LCES in place when extreme conditions are present.
      Every Strike Team Leaders Responsibility.

      This Fire is a total training session in its self of Fire Safety only a few like BR and some Eng. Crews were really paying attention every one else was depending on there OPS to take care of them.

      I never saw in my life of Fire Fighting Identifying a Safety Zone A mile from my crews..
      Well over 90% of the time it was the BLACK.

      The rest of the time indirect line required Safety zones every 100 Yards they were built by Cats on open Ridges as we moved. If that could not be accomplished we went back to direct line period. We brought the black with us.

      Most Wild Land Fire Fighters know what it takes to protect our crews in any situation. Again while there were close calls on this fire that should not have been close no one else was injured or killed.
      They had there plans and followed them to Safety. The Biggest complaint they should have moved sooner.
      There is nothing new here in Extreme Fire Behavior especially the end of June in Arizona.

      Last but not least—The Shrine Guys never had any superior knowledge they were in a different area with a different set of circumstances and a shot escape route back to vehicles and out on Roads to a SZ, they were not in the middle of 3000 acre’s of Brush.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        :: Bob Powers said…
        ::
        :: I never saw in my life of Fire Fighting
        :: Identifying a Safety Zone A mile from
        :: my crews.

        If Gary Cordes really did expect them to use that ‘road/trail’ that was clearly visible on Google Maps… then the total distance from where Cordes knew they being assigned to work and the perimeter of the Boulder Springs Ranch was more like TWO miles… not just ONE. It was actually just shy of TWO miles… like 1.9 and some change.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Elizabeth post on February 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      >> Elizabeth said…
      >>
      >> What none of you are talking about – is the fact that, had the indrafting
      >> and two columns at the YHF not started directing the fire toward GM,
      >> it could have just as easily been the Shrine area guys who died.

      There has been extensive discussion of the ‘Harper Canyon’ situation during this ongoing forum. AFAICT there is NO disagreement those men could have ‘easily died’…. for any NUMBER of reasons.

      They supposedly had no less than THREE ( count ’em, THREE ) separate ‘lookouts’ that afternoon… including SPGS 1 Gary Cordes himself… and they still ended up ‘running for their lives’.

      >> Elizabeth said…
      >>
      >> For those of you who think that the guys up in the Shrine area somehow
      >> had superior knowledge that day – as opposed to just getting lucky
      >> that the pieces of fire started interacting and things like indrafting and
      >> convection started pulling the fire away from Bucky et al and instead
      >> toward the south – you and I might have to agree to disagree.

      I don’t know who in this ongoing discussion you might be referring to with regards to the men in Harper Canyon ‘somehow having superior knowledge’ that day.

      Yes. They were DAMN ‘lucky’ they didn’t all die… and AFAIK there really is no disagreement about that. The firefighters themselves have said that was the case.

      Don’t forget… the Harper Canyon situation WAS one of FOUR distinct and separate potential/actual entrapment situations that ADOSH was ready to cite Arizona Forestry for.

      When ADOSH realized they had more than enough evidence to issue the maximum fines they were allowed to impose against that agency and its ‘unsafe workplace’. ( even before they finished the first round of interviews ) they simply consolidated the FOUR separate ‘entrapment’ citations into that one general “too much unnecessary risk of injury or death in the workplace” citation.

      If Arizona Forestry ever ‘coughs up’ the Peeples Valley firefighter evidence which is KNOWN to exist ( FULL depositions/interviews, photos, possible videos with radio captures, cellphone records, etc. ) but has never seen the light of day… perhaps we will learn more about what REALLY went on there in Harper Canyon… and why a work unit under the supervision of SPGS1 Gary Cordes and TFLD(t) Tyson Esquibel came so close to dying that day.

      • calvin says

        Can anyone tell me if video M2U00264 was taken before or after the images found in McCord’s folder that are titled yarnell093.jpg – yarnell 099.jpg?

        Also, at the end of video M2U00264, when Frisby and Brown drive up to the camera, are there any other fire personnel behind them?

        • Marti Reed says

          I think the two photos most relevant to your question are 098 and 099. I currently have them pegged at about 4:29:48 and 4:29:53 PM. 098 shows Brian and Trew on the UTV fairly close-up (even at 50 mm, and 099 shows the camp–that silo/tank (or whatever) at more of a distance. I’m not sure exactly whether he was panning right or left in these two images. But at that point Brian and Trew were fairly close to him and where the BR buggies were at that point.

          There’s a lot of smoke and embers in the photos, so it’s pretty clear that even at that time the Youth Camp was being impacted a lot by the fire.

          Also the other relevant photo is from the Papich folder, IMG_3954.jpg, taken with an iphone at 4:29:38 PM. It’s from more of a distance and shows Brian and Trew on the UTV from further away. So pretty close to the same time but from, apparently, much further away.

          I’m not sure how to interpret these differences, tbh. I’d give more credence to the timestamp of the Papich iphone photo, for all the reasons we’ve discussed ad nauseum.

          This photo shows the Sun City West Brush Truck and the Central Yavapai Engine parked next to where True and Brian are parked.

          Also Papich’s photo IMG_3956.jpg, taken at 4:29:38 shows the Glendale truck Task Force Leader Trainee Tyson Esquibel was using that day, as well as a white truck with a winch on top of the cab that I have never been able to identify.

          We know Tyson Esquibel drove out before Brian and Trew as well as the Brush Truck and the Central Yavapai Engine.

          Actually Aaron’s video 263 shows a Blue Ridge buggy coming out (it may show more by Lightroom is being bugggy with me right now.

          All things considered, I’m currently willing to accept the Blue Ridge narrative that the buggies and other various trucks went out before Brian and Trew. I really don’t have any reason not to, via the visual evidence we currently have.

          • Marti Reed says

            So the order I’m seeing vehicles come out is:

            Video 263:
            Peeples Valley Water Tender “Slow Down Skippy!!”
            Blue Ridge Buggy
            Probably another Blue Ridge Buggy

            Video 264:
            Central Yavapai Engine
            Sun City Brush Truck
            Folks walking
            Rance Marquez comes in and turns around (ahem)
            Tyson Esquibel in Glendale Truck
            Brian and Trew

            • Marti Reed says

              What I find interesting is that the Peeples Valley Water Tender is shown coming out pretty fast (“Slow down, Skippy!!) and at the head of a whole bunch of other vehicles.

              All things considered.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to calvin post on February 6, 2015 at 5:43 pm

          >> calvin said…
          >>
          >> Can anyone tell me if video M2U00264 was taken before or
          >> after the images found in McCord’s folder that are titled
          >> yarnell093.jpg – yarnell 099.jpg?

          ** THE SHORT ANSWER

          If we are to trust the DATE/TIME settings on McCord’s NIKON COOLPIX S01 camera… then his image “yarnell 093.jpg” was taken at 4:27:23 PM, and his image “yarnell 099.jpg” was taken exactly 90 seconds later at 4:28:53 PM.

          The START time of the M2U00264 video was right around 4:33:23 PM.

          So Aaron Hulburd’s M2U00264 Video was taken AFTER both of McCord’s “yarnell 093.jpg” and “yarnell 099.jpg” photos.

          “yarnell 093.jpg” = 4:27:23 PM
          “yarnell 099.jpg” = 4:28:53 PM ( +90 seconds )
          M2U00264 START = 4:33:23 ( +4 minutes and 30 seconds )

          ** THE LONG ANSWER

          * Aaron Hulburd Video M2U00264

          The M2U0064 video is 3 minutes and 37 seconds long.

          At the very end of that video is when Brian Frisby and Trueheart Brown ‘pull up’ to the “3 Prescotteers” Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell in the St. Joseph Shrine parking lot and that moment is time stamped with the Blue Ridge GPS satellite-based time data as exactly 1637 ( 4:37:00 PM ).

          Subtracting the LENGTH of the video from 4:37:00 PM makes the actual START time for this M2U0064 video right around 1633.23 ( 4:33.23 PM ), give or take 30 seconds or so for the time it took the GPS unit to ‘update’ and show them ‘parked’ there by Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell.

          Assumed START time for M2U00264: 4:33:23 PM
          Assumed END time for M2U00264: 4:37:00 PM ( Duration: 3 min 37 sec ).

          * Blue Ridge Hotshot McCord Photo “yarnell 093.jpg”

          Some of the EXIF metadata embedded in this photo…

          File Name: yarnell 093.jpg
          File Size: 2.3 MB
          Camera Make: NIKON
          Camera Model Name: COOLPIX S01
          Date/Time Original: 2013:06:30 04:27:23 ( 4:27:23 PM )
          Create Date: 2013:06:30 04:27:23 ( 4:27:23 PM )

          * Blue Ridge Hotshot McCord Photo “yarnell 099.jpg”

          Some of the EXIF metadata embedded in this photo…

          File Name: yarnell 099.jpg
          File Size: 2.0 MB
          Camera Make: NIKON
          Camera Model Name: COOLPIX S01
          Date/Time Original: 2013:06:30 04:28:53 ( 4:28:53 PM )
          Create Date: 2013:06:30 04:28:53 ( 4:28:53 PM )

          >> calvin also said…
          >>
          >> Also, at the end of video M2U00264, when Frisby and Brown drive
          >> up to the camera, are there any other fire personnel behind them?

          Apparently not. By all accounts ( and backed up with video M2U00264 ), Frisby and Brown really were the ‘last ones out’ of the Youth Camp Area at 4:37:00 PM.

          SIDENOTE: Notice the END time for Hulburd Video M2U00264. It is 4:37 PM… the exact moment when ‘Bravo 33’ reported to the SAIT that they heard ( on the Air-To-Ground channel ) someone they ‘believed’ to be DIVSA Eric Marsh making that statement about “That’s it. That’s exactly where we want the retardant”.

          Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell WERE scanning the Air-To-Ground frequency.

          So it’s interesting to note that for the entire time this M2U00264 video is running ( from 4:33:23 to 4:37:00 PM ) we do NOT hear any traffic on the Air-To-Ground channel resembling what ‘Bravo 33’ says they heard.

          The M2U00264 video ENDS at 4:37 ( give or take 30 seconds )… so of course that Air-To-Ground transmission could have come IMMEDIATELY after the END of this video… but think about what THAT means.

          That means that entire group of FFs there ‘conferencing’ in the St. Joseph Shrine parking lot would have *probably* heard this same Air-To-Ground transmission that ‘Bravo 33’ has attributed to Eric Marsh at 4:37… but here’s the situation there…

          1) NONE of the “3 Prescotteers” ( Clawson, Hulburd and Yowell ) seem to have been interviewed by ANYONE. So we don’t know if THEY could back up what ‘Bravo 33’ is saying about what they heard at 4:37 PM.

          2) The Blue Ridge Unit Logs for Blue Ridge Hotshots Brian Frisby and Trueheart Brown were HEAVILY redacted by the US Forestry Service.
          They MIGHT actually be mentioning hearing this same radio call from Marsh about ‘retardant’ at 4:37 PM in THEIR Unit Logs… but that MIGHT be one of the sections we aren’t allowed to see even with valid FOIA requests.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Marti… I don’t seem to have any ‘time adjustment’ notes for that NIKON COOLPIX of McCord’s. We ARE trusting the timestamps, there, correct?

              If we are… then I think it’s also worth noting that McCord’s
              “yarnell 093.jpg”, taken at 4:27:23 PM, was taken at the exact same moment that Blue Ridge Hotshot ‘Gamble’ was sitting in that Blue Ridge Crew Carrier still there at the Youth Camp and shooting his YARNELL-GAMBLE video.

              That is, of course, the video that captures someone ( OPS1 Todd Abel? ) apparently telling Eric Marsh he would ( paraphrasing ) “Appreciate it if you guys could hurry up” and Marsh responds wiith “They’re comin’ from the heel of the fire”.

              • Marti Reed says

                To be honest, it has been so long ago that I messed around with those photos and their timestamps that I don’t remember exactly how I handled them. And I didn’t write any notes on them, as I started to do later on stuff like Tom Story’s photos and the Panebaker stuff.

                But I didn’t make any HUGE changes on them, so that tells me that I didn’t find any reason, at that time to do so.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Thank you. Same story here. I neglected to make any notes along the lines of ‘already verified’ or any time ‘adjustment’ notes. No notes at all in that regard.

                  I think that’s because the times ARE accurate… and can be trusted.

                  If they are ‘off’ at all… it’s only by a matter of a minute or two… which is ( as the Tom Story photos proved ) about as good as can be expected with some of these photos.

                  The timing of these ‘evacuating the Youth Camp’ photos of McCord’s DO match the overall timing pretty well.

                  If I owned a freakin’ NIKON… I would be sure the DATE and TIME were correct.

                  • Marti Reed says

                    It’s just a coolpix. Pocket camera.

                    Not a full-blown hard-core Nikon.

                    As I have periodically reiterated, nobody but wedding photographers cares all that much about their time-stamps. There’s no “in real life” reason to.

      • Bob Powers says

        WTKTT
        These crews did 2 things that saved them from first Deployment and second Possible death…I say possible for a reason.

        First They had a planed escape route well identified back down the line.

        Second they had a planed SZ with vehicles to get them there
        Admittedly they would have missed their ride had not their driver waited for them.

        So yes close calls but if you were to look at most Fire Fighters who move to safety zones.

        They some times have the fire chasing their butt into them. It happens it is part of the job the last man in line the Boss is the one who pushes the crew or crews making sure the slowest make it. So Close calls happen.

        Good Lookouts usually give you time to move.
        I will totally admit that the Supervisors on this fire like Cordes waited to long to move the crews out.

        That’s why I say again each crew is responsible for LCES even a 5 man Engine crew. Post a lookout when you are in these situations and make sure you have Radio contact.
        They all had a little luck on their side and they had a Escape route and a planed SZ
        Those 2 things were instrumental in Saving them.

        POSSABLE–if their was any areas available for deployment like Cat line open cleared areas, Parking lots etc. they still may have deployed and survived.
        I do not know if there is any pictures of those areas they were working in building line. Situational awareness is always key to survival.

        Again for some reason this fire made all the statements of what not to do
        It never was a normal operation??????

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Bob Powers post on February 6, 2015 at 7:07 pm

          TWO minutes ( 120 seconds ).

          That’s what Peeples Valley Firefighter Bob Brandon said was the difference between life or death that day in Harper Canyon.

          Once again… from Bob Brandon’s OWN account as reported to the Prescott Daily Courier.

          NOTE: Arizona Forestry has his actual written testimony and Unit Logs… but we have still never seen those… OR the photos and cellphone records he ALSO says they took from him ( AND all the other Peeples Valley Firefighters that were there ) just 48 hours after the tragedy.

          The Prescott Daily Courier
          A Narrow escape: Peeples Valley firefighters recount that frightening day
          Published: 6/30/2014 6:00:00 AM by Joanna Dodder Nellans
          http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=1&ArticleID=133345

          ————————————————————————
          Peeples Valley Firefighter Bob Brandon feared his fellow firefighters would have to deploy their shelters. The fire was too loud to talk. In the midst of the chaos, he texted them and they said they were OK.

          Their group supervisor pulled up and told Brandon and Keehner they had to move their trucks out. Brandon refused, telling the commander that his crew was still in there. The supervisor repeated his order, saying the other guys couldn’t run that fast.

          Brandon didn’t want to think about what the supervisor meant.

          Brandon and Keehner followed the order, but tried to move as slowly as possible as they turned on the trucks and headlights.

          They went about 100 feet to the shrine parking lot and waited at the end of the ravine, hoping their buddies would run straight to them through the sandy gulch. They decided they wouldn’t go any farther until they saw their buddies. Then they spotted them running down the road, followed by the Wickenburg and Sun City vehicles.

          “It happened so fast,” Smith said. He credits fellow Peeples Valley Capt. Jake Moder with saving his life by keeping a close eye on their situation while they were digging and cutting the line.

          While they were building the line, Moder saw the hill to the north catching fire. Smith knew it was time to run when he saw Moder’s face as he ran toward him about 4 p.m.

          “We felt impending doom,” he recalled. “We were literally running and it was coming at us fast. You could feel it burning the hair on the back of your neck and sizzling your arms.

          “I didn’t think we were going to make it.”

          They ran down the ravine about 100 yards and were angry when they realized the trucks were gone. But when they cut over to the paved road, they felt like they were going to survive.

          “We were probably TWO MINUTES from becoming a statistic,” Smith said. “You’d have a memorial here for us.”

          They ran down the paved road toward their safety zone at the shrine parking lot. The Wickenburg and Sun City firefighters offered them a ride but they could see their own trucks by then.

          Smith said he realized that his buddies might have saved his life by moving the trucks, because that kept him and Moder from trying to stop and get the vehicles. It’s likely they already would have been burned up,
          ———————————————————————–

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            Brandon’s account is VERY similar to what happened at the DUDE fire in Walk Moore canyon… where all those DOC Perryville firefighters lost their lives.

            Similar ‘canyon’… similar circumstances… thankfully not similar results.

            In Walk Moore Canyon… the Navajo Hotshot had seen it coming and yelled “Get OUT of HERE!”… so the Perryville Crew ( like the 6 FFs in Yarnell ) were already ‘on the run’ down towards the Control Road.

            The fire ‘cut the crew in half’.

            The half that was closer to Control Road kept running and lived.
            The half that had been ‘cut off’ deployed… and most of them died.

            Those 6 FFs in Harper Canyon could have easily been just like that half of the Perryville Crew that got cut off.

            Some reports following the DUDE fire say that if that ‘upper’ half of the Perryville Crew had just had 2 more minutes ( 120 seconds )… they *might* not have been ‘cut off’ like they were.

            That’s the same 2 minutes Bob Brandon is now saying was the difference between life or death that day in Harper Canyon, Yarnell, June 30, 2013.

            SIDENOTE: Tony Sciacca was THERE that day at the DUDE fire.
            He was the foreman of the Prescott Hotshots at that time who were working just UP Walk Moore Canyon from where the Perryville Crew was. That put Sciacca and his crew closer to the Bonita Springs subdivision and they all made it to safety THAT way. They ran INTO the Bonita Springs subdivision and not DOWN towards the Control Road like Perryville. did.

            Tony Sciacca was standing RIGHT THERE in Harper Canyon by the St. Joseph Shrine on June 30, 2013.

            He has never said so… but I’ll bet he had a moment there in that developing situation ( knowing there WERE some ‘crews’ still back there at the Youth Camp ) when it might have occurred to him “Oh My God… it’s going to happen again. They might get cut off trying to get out.”

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Correction for above. Brain Fart.

              It was the ‘Bonita Creek’ subdivision there near Walk Moore Canyon at the DUDE fire… not ‘Bonita Springs’.

              That’s where Tony Sciacca took his Prescott Hotshots and survived.

          • Marti Reed says

            I’m still not completely trusting Bob Brandon’s account, given what’s in the video. His water tender comes out at a pretty fast pace (“Slow down, Skippy”) right before the Blue Ridge Buggies. There’s no Aaron video of the Blue Ridge Sup Truck or any of the 4 Granite Mountain Trucks coming out. And after him a SIGNIFICANT number of other vehicles are shown coming out.

            This whole thing just doesn’t square to me, given what I’m seeing.

            Bob Powers said:

            “I will totally admit that the Supervisors on this fire like Cordes waited to long to move the crews out.”

            I’m not, at this time, willing to throw Gary Cordes under the bus, so to speak, regarding this. I don’t have any evidence to believe, at this point, that he didn’t, as he said in his interview, radio the order for the Task Force to abandon what they were doing and evacuate at 3:50 pm, way before they actually did (if we are to believe Bob Brandon’s etc narratives).

            Also Bob wrote:

            “I do not know if there is any pictures of those areas they were working in building line. Situational awareness is always key to survival.”

            I DEFINITELY think Bob Brandon was taking a lot of photos. And somebody is sitting on them.

            There is an article he wrote (I don’t have the link at hand at the moment) where he says he was taking a lot of photos. I think that disc of photos he gave to the team that was interviewing/collecting data to pass on to the SAIT probably has a lot of visual data/evidence on it, and I agree with WTKTT that the with-holding of those interviews and data has to be (all things considered–given what all HAS been released) being done for some kind of a REASON.

            What that reason is, I don’t know.

            • Marti Reed says

              And by saying I don’t totally trust Brandon’s account, I don’t mean I don’t trust him. I just think there was a LOT of chaos happening and the various accounts of all that chaos don’t square with each other.

              Which is totally natural and understandable.

              • Marti Reed says

                I’m still not sure exactly what has happened, and when, in the last week of my recent totally chaotic life.

                • Bob Powers says

                  AS you say it is not unusual to think you are about to die and things tend to close in on you as you are in a hurry to get to Safety.
                  The fact that shortly after you are safe a crew burns to death
                  it makes your peril seem much closer than it really was.
                  He is not the first or the last to think things were worse than they really were.
                  They got out with no 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, degree Burns
                  so how close was it really 2, 4 or even 6 min. no one is timing the escape in those times a min can be an eternity and 5 min. can seem like 1 min. your brain is not calculating time it is calculating distance to safety.

                  One of the things I have said severial times is your look out must be strike team leader or above, understand fire behavior and be able to know when to pull the pin early.

                  Some crews have waited to long thinking they can catch the breakout. having an escape route known and a safety zone plan can save your ass. Close calls or plenty of time.
                  There are a lot of close calls some not as hair raising as some of the after stories would have you believe.

                  A question I have How big was the Youth camp? and did it burn? I have never read if it survived or not. or if it could have been a safety zone?

                  • Bob Powers says

                    One more thing After the weather forecast predicting the wind at that time all I will repeat all personnel should have been pulled back to safe areas or moved into the Black. Overhead should have insured contact and moved there resources do not assume some one herd your Radio Confirm each crew and equipment.
                    This is where things went to hell with last minuet movement.

        • calvin says

          Bob said

          “They all had a little luck on their side and they had a Escape route and a planed SZ
          Those 2 things were instrumental in Saving them.”

          That is actually 3 things (that as you say) “were instrumental in saving them”

          1. a little luck
          2. an escape route
          3. a planned SZ

  16. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** WHO REALLY ADVISED BRENDAN MCDONOUGH TO
    ** RETAIN A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER?… AND WHY?

    As the online “Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH” Court documents now tell us… a lot of ‘lawyer rodeo’ went on in order to set up that ORIGINAL under-oath deposition date of ‘November 26, 2014’ for Brendan McDonough.

    Arizona Forestry wanted it to happen IMMEDIATELY after learning that Brendan was now ready to talk about ‘what he knows’ that has NOT been previously revealed… and Arizona Forestry also already knew that Brendan had (apparently) already shared this critical information with MULTIPLE other people… and they were VERY scared that the media would get a hold of this before even they had a chance to hear it all from Brendan himself.

    ADOSH was trying to be forced into participating in the McDonough deposition BEFORE they had even received the other ‘discovery’ information that wasn’t due to be given to them by Arizona Forestry until December 15, 2014.

    ADOSH simply wanted McDonough’s deposition to take place AFTER that ‘exchange of information’ so that they could see the depositions of other witnesses and be FULLY prepared to cross-examine Brendan McDonough for (perhaps) that one and only time to do so. Brendan had sat in front of ADOSH twice before and played some kind of “Ask me the right question and I might give you the right answer” game… so ADOSH simply wanted to be SURE they had a good list of ALL the ‘right questions’ to ask McDonough this THIRD time they were going to be in the room with him.

    TWICE burned… THIRD time be wiser.

    Anyway… Judge Mosesso allowed that first deposition to ‘go ahead’, anyway, on November 26, 2014… as Arizona Forestry wanted.

    Judge Mosesso ruled that since it WOULD be possible to recall Brendan McDonough ( with subpoenas, if necessary ) any number of times during this proceeding… that the November 26 date for the first deposition was OK with him.

    So everything was scheduled for November 26, 2014 and ‘on track’.

    Then Brendan McDonough himself through a WRENCH in the works.

    The day BEFORE that November 26 deposition was going to take place, Brendan McDonough now informed everyone that he had just retained a NEW ‘Criminal’ defense attorney ( David Shapiro of Prescott ) and it was Mr. Shapiro who was ‘very busy’ with another trial and wouldn’t be able to be there with him on November 26.

    So Brendan NOW said he was ‘not available’ for the November 26 deposition, just 24 hours or so before it was supposed to happen.

    As it turns out… ( and as I had earlier thought )… this was NOT a case whereby Brendan’s previous attorney ( Emily Dolan ) who was right by his side during the ADOSH interviews had suddenly ‘backed out’ on him.

    Nothing of the sort.

    The law firm that Emily Dolan worked for had already told the Arizona Forestry lawyers MONTHS before this that they had ONLY been representing Brendan McDonough for his ADOSH interview, before the citations were ever issued by ADOSH, and that they no longer considered McDonough to be a ‘client’ and they would NOT be ‘participating’ in these “Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH” proceedings.

    That was in MARCH of 2014… a full SEVEN MONTHS before the November 26, 2014 deposition date would eventually be set for McDonough in “Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH”.

    It now APPEARS that for those SEVEN months… Brendan simply went back to relying on legal advice from The Prescott City Attorney John Paladini.

    It was actually Paladini who told Arizona Forestry that this NEW ( and heretofore UNHEARD ) testimony from Brendan MUST come out in an official DEPOSITION rather than just an ‘interview’ with the AZF Attorneys.

    It was also Paladini who then was the ‘middle-man’ between McDonough and Arizona Forestry while they tried to to ‘hurry-up’ and arrange this deposition of McDonough. Paladini is on record in the documents as the one who was making the assurances to ADOSH that if they needed a second ( follow-up ) under-oath session with McDonough… that both he and McDonough would not have problem with that ( Just a VERBAL promise… but a promise nonetheless ).

    So the bottom line here is that even just about two weeks before the scheduled deposition… Brendan McDonough was AOK with having City of Prescott Attorney John Paladini ‘representing’ him and making all the final arrangements and promises for this under-oath deposition.

    All of sudden ( and at the very last moment ) Brendan pushes Paladini out of the picture and hires his own ‘criminal’ defense attorney David Shapiro.

    So Emily Dolan ( Brendan’s previous attorney ) had been ‘out of the picture’ for MONTHS prior to this… and McDonough seemed to be ‘OK’ with Paladini as his primary counsel until just a few days before the scheduled deposition.

    The QUESTION here would then be… did Paladini himself actually advise McDonough that he better get a ‘criminal’ defense attorney… or did Brendan ‘arrive’ at that conclusion himself at the ‘last minute’… or was there even someone ELSE ( but NOT Emily Dolan ) ‘advising’ McDonough at this point?

    Something tells me Prescott City Attorney John Paladini was just as ‘blind-sided’ by Brendan’s move to get a ‘criminal’ attorney as everyone else was. Paladini was playing ‘middle-man’ and arranging this McDonough deposition AND was the one making ‘promises’ about a potential followup-up deposition… so Paladini ended up with as much ‘egg on his face’ over this as everyone else.

    So the following is the PROOF that ‘Emily Dolan’ ( and the firm she worked for ) has ONLY agreed to represent McDonough for those two ADOSH interviews ( where he didn’t tell all he knew )… and they apparently never had any intentions of ‘continuing’ to represent him for anything that would come after that… and that they TOLD the Arizona Forestry lawyers this fact SEVEN MONTHS before the ‘November games’… on March 11, 2014.

    The document named “2014_03 Updated 10.24.14.pdf” is HERE…

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6N47Z5CNR-CTUtBNzBfUGRJREU/edit?pli=1

    Page 7 of the 66 page “2014_03 Updated 10.24.14.pdf” document…

    —————————————————————————————
    VI. COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING THE POTENTIAL
    PARTICIPATION OF AN INTERVENOR

    Because the issue of potential participation by other parties has been raised by ADOSH, counsel for Respondent ( Arizona Forestry ) hereby notifies the Tribunal ( Judge Mosesso ) that he has received two communications from the Offices of Emily C. Dolan, counsel for Mr. Brendan McDonough.

    Her office has communicated both through a voicemail message and an email that is attached hereto as Exhibit B the she represented Mr. McDonough ONLY with respect to the interview of him conducted by ADOSH during its investigation prior to the issuance of the citations.

    It therefore does not appear that Mr. McDonough seeks to participate as an intervenor in this matter. Counsel for Respondent ( Arizona Forestry ) has requested that his counsel clarify whether Mr. McDonough intends to participate in these proceedings, and whether his counsel, Ms. Dolan, desires to continue to receive notices of matters filed in these proceedings.

    “Exhibit B – Email”

    ———————————————————————————
    From: Beth Asadourina
    Sent: Tuesday. March 11, 2014 2:01 PM
    To: Selden, David ( Attorney for Arizona Forestry )
    Subject: OSHA v AZ State Forestry Division of AZ

    Dear Mr. Selden

    We received your packet of various discovery requests and deposition notices with respect to the above-referenced matter. Thank you.

    Ms. Carman just wanted to make sure that you were aware of our firm’s scope of representation regarding Brendan McDonough ONLY involved his statement to OSHA relating to their investigation.

    As such, we obviously will NOT be responding to any of the requests or appearing for any depositions.

    Yours very truly

    Beth

    Elizabeth J. Asadourian
    Paralegal to Krista M. Carman, Esq.
    Warnock MacKinlay & Carman, PLLC
    P: 928-445-XXXX
    F: 928-445-XXXX
    email: beth @ xxxxxxx
    Website: w w w.lawwmc.c o m
    ———————————————————————————

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Actually… the really SHORT version of the above post would be that I had *thought* that ( perhaps ) it was Attorney Emily Dolan herself who had ‘advised’ Brendan that he better retain a ‘criminal’ attorney for any future depositions…

        …but these court documents now prove that most probably was NOT the case.

        Emily Dolan ONLY agreed to take Brendan through his ADOSH interviews… and that was before the citations were even issued OR anyone knew that Arizona Forestry was going to ‘contest’ the citations.

        Emily Dolan ( and her firm ) had ‘disengaged’ from Brendan before that even happened and they notified Arizona Forestry this was the case as early as March 11, 2014.

        It also does NOT look like it was Prescott City Attorney John Paladini who might have made this ‘suggestion’ to McDonough.

        So WHY Brendan would feel he needed his own ‘criminal’ attorney going into the November 26, 2014 deposition… and WHO might have advised him of this… remains a mystery.

        Perhaps when we learn what Brendan has been ‘withholding’ for so long now… it might become more clear why he would have been advised to retain counsel with ‘criminal’ proceedings experience.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Clarification for last comment…

          That last paragraph above is not meaning to imply that this ‘new’ information Bredan now wants to ‘get off his chest’ might, in any way, subject HIM to any kind of ‘criminal’ charges because of what did ( or didn’t ) happen on the afternoon of June 30, 2013.

          There is absolutely ZERO likelihood of that.

          But as far as someone (perhaps) *advising* him to have someone with ‘trial’ experience by his side as he goes through this inevitable process… I think that depending on the actual content of his ‘new information, AND his ‘reasons’ for not revealing it until now… there really *might* be some grounds for some ‘purposely obstructing an official investigation’ charges.

          That’s the real ‘seriousness’ of this.

          Not so much what Brendan might have been ‘responsible’ for on the day of June 30, 2013… but what is now ‘responsible’ for FOLLOWING that day.

          I think if Brendan now just ‘fills in the blanks’ and supplies some answers to the ongoing mysteries of that day…. no one is going to turn around and ‘punish’ him for anything… but I’m just talking about WHY someone else *might* have advised him he needs someone who knows their way around these kinds of possible ‘obstruction’ charges… just in case.

          • Bob Powers says

            WTKTT I think you are close to right there. Depending on what he with held he could be walking a fine line on criminal charges. Having that type of Lawyer for advice doesn’t hurt.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              If what Brendan McDonough now WANTS to ‘get off his chest’ really does turn out to be significant NEW information about WHY and/or HOW 19 (supposedly) professional Wildland firefighters ended up dead on the floor of a box canyon… then I cannot imagine that one of the under-oath questions he will also be asked would be along the lines of…

              “…and WHY were you withholding this obviously important information from investigators during at least THREE official interviews?”

              I certainly hope Brendan doesn’t think a legitimate answer to that question would be…

              “…because nobody ever asked me the right question(s)”.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Whoops. Left the word NOT out of that sentence above.

                Meant to say…

                “…I cannot imagine that one of the questions he will be asked ( while still under oath ) will NOT be along the lines of…”

                “…and WHY were you choosing to withhold this important information during THREE separate official interviews?”

  17. Elizabeth says

    $15,000 – that was all that the Yarnell Fire District was allocated (and later forfeited) in terms of grant money for fuels or wildland fire work. Those who know anything about doing prescribed fires know that you cannot burn diddley in fuel of the sort surrounding Yarnell for that amount of money. It would have been great if the YFD had taken the grant money and used it for something, but, WTKTT/Fred/whomever, do not delude yourself into think that THAT would have even put a dent in the fuels problem in the area where the YHF burned and killed the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

    Again, if you live in or near the WUI in the s/sw, you should be asking your state forest service or your local federal agencies what they are doing or plan to be doing in the winter for fuels work (prescribed fire, mastication, etc.).

    (Not for nothin’, but my impression is that it would have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars to run a prescribed burn in the winter of 2012 or before in the area where the YHF burned on Saturday (and early Sunday). It obviously would have been worth it, but it would not have been cheap. Again, I am curious what AZ does in terms of prescribed fire and mastication work. Does anyone know? Fred, you obviously have a lot of time these days – what sayeth you?))

    • Marti Reed says

      Agree. $15,000 was not enough.

      And see what I wrote below. About fuels mitigation in the Southwest, Arizona especially. It’s not a simple thing.

      And even though I appreciate your interest in this topic, as long as you are writing about about “WTKTT/Fred/whomever,”

      I hate to say it but that speaks to me that you are not currently willing to think clearly/specifically/un-biasedly/scientifically/nuancedly/rationally/ complicatedly/discernibly enough to really appreciate what you are asking/writing about.

  18. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** SUBPOENAS AND DEPOSITIONS

    I think that now that we can see the “Industirial Commission of Arizona” ( ICA / ADOSH ) side of the ‘Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH’ citation contestment hearing at this link…

    https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/home/yarnellhillaljhearingfile

    …and we can now see the ‘Request for SUBPOENA’ for Brendan McDonough to be forced to appear on Feburary 26, 2015 in THIS document ( posted just 10 days ago )…

    “2015_01 Updated 01.26.15.pdf”

    it’s worth pointing out that this already-scheduled under-oath DEPOSITION and cross-examination of Brendan McDonough is ONLY for the ‘Arizona Forestry vs. ADSOH’ case.

    In other words… no matter what happens on February 26, 2015… it has nothing to do with the OTHER Yarnell Hill Fire related court cases that are also ‘active’ in the Arizona Court System.

    ANY of the lawyers involved with ANY of those other court cases still have the right to request their own ‘under-oath’ DESPOSITIONS ( and SUBPOENAS ) for Brendan McDonough.

    The entire “Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH” thing is not even actually a ‘Court Case’, per se.

    It is simply a very predetermined and prescribed PROCEDURE that is taking place whereby an employer or an agency has the right to CONTEST any ADOSH citations imposed on them.

    It follows a very strict procedure established by Arizona Law involving ‘Adminstrative Law Judges’ ( ALJs ) and ultimately results in just a ‘hearing’ where the citations are either upheld… or they get ‘adjusted’ by the ALJ.

    The ALJ is ‘running the show’ here ( as in… ALJ Judge Michael A. Mosesso ).

    He DOES have all the same powers of SUBPOENA as a judge does in a ‘Civil’ or ‘Criminal’ proceeding… but it’s NOT a ‘trial’. It all just comes down to a ‘hearing’.

    Likewise… the penalties for disobeying a SUBPOENA from an ‘ALJ’ are just as strict.

    Anyone who violates an ALJ SUBPOENA is subject to the same (serious) ‘Contempt of Court’ charges as if it were an actual Civil or Criminal trial.

    So even if Brendan McDonough does attend this already-scheduled under-oath DEPOSITION and cross-examination session on Feburary 26, 2015…

    …that could be just the START of his having to ‘testify about what he knows’.

    He STILL may have to repeat this ‘testimony’ ( and be subject to even more cross-examination ) any number of additional times in either ‘other’ under-oath depositions OR on the witness stand in any of the other valid Court cases where he is desgnated to be a ‘witness’.

    If all the attorneys on BOTH sides of a case will not ACCEPT a simple sworn ‘DEPOSITION’ from a witness… then in a REAL trial ( complete with Court dates and PUBLIC access ) that witness can still be ‘called to the stand’ and have to talk about all this in REAL time… in the Courtroom.

    It’s unfortunate for Brendan… but that’s the way it is.

    He is a KEY witness in all THREE of the ‘proceedings’ that are in progress…

    1) The “Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH” proceeding ( that only results in a HEARING ).
    2) The multiple ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits that COULD go to TRIAL..
    3) The ‘Property Damage’ lawsuits ( with 160+ plaintiffs ) that also COULD go to TRIAL.

  19. Elizabeth says

    Fuels Reduction Work: I just want to make sure that this point does not get lost below.

    As folks who work in the U.S. WFF world know, there are some governmental bodies in some regions of the U.S. that seem to do a good job (in light of their resources) with fuels reduction work during the wildland fire “off” season. They, in the off season, essentially do burning and fuels removal work to try to reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire in certain vulnerable areas.

    My understanding is that the area where the YHF burned had not burned in roughly 40 years, and there had been only minimal mitigation work pursuant to various grants and such in the years leading up to the YHF. I would encourage those who live in a vulnerable area (which is what Yarnell/Glen Ilah were) to keep tabs on fuels reduction work in their area. Meaning, let’s learn from the YHF and get a bit more proactive about open areas that might merit some fuels reduction work in the off season. Rocksteady makes a stellar point below about NIMBY, but at least a few of my WFF friends have seen real success in their areas (in the U.S. – not Canada) once the surrounding communities are informed about the value of and the need for prescribed fire and fuels reduction work.

    Just a thought.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Surely you have seen all the ‘evidence’ that the Yarnell Fire Department DID receive a significant grant ( even in 2012 ) to do exactly what you are ‘suggesting’… but Yarnell Fire Chief Koile ‘shut it down’ and the work was never done because he said there just wasn’t enough manpower and they could never (quote) “get it together” to do the work… regardless of how much money they had access to.

      It’s all in the ADOSH investigation notes. They looked into all this.

      Believe me… this is ALL going to be covered during the “Property Damage” lawsuits ( with 160+ plaintiffs ) when that puppy comes to trial.

      So stay tuned.

      • Bob Powers says

        Fuels Management/reduction takes on many forms beside Burning.

        The problem as stated by Rocksteady is the private land owners.

        They are not inclined to meet any City County or State law in many western States
        so Fuels reduction generally takes place on Federal or some State Land and no Fines have been stated for non compliance.

        All the methods are expensive and lack funding to accomplish. So its a great Idea with no support or very little even on Federal Lands.

        • Elizabeth says

          Bob, that’s the issue, right? Either pay the money on the front end – by paying for incredibly expensive fuels work over the winter – or pay the money on the back end (by paying for an out-of-control wildland fire and the resulting lawsuits). I personally prefer the ex ante solution, but hindsight is 20-20.

          • Rocksteady says

            Elizabeth,

            The problem of forest fuels accumulating over the past 100 years due to a strict “put it out” fire management policy, as well as public hatred for prescribed burning (smoke), added to the expense of doing fuels management, plus the predictions of worse fire seasons coming is a world wide issue. It is not unique to Yarnell, Arizona or even the U.S. for that matter.

            HOWEVER, no matter what the reasons for the fire behaviour experienced on June 30th on teh Yarnell Hill fire is not a valid defence for the terribly bad decision making made by people on this fire, that ultimately cost 19 people their lives.

            You can blame a fuels build up, drought, weird wind event, lack of IA resources or whatever you wish, it still does not forgive the decision by WHOMEVER for the GMIHS crew to go where they did that day. Human error caused these deaths 100%. PERIOD. END STOP.

            • Elizabeth says

              Rocksteady, I wasn’t trying to excuse or blame anything (just in case you thought otherwise). 🙂 That said, if, as you believe, the GM tragedy was the product of human error, then it seems to me that fuels mitigation becomes even more important, because, obviously, if 19 men can make whatever human error you are fingering, presumably others stand to do the same.

              • Bob Powers says

                Elisabeth—Let us hope the HELL not.
                Heavy fuels are a critical part of a fire fighters assessment of fire behavior. 99.9% of them pay close attention to the fuel they are in and do not take hikes out thru it as if it is of no consequence.
                Another critical part that GM did not asses and evaluate, along with Weather, fire activity and the close proximity of the flaming front. to say nothing of walking into a Canyon.

                • Elizabeth says

                  Bob, many other men were even CLOSER to the flaming front and in unburned fuel at the exact same time that day! Of COURSE the exact same thing could happen again….

                  • Rocksteady says

                    Of course there was human error.

                    A wise man once told me “Every fire tells a story and it never lies”..

                    Even though I am not from the area, not familiar with teh fuel type, just looking at the weather conditions that day (1oo+F, single digit RH, winds 30 to 50 MPH, chaparral fuel type, prolonged drought) I KNEW (without running REDApp or other modelling) that it was gonna be a HOLY SH!T DAY….

                    I find it hard to believe that experienced firefighters and overhead, on their own turf, in familiar fuel types, could not see the potential….

                    If that is not human error, I don’t know what is…

                    • Bob Powers says

                      Really Elisabeth
                      “many other men were closer to the front in unburned fuel”

                      All the other resources assigned were on Fire Lines not out in the middle of a canyon in 3000 acres of unburned fuel.

                      They had escape routes, Safety zones and communications and in some areas Lookouts.

                      While they had close calls they all got out.
                      No thanks to the Overhead on the fire.

                      There is always a possibility that Human error could cause another entrapment.
                      Fire Fighters deal with these kind of Fuels all the time and they medicate the problem by the 10 and 18 and LCES.
                      I know your ignorance on the 10 and 18 so I will just move on from here.
                      Back to no reply to Elisabeth.

              • Marti Reed says

                Elizabeth says
                FEBRUARY 6, 2015 AT 9:44 AM

                “That said, if, as you believe, the GM tragedy was the product of human error, then it seems to me that fuels mitigation becomes even more important, because, obviously, if 19 men can make whatever human error you are fingering, presumably others stand to do the same.”

                Elizabeth~

                I don’t know if you have BOTHERED to read most of the last month’s worth of our conversations about what happened regarding what appears to have been a pretty badly mis-managed Initial Attack on this fire.

                It relates to what you are asking.

                I see this whole thing as a set of concentric circles.

                Circle One: Obviously, if Yarnell had taken more responsibility for mitigating their wildfire risk, including that around their homes, this fire wouldn’t have carried, relatively speaking, the probable highly disastrous risk it had. That’s why I wrote about Payson vs Sedona/Flagstaff.

                I think that lack of having taken responsibility will be a factor in their homeowners’ lawsuit.

                However,

                Circle Two: If the Initial Attack on Saturday (and I’m not faulting not attacking the fire Friday night, which is kind of 50/50 to me) had been managed by the Agency that decided to OWN it, in a much more responsible way (see all we have written about that over the past month), it is likely this fire would never have escaped the Initial Attack, thus not causing the whole debacle that happened on Sunday.

                Circle Three: As a number of us have written in various ways over the past YEAR, it is quite possible that, if Arizona Department of Forest had chosen, after Initial Attack Incident Commander Russ Shumate FINALLY admitted the fire had escaped Initial Attack and required a Type 2 Team. to assign Bea Day’s Type 2 Full Team instead of Roy Hall’s Type 2 Short Team (which he spent most of Sunday trying to reinforce with pieces of Bea Day’s team instead of actually fighting his fire), the fire would have been sufficiently resourced to have not had the massive HOLES in its resourcing, which may have prevented Granite Mountain to have fallen “under the radar” to the point that they ended up lost in the NOISE (as MANY other people almost were) as the fire reversed and headed toward Yarnell.

                Circle Four. At approximately 12:30 PM on Sunday, Bravo 3, according to its ADOSH interview, realized that the fire was hugely likely to, given the likely afternoon thunderstorms coupled with the topography of the land, to reverse its direction and burn toward Yarnell that afternoon. Unfortunately, they didn’t bother to alert ANYBODY as to that other than Rance Marquez, who, then abandoned his responsibilities to Division Z and went elsewhere. So NONE of Bravo 3’s concerns were ever communicated to anybody who mattered. If that had not been the case, maybe things would have turned out differently.

                Circle Five. Given that we still don’t know, over a year and a half later, WHY Granite Mountain decided to abandon their best-view-of-the-fire location in a LARGE safety zone (something that maybe Brendan McDonough has some perspective on) and descend into a chimney-canyon bowl full of highly flammable fuels without posting an effective LOOKOUT, it’s pretty apparent, still, that if they hadn’t done that, they would still be alive to this day and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    • Marti Reed says

      Elizabeth~

      I Agree.

      Fuels Reduction is really important. However, as you wrote above, it takes more money than Yarnell was granted to actually do what often needs to be done. And Yarnell didn’t even bother to do what they could with what they were granted, much less get serious about spending some of their OWN resources to do it. And thus — the aftermath.

      Which is why I wrote what I wrote down below:

      “My daughter’s Ohio-based uncle is making a bid on a house in Payson, Arizona (partially since her father lives in Flagstaff).

      I came across this article about how Payson, as a result of the Yarnell Hill Fire, began last year to attempt to make their community, via codes etc, conform to what is called “FireWise.” But because of how folks there resent any kind of “government-imposed” rules, yah know…….

      Nothing has happened.

      From the “Payson Roundup”
      By Pete Aleshire
      Friday, January 2, 2015

      “Fire Building Codes Year In Review”

      “In the 18 months since the Yarnell Hill Fire killed 19 firefighters trying to protect a woefully unprepared community, Payson and Gila County have taken few actions to avert a similar tragedy here.

      Payson grappled with a fire department recommendation to adopt a Wildland-Urban Interface building code, but in the shadow of an election year, put off any action for at least 18 months.

      The town did set up a committee to try to convince residents to voluntarily clear thickets and brush from their properties — but after one event, the unfunded committee has not undertaken many visible actions.”

      http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2015/jan/04/fire-building-codes-year-review/

      Good Luck, Arizona!!!

      Good Luck, Uncle Tom!”

      There’s a complicated mix of things going on in the Southwest — specifically (as I look at it) New Mexico and Arizona. Because of mixed land ownership and land use.

      Fundamentally, in my opinion, it really requires local communities to recognize the threat to their existence. And, then, to collectively decide to do something about that. Unfortunately, in Arizona especially (as witnessed regarding Payson above), and New Mexico also, there’s a strong libertarian streak that resists “collective” thinking. Which is required for calling for regulations such as fire-wise coding.

      What I am looking at is how Native American communities in the Southwest are handling this challenge. They’re ahead of the curve. Partly because they have long used fire to maintain fire-evolved ecosystems, they don’t think like individualistic White People, and they don’t have to conform to either federal, state, or typical local assumptions or rules regarding their handling of their lands.

      I could go on and on about this, but I won’t. Just saying if you’re interesting in this, there are lots of ways to use google to pursue it. And it’s well worth pursuing.

      PS It was extremely interesting last summer when the Slide Fire hit Sedona AZ. Because of how the USFS Four Forest Project had been pursued, especially around Flagstaff and also around Sedona, doing a lot of fuels reduction (although not enough), and I also think a lot of pre-planning had occurred, when the fire was ignited, it was carefully managed to push it into fuel-managed areas, and thus to contain it and ultimately control it.

  20. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** WHY THE COURT DOCUMENTS FOR
    ** ‘ARIZONA FORESTRY VS. ADOSH’ ARE PUBLIC

    This might be obvious to some… but not to others… so as the discussion of the online ‘Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH’ court documents continues I thought I would just take to a moment to make it clear WHY we are able to see these lawyers ‘talking’ to the Industrial Commission of Arizona ( ICA ) Administrative Law Judge ( ALJ ) Michael A. Mosesso.

    These are NOT some kind of ‘secret documents’ that can only be accidentally found with a ‘Google Search’., or something. That PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ site where these ongoing court documents are being posted in almost real-time is the same site that ICA / ADOSH set up to hold all their PUBLIC ‘Yarnell Hill Investigation’ documents.

    So WHY would the ICA be posting this ‘real-time’ update of legal filings and conversations with ALJ Judge Mossesso?

    The short answer is… because it’s REQUIRED by Arizona Law… and they SAY so right there on the PUBLIC page where these documents are being made available to the PUBLIC.

    Following the release of the original Yarnell ADOSH report, the website for the Industrial Commission of Arizona ( which oversees ADOSH ) was getting hit hard… so they created themselves a PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder to take the heavy ‘hits’ away from their own Server.

    They NAMED this PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder… ‘yarnellhillinformation’ and here is that direct link to it…

    https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/

    They uploaded all the original ADOSH ‘Yarnell Hill Fire Inspection Documents’ to that PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder.

    When Arizona Forestry then ‘contested’ the ADOSH citations and started the formal ‘hearing’ process… that’s when the ‘Administrative Law Judge’ (ALJ) Division of ADOSH kicked in.

    The ‘ALJ Hearing File’ that then started to be generated is required by Arizona Law to be a PUBLIC document.

    So the Industrial Commission of Arizona ( ICA ) just added a NEW folder to their existing PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ ‘Yarnell

    The name of THAT folder was ‘ALJ Hearing File’.

    They then updated their own HOME page for this ‘Google Docs’ ‘yarnellhillinformation’ folder explaining what the new ‘ALJ Hearing File’ was and WHY it was there… and they provided a direct ‘Jump Link’ to that new ‘ALJ Hearing Folder’ right there on the HOME page.

    Underneath that new ‘ALJ Hearing Folder’ jumplink are all the orginal links to ALL of the original ‘ADOSH Inspection Narrative’ documents uploaded there way back when… which is why they created this ‘Google Docs’ site for themselves in the first place.

    Here is the exact text from that ICA HOME page at ‘Google Docs’…

    ——————————————————————–
    Under Arizona law, the hearing file for an Occupational Safety and Health
    case is a PUBLIC RECORD.

    The Administrative Law Judge Division’s hearing file is available for review. The hearing file contains notices and orders issued by the Presiding Administrative Law Judge and documents filed by the parties. Some items in the hearing file may be omitted or redacted to protect privacy interests.

    To review the hearing file, click on the link below.

    ALJ Hearing File ( Direct clickable link to Hearing File )

    Other ( original ) clickable links…

    * Yarnell Hill Fire Inspection Documents

    ADOSH 12/4/13 Agenda Sheet Arizona State Forestry Division
    Citation and Notification of Penalty – ASFD
    Inspection Narrative – ASFD
    Worksheets for Citations – ASFD
    Supporting Photos and Maps – ASFD
    Wildland Fire Associates Report

    * Industrial Commission Press Release

    12/04/13 Press Release
    ———————————————————————-

    Next reply will have another link to the applicable Arizona LAW that REQUIRED this ICA ‘ALJ Hearing File’ to be a PUBLIC RECORD.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      At the very TOP of the section in the actual “Arizona Attorney General’s Agency Handbook’ that pertains to PUBLIC RECORDS… it lists over 30 examples of what are to be considered PUBLIC RECORDS in the State of Arizona.

      Right at the TOP of their own list… ( Example number 3 ) is the “Industrial Commission of Arizona” ( ADOSH ).

      Chapter 6 of the Arizona Attorney General’s Agency Handbook…

      PUBLIC RECORDS
      https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/sites/all/docs/agency-handbook/ch06.pdf

      ————————————————————————
      6.3 Types of Public Records. The following are examples of some of the types of documents that have been found to be “public records and other matters” and thus are available upon request to the public except for any portions of documents that may be protected from disclosure (discussed in Section 6.5.3 infra):

      3. Official records of proceedings of state boards and commissions, such as the Arizona Board of Tax Appeals, Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. I79-316, and the Industrial Commission, Industrial Comm’n v. Holohan, 97 Ariz. 122, 126, 397 P.2d 624, 627 (1964);

      Schoeneweis, 223 Ariz. at 175-76 ¶ 23, 221 P.3d at 54-55. The “records of the Industrial Commission’s proceedings, orders and awards” are PUBLIC but “information which is not collected to serve as a memorial of an official transaction or for the dissemination of information is private . . .” Industrial Comm’n, 97 Ariz. at 126, 397 P.2d at 627. The public’s right to know generally outweighs the privacy concerns…

      Relavant Arizona Statutes…
      Labor – Industrial Commission, information sharing § 23-107, 23-105
      —————————————————————————

      One of the Arizona LAWS being listed above…
      —————————————————————————
      23-105. Industrial Commission of Arizona – Records

      B. The commission offices shall be open for the transaction of business from eight o’clock a.m. until five o’clock p.m. each day from Monday through Friday, except on holidays. Sessions of the commission shall be PUBLIC and ALL proceedings of the commission shall be shown on its records, which shall be a PUBLIC RECORD.
      —————————————————————————

      The ‘exceptions’ mentioned above, as they relate to the ‘Industrial Commission of Arkansas’, really only fall into two small categories…

      1) Any TRADE SECRETS than some business or an employer claims should be excluded from the documents during their interactions with ADOSH.

      2) Any documents received from ‘out of state’ that might be specifically requested by the Non-Arizona entity or agency be held as ‘private documents’ according to the laws of the State where those documents are coming from.

      That’s pretty much it.

      All other ‘activities’ and ‘interactions’ involving the Arizona Industrial Commission ( and ADOSH ) are required to be a matter of PUBLIC RECORD.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Typo above… should have ( obviously ) been ‘Arizona’ and not ‘Arkansas’…

        Should have been…

        The ‘exceptions’ mentioned above, as they relate to the ‘Industrial Commission of Arizona’, really only fall into two small categories…

      • Marti Reed says

        A bit brain-dead, all things considered, but COPY.

        Thanks so much for continuing to unpack this.

        I’ve been tweeting this, cc-ing @azcentral and @yvonnewingett, as well as others that cover #wildfire.

        I really think the media needs to start covering this whole story.

  21. Elizabeth says

    Fuels Reduction: My understanding is that the area where the YHF struck had not burned for roughly 40 (or more) years. That means that there was a ton of fuel available to burn, burn hot, and fuel spotting (among other things). If I am understanding correctly, much of the land where the YHF was in the early stages was owned by either the state or the federal government, such that it was under the control of either the state of Arizona or the BLM.
    So my question is this: The BLM has fuels-reduction programs (where folks go out and cut things or burn things during the off-season, to mitigate the risk of uncontrollable wildland fire), but does the state of Arizona have a similar program? If so, how do they determine where to do fuels mitigation work, and why wasn’t the YHF area on the list to address at some point during the past ten or so years?

    • Bob Powers says

      While I considered weather to answer tis or not I will add a few statistics.
      First a very small peace of BLM land burned near Peoples Valley.
      The rest of the Fire %000 plus Ac. Private and 2500 plus State.
      There was some funding to the Yarnell Fire department that they used to build Fire Breaks.
      all on Private land thru Coop. That occurred some years ago.
      All land around Yarnell is Private and based on Arizona legislature they do not mandate clearance or fines to private land owners.
      The State land and its location made it quite a project to do fuels reduction on with little to no road access probably a very low priority compared to say the northern timber lands.
      Brush fuels reduction is a totally different program than Timber stand understory reduction.
      Mostly cost prohibitive based on the State land location.
      Private land owners are not going to spend there money to reduce large sections of Brush fuel. Agreements between land owners could be a nightmare. Fuels reduction in towns could happen but it takes a city willing to pass laws and Fines to get property owners to comply. Again in Arizona and some other western States just not happening.
      I do not know how much Arizona State Budgets for Fuels Reduction on their lands Yearly.
      I doubt if it is any where near what the BLM and FS do.

        • Elizabeth says

          Bob, thanks for the reply. Just thinking out loud here, couldn’t they (presumably BLM) have used the two-tracks as holding lines to do burning, if they wanted to do fuels reduction during the winter?

          To be clear, I am NOT looking to point fingers or blame – I am just thinking out loud about how to avoid future tragedies. Fuels reduction has been a wildland fire risk mitigation strategy since at least the 1970’s or 1980’s, and my impression is that the really good landowners (both private and public) try to hit very sensitive parcels (like those adjoining the WUI or in the WUI) at least once every five to seven years (and ideally more often). Having a huge area adjoining the WUI that has not burned in 40-ish years just seems like a big red flag. But I admittedly know very little about this topic.

          Thanks for thinking these things through with me. You were in Idaho, right? Did your parks or forests or wherever you worked have an active fuels mitigation strategy under your leadership (in the 1980s, right?), or was that outside the scope of your work?

          • Rocksteady says

            Elizabeth,

            Fuels Management is my job. It is very difficult to pick priorities. I believe that most of the western states would qualify as needing a treatment, however with limited funds, all of it can not be done. In my location we have lots of suitable sites, but due to time and money constraints can only do what we can.

            Another important factor is the Human Factor. I have identified areas that require treatment and have met strong opposition from the public. It is the old NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard mentatility)Do your fuels projects, but not behind my house, cause I walk my dog there, or whatever…

            A lot of people are also very opposed to prescribed burning, not only from the assumed danger (there is no danger if done properly) and impact of smoke on sensitive respiratory systems. Its called avoidable smoke, as it does not need to be burned, as compared to wildfire smoke, which is avoidable.

            It is easy to look back at the fire behaviour on this incident and say it “should have” been treated, however, its a moot point. It was not treated, and YES, it could have contributed to the spread and intensity of the fire, which in turn lead to the GMIHS demise.

          • Bob Powers says

            I have decided to no longer answer any questions you pose on here.
            I refuse to carry on any more conversations with you. Here or any where
            else.

  22. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** RTS POST ON DECEMBER 11 WAS SPOT ON

    I think it should be noted that “Robert the Second’s” post way back on December 11, 2014
    has now been proven to be EXACTLY correct. So whoever RTS was hearing it from was obviously ‘dialed in’ to the situation as it was actually happening.

    >> On December 11, 2014 at 3:38 pm, Robert the Second said…
    >>
    >> As of last week, Brendan McDonough has obtained a Criminal Attorney, and
    >> he is working with the AZ State Attorney General. We may see something
    >> about this by mid to late January, at the earliest.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Additional information from online PUBLIC documents.

      These are the AZF and ADOSH attorneys notifying each OTHER ( and Judge Mosesso ) that Brendan just hired a new (criminal) attorney and that is why he can’t make the originally scheduled November 26, 2014 deposition.

      Notice that all the DATES match what “Robert the Second” said, WHEN he said it.

      From the “2014_11 Updated 12.01.14.pdf” in the PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder…

      Letter sent from Christopher Anderson ( ADOSH attorney ) to Judge
      Michael A. Mosesso on November 25, 2014, just the day before McDonough’s
      under-oath deposition was FIRST supposed to take place…

      ——————————————————————————–
      The Industrial Commission of Arizona – Legal Division

      P.O Box 19070, Phoenix, Arizona, 85005-9070
      Andrew F. Wade, Chief Counsel
      Phone: (602) 542-xxxx
      Fax: (602) 542-xxxx

      David Parker, Chairman
      Susan Strickler, Vice Chair
      Michael G. Sanders, Member
      Joseph M. Hennelly, Jr., Member
      Laura L. McGrory, Director

      November 25, 2014

      To: The Honorable Michael A. Mosesso
      Re: ADOSH vs. ARIZONA STATE FORESTRY DIVISION
      Inspection No: L3419-317242683

      Dear Judge Mosesso:

      Mr. Selden ( Attorney for Arizona Forestry ) has notified ADOSH that Mr. McDonough’s deposition will not be going forward tomorrow as he has employed an attorney who is unavailable for the deposition. I attach a copy of Mr. Selden’s email.

      Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

      Sincerely,
      Christopher Anderson
      Attorney for ADOSH

      Enclosure
      c: David Seden, Esq.
      Joy Hernbrode, Esq.
      Jon M. Paladini, Esq.
      William Warren, ADOSH Director

      EMAIL attachment:

      From: Selden, David
      Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 5:08 PM
      To: Christopher Anderson; Valli Goss
      Cc: ‘Hernbrode, Joy’
      Subject: ASFD adv. ADOSH; Brendan McDonough deposition

      Chris and Valli,

      Mr. McDonough has recently retained a private attorney. I spoke to him this afternoon. He communicated that he is not available for a deposition this week. Due to the attorney’s preparation for a lengthy trial in January, the attorney does not anticipate that he will be available for a deposition until the completion of the trial in mid February.

      Dave.

      David A. Selden / The Cavanaugh Law Firm / Responsive, Creative, Results
      1850 North Central Avenue, Suite 2400 / Phoenix, Arizona 85004
      direct: 602.322.xxxx / fax: 602.322.xxxx / mobile: 602.702.xxxx
      web: w w w . cavanaghlaw . c o m
      ——————————————————————————————–

      From the “2015_01 Updated 01.26.15.pdf” file in the PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder

      This is where Mr. David Shapiro is NAMED as Brendan’s ‘new criminal attorney’…

      This is the latest document in the online ‘Google Docs’ folder and it contains the request from Arizona Forestry that Judge Mosesso issue a subpoena to Brendan McDonough to FORCE him to appear at the upcoming February 26, 2015 under-oath deposition… since Arizona Forestry hasn’t received proper notification from Brendan’s new criminal attorney David Shapiro that he and Brendan WILL be there at the deposition on February 26…

      ————————————————————————————-
      Respondent ( Arizona Forestry ) requests that the Tribunal ( Judge Mosesso ) issue the subpoena and send it to the undersigned counsel for service upon Mr. McDonough.

      A subpoena is necessary because, on information and belief, Mr. McDonoudh has engaged private counsel, David Shapiro (“Mr. Shapiro”), although Mr. Shapiro has not filed a Notice of Appearance on behalf of Mr. McDonough. The undersigned counsel has communicated several times with Mr. Shapiro and have notified him of the February 26, 2015 deposition date. He has not responded to our requests for confirmation of dates to depose Mr. McDonough, but has also not stated that February 26, 2015 is invalid. It should be noted that Mr. Shapiro is currently in a trial that is to last until mid-February and he previously requested that the deposition not be scheduled until after his trial.
      —————————————————————————————-

    • Elizabeth says

      WTKTT, I’m just going to call you “Fred,” because either you are him or you are a shill for him (aka Robert the Second, TTWARE, seymour, etc.).
      For example, you state in the post to which I am responding that Fred aka RTS he got things “EXACTLY” right, yet your post itself shows that he didn’t.
      And didn’t he and Bob Powers claim up and down months ago that Brendan had ALREADY been deposed, which we now know to be totally wrong?

      Again, it is curious to me that you make repeated comments or posts sucking up to Fred aka RTS even when he is wrong. That is what his other alter-egos do, which is kind of funny (because it is equivalent to Fred stroking himself and saying “Fred/RTS, you are so right, so smart, such a good leader, etc.” The day I read SR stroking Fred for the kind of leader SR apparently believed Fred to be, I laughed right out loud and called one of Fred’s old squad bosses. Stuff like that is typical Fred – posting under different anonymous names in order to praise himself – according to the guys who have worked for Fred, like Mike and others.)

      • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

        Ah,..yes, what looks familiar here??

        Topic gets hot and heavy – check

        Up pops the jack-in-the-box, waving around attempting to grab attention – check

        An attempt to divert, dilute, or derail the current topic – check

        The attempt to start any alternate discussion that would divert the current discussion, this time in regards to government prescribed burns which DON’T HAVE anything to do with ANYTHING currently being discussed. – check

        Delusional, but ‘maybe intentional with a purpose’ rants about everyone posting here actually being one person. – check

        This stuff used to really piss me off, but now it’s just funny and sad at the same time. It’s hard for me to believe that an attorney could be THAT delusional or paranoid, so the ONLY other option is that this is being done intentionally to stir the pot. The problem with THAT particular motivation, is that it’s being done in such an over-the-top manner, that most people see it for exactly what it is.

        • Elizabeth says

          If by “most people” you mean Fred (aka TTWARE, Fire20+, seymour, etc.) and his shill Bob Powers, then you are likely correct. 🙂

          • Bob Powers says

            OK now I am a Shill—Well for a fact I can personally say none of the above mentioned people are in any way shape or form– Other names RTS uses.
            He has no other user names on here. That I can state with certainty as I talk to him regularly. So let us move on.

            Are you stalking RTS on here to get back at him.

            We now have the name of an ex squad boss who was probably Fired and is using you to get back at RTS.
            Interesting since all the posts on your other blog were debunked by another Superintendent. Who confirmed your source was not factual

            No more argument by me we move on from here.

          • Otis says

            Really? This again Elizabeth?

            I’m with the rest of you on this, following the complicated investigation…and then this rubbish gets interjected and screws the flow. Watching/Reading from over the water – Your behavior..Elisabeth makes no sense.

            Lets keep the conversation about the subject we’re all here to discuss.

            Deliberate misquote::-
            Elisabeth – If you have something stupid to say, please raise your hand and put it firmly over your mouth!.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Elizabeth post on February 5, 2015 at 6:53 am

        >> Elizabeth said…
        >>
        >> It is curious to me that you make repeated comments or posts
        >> sucking up to Fred aka RTS even when he is wrong. That is what
        >> his other alter-egos do, which is kind of funny (because it is equivalent
        >> to Fred stroking himself and saying “Fred/RTS, you are so right, so
        >> smart, such a good leader, etc.” The day I read SR stroking Fred
        >> for the kind of leader SR apparently believed Fred to be, I laughed
        >> right out loud and called one of Fred’s old squad bosses. Stuff
        >> like that is typical Fred – posting under different anonymous
        >> names in order to praise himself – according to the guys who
        >> have worked for Fred, like Mike and others.)

        Madam, how like you this play?
        The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

        ( William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230 )

        Just giving CREDIT where CREDIT is due.

        RTS ( and his sources ) were correct.

  23. Elizabeth says

    “EXPECTED” and “MAY” and words like that suggest that rumor-mongering is at issue. Supposition and conjecture.

    • Bob Powers says

      For some one who knows or supposedly knows LAW you are calling official court documents
      SUPPOSITION AND CONJECTURE.
      Have you even read the 145 pages?
      We are again wasting our words on some one who only wants to confuse and cause havic on this IM site.

      • Elizabeth says

        Bob, read the documents in full. “May” and “expect” and other words of supposition are the words used in the court documents.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      When a licensed attorney is telling a bona-fide Judge what a witness is EXPECTED to testify to… it is also EXPECTED that it isn’t based on just ‘rumor’, ‘supposition’ or ‘conjecture’.

      They actually teach that in Law School ( as I’m sure you know ).

      If you read the documents carefully… it’s pretty obvious that the attorneys for the State of Arizona seem to know more than they are saying about this NEW testimony that Brendan McDonough wants to supply.

      The reason they couldn’t say more as far as ‘discovery’ goes is because it is/was City of Prescott John Paladini insisting that the FULL content of what Brendan WANTS to now testify to must only ‘come out’ in a DESPOSITION.

      It is/was Paladini who is insisting on a DEPOSITION versus just an ‘interview’.

      The documents also make it clear that Arizona Forestry is VERY afraid that some of this ‘actual content’ will be ‘leaked’ by some of the MULTIPLE people that McDonough has apparently already passed ‘what he know’ on to.

      That’s why they were ( and are still ) in such a hurry to get this DEPOSITION done.

      • Bob Powers says

        WTKTT I totally agree what else can be said.
        Lets see what happens in March.
        We know for a fact there was a argument as stated By Asst. SAIT investigator Mike Dudly. that was over the Radio and heard by ?????? the investigation turned that up.
        As a past Hot Shot if McDonough had a radio which we know he did he was tuned to Crew Net from the time Frisby put him in the ATV until the crew went into shelters he was part of the crew there was no way that he would not monitor them and also Waite to be called to take the trucks to them. He herd what ever was said from 1604 to 1650 no doubt in my mind. I believe there were others that Herd the transmissions as well. We shall see.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          There is still that statement from SAIT Co-Lead Mike Dudley that won’t go away.

          Here is that full moment again from Mike Dudley’s speech before that roomful of Utah Firefighters on June 20, 2014.

          This is the QUESTION he was being asked and the answer he gave…

          —————————————————————————-
          ** At +1:04:10 into Dudley’s speech…
          **
          ** 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?

          Mike 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.

          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.
          ————————————————————————-

          ‘Some people’… as in… MORE than ONE person.

          Also keep in mind that he suddenly inserts this comment right after he was also recalling some things that members of ‘Blue Ridge’ had said during their SAIT interview.

          Remember… only the SAIT (apparently) had full and free ‘interview’ access with the Blue Ridge Hotshots. When ADOSH tried to talk to ANY of them… the FEDS asked for Touhy requests… and then wouldn’t even honor those.

          So could it be that at the moment he was recalling what ‘some’ of the Blue Ridge Hotshots had said about the ‘cohesiveness’ of the crew… that he also suddenly recalled a few of THEM also saying they heard ‘an argument’?

          He also never said what the SAIT even tried to do to ‘validate’ these ‘allegations’ ( coming from more than one source ) about an ‘argument’.

          He just said… “We can’t validate that”.

          I think what this really means is that Mike Dudley never actually heard any of these ‘allegations’ of an ‘argument’ from Brendan McDonough himself. The ‘some people’ he was referring to MUST have been other people who had access to the GM intra-crew radio frequency… which is where this ‘argument’ would have taken place between Marsh and Steed.

          That really does point to these THREE other members of Blue Ridge who were helping to move the GM vehicles right around the time this ‘argument’ would have actually taken place.

          I think that if Brendan McDoough himself had told Dudley flat-out that HE heard this ‘argument’… or if Brendan was one of the ‘some people’ Dudley was referring to… Dudley would NOT have said “We can’t validate that”.
          If McDonough himself had told him he heard it… that should/would have been all the ‘validation’ Dudley needed.

          So let’s say that Brendan really does testify that this ‘argument’ between Marsh and Steed actually took place.

          Then WHO would these other ‘some people’ be that Dudley was referring to… and could their ‘testimony’ not now be used to VERIFY whatever Brendan says he heard?

          I think if Brendan really does VERIFY the ‘argument’… then these other ‘some people’ should be called back for additional ‘depositions’ to find out EXACTLY what THEY originally said they heard… and then it can finally be compared to what Brendan says he heard.

          Hopefully this ‘argument’ really WAS captured in a VIDEO… and THAT can be used to verify any new testimony from Brendan… but in lieu ( or in addition to that )… there are still these other ‘some people’… and SAIT Co-Lead Mike Dudley STILL knows WHO they are.

      • Elizabeth says

        WTKTT said: “When a licensed attorney is telling a bona-fide Judge what a witness is EXPECTED to testify to… it is also EXPECTED that it isn’t based on just ‘rumor’, ‘supposition’ or ‘conjecture’.”

        You are kidding, right? Supposition or conjecture can sometimes be *all* that a lawyer has to go on in anticipating what a potential deponent might say!

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            From Webster’s Online Dictionary…
            ————————————————————-
            sigh – sī/
            verb or noun
            sigh; 3rd person present: sighs; past tense: sighed; past participle: sighed; gerund or present participle: sighing

            To emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or any combination of the above.
            ————————————————————–

  24. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Elizabeth post on February 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

    >> Elizabeth said…
    >>
    >> It is a rumor (and apparently a completely untrue rumor) to state that Brendan
    >> told his lawyers or others close to him that Brendan has some big information
    >> regarding the last minutes that Brendan now wants to get off his chest.

    From the following PUBLIC online document… 2014_11 Updated 12.01.14.pdf
    Direct link to this 145 page document in that PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder…
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6N47Z5CNR-CZjdhelNfeWVFb3c/edit?pli=1

    Respondent ( Arizona Forestry ) has received credible information from reliable sources, including a Prescott Official in the PRESENCE of the Prescott City Attorney, that Mr. McDonough heard radio transmissions between crew members about their tragic actions in leaving the safety of “the black” and heading towards the location at which they perished.

    Mr. Selden ( Attorney for Arizona Forestry ) specifically told Mr. Andersen and Ms. Goss ( Attorneys for ADOSH ) that Mr. McDonough has communicated that he heard the radio transmissions of the GMIHC crew DURING the time period that led UP TO their deaths.

    Mr. McDonough has communicated, actually confided, to others that he wants to relieve himself of the burden of carrying information about the last radio transmissions among the GMIHC members.

    >> Elizabeth also said…
    >>
    >> Brendan did not hear anything over the radios in the last twenty or thirty minutes

    From the same online document…

    What is ADDITIONAL information, however, is that after his departure ( from his lookout position ), Mr. McDonough heard on his radio, which was tuned to the GMIHC crew frequency, radio communications DURING the time period leading UP TO the deaths of his 19 fellow GMIHC members.

    Mr. McDonough’s knowledge of the last communications among the GMIHC crew is likely to become public. He has told several people about what he heard on the crew’s radio frequency. This information will certainly be the subject of news media interest.

    ** In the same PUBLIC document…
    **
    ** From Arizona State Forestry Division Attorney David A. Selden’s (signed) letter
    ** sent to Judge Michael A. Mosesso detailing the phone conversation(s) he had with
    ** ADOSH Attorneys Chris Anderson and Valli Goss on October 29, 2014, immediately
    ** after learning that Brendan McDonough has NEW information he wants to supply…

    The NEW development about which I wanted to speak with them was that we had reliable information that the sole survivor among the Granite Mountain Interagency Hot Shot Crew ( “GMIHC” ), Mr. Brendan McDonough, possesses important information that was not communicated during ADOSH’s interviews of him during its investigation.

    (a) Mr. McDonough WANTS to testify about the ADDITIONAL information, and is available to do so soon.

    (b) The Prescott City Attorney was coordinating communications with Mr. McDonough and was cooperative about schedule a deposition, but Mr. McDonough AND the Prescott City Attorney wanted to have Mr. McDonough’s information communicated through a DEPOSITION, and NOT through a statement or witness interview.

    Mr. Anderson responded to the above information by asking me about NATURE of the additional information that Mr. McDonough possesses.

    I replied by telling Mr. Anderson and Ms. Goss that reliable people had communicated to the Attorney General’s Office and me that Mr. McDonough heard radio transmissions on the GMIHC radio frequency during the time period IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the fatalities of the 19 GMIHC members.

    Those radio transmissions INCLUDED discussions between the GMIHC Division Superintendent and the GMIHC Captain about the movement of the GMIHC members to the location at which the fire overtook them and they perished.

    I added that it was my understanding that Mr. McDonough had confided in MULTIPLE PEOPLE about the contents of the radio communications by the GMIHC crew during the period leading UP TO their fatalities, and that I expected that the additional information that he possesses would become PUBLICLY KNOWN before long.

    Mr. McDonough is believed to have information relating to the decision made by GMIHC to move from the “black”, i.e. the large, burned-out area where GMIHC was working and which was the primary safety zone for GMIHC, to the box canyon that ultimately became their deployment site.

    It is EXPECTED that Mr. McDonough will testify as to events that took place involving GMIHC on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, specifically DURING the timeframe that GMIHC moved from the “black” toward Helms Ranch, and MOMENTS PRIOR to GMIHC’s deployment.

    It is ALSO EXPECTED that Mr. McDonough will testify as to the whereabouts of Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed, and the other crewmembers of GMIHC on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, as well as radio communications between the later Eric Marsh, the GMIHC Superintendent, and the late Jesse Steed, GMIHC Crew Chief, DURING the MOVE from the “black” and MOMENTS BEFORE deployment.

  25. Elizabeth says

    Brendan has NOT told folks (who then told the lawyers) that he has information that he wants to get off his chest, presumably because Brendan does NOT have “smoking gun” information that he wants to get off his chest. And presumably that is why the lawyers used the word “may” in their filing – they know that they are going on a fishing expedition with poor Brendan!!

    More candidly: It is a rumor (and apparently a completely untrue rumor) to state that Brendan told his lawyers or others close to him that Brendan has some big information regarding the last minutes that Brendan now wants to get off his chest. (Just like it was an untrue rumor for Bob and Fred to say months ago that Brendan had already been deposed…. Now you all finally see that he had not been deposed.)

    I stand by what was indicated to me by one of my sources (who is someone who is close to Brendan):
    Brendan tried hard to be responsive and articulate what he knew when he was interviewed by ADOSH and the SAIT. Brendan did not try to hide material facts. For example: Brendan did not hear anything over the radios in the last twenty or thirty minutes that somehow suggests that someone forced GM into ending up where they were when they died.

    • Bob Powers says

      OK so lets take a breath here. First none of us were privy to the letters between Lawyers on the November Disposition and the Fact that it was or did not happen.
      McDonough’s Lawyers took information from McDonough and he wanted to give more testimony that had not been released as indicated in the 145 page’s of letters and legal papers.

      So fact Brenden got a New Lawyer on a recommendation that he needed to have one if he was releasing new information, Brenden then reveled the information to his Lawyer that had not been released by him. His Lawyer requested a deposition to get all of his testimony into State record. The Deposition in November did not occur. The paper work indicates there is new information that has not been released by Brenden McDonough. If there is no new testimony why go thru all of the deposition and the attempt to not allow it?

      I would suggest Elisabeth that if you are not privy to the Lawyers in this case You have no further clue than we do as to the specifics being with held by McDonough.
      Your sources as always have had no validity as WTKTT has proven with all the questions he has asked you that you have never answered.

      I will also state that my contact is as good or maybe more reliable than yours. That is if you really have one? Your sources have been wrong before if they even exist.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      We shall see.

      If YOUR ‘report’ ( based on mysterious unnamed sources ) is accurate… and Brendan is just innocently ‘caught in the middle’ of some kind of ‘much ado about nothing’… then the rumors are now coming from Prescott City officials themselves.

      The online documents have the lawyers for Arizona Forestry specifically telling Judge Mosesso that they learned of this NEW critical testimony that Brendan only now wants to supply from a (quote) “Prescott City Official in the presence of the Prescott City Attorney”

      This under-oath deposition of Brendan is GOING to happen… and if Judge Mosesso grants Arizona Forestry the subpoena they requested 8 days ago for Brendan McDonough… then it is GOING to happen on February 26… just before Arizona Forestry walks into that first ‘Global Mediation’ session with all the ‘wrongful death’ plaintiffs on March 2, 2015.

      The contents of that deposition will not be immediately available… but there is no doubt that content WILL become ‘public information’ at some point.

  26. John says

    It is very telling that the lawyers state Brendan is the only person alive who knows why the crew left the black. He heard it all. It must be quite damning information he has with all this brouhaha.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to John post on February 4, 2015 at 7:26 am

      >> John said…
      >>
      >> It is very telling that the lawyers state Brendan is the only person alive
      >> who knows why the crew left the black.

      Well… actually… they DID use the word *MAY* in there.

      They actually say he “MAY be the only person alive who heard these transmissions”.

      So they DO seem to at least be acknowledging the possibility that at least the other THREE Blue Ridge Hotshots who were helping to move all FOUR of the GM vehicles *MAY* have heard some/all of the same critical radio conversations on the GM intra-crew channel. I think we have already established here that it is a ‘given’ that all the onboard radios in the GM vehicles would have had the GM intra-crew channel punched in and ALSO set as the ‘priority’ channel in each of those vehicles. That’s the channel they would all be using to communicate from vehicle to vehicle as they are driving along.

      We have also established here that the TIMING is such that it is VERY likely many of these ‘other’ conversations did, in fact, take place WHILE the vehicles were all being moved.

      What the attorneys are NOT telling Judge Mosesso, in their filings aimed at his ears, is that it is probably just as important to get depositions from all THREE of these other Blue Ridge Hotshots about all this as it is to get McDonough’s.

      And here is WHY.

      Even if Brendan McDonough puts his hand on a very large stack of Bibles… there are going to be some who will question the veracity of ANYTHING he has to say now.

      Who is to say Brendan won’t be still trying to ‘edit’ the information and ONLY supply a PART of what he knows… just to ‘unburden’ himself… but still not tell “the WHOLE story”.

      At this point… “Investigations 101” says that ANYONE who might have even also possibly heard these now-known-to-exist ‘other’ radio communications should be DEPOSED ( under-oath )… and in a way where none of the people being DEPOSED have had access to the depositions of the other witnesses.

      Then ( and only then ) is it possible to COMPARE the testimonies.

      In other words… TRUST… but still VERIFY.

      >> John also said…
      >>
      >> He heard it all.

      Apparently so… but see above.

      Can we really TRUST whatever McDonough says at this point?

      If he had this ‘agenda’ before… then does he have another ‘agenda’ of his own now?

      >> John also said…
      >>
      >> It must be quite damning information he has with all this brouhaha.

      I think ‘damning’ is a pretty strong word… and not really appropriate.

      No one is going to be ‘damned’ by ANYTHING Brendan McDonough has to say now.

      All that is going to happen here is that we might finally learn one of ( if not THE ) most important ‘pieces of the puzzle’ with regards to what really happened on June 30, 2013.

      The information Brendan has ( and has ALWAYS had ) also represents the key to the most important “Lessons Learned” that might help save other firefighters lives in the future.

      And that has always been the ‘prime directive’ here.

      To discover as best as possible how, and WHY this tragedy really happened and to implement any/all rules/procedures to make sure ( as much as possible ) that it never happens again.

  27. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** WHAT MCDONOUGH REALLY KNOWS

    It’s pretty obvious now. McDonough knows WHY they left the black, and that he has ALWAYS known… even while many investigators were talking to him and trying to discover the same thing.

    He knows WHO was really making that decision… and WHO was trying to convince WHO
    that they should make this risky move at that time.

    Just in case any of the PUBLIC documents about all this suddenly EVAPORATE or otherwise disappear… I thought I would reproduce some of the more critical text from at least one of them.

    I’ve also included some SIDENOTES below as the text goes along just to point out some
    things that are NOT mentioned in the legal documents themselves.

    From the following PUBLIC online document…

    2014_11 Updated 12.01.14.pdf

    Direct link to this 145 page document in that PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder…

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6N47Z5CNR-CZjdhelNfeWVFb3c/edit?pli=1

    This document contains Arizona Forestry’s ‘response’ to ADOSH’s ‘Reply and Objection’ to the originally scheduled November 26, 2014 deposition session’ with Brendan McDonough.

    ADOSH was NOT trying to ‘shut down’ the Brendan McDonough deposition.

    It simply became an argument about the TIMING of it.

    Arizona Forestry wanted it to happen ASAP… on November 26, 2014… but ADOSH said they would prefer if it happened AFTER December 15, 2014… which was the deadline for them receiving all the other ‘written depositions’ from Arizona Forestry.

    From the document…

    ( Remember… these are the attorneys for Arizona Forestry ‘speaking’ directly to Judge Michael J. Mosesso here )…

    ————————————————————————————
    Mr. McDonough has communicated, and confided would be an apt term for
    those communications, that he now wants to get off his chest the burden of
    additional information that was not elicited during his previous interviews
    about the Yarnell Hill Fire.
    ————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: The lawyers for AZF are trying to make Judge Mosesso believe
    here that Brendan McDonough was NEVER asked by ANY investigators
    ( SAIT or ADOSH ) if he knew WHY Marsh/Steed/crew had decided to leave
    the safe black or whether he heard any GM intra-crew radio traffic after
    he left his deployment location. That is NOT the case.

    ————————————————————————————-.
    Mr. Selden ( attorney for Arizona Forestry ) specifically told Mr. Andersen
    and Ms. Goss ( Attorneys for ADOSH ) that Mr. McDonough has communicated
    that he heard the radio transmissions of the GMIHC crew during the time
    period that led up to their deaths.

    Section III. MR. MCDONOUGH POSSESS RELEVANT INFORMATION THAT
    SHOULD BE PART OF THE RECORD OF THIS CASE

    As the designated lookout for the GMIHC crew, Mr. McDonough was in radio
    communication with the crew. The interviews in this case conducted by ADOSH
    already confirm that he discussed with his superior that the fire had reached the
    designated “trigger point” for him to evacuate his lookout location, that his
    superior’s observed the fire’s advance to his trigger point, and that his superiors
    were aware of his departure, as planned.

    What is ADDITIONAL information, however, is that after his departure,
    Mr. McDonough heard on his radio, which was tuned to the GMIHC crew frequency,
    radio communications during the time period leading up to the deaths of his 19
    fellow GMIHC members.

    That information could be very important because a critical issue in this case is
    why GMIHC left the safety zone of thousands of acres of thoroughly burned area
    adjacent to where they had been working, referred to as “the black”, and walked
    through unburned, dry chaparra, in a boulder-strewn rough terrain, down a box
    canyon, towards a tiny island of a safety zone known as the Helms Ranch, on the
    outskirts of Yarnell and in the direction to which the fire was rapidly advancing.

    ADOSH has had two lengthy opportunities to obtain the information now available
    from Mr. McDonough. Respondent ( AZF ) deserves the opportunity to take the
    deposition needed at this time.

    Information about the radio communications among the GMIHC crew during the
    time leading up to the tragic loss of the 19 crew members is not included in
    ADOSH’s transcripts of its recorded interview of Mr. McDonough.

    Respondent ( AZF ) has received credible information from reliable sources,
    including a Prescott official in the presence of the Prescott City Attorney, that
    Mr. McDonough heard radio transmissions between crew members about their
    tragic actions in leaving the safety of “the black” and heading towards the location
    at which they perished.

    Mr. McDonough may be the only person alive who heard those communications.

    In view of this additional information, his deposition testimony should be obtained
    on November 26, 2014.
    —————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: So in this attempt to FORCE the original deposition to take place
    on November 26, 2014 ( even though ADOSH said they would prefer if it happened
    after December 15 when they would finally have all the other ‘written depositions’
    from other witnesses ) lawyers for Arizona Forestry are trying to make it sound like
    it was ADOSH’s FAULT that this information never came in out their two recorded
    interviews with McDonough. No mention at all of McDonough having had the
    opportunity during BOTH of his ADOSH interviews to report this information which
    was OBVIOUSLY relevant to the investigation(s), but he was pursuing his own agenda
    at that time and CHOSE ( himself ) not to do so.

    ALSO NOTE: The Arizona Forestry attorneys are forgetting something here.
    They say “Mr. McDonough MAY be the only person alive who heard those
    communications”. They are forgetting that if it is now a FACT that there WERE
    these very important ‘additional conversations’ taking place over the GM
    intra-crew frequency… that there are at least THREE other people that most
    likely heard some ( or all ) of them as well. That would be the THREE Blue Ridge
    Hotshots who were also moving the Granite Mountain vehicles during this same
    timeframe that Brendan now says he heard these ‘additional’ communications.
    No mention of this from the AZF attorneys… or any suggestion that it is now as
    important as it has ever been to find out EVERYTHING those THREE Blue Ridge
    Hotshots might also have heard that day while moving the GM vehicles.

    Back to the legal document…
    —————————————————————————————-
    Mr. McDonough has communicated, actually confided, to others that he wants
    to relieve himself of the burden of carrying information about the last radio
    transmissions among the GMIHC members.

    After all that he has been through, ADOSH should not be allowed to drag out
    the process for him still longer when he wants to get this aspect of his burden
    off his chest by sharing the information he has on this subject.

    Respondent ( AZF ) obviously will not do anything to publicize the deposition
    testimony, but when the subject does become more widely known, there should
    be a deposition transcript available for people to refer to as an authoritative
    source about Mr. McDonough’s version of events.
    —————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: So there is Arizona Forestry expressing its ‘concern’ that since
    Brendan has obviously already been talking to ‘others’ about what he knows,
    that this might hit the MEDIA before a FULL accounting has been obtained
    from him. They are using that for a REASON why they feel this deposition
    should take place ASAP… even despite ADOSH just wanting a little more TIME
    to fully prepare for the cross-examination part of the deposition.

    Back to the legal document…
    —————————————————————————————-
    ADOSH’s reason for attempting to block the deposition of Mr. McDonough at
    this time is that it prefers to take the deposition later, after written discovery
    responses have been served. Respondent ( AZF ) accomodated this purported
    concern by ADOSH by inquiring of the Prescott City Attorney whether Mr.
    McDonough would agree to be subject to a second deposition later.

    The Prescott City Attorney ( John Paladini ) communicated to Respondent ( AZF )
    that Mr. McDonough would indeed be willing to be deposed on November 26,
    2014, and again at a later time. Respondent’s counsel communicated to ADOSH
    that he had received that reassurance from the Prescott City Attorney.
    —————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: So now we hear the AZF attorneys simply trying to tell Judge
    Mosesso that ADOSH has no right to be worried that the November 26 deposition
    would be a ‘one shot deal’ and that without even yet having the other ‘written
    depositions’ from other witnesses they would not be fully prepared for the
    McDonough cross-examination. They are saying that THEY contacted Prescott
    City Attorney ( Paladini ) and simply got some kind of VERBAL promise that
    McDonough would consent to a ‘follow-up’ ( under oath ) interview if any
    new questions arose that, perhaps, only McDonough could still answer.

    We also now see proof that City of Prescott attorney(s) have always been
    directly involved in this process and still seem to feel they have the right
    to control WHO their former employee ( McDonough ) talks to, about WHAT
    and WHEN.

    ADOSH simply doesn’t trust McDonough ( OR the AZF attorneys OR the City
    of Prescott attorneys ) at this point.

    They want to be SURE they have received all the other (sworn) written
    depositions from other witnesses BEFORE they get into the room again ( for
    the THIRD time ) with McDonough so they can be SURE they have all the
    right ‘questions’ assembled this time.

    ADOSH was only being given some kind of ‘verbal’ promise from both McDonough
    and Prescott City Attorney Paladini that Brendan would ‘consent’ to a SECOND
    interview ( and followup questions ) in case something else comes up AFTER
    McDonough’s first deposition which requires McDonough to answer more questions.

    ADOSH was NOT trusting just that ‘verbal’ promise.

    They seemed to think it wasn’t even worth the paper it was printed
    on ( which it wasn’t even printed on… just a VERBAL promise ).

    They just want to be SURE they know everything they can from all the other witnesses
    about what went on that afternoon BEFORE they get into the room again for what
    COULD be their only chance to finally get ALL the right questions answered by McDonough.

    McDonough played ‘games’ with them TWICE before while being interviewed so they
    just want to be sure they are fully prepared before they get into the room with him
    for a THIRD time.

    The document actually goes right on and ADDRESSES this obvious ‘lack of trust’ of
    McDonough ( and the attorneys themselves ) on ADOSH’s part.

    They, themselves, ( the AZF attorneys ) use the phrase ‘double-cross tactic’……

    —————————————————————————————-
    This Tribunal ( Judge ) has within its authority the ability to issue a subpoena for
    Mr. McDonough to be deposed a second time, if necessary. Respondent’s ( AZF’s )
    counsel has communicated with the Prescott City Attorney and has an agreement
    to enable a second deposition, if necessary. Respondent ( AZF ) will not participate
    in engaging in any double-cross tactic of opposing a second deposition therefore
    making ADOSH’s concerns unfounded. Even if Respondent ( AZF ) changed its
    position of allowing a second deposition, should one be necessary, The Tribunal
    ( Judge ) could issue a subpoena for a second deposition.
    —————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: Yea right… and if the ‘double-cross’ DOES take place… then depending
    on the reams of legal shit that could fly back and forth once again… the ‘Tribunal’
    ( Judge Mosesso ) could also side with AZF and/or the City of Prescott that second
    time around and DENY ADOSH’s request for that subpoena for that second ‘re-interview’
    with McDonough. So there was still ‘risk’ there on ADOSH’s part just taking the
    AZF ( and City of Prescott attorney’s ) ‘word for it’ that a followup interview would
    be a ‘no brainer’.

    ADOSH doesn’t trust McDonough, Arizona Forestry, The City of Prescott, or Paladini.

    They want to get this THIRD interview with McDonough right the FIRST time… and not
    have to potentially play ‘hardball’ for a FOURTH time just to get that second interview

    This is even CONFIRMED in the document itself…

    From Mr. Selden’s sworn testimony about the phone call he had with the ADOSH Attorneys…

    —————————————————————————————-
    15. Mr. Andersen replied that ADOSH wanted the ( McDonough ) deposition
    to occur AFTER it had received the written discovery ( from AZF, due
    December 15, 2014 ) was exchanged because ADOSH would be better
    prepared for the deposition after it had received the written discovery responses.
    Mr. Anderson added that if the deposition occurred before the written discovery,
    there could be information in the written discovery about which ADOSH would
    want to depose Mr. McDonough, but would not have that opportunity if the
    deposition occurred prior to the exchange.
    —————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: Brendan had EVERY opportunity to ‘unburden’ himself during either
    one, or BOTH of his ADOSH interviews. He was consciously choosing to NOT
    share everything he knew during BOTH of those interviews even though he
    KNEW the information he had was VERY important to those investigators.

    Everybody ( ADOSH included ) knows this to be a fact now… and so before
    they get into the room with McDonough again for, perhaps, another round
    of “Ask me the right questions and I might give you the right answers”… ADOSH
    just wants every opportunity here to make SURE they have a list of “all the right
    questions’ to ask McDonough BEFORE the under-oath deposition takes place.

    The irony here is that all this ‘legal wrangling’ about Arizona Forestry wanting to FORCE
    McDonough’s depostion to take place ASAP ( on November 26, 2014 ) became moot
    when the day BEFORE the scheduled deposition… it was Brendan McDonough himself
    who ‘shut it down’.

    Just 24 hours shy of the scheduled interview… McDonough ‘informed’ everyone that he
    had obtained a new ‘criminal’ attorney ( DAvid Shapiro of Prescott )… and Mr. Shapiro
    was simply ‘busy’ with other things and couldn’t make the scheduled November 26
    deposition.

    Now it was McDonough ( and Shapiro ) ‘driving the bus’.

    Shapiro said he’d be busy with some other trial until mid-February of 2015… so all of Arizona Forestry’s concerns about this getting done ASAP had to be ‘put off’.

    ADOSH just wanted more TIME here… and didn’t want to walk into that November 26, 2014 deposition and cross-examination without having seen all the other ‘written depositions’ from other witnesses first.

    So after all the ‘legal rodeo’ concerning November 26… ADOSH ( apparently ) won that game ( thanks to McDonough himself deciding to change attorneys ) and ADOSH got the TIME they wanted to better prepare for this upcoming Brendan McDonough depostion and cross-examination.

    About the only way I can really ‘sum all this up’ is to say the same thing I have
    said a number of times before…

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave… when first we practice to deceive”.

    • Bob Powers says

      Also remember to get to the Federal Employees they will have to go thru the Federal Lawyers
      so you could see a bunch more Paper legal maneuvering before any of the BR crewman reach court, or this Tribunal. McDonough is no longer an Employee of the City and has his own Lawyer not sure the City Lawyers Have any control over him at this point.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Touhy requests were designed for EXACTLY these kinds of circumstances… where Federal employees may possess information that is critical to a non-federal level investigation or civil action.

        If the lawyers decide the under-oath depositions of any/all Blue Ridge Hotshots that were there are critical in this matter and the file Touhy requests… it’s going to hard for the Feds to continue to deny access to Blue Ridge.

        NOTE: ADOSH filed Touhy requests previously… but circumstances are now different.

    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

      The best thing to come out of this legal skirmish, is that, even though it all became moot at the last minute, it provided us with a ‘window’ into the expected testimony of Brendan, and that, ‘apparently’, as many of us have suspected, he heard all of the radio transmissions, which he now wants to reveal.

      This information, which tends to back-up the information provided by the sources that Bob and RTS mentioned previously, WOULD NOT have become public at this time, had it not been for this ADOSH/ADOF fight over the deposition timing. In fact, even after any deposition had been taken, information regarding any subject matter discussed may not have become public for months, or longer. As I mentioned in a response to a Bob made down below, while we still don’t have these facts attested to yet, we do now have more smoking guns.

      WTKTT:

      Your description of the legal wrangling seems to make a lot of sense, and while none of us can know the real motivations at play, I’ll go with it for now.

      Where you and I don’t see eye to eye, is regarding the possible motivations of Brendan. and your continual alluding to the possibility that he was acting in an unscrupulous manner by withholding information.

      I am seeing Brendan through a different lens.

      Here was a young man, while old enough to vote and drink, who was due to circumstances, thrown into a situation that made him a strong candidate for PTSD. This is an illness that can take even a tough, old man, and turn him into a scared little boy.

      When it all happened, I’m sure he was shocked, stunned, and scared. Perhaps enough so, that he couldn’t think, or know what to do, or say. The first coherent thing he might have thought of to do, was protect his ‘band of brothers’ and their families. Certainly understandable to me.

      Then, along came the ‘advisors’, perhaps some from the legal world, perhaps some co-workers or friends, advising him the best thing to do was clam-up like everybody else. Some of these ‘advisors’ may have not been acting in Brendan’s best interest, but rather their own self-preservation, or perhaps even institutional preservation. Someone in his shoes, who MAY have PTSD, would likely be very malleable to these types of external suggestions and pressure.

      As time passed, along with the truth eating at him, Brendan may have just had motivations to ‘do the right thing’. At that point, he had to figure out how undo that which he had been a participant in. Which may be the point in time where we are at today.

      Yes, this is all just my speculation. Is it likely that this could be the way it went down. Yes, again. But this is the lens I see Brendan through until proven otherwise. I will never hold anything against him for his previous lack of providing information, if he comes forward with it now.

      Just think about HOW MANY people that participants who have commented on this site said need to be re-interviewed, because of the shitty job both the SAIT and ADOSH did with a lot of their questioning.

      There’s certainly a lot of blame to go around for the apparently sparse questioning and information gathering during both of those investigations, but for the reasons I mentioned up-above, I think Brendan should be given more lee-way than anyone else, and for lack of a better description, be ‘pardoned’ for his actions up until now.

      • Marti Reed says

        I really agree with you on your take on Brendan. There was no way he was “mature” enough to handle the tsunami overtaking him. My heart really goes out to him.

  28. The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

    ARE WE FINALLY GETTING TO THE BATTLE FOR THE TRUTH?

    On Feb 2, at 9:07pm, Marti posted this link to the ADOSH Yarnell Hill hearing file:

    https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/home/yarnellhillaljhearingfile

    Go down the page to the file: 2014-11 Updated 12 01 14 PDF which is 145 pages.

    The attorneys for the two sides expend 145 pages of documents arguing why, or why not, Brendan should delay his deposition which was scheduled for Nov. 26th.

    After reading down through the pages a ways, you will come across what information the attorneys expect Brendan to provide during his deposition.

    You should read it for yourself, realizing that while the attorneys are describing potential testimony, it is NOT something that Brendan has yet provided to anyone under oath, but DOES seemingly describe that Brendan has told multiple people that he heard ALL of the radio conversations up until the time of deployment, including various conversations about the move.

    According to the description provided by one of the attorneys, it’s something “Brendan wants to get off his chest”

    As I said, read it for yourself. It’s a public document. At 145 pages, it’s long, and much of it is just legal back and forth, but it appears that the truth is REALLY out there as many of us have suspected, and it could be VERY CLOSE to seeing the light of day.

    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

      And why would there be 145 pages of argument on whether to delay Brendan’s deposition?

      Well, it appears to my non-legal-expert mind, that based upon the arguments presented, ADOSH is pushing for a delay, believing that this new information may hurt their case.

      (of course, this is ALL open for interpretation).

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        See another post down below. That’s not what I am getting from the documents.

        It really seems to be simple.

        Yes… there was all this ‘lawyer rodeo’ wrangling going on about WHEN the ‘under oath’ deposition and cross-examination of McDonough was going to happen… but it was all for pretty specific reasons.

        1) Arizona Forestry wanted it to happen AS SOON AS POSSIBLE once they learned that McDonough was now itching to ‘get this all off his chest’. AZF was most concerned that this would all hit the media BEFORE there was a official ‘deposition’ to refer to. And now… Arizona Forestry feels they MUST have this done BEFORE they have to walk into the room with the ‘wrongful death’ plaintiffs for that first ‘Global Mediation’ meeting on March 2 and 3, 2015. That’s why they just asked for the SUBPOENA to FORCE this all to happen BEFORE they have to walk into that ‘Global Mediation’ stuff.

        2) ADOSH said “Slow down… sparky”. ADOSH just wants to be be sure and get this RIGHT this time. McDonough has already played his “Ask me the right question and I might give you the right answer” game with them TWICE before… so this time they want to be as prepared as possible. They simply want to be sure they have ALL of the other ‘written depositions’ from ALL of the other witnesses before they get into the room with this mysterious Brendan McDonough again. They COULD subpoena for a ‘follow up’ under-oath deposition… but they don’t WANT to do that. ADOSH wants to be fully prepared and get it RIGHT this time… once and for all.

    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

      In my follow-up above, I alluded to the fact that the reason ADOSH may want to delay the deposition is that it could hurt their case.

      Think about that for a minute.

      ADOSH are the one’s who are kicking and screaming to delay the testimony of this new, important information.

      While, as I alluded to above, this new information MAY hurt their case, I think I have to agree with one of the opposing attorneys who says one of the main reasons ADOSH wants to delay this new information from coming forth, is that it will be a HUGE embarrassment to them and their investigatory process. A likely truth, no doubt.

      JUST A THOUGHT:

      Many of us on this site have had extensive comments on what Brendan should, or could have done, on June 30th, 2013. Also, along those same lines, lots of comments on what Brendan should, or could do, from this point forward. It appears for whatever reasons, Brendan is trying to do the right thing IF they’ll let him. We’ve already said all there is to say about shoulda, coulda, and perhaps we should all dial it back bit towards him here for a while, and give him some breathing room, as he attempts to do the right thing. Just a thought.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive (TTWARE)
        post on February 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        >> TTWARE said…
        >>
        >> In my follow-up above, I alluded to the fact that the reason
        >> ADOSH may want to delay the deposition is that it could
        >> hurt their case.

        In all reality… whether Brendan McDonough has more information about the entrapment that killed 19 people that day or not… it’s really not possible for anything McDonough has to say ( now or in the future ) to ‘hurt’ ADOSH’s case.

        ADOSH was not responsible for determining EXACTLY what the ‘motivations’ were for the men who were killed in that workplace. Their PRIMARY job was to discover if that was, in fact, an ‘unsafe workplace’ and whether fines could be imposed.

        They did that. In spades.

        Don’t forget that ADOSH was willing to issue citations for at least FOUR potential and/or actual ‘entrapment’ situations in that workplace on Sunday, June 30, 2013.

        They only reason they didn’t issue all FOUR of those citations was that as soon as they realized they had enough evidence to basically issue the MAXIMUM fines they were allowed by law to issue… they simply ‘consolidated’ all FOUR of the entrapment citations into one general ‘unsafe workplace with too much potential risk of death or injury’ citation… and they ‘went to press’ with that, instead.

        So no… I don’t think ADOSH really is all that concerned with whatever McDonough has to say ‘hurting their case’. It was still a chaotic, dangerous and unsafe workplace workplace with serious mis-management issues taking place… and I believe the ADOSH citations and fines will stand up to any legal test.

        The only reason Arizona Forestry is ‘going after them’ and still needs to ‘mitigate’ the ADOSH findings is because that is what first provided de-facto proof of ‘negligence’ in that workplace and allowed the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits to proceed. They (AZF) still think if they can ‘mitigate’ the ADOSH findings then the ‘wrongful death’ suits can be dismissed and everything just falls back to the ‘exclusive remedy’ clause of worker’s compensation death benefits. End of story.

        I’ve already posted about this… but I still believe that it is too late for even that strategy to work. Since the wrongful death lawsuits WERE allowed to proceed…. and those lawyers for the plaintiffs ‘got to work’… even if the ADOSH report is mitigated the attorneys for the families probably still now have their OWN large body of evidence proving ‘negligence’ in that workplace… and they can then just present their OWN (complete) case in civil now without even relying on the ADOSH findings… not to mention what still might come out if most of the witnesses are just deposed and/or put on the stand and subject to questioning / cross-examination.

        >> TTWARE also said…
        >>
        >> Think about that for a minute.
        >> ADOSH are the one’s who are kicking and screaming to delay the
        >> testimony of this new, important information.

        I’ve read the documents… and I wouldn’t really characterize it that way.

        Yes… there’s a lot of ‘legalese’ in these documents… but most of them are actually just in ‘narrative’ and ‘conversational’ format whereby the attorneys are submitting ‘requests’ to the Judge and they really are just ‘speaking plain English’..

        There’s actually even proof that ADOSH really didn’t much give a crap what McDonough has to say, at this point.

        When the attorneys for AZF became aware that Brendan NOW couldn’t play this game of his anymore and now wants to ‘get this all off his chest’… that was when they called AZF attorneys and said they thought Brendan should be deposed RIGHT AWAY. Their other reasoning was a fear on their part that this information was going to go ‘public’ at any moment and the media would be all over it so they ( AZF ), of course, wanted the ‘deposition’ to happen as quickly as possible to ‘head that off at the pass’.

        ADOSH attorneys were obviously not as concerned about the ‘publicity’ surrounding all this as AZF seemed to be… and was NOT sharing their sense of ‘urgency’.

        ADOSH actually first responded and said they didn’t care much whether an attorney for the Arizona State Attorney General’s office ‘took the deposition’ or not… so long as someone did.

        That wasn’t good enough for Arizona Forestry. THEY are the ones who then wanted it all to happen more under the control of their own contracted lawyers rather than just passing off to the AG’s office like ADOSH suggested.

        So that’s when the HARDBALL began.

        *( And yes, folks, this is what HARDBALL looks like when these lawyers start both trying to get what they want ).

        ADOSH now had one, simple, overriding concern.

        Arizona Forestry wasn’t scheduled to even deliver all their own written discovery to ADSOH until December 15, 2014. Arizona Forestry wanted McDonough ‘deposed’ the day before Thanksgiving… November 26, 2014.

        That would mean ADOSH would get this one chance to ‘get in the room’ with McDonough BEFORE they even saw all of the new ‘sworn’ testimony via the discovery process.

        ADOSH said “Not a chance”

        ADOSH simply felt they would be ‘better prepared’ to conduct a successful cross-examination of McDonough AFTER they had seen all this other evidence that wasn’t due until December 15, 2014.

        Arizona Forestry then countered with some kind of didactic lecture about how ADOSH was not ‘obstructing the process’ and ‘dis-respecting Mr. McDonough’s wishes to get this over with’.. Arizona Forestry was still scared to death this fact that McDonough was now finally ready to tell the WHOLE truth would hit the media and they would ‘lose control of the story’. ADOSH’s wish to be ‘better prepared’ for this interview meant they weren’t going to get their way.

        A lot more back and forth… and a lot more negotiation over whether ADOSH could RECALL McDonough for a SECOND ‘under oath’ interview in case new evidence received AFTER the deposition raised even more questions that perhaps only Brendan could answer.

        Arizona Forestry agreed to that, eventually… but it was just a VERBAL promise that Brendan would consent to second deposition, if needed.

        Bottom line here is that ADOSH doesn’t trust Arizona Forestry, their lawyers, or the City of Prescott and their lawyers ( specifically Paladini )… and they certainly do NOT trust the mysterious Mr. Brendan McDonough at this point.

        Even the Arizona Forestry lawyers were poo-pooing ADOSH’s request to be as prepared as possible the FIRST time for a new interview with McDonough and saying things like “We promise we won’t pull a double-cross and refuse the second deposition… but even if we did ADOSH could just ask the Judge for a subpoena to force the SECOND deposition”.

        Well… of COURSE they ( ADOSH ) could do that…. but that’s just more legal HARDBALL and even comes with the risk that the Judge might NOT agree to issue subpoena for that second interview.

        So that’s really what all that is/was about.

        ADOSH doesn’t trust McDonough or his attorneys or Arizona Forestry.

        They want to be sure they know EVERYTHING they want to ask McDonough ( under oath ) during the FIRST ( and perhaps ONLY ) next chance they get.

        Arizona doesn’t want to WAIT… because of their fear of all this going PUBLIC.

        The WRENCH that got thrown into the works here is when McDonough himself, the very day before the November 26 deposition, informed everyone that he now had a new ‘criminal attorney’ ( David Shapiro of Prescott )… and that his new attorney couldn’t make that November 26 deposition because he was busy with other things.

        So everything got ‘postponed’ anyway… but it was because McDonough himself ( at the last minute ) decided he better have a CRIMINAL attorney representing him rather than just Emily Dolan of Prescott.

        I have said this before… but I believe the reason attorney Emily Dolan advised Brendan herself to get a CRIMINAL attorney is because this really could still break down into possible ‘obstructing an official investigation’ charges against McDonough… and he better have someone who knows his way around those kinds of ‘criminal’ charges by his side as he tries to ‘get this off his chest’.

        So that then became the reason for the CURRENT timing.

        Mr. Shapiro is simply a BUSY guy. He said that HE would be tied up with another trial until the middle of February… so all this ‘deposition’ stuff then just got pushed off until February 26, 2015.

        The only reason an actual request for a SUBPOENA for McDonough to finally testify was issued 8 days ago is because while Shapiro apparently initially agreed to February 26, 2015… he hasn’t made the correct moves to PROVE that he and McDonough will actually be there… nor has he said that date is NOT good for him.

        Everybody’s been burned by McDonough at least once already on this when he informed everyone just the DAY before the other deposition that he was ‘switching’ to another attorney who, himself, couldn’t be there the next day.

        No one wants to get ‘burned’ by McDonough AGAIN on this… so instead of just ASSUMING McDonough is going to show up on Feb. 26… they want a SUBPOENA to go out and make SURE he and Shapiro are going to show up this time.

        .>> TTWARE also said…
        >>
        >> While, as I alluded to above, this new information MAY hurt their case,

        I still don’t think that’s possible ( see above )… but I hear ya.

        THEY still might THINK it will… and they, of course, dont’ want their original findings to be ‘mitigated’ or ‘reversed’.

        >> TTWARE
        >>
        >> I think I have to agree with one of the opposing attorneys who
        >> says one of the main reasons ADOSH wants to delay this new
        >> information from coming forth, is that it will be a HUGE
        >> embarrassment to them and their investigatory process.
        >> A likely truth, no doubt.

        Again… see above. I really don’t think ADOSH is all that concerned
        about this. The ONLY reason for all the ‘memo wars’ over the planned
        deposition dates is because Arizona Forestry was trying to force the
        McDonough deposition to happen BEFORE they even had to deliver
        all the ‘written discovery’ to ADOSH on December 15, 2014.

        ADOSH just wants to ‘get it right the FIRST TIME’ here and be as prepared as they can possibly be for this ‘under oath’ deposition and cross-examination of McDonough.

        Remember… McDonough sat right in front of ADOSH twice… and BOTH times he head every opportunity to ‘unburden himself’. McDonough was CHOOSING to ‘withhold’ information during those previous interviews.

        McDonough was playing the same game with ADOSH that many of the interviewees were.

        It was the “Ask me the right question and I’ll answer it” game.

        ADOSH doesn’t want to ‘play that game’ again with McDonough.

        ADOSH wants to review ALL of the other sworn statements from witnesses this time BEFORE they get ( perhaps ) this one-and-only final shot to ‘ask the right questions’.

        >> TTWARE also said…
        >>
        >> Many of us on this site have had extensive comments on what
        >> Brendan should, or could have done, on June 30th, 2013. Also,
        >> along those same lines, lots of comments on what Brendan should,
        >> or could do, from this point forward. It appears for whatever reasons,
        >> Brendan is trying to do the right thing IF they’ll let him. We’ve already
        >> said all there is to say about shoulda, coulda, and perhaps we should
        >> all dial it back bit towards him here for a while, and give him some
        >> breathing room, as he attempts to do the right thing. Just a thought.

        Tell that to Prescott City Attorney John Paladini.

        HE is the one actually ‘controlling’ this entire process.
        HE is the one who is insisting that Brendan must be DEPOSED’, which has led to all the HARDBALL about when and how that’s going to happen.

        If Brendan really wanted to ‘unburden himself’…. he could just pick up
        the phone and call the Prescott Daily Courier and get it over with.

        It is John Paladini who is still trying to CONTROL this process and will not LET former Prescott employee Brendan McDonough do that.

        Paladina ( apparently ) still senses some ‘liablity’ here on behalf of Prescott so HE wants to remain in control of what former employees have to say… and WHO they say it to.

        That’s what seems to be ‘the story’ in these PUBLIC documents, anyway.

        • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

          WTKTT,

          You make very good points, most of which I can’t disagree with.

          I must say though, “the story” that I see in these public documents are the many indications that the full truth has already been put out there, having been relayed to several people.

          That, along with the strong possibility that someone who many long suspected of knowing the answers, finally is clamoring to come forward to share them (for whatever motivations), is the meat and potatoes of this for me.

          • Bob Powers says

            I truly believe the information I got and RTS got and shared here last fall
            has to do with some of the known facts that were released by those that have the information all ready That McDonough has talked to others in the Prescott Fire department and City about. Some of what I was told and released here by me. The Refusals the Order and the location of Marsh.
            We may be getting closer to those actual occurrences.
            Its still Hearsay till its facts.

            • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

              Bob,

              I just came back on here to reference those comments made previously by you and RTS, and I saw that you’d already posted (above).

              I was just going to say that the information provided by your sources back then, certainly dovetails with what ‘reliable sources’ told the AZ Attorney General and the respondent’s lawyer just prior to this massive paperwork back-and- forth shuffle over the ‘delay of the deposition.

              Granted, there are NO facts out there yet, but there certainly are more and more smoking guns.

              • Bob Powers says

                Also the Video with the argument on it has not been referenced yet. Could still be unreleased or Discovery in the hands of a Lawyer, Maybe McDonough’s testimony will break loose some more evidence (open the flood gates)???????

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  There is still a chance that this ‘other video’ might have been taken by BrendanMcdonough himself.

                  We KNOW he had a video/audio recording capable device with him that day… ALL day. It was an iPhone. What is still essentially unknown is how his photos/videos that ended up in a special folder in the SAIT evidence package with his name on the folder were actually collected.

                  In other words… did Brendan himself just deliver a CD to the SAIT… or did the SAIT actually have full access to his iPhone?

                  Still unknown.

    • Marti Reed says

      Thanks TTWARE and WTKTT for starting to decipher this. I kinda saw it but wasn’t sure quite what was going on. And then we launched into “What Happened Saturday” and I felt we really needed to dig into that and I had some of the resources needed to do that.

      We’re moving my mom out of the hospital she’s been in for a week and a half to another one for a version of Hospice. She’s had her fill of it all. But she still has to be on an IV, so we can’t move her back to her awesome apartment for Hospice there.

      And Terra has to go to Santa Fe, so I’ll be at the hospital w/Mom tomorrow. I have my ipad with me but not my computer with all its resources. Including better handling of .docs and .pdfs.

      I figured this would be kind of a bombshell. Honestly I thought someone would have found it by now. I found it googling “ADOSH Yarnell.” Boom.

          • Retired with 38 says

            Hey Bob,

            The action of the Buffalo Soldiers in that small town (Taft??) is an example of the “hail Mary pass” that I was referring to in earlier chapters. Doesn’t always work but sometimes you don’t have any other options..

        • Marti Reed says

          I hope they rebroadcast this! I was totally determined……..

          So while all kinds of nurses, and my daughter, were doing all kinds of stuff to my mom,

          I was sitting over to the side with the remote right up against my ear so I could hear it….

          And, yeah, the part about the Buffalo Soldiers caught my attention…..and the 70 mph winds….

          But there was a bunch I missed because of all the stuff going on all around me….

          And I just got “the phone call,” that my mom is definitely on her way out, like really, but I just took a sleeping pill, and so did my daughter, so the nurse said, don’t worry, I’m with her and it’s all OK……. I LOVE Hospice!!!!

          And I’ll be VERY interested in what you all think about the documentary (and lots of other people also) …..

          And I may not be posting much over the next few days but I WILL be reading!

          And I’m glad I was able to post the ADOSH stuff last night!!!! I knew you would find it valuable…

          Namaste y’all!

  29. Marti Reed says

    In another piece of potentially relevant news–

    Arizona has a new State Forester:

    via YumaNewsNow.com

    “Governor Doug Ducey Announces State Forester”
    Published: Friday, 30 January 2015 00:11 Written by YNN

    “Phoenix, Arizona – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Jeff Whitney as director of the Arizona State Forestry Division.

    “Jeff possesses more than 40 years of professional experience in forestry and fire prevention,” said Governor Ducey. “Particularly in a state that is no stranger to large and destructive wildfires, Jeff’s background and expertise as a National Type 1 Incident Commander will be integral to the health of our forests and the safety of our communities.”

    http://www.yumanewsnow.com/index.php/news/arizona/9477-governor-doug-ducey-announces-state-forester

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Marti Reed post on February 2, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      >> Marti said…
      >>
      >> Arizona has a new State Forester:
      >>
      >> “Phoenix, Arizona – Governor Doug Ducey today announced the
      >> appointment of Jeff Whitney as director of the Arizona State
      >> Forestry Division.

      A very weird connection now going on here between The Yarnell Hill Fire and the Dude fire in 1990. The Dude fire is where those members of the Perryville DOC crew perished in Walk Moore Canyon.

      All of the following were THERE at the Dude Fire, in management positions…

      Jeff Whitney, Dan Eckstein and Tony Sciacca.

      Jeff Whitney is now the new Arizona State Forester.

      Dan Eckstein was ICT4 Russ Shumate’s first ‘Air Attack’ in Yarnell on Saturday morning
      during the start of what would be that FAILED Initial Attack. Dan Eckstein is the one
      who was supposed tp ‘box the fire’ with the SEATS on Saturday morning.

      Tony Sciacca was one of the ‘Safety Officers’ in Yarnell ( along with former GMIHC Superintendent Marty Cole ) at the time of the deployment. He had only been in
      Yarnell for about an hour before the deployments took place and he was standing
      on Shrine Road when the (empty) GM Crew Carriers passed by.

      All THREE of these people are mentioned extensively in the following comprehensive report on the Perryville crew fatalities at the Dude fire ( 1990 )…

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

      Jeff Whitney – a Type I Team Supervisor, arrived at the fire at 0500 and
      was briefed at 0630. Cooke assigned him to protect the Bonita Creek
      Subdivision, immediately adjacent to Walk Moore Canyon.

      Dan Eckstein – An assistant Arizona Fire Management Officer ( AFMO ) who
      was assigned to be Division E Supervisor’ on June 26, 1990. Division ‘E’ is
      where the Perryville crew fatalities would take place that afternoon in
      Walk Moore Canyon.

      Tony Sciacca – On June 26, 1990, Tony Sciacca was the Foreman of
      the Prescott Hotshots. The Prescott Hotshots were working in the
      same Walk Moore Canyon as the Perryville and Navajo crews, but
      they evacuated to the Bonita Creek subdivision when the blowup took place.

      Here are two places in the document where both Jeff Whitney and Dan Eckstein are both mentioned in the SAME paragraph(s)…

      From page 17 ( of 88 pages )…
      ———————————————————————-
      DAN ECKSTEIN arrived at the Dude fire at about 0530 to 0600.
      The supervisors were generally working together as a group
      in the vicinity of the Bonita Creek subdivision; Phil Gil, Dale
      Ashby and JEFF WHITNEY.
      ———————————————————————-

      Page 22…
      ———————————————————————-
      Burnout of the constructed line was started in the Northeast
      corner of the subdivision above the water tank, and proceeded
      downhill toward the Northwest corner of the subdivision. Phil Gil,
      the Type II Team Division Supervisor for Division D, stayed on
      and assisted DAN ECKSTEIN because of the emphasis to protect
      the Bonita Creek subdivision. He was joined by JEFF WHITNEY,
      the Supervisor for the Type I Team. Gil acted as the firing boss
      and they began the burnout. The firing was handed off to
      successive Hotshot Crews down the line.
      ———————————————————————–

  30. Marti Reed says

    Also, as long as I’m sitting here posting stuff.

    Back in December, as we were discussing AZ Fire’s “interesting” process of posting Aaron’s videos of the Shrine Road scene (as well as the Model Creek Road scene).

    I asked Google about the rules of FOIA requests.

    One of the absolutely totally most interesting and useful things I found was The Center for Public Integrity and their “Integrity Investigation.”

    We are now using this in New Mexico to get a better grip on how to get information about our now nationally infamous police department and our fairly corrupt government.

    Here is their homepage:

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/accountability/state-integrity-investigation

      • Marti Reed says

        When here, I clicked on the state of Arizona. Which took me to here, Arizona’s page:

        http://www.stateintegrity.org/arizona

        Which shows all kinds of categories they use to rate a state’s integrity/corruption risk Report Card.

        Including the category (which they consider the MOST IMPORTANT and thus the FIRST) called:

        “Public Access to Information.”

        Click on that and explore. Shows the laws and rules regarding public access to information in Arizona.

        One of the things I discovered via all of this was that if the Yarnell Hill Fire had happened in New Mexico, we wouldn’t be able to access a fraction of the information we’ve been able to access in this Arizona Fire.

        I’ve been trying to use Twitter to amplify this project in New Mexico and warn my state neighbors as to all of this.

  31. Marti Reed says

    AND as long as I’m posting stuff while waiting on various processes/test results that are happening regarding my mom (with whom I had an entirely cogent and interesting conversation tonight regarding “boyfriends.” specifically due to my awesome daughter’s boyfriend who, while supporting her in this stressful experience is also in charge of the Albuquerque School Board Elections tomorrow ……

    My daughter’s Ohio-based uncle is making a bid on a house in Payson, Arizona (partially since her father lives in Flagstaff).

    I came across this article about how Payson, as a result of the Yarnell Hill Fire, began last year to attempt to make their community, via codes etc, conform to what is called “FireWise.” But because of how folks there resent any kind of “government-imposed” rules, yah know…….

    Nothing has happened.

    From the “Payson Roundup”
    By Pete Aleshire
    Friday, January 2, 2015

    “Fire Building Codes Year In Review”

    “In the 18 months since the Yarnell Hill Fire killed 19 firefighters trying to protect a woefully unprepared community, Payson and Gila County have taken few actions to avert a similar tragedy here.

    Payson grappled with a fire department recommendation to adopt a Wildland-Urban Interface building code, but in the shadow of an election year, put off any action for at least 18 months.

    The town did set up a committee to try to convince residents to voluntarily clear thickets and brush from their properties — but after one event, the unfunded committee has not undertaken many visible actions.”

    http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2015/jan/04/fire-building-codes-year-review/

    Good Luck, Arizona!!!

    Good Luck, Uncle Tom!

  32. Marti Reed says

    Something else I’ve been meaning to post but hadn’t gotten “a round tuit.”

    ADOSH has a page which contains all the links to what, as I read back in December, seem to be the correspondences between the ADOSH lawyers and Arizona Dept of Forestry lawyers. I don’t really understand “legalese,” but what I read of these files then suggested to me that there’s been quite a battle going on. And in Fall-December that battle betan including Brendan McDonough’s lawyers.

    I haven’t read any of this since I discovered it in December (when my in-real-life life started spiraling into chaos) and I hadn’t posted it because my in-real-life life was spiraling into chaos and I didn’t think I could “shepherd” it.

    But I want to post it now, as my life is still spiraling into chaos so you all who seem to be more capable than I am at comprehending this legal stuff can

    ahem

    have at it.

    “Industrial Commission of Arizona | Yarnell Hill Fire Information”

    https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/

    • Marti Reed says

      Typo.

      “And in Fall-December that battle betan including Brendan McDonough’s lawyers.”

      Should read:

      “And in Fall-December that battle began including Brendan McDonough’s lawyers.”

    • Marti Reed says

      So what you need to do to access all the Documents that include the back and forth stuff between the lawyers is click on the “ALJ Hearing File” link on that page.

      Which takes you to here:

      “Yarnell Hill ALJ Hearing File”

      Where it says:

      “This page will be updated on the first business day of each week to incorporate documents the parties have filed since this page was last updated. Anyone reviewing this page does so with the full knowledge that there may be documents that have been filed with the Administrative Law Judge Division but have not yet been scanned and loaded onto this website. In addition, the Commission is only providing public records. By using this page, the user agrees that neither the Commission nor any of its employees are responsible or liable whatsoever for the content of any document or any information provided through this page.”

      https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/home/yarnellhillaljhearingfile

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Thanks for all those links, Marti.

        Yes… a lot of ‘legalese’ flying around in those documents.

        The LATEST document in the list was made public just 8 days
        ago on January 26, 2015.

        It is sitting online in a PUBLIC ‘Google Docs’ folder…

        The title of the document in the ‘Google Docs’ folder is…

        2015_01 Updated 01.26.15.pdf

        Here is a direct link to just that ‘latest’ document in the ‘Google Docs’ folder…

        https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6N47Z5CNR-CelpmYXZwSVZNa1U/edit?pli=1

        It contains copies of a document generated on January 15, 2015.

        This document is a request being sent by the Attorneys for Arizona Forestry to Judge Michael A. Mosesso for a SUBPOENA to be issued to Brendan McDonough to FORCE him to appear at an already scheduled ‘under oath’ interview and deposition session on February 26, 2015.

        The reason Arizona Forestry now wants the Judge to FORCE McDonough to appear is because as of January 15, 2015 ( when these documents were generated ) they simply still weren’t sure he was going to be at the deposition.

        In a nutshell…

        Arizona Forestry had been amicably trying to arrange this ‘under oath’ deposition of McDonough with his new ‘criminal defense’ attorney David M. Shapiro, of Prescott, Arizona.

        Mr. Shapiro had indicated that he would be heavily involved with another trial until the middle of February… so Arizona Forestry set a desired date for the McDonough ‘under oath’ deposition of February 26, 2015.

        The reason Arizona Forestry has now made this request for a SUBPOENA is because as of January 15, 2015, McDonough’s lawyer had still not filed any standard ‘Notice of Appearance’ with regards to the February 26, 2015 date ( which would mean he and McDonough promise to be there ) nor has Mr. Shapiro said that this date is not good for either he or his client ( McDonough ).

        In other words… as of January 15 Arizona Forestry lawyers still didn’t know if Shapiro and McDonough will even appear for this ‘deposition’ on February 26… so they want a judge to now issue a SUBPOENA to make SURE they both appear for the already-scheduled deposition.

        Bottom line here is that Arizona Forestry wants to make SURE it finds out EVERYTHING Brendan McDonough might ( or might NOT ) know about what happened in Yarnell BEFORE they have to step into these first ‘Global Mediation’ meetings with all the ‘wrongful death’ plaintiffs on March 2 and 3, 2015.

        That is, in fact, exactly what the Arizona Forestry lawyers themselves say in this request to Judge Mosesso for the McDonough SUBPOENA… and why it is so important that McDonough be interviewed ( under oath ) before March 2.

        More later.

        • Bob Powers says

          Some interesting tidbits here one of which is the request for the cd of the Utah Training session that includes some interesting statements by Mike Dudly’
          May be an indication why the are after a interview of McDonough to determine what he heard could be a real surprise to one or the other of the state Lawyers.
          Or they are making sure there are no surprises.
          Two different out comes.
          1. The crew acted on its own where it decided to go and were entrapped.
          Supports the States case of no fault
          2. The crew was told directed or ordered to go down into the entrapment bowl by State officials. Which could include the Division Supervisor Marsh
          as a State Employee directing the crew.
          Supports ADOSH conclusions and Fines
          Was any one ordered out of the BLACK??????????
          Just my Scenario of what is transpiring between the 2 sides.
          I think it has a lot to do with Mike Dudly’s little bomb shell recorded in Utah.

          Along with the Information still held by McDonough.
          We should be able now to assume he in fact did give a deposition to his Lawyers last year as we learned here. Now the courts are requesting that deposition with cross examination under oath.
          And as I always say the Legal Mumbo Jumbo goes on.
          We have this hearing to contend with that may not release any thing to the Public.

  33. Marti Reed says

    I’ve been having a hard time understanding the ins and outs of the Misner-Warneke Claims confusion. Reading this helped me a lot. This is Lynne LaMaster’s Prescott Enews courtroom coverage of the hearing last week. This particular link is from the third day. Scroll down to find her coverage from the other two days.

    So it seems the conclusion came from Lawyer McGroder convinced everybody but the Mayor that, according to AZ State Law, if the wildland fire-fighters employed by Prescott were contracted for at least six months (and these two were contracted for seven) and doing “hazardous work,” they were required by State Law to be eligible for the city’s PSRPS (and sitting here right now I don’t know what “PSRPS” exactly translates to). And that State Law over-rides whatever form they signed on to.

    Interesting/Relevant statement in McGroder’s rebuttal to City Attorney Paladini’s Closing Argument:

    “There’s an old adage that says, “When you don’t have the facts, you argue the law. When you don’t have the law, you argue the facts,” said McGroder.

    Well worth reading. Good photos, throughout, too.

    Friday, 30 January 2015 00:00
    THIRD DAY IN MISNER AND WARNEKE PSPRS HEARINGS
    Lynne LaMaster

    http://www.prescottenews.com/index.php/news/current-news/item/24912-third-day-in-misner-and-warneke-psprs-hearings

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Thanks for the link, Marti!

      >> Marti said…
      >>
      >> I don’t know what “PSRPS” exactly translates to.

      Acutally.. it’s PSPRS…

      Public Safety Personnel Retirement System ( of the State of Arizona ).

      Their website is here…
      http://www.psprs.com/

  34. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** LEWIS DOC CREW BOSS JAKE GUADIANA’S VIDEOS
    **
    ** THE TRANSCRIPTS

    Some of the Jake Guadiana videos contain no foreground conversation or background radio captures at all… but MOST of them do.

    ALL of the TRANSCRIPTS for ALL of Jake Guadiana’s VIDEOS taken both Saturday, June 29, 2013 and Sunday, June 30, 2013 are included below in this single posting.

    Sorry if that makes this post a little long… but at least they are ALL here in one place.

    USUAL CAVEAT: This is what I ( me, personally ) am hearing in these videos. Your mileage, may, of course vary.

    ALL of these VIDEOS can be found in the following ADOSH Dropbox Folder…

    ADOSH Yarnell Hill Investigation / Photos and Video / ASFD Photos / Jake Guadiana

    Here is a DIRECT LINK to that folder…

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/20inrene9tcx74a/AAB1Wb5GbaqoEXohtiCKsdyKa/ADOSH%20Yarnell%20Hill%20Investigation/Photos%20and%20Video/ASFD%20Photos/Jake%20Guadiana?dl=0

    Some of the more ‘interesting’ exchanges captured in these VIDEOS…

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 009.avi
    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 5:58:13 PM
    This video shows the fire burning down in the drainage after it has ‘escaped’. In this video… we hear 2 of the FFs admitting they are NOT going to be able to ‘catch’ this ‘escaped’ fire.

    (Foreground: Unknown 1): We can’t catch it?
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): I doubt it.

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 011.avi
    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 6:36:25 PM
    This video shows the fire burning in the drainage after it ‘escaped’. This video seems to have the only AUDIO captures of both the pilot of N14HX and ICT4 Russ Shumate. The ‘escaped’ fire is now ‘moving fast’ and the pilot of N14HX is communicating with someone up on the ridge and says he feels he ought to “pick him up”. ICT4 Russ Shumate seems to ‘cut in’ to that conversation and says “Let’s just get ’em off the hill”.

    (Foreground: Unknown 1): It’s goin’ pretty fast.
    (Background Radio: Pilot of N14HX answering Unknown 1): Yea, it is.
    I’m thinking that… uh… maybe I oughta pick ya up?
    (Background Radio: Unknown 3: Probably ICT4 Shumate):
    ??… Let’s… ah… let’s just get ’em off the hill.

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 012.avi
    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 6:59:35 PM
    This video shows fire burning at the top of drainage after ‘escaping’.
    Even though we have heard the FFs admit to themselves ( in the previous video )
    that they were not going to CATCH this ‘escaped fire’… one of the FFs is having
    a personal phone call with someone and tells them “Everything is going GOOD”…

    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Yea… everything’s goin’ good. We’re jus… we’re just
    gonna be… uh… coyotin’ it up tonight.

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 013.avi
    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 7:23:08 PM
    This video shows the fire burning down in the drainage just EAST of where it had escaped over the two-track road. Someone ( Justin Smith? ) is complaining to another FF about ‘paperwork’…

    (Foreground: Unknown 1): It has to be nuthin’ that’ll be hard to ‘S’ number, then ??
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): No. Yea. Yea.
    (Foreground: Unknown 1:) That’s the worst. Burnup (that?) big. That’s the
    WORST…’cus the paperwork…
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): Uh-huh
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): I left him TALKIN’ about it.

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 021.avi
    Actual Date/Time: Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 4:53:47 PM.
    This video was shot just 14 minutes after Captain Jesse Steed’s first MAYDAY call at 4:39 PM. It was taken from the Model Creek School ICP looking back south at the gigantic smoke plume. At the end of the video the FFs in the foreground have this exchange…

    (Foreground: Unknown 2): We made it just in time.
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): Yep. Ya gotta have the time to leave.
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): We can’t just forget it.
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): Nope.
    (Foreground: Unknown 5): Whadda we do?
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): We need to get anything we can ( in there ).
    (Foreground: Unknown 5): Did they have black?
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): Absolutely.
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): For the whole day.
    (Foreground: Unknown 5): Unbelievable.
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): When ya hide behind the (OPS?) radio… (VIDEO ENDS)

    Here are ALL of the transcripts for ALL of Jake Guadiana’s VIDEOS…

    ******************************************************************************
    * SATURDAY, JUNE 29, 2013
    ******************************************************************************

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 002.avi
    File Size: 14 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:05 23:36:13
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 8.78 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 11:36:11 AM

    This video shows Helicopter N14HX on ‘approach’ to the Helispot with the first 3 Lewis DOC Crew members onboard.

    The Firefighters onboard are getting their first view of the actual fire location and are commenting on the SEAT drops that have already taken place that morning.

    The ONLY ( tiny ) bit of smoke seen anywhere is on the WEST side of the fire area and down in the steep rocks.

    +0:00
    ( Throughout this video the major foreground audio is the sound )
    ( of the Helicopter engine itself ).

    NOTE: This FF seems to be answering a question related to the
    SEAT drop and he qualifies his answer with ‘If’…

    +0:01
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): If the SEAT did really well.

    +0:8.78 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 003.avi
    File Size: 15 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:05 23:39:28
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration : 8.27 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 11:39:28 AM

    This video shows two Firefighters with BLUE Helmets disembarking from Helicopter N14HX which has landed at the Helispot on the ridge.

    This appears to be the FIRST delivery of the first three members of the Lewis DOC crew up to the Helispot.

    Jake Guadiana has obviously preceded them out of the Helicopter and has now ‘turned around’ and is filming his video as the remaining two Lewis DOC crewmen exit the chopper.

    Moki Helitack Nate Peck ( also wearing Nomex and a BLUE Helmet ) is working the door of the Helicopter and is instinctively holding his arm out and pointing the men towards a FORWARD exit path and away from the tail rotor, just as he was TRAINED to do. He also appears to be beginning to pull some gear from the rear compartment as the video ends.

    Nate Peck had already been dropped off up there at the Helispot during the earlier RECON mission which first found it.

    The actual identity of the other two Lewis DOC crewmen in this video remains unknown. There are no NAMES on their helmets or anywhere on their clothing.

    The second FF is carrying wearing a chest-strapped handheld radio so IAOI ( If And Only If ) Sergeant Leo Vasquez was actually UP there on the ridge then he is most likely this second FF with the radio.

    The reason I say IAOI on that one is because we really still do NOT know if Sergeant Leo Vasquez was, in fact, one of the SIX Lewis DOC crew up on the ridge that day.

    Arizona Forestry has never really seen fit to say exactly WHICH 5 other members of the Lewis DOC Crew ( other than Jake Guadiana ) was actually UP there on the ridge all day and the two investigations didn’t seem to bother to nail that down, either.

    It is possible that Sergeant Vasquez was left down at the Yarnell Fire Station that day to be sure and ‘supervise’ ALL the other inmates, who ended up sitting around doing NOTHING all day down there.at the YFD Station.

    +0:00
    (Throughout this video all we hear is the Helicopter Engine idling )
    ( No foreground talk or background radio conversations ).

    +0:8.27 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 004.avi
    File Size: 9.2 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 00:04:51
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 7.51 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 12:04:51 PM

    This video shows a SEAT drop on the WEST side of the fire and out in the steep rocks towards the Congress side of the ridge.

    +0:00
    ( Throughout this video we hear the SEAT engine as it makes it drop )

    +0:05
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): It probly doesn’t ( contribute )… (VIDEO ENDS)

    +0:7.51 – VIDEO ENDS

    NOTE: That’s it for AVI MOVIE files again until sequence number ‘9’. Jake Guadiana photo sequence numbers 5,6,7 and 8 are all JPEG still photos.

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 009.avi
    File Size: 17 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 05:58:13
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 12.18 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 5:58:13 PM

    This video shows the fire burning down in the drainage after it has ‘escaped’.

    +0:00
    ( Throughout this video there are noises close to the camera like someone fooling with metal or plastic canteens or bottles, and there is also the sound of a fixed wing aircraft flying overhead ).

    +0:04
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): We can’t catch it?

    +0:07
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): I doubt it.

    +0:12.18 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 010.avi
    File Size: 7.6 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 05:59:52
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 4.30 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 5:59:52 PM

    This video shows smoldering black and 3 FFs walking towards camera.

    +0:00
    ( Just the sound of wind in the microphone throughout this video ).
    ( No foreground talk or background radio conversations ).

    +0:4.30 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 011.avi
    File Size: 15 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 06:36:25
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 14.11 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 6:36:25 PM

    This video shows the fire burning in the drainage after it ‘escaped’.

    +0:01
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): It’s goin’ pretty fast.

    NOTE: Unknown 2 is most likely the pilot of N14HX because when he keys his microphone you can hear rotor noise underneath his transmissions.

    +0:02
    (Background Radio: Pilot of N14HX answering Unknown 1): Yea, it is.
    I’m thinking that… uh… maybe I oughta pick ya up?

    +0:08
    (Background Radio: Unknown 3: Probably ICT4 Shumate): ??… Let’s… ah…
    let’s just get ’em off the hill.

    +0:12
    (Background Radio: Unknown 4): Cole to (Kumpet?)… Fire ( up? ) ( out? ) (VIDEO ENDS)

    +0:14.11 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 012.avi
    File Size: 29 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 06:59:35
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 25.32 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 6:59:35 PM

    This video shows fire burning at the top of drainage after ‘escaping’.

    NOTE: Throughout this video… ‘Unknown 1′ in the foreground is having a personal conversation with someone on his cellphone who is NOT at the fire.

    +0:00
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Yea. It all depends on if I wanna… wanna be caressed or not.

    +0:01
    (Background Radio: OPS Nate Peck): Alpha. Operations. Go ahead.

    +0:03
    (Background Radio: DIVSA Justin Smith): Hey… did you catch that with… uh… with
    Air Attack as far as tryin’ to get a… uh… you know… a ?? of gear up. You remember ??
    laid that stuff. Ah… that’s over at the LZ Uhm… some were along with us.

    +0:08
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Yeah.

    +0:09
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): ( Laughing ).

    +0:13
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Nice.

    +0:14
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Nice

    +0:15
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Yea… everything’s goin’ good. We’re jus… we’re just
    gonna be… uh… coyotin’ it up tonight.

    +0:17
    (Background Radio: OPS Nate Peck): Yea… I heard that. Are you… do you think you
    know of having someone come up internal… in the helicopter… and then… uh…

    +0:22
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): What?

    +0:24
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Allright.

    +0:25.32 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 013.avi
    File Size: 14 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 07:23:08
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 12.11 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 7:23:08 PM

    This video shows the fire burning down in the drainage just EAST of where it had escaped over the two-track road.

    +0:00
    (Background Radio: Unknown): Copy that.

    +0:01
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): It has to be nuthin’ that’ll be hard to ‘S’ number, then ??

    +0:02
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): No. Yea. Yea.

    +0:03
    (Foreground: Unknown 1:) That’s the worst. Burnup (that?) big. That’s the
    WORST…’cus the paperwork…

    +0:04
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): Uh-huh

    +0:05
    (Foreground: CHAINSAW fires up near source of recording)

    +0:06
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): I left him TALKIN’ about it.

    +0:08
    (Foreground: CHAINSAW stops)

    +0:09
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): Ya know… slingin’… ah… slingin’ stuff… ya know… over there…

    +0:12.11 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 014.avi
    File Size: 11 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 07:23:33
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 8.04 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 7:23:33 PM

    This video shows flame-lengths of the ‘escaped’ fire circa 7:23 PM on June 29, 2013.

    This is the video that appears to have Nate Peck responding to ICT4 Russ Shumate’s request that Nate get a ‘resource’ order together so some supplies can be delivered before dark because it is now a given that the 13 men up there will be going ‘coyote’ and spending the night up there.

    +0:00
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): …possibility it could cross two canyons?

    +0:02
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): Nope

    +0:03
    ( Foreground: Unknown 3): No way

    +0:04
    ( Foreground: Most likely Nate Peck): So… I need to put together an order for… ah…

    +0:8.04 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 015.avi
    File Size: 11 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 07:27:24
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 9.18 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 7:27:24 PM

    SEAT drop on the ‘escaped’ fire at 7:27 PM on June 29, 2013. This is the one where we get an extreme close-up view of the SEAT as he approaches from the WEST, flies directly over the ridge, crosses directly in front of the camera, and then drops retardant directly ON some flames on the southern edge of the ‘escaped’ fire.

    In the second half of the video we also see a firefighter in a BLACK helmet ( and holding portable radio ) sitting on a rock and watching the drop take place. This could be Justin Smith.

    +0:00
    ( Just the sound of the airplane engine throughout this video ).
    ( No foreground talk or background radio conversations ).

    +0:9.18 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 016.avi
    File Size: 6.4 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:06 08:03:35
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 4.47 s

    Actual Date/Time: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 8:03:35 PM

    SEAT drop on the ‘escaped’ fire at 8:03:35 PM on June 29, 2013, just before dark.
    The entire video is slightly ‘out of focus’.

    +0:00
    ( Just the sound of the airplane engine throughout this short video ).
    ( No foreground talk or background radio conversations ).

    +0:4.47 – VIDEO ENDS

    *************************************************************************
    * SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2013
    *************************************************************************

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 017.avi
    File Size: 12 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:07 02:47:40
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 10.48 s

    Actual Date/Time: Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 2:47:40 PM

    This is the video taken while all those vehicles were still staged in that field just south of the Model Creek Elementary School ICP and the fire was approaching that field from the southwest.

    +0:00
    ( Just the sound of a diesel truck engine idling throughout this short video ).
    ( No foreground talk or background radio conversations ).

    +0:10.48 – END OF VIDEO

    NOTE: “USB YARNELL HILL 018.jpg” is a JPEG still photo taken in-between these AVI videos.

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 019.avi
    File Size: 8.0 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:07 03:56:25
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 8.11 s

    Actual Date/Time: Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 3:56:25 PM

    This is the video showing a Bucket Drop from Helicopter ‘Five Kilo Alpha’ and it was filmed almost right underneath it as it was ‘dropping’ There are FFs working with hoses near a chain link fence and there is a large, old-style black satellite dish inside the fencing.

    This is one of the structure protection efforts that was happening in the Sickles Road area.

    This house in the Sickles Road area was actually at the very southern end of ‘Apache Way’.

    The large black-mesh satellite dish seen in the video is exactly here…

    34.265465, -112.744423

    That puts the Firefighter in the WHITE Helmet running the hose exactly here, just outside the fence that surrounds the residence, and spraying water due WEST towards the fire.

    34.265386, -112.744379

    +0:00
    ( Helicopter noise throughout this 8 second video clip )

    +0:03
    ( Helicopter starts dropping water )

    +0:06
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): Crap.

    +0:07
    ( Helicopter stops dropping water )

    +0:07.5
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): More ( power? ).

    +0:8.11 – VIDEO ENDS

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 020.avi
    File Size: 17 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:07 04:16:46
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 15.31 s

    Actual Date/Time: Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 4:16:46 PM

    NOTE: This is the video taken looking west from Highway 89 just north of Yarnell proper with what appears to be Rance Marquez, Cougan Caruthers and Tony Sciacca conferring in front of the white cattle fence across the road.

    +0:00
    (Foreground: Unknown 1): That one can certainly wait.

    +0:01
    (Background: Unknown 2: Sounds like OPS1 Todd Abel ): ( To John Burfiend
    in B33 ) He said… both parties should be waitin’ ( in the attack area? ) ( to call ? ).

    +0:04
    (Foreground: Unknown 3): ( Laughing )

    +0:05
    (B33 – John Burfiend): Okay… soooo… right up against the pulse there… that’s where
    we’re gonna ( be droppin’ )?

    +0:07
    (Foreground: Unknown 1 ): What are you concerned about?

    +0:08
    (Foreground: Unknown 3 ): Nuthin’. Catching sumthin?

    +0:10
    (Foreground: Unknown 1 ): ( Laughing )
    (Foreground: Unknown 3 ): ( Also laughing )

    +0:11
    (Background: Unknown 2: Sounds like OPS1 Todd Abel ): That’s when I’m clearin’ fire
    around that structure… and they’re gonna get in the ( road ) ( VIDEO ENDS AND
    CUTS OFF THE NEXT WORD ).

    +0:15.31 – END OF VIDEO

    File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 021.avi
    File Size: 27 MB
    File Type: AVI
    Date/Time Original: 2011:03:07 04:53:47
    Software: CanonMVI06
    Duration: 22.19 s

    Actual Date/Time: Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 4:53:47 PM.

    This is the video taken from the ICP at the Model Creek Elementary School and looking back SOUTH at the gigantic smoke plume over Yarnell.

    This video was taken just 14 minutes after the first Granite Mountain MAYDAY call had appeared on the Air-To-Ground channel at 4:39 PM.

    At the END of this video is where we hear a group of FFs close to the camera talking about how they barely had time to get out themselves… and what they should DO now that the deployment traffic has hit the radio. They also discuss amongst themselves whether Granite Mountain had BLACK where they were… and one FF verifies that and says they had it (quote) “for the whole day”. Another FF responds to that with “Unbelievable” and then finally one FF begins to say something about “Hiding behind the radio”.

    +0:00
    (Background Radio: Unknown 1): When you (come?)(call?) be sure to ??

    +0:02
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): We made it just in time.

    +0:03
    (Foreground: Unknown 3: He is calling someone’s name): Billy.

    +0:04
    (Foreground: Unknown 4: Responding to Unknown 2): Yep. Ya gotta have the time to leave.

    +0:05
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): We can’t just forget it.

    +0:07
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): Nope.

    +0:08
    (Foreground: Unknown 5): Whadda we do?

    +0:12
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): We need to get anything we can ( in there ).

    +0:13
    (Background Radio: Unknown 6): One Task Force pulled out all the men but
    they did it at the announcements.

    +0:16
    (Foreground: Unknown 5): Did they have black?

    +0:17
    (Foreground: Unknown 2): Absolutely.

    +0:18
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): For the whole day.

    +0:19
    (Foreground: Unknown 5): Unbelievable.

    +0:21
    (Foreground: Unknown 4): When ya hide behind the (OPS?) radio… ( VIDEO ENDS )

    +0:22.19 – VIDEO ENDS

    • Marti Reed says

      Thanks for posting these, WTKTT. I was hoping you would. I haven’t even read this, but I will.

      Just wanted to say……I think we’re going to lose my mom. So I probably won’t post a bunch of things I was going to post, including re-organizing and reposting the Moki stuff, as well as a couple of other things. I’ve been pretty busy……..

      I just want to pop in and say I hope everybody sees “On PBS: “The Big Burn” — the fires of 1910” on Tuesday evening. There’s a bunch of things that have been recently published about it recently.

      Here’s the announcement article on Wildfire Today:

      http://wildfiretoday.com/2015/01/25/on-pbs-the-big-burn-the-fires-of-1910/

      They’ve done some other things about it also, so follow their various links.

      Funny think is, I don’t even have a TV set and this is the first thing in over a decade that makes me wish I did. Oh well, I know where to find a few.

      So, if I don’t post for awhile this is why. But I’m still here in SPIRIT and will definitely be READING!!! And I WILL be back! And, TBH, I tweet this “campfire” regularly. So there’s that.

      Thank you all for everything! Namaste!

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        We defy augury.
        There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.
        If it be now, ’tis not to come.
        If it be not to come, it will be now.
        If it be not now, yet it WILL come… the readiness is all.

        (William Shakespeare, Hamlet, V ii, 234-237)

        Namaste, Marti.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup… I forgot to point out one of the more interesting ‘radio captures’, and what it could possibly mean and/or prove.

      It’s in this Guadiana video…

      File Name: USB YARNELL HILL 020.avi
      Actual Date/Time: Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 4:16:46 PM

      This is the video taken looking west from Highway 89 just north of Yarnell proper with what appears to be Rance Marquez, Cougan Caruthers and Tony Sciacca conferring in front of the white cattle fence across the road.

      The ‘interesting’ part is the radio conversation captured in the background between John Burfiend in ‘Bravo 33’ and OPS1 Todd Abel.

      The time here ( in this Guadiana video ) is 4:16 PM.

      AA Rory Collins had left the fire because his pilot ‘timed out’ about 18 minutes prior to this at 3:58 PM. At about 3:50 PM ( just before he left ) is when Rory Collins told Thomas French and John Burfiend in B33 that “in case they hadn’t noticed” there was a LOT of fire headed straight for Yarnell and they had better (quote) “get down there an take a look at that”.

      Thomas French ( in B33 ) wanted to finish what he had been doing with the VLATS up NORTH on Model Creek Road and said he would turn his attention to Yarnell when he was done with that. Rory Collins actually sort of gave French ‘permission’ to go ahead and do that first.

      So at this moment in this Guadiana video… the following things are true…

      It’s been 18 minutes since Rory Collins officially left and B33 has, since that moment, been doing ‘double duty’ as BOTH ‘Air Attack’ and ‘Lead Plane’ at the same time. The ‘agreement’ between French and Burfiend on how they were going to really handle that was that Thomas French ( the pilot of B33 ) would handle all the “Air-To-Air” radio traffic and John Burfiend ( in the right seat of B33 ) would handle all the “Air-To-Ground” radio traffic. ATGS Trainee Clint Cross was the THIRD person in B33 that day and mostly ‘mentoring’ with John Burfiend but we still have no idea what Clint Cross really was or wasn’t doing… or what he might have heard or witnessed himself that day. He was present at the SAIT interview with French and Burfiend but no one ever asked him a question and he is not quoted as having said anything to the SAIT investigators.

      It’s been 26 minutes since Rory Collins first advised French and Burfiend that the fire was headed straight for Yarnell… and they needed to start dealing with that.

      It’s also been 26 minutes since we have heard OPS1 Todd Able say to Eric Marsh ( in the 3:50 PM Robert Caldwell video )… “You guys hunker and be safe, keep ME informed, and we’ll get some Air Support down there ASAP”.

      So that’s the ‘context’ for this radio conversation we now hear in Guadiana’s 4:16 PM video.

      It’s now 4:16 PM and it’s been almost a half-hour since Rory Collins told B33 to start dealing with protecting Yarnell… and also almost a half-hour since OPS1 Todd Abel told Marsh there would be “Air Support down there ASAP”.

      Yet… even here at 4:16 PM we ( apparently ) hear OPS1 Todd Abel still preoccupied with that single structure protection work ( just one house ) he was doing out on Miner’s Camp Road and arranging with Burfiend in B33 for ‘another drop’ up there on the NORTH side of the fire where HE was working.

      Here is the condensed exchange between Abel and Burfiend at 4:16 PM…

      ——————————————————————————–
      +0:01
      (Background Radio: Sounds like OPS1 Todd Abel ): ( To John Burfiend
      in B33 ) He said… both parties should be waitin’ ( in the attack area? ) ( to call ? ).

      +0:05
      (B33 – John Burfiend): Okay… soooo… right up against the pulse there… that’s where
      we’re gonna ( be droppin’ )?

      +0:11
      (Background: Unknown 2: Sounds like OPS1 Todd Abel ): That’s when I’m clearin’ fire
      around that structure… and they’re gonna get in the ( road ) ( VIDEO ENDS AND
      CUTS OFF THE NEXT WORD ).
      ———————————————————————————-

      Without that THIRD follow-up call from Abel to Burfiend… the first TWO transmissions could almost be taken to mean that Abel was trying to tell Burfiend to drop near that ‘pulse’ on the SOUTH side of the fire… near Yarnell… and that two ‘mysterious’ PARTIES were down THERE ‘waiting to call him’… or something.

      However… given the specifics in that THIRD follow-up transmission… with Abel seeming to indicate the drop he wanted had everything to do with what HE was doing there on Miner’s Camp road… I’d say that means this exchange with Burfiend really was Abel trying to arrange for another retardant drop up there where HE was…and NOT anywhere down on the SOUTH end of the fire.

      Either way… this single exchange would then probably mean one of the following…

      1) If Abel just wanted a drop where the fire was ‘pulsing’ up NORTH on Miner’s camp road and where HE was working on trying to save one single house… then that means the OPS1 on this fire himself was still ( as late as 4:16 PM ) delaying ‘Bravo 33’ from getting to the SOUTH end of the fire and even starting to do anything about protecting Yarnell.

      2) If Abel was actually referring to where the fire was ‘pulsing’ down there on the SOUTH end and near Yarnell… then who are the TWO mysterious ‘parties’ that Abel seems to be telling Burfiend are “waiting to talk to him” when he ( Burfiend ) got down there?

      Could one of those mysterious ‘parties’ Abel was referring to have been Eric Marsh?… to whom Abel had already said almost a half-hour earlier “We’ll get some Air Support down there ASAP’?

    • Bob Powers says

      WTKTT
      A little information on DOC crews.
      If they are run the same as in the past. The Crew Boss is a State FF and runs the crew on the Fire The Sargent is like the Jail Guard takes care of the inmates off the fire, He probably would have stayed with the crew that did not go up on the fire just my guess. I was wondering why he would be on the fire????? Also doubt that any of the Inmates Names would be released in any report or investigation not normal. The dispatch record may not show their names either.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Correct. The Dispatch logs do NOT list the names of any prison inmates… and rightly so.

        In the ADOSH notes and emails folder, however, there IS a copy of a document ADOSH received listing the names of all 20 of the Yuma DOC crew that were there in Yarnell from 8:00 AM Saturday morning and on through Sunday. The entire Yuma crew was given no assignment at all on Saturday by AZF ICT4 Shumate. They ended up just ‘hanging around’ the Yarnell Fire Station for all of Saturday.

        There is no corresponding ADOSH document listing the members of the Lewis crew.

        So other than Lewis CRWB Jake Guadiana… we really still do NOT know who the other FIVE Lewis crew members were up on the ridge on Saturday.

        We do know Lewis Prison Sergeant Leo Vasquez WAS there in Yarnell… but there doesn’t seem to be any definite proof he was ever up on the ridge.

        When I saw that second FF exiting the chopper with the chest mounted radio rig my first thought was… that must be Vasquez since Guadiana is obviously filming the video.

        My next thought was then… Whoa… wait a minute… if both Guadiana and Vasquez are up on the ridge then who is down in Yarnell watching the other 14 or so prison inmates.

        I know it is very rare for any of these DOC inmates to just ‘walk away’ while on a fire assignment… but it has been known to happen.

        So yes… I think we can assume Sergeant Vasquez remained in Yarnell on Saturday.

        That still just begs the question… who were the other FIVE firefighters up there with Jake Guadiana and Nate Peck… and why were none of them (apparently) never interviewed.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Actually… there’s always been another ‘question’ begging in there and that has to do with whether any of these Lewis prison inmates will EVER be able to talk about what happened on Saturday, June 29, 2013 or Sunday, June 30, 2013.

          When you go to prison… you lose most ( but not ALL ) of your first amendment rights to freedom of speech. That’s a given.

          So there is no doubt the State of Arizona Corrections Department and Arizona Forestry have been able to control and/or restrict WHO has access to these inmates and WHAT they are allowed to say to anyone who DOES contact them about any work they were doing on an AZ DOC work crew.

          But what about when any of these inmates have fulfilled their obligation to society and they get OUT of prison?

          I wonder if they still would be bound by some kind of perpetual ‘cofidentiality’ agreement that they may have had to sign when they joined one of these in-house work programs like the DOC Wildfire crew(s)?

          I haven’t been able to find any documents online that resemble anything like a ‘contract’ that any of these inmates might have to sign when they start working on one of these crews.

          I will bet that more than just one of these inmates really wouldn’t mind telling their own ‘story’ of their experiences in Yarnell that weekend.

          I hope some ( or all ) of them one day get the chance to do that.

          This wasn’t a ‘first fire’ for the famous Lewis DOC Crew.
          They were not ‘rank amateurs’ and they had been ‘around the block’.

          Heck… for all we know… these Lewis Crew inmates might have actually been just as mystified by the actions of ICT4 Russ Shumate on Saturday and might have had just as ‘little faith’ in Shumate’s decisions as Moki Helitack Nate Peck himself said HE was/had.

          Once again… from Moki Helitack Nate Peck’s SAIT interview…
          ——————————————————————–
          Right before dark, called IC and asked for intent.
          He was asked for his order for resources as intent.
          By this point, fire is moving,
          SEAT dropped MISSED.
          Still need to tie in but NO SAW GAS and NOT going to happen.
          Focus now is to secure the anchor point for the next morning’s work.

          I have felt that things were poor at this time and little faith in IC and process.
          Stayed on the clock with crew all night.
          I have struggled with the IC and process.
          ——————————————————————–

  35. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** ONE BUSH

    In Shumate’s second ADOSH interview… he says that the infamous moment when the fire ‘jumped over’ the two-track road that was supposed to be the EAST containment boundary of the fire was just ONE BUSH that flared up… and it happened WHILE the Helicopter was hovering directly over the fire and delivering those 12 Bladder Bags.

    ———————————————————————————–
    1375 The anchor was the rock face with the retardant.
    1376 The only place it was moving was it had jumped,
    1377 there was a little green pocket between the fire’s edge and that Jeep trail and
    1378 that’s what it’s like one bush that took off and jumped over that road.
    ————————————————————————————

    So for the sake of just ONE BUSH… the entire ‘Initial Attack’ was lost.

    There had been NO attempt to reinforce that two-track with retardant during the morning SEAT drops under Dan Eckstein’s AA supervision… OR any attempt to drop any retardant on these ‘green pockets’ that were known to be sitting there along the two-track.

    AA Dan Eckstein had ONLY directed the SEATS to drop on the NORTH and SOUTH sides of the fire. There were also only four SEAT drops that morning before Shumate ‘released’ Eckstein and the SEATS back to base. 2 drops each from 2 separate planes.

    2 drops on the NORTH edge of the fire and 2 drops on the SOUTH edge of the fire.

    Also… the 7 person crew that was up there all afternoon had made NO attempt to ‘improve’ the two-track or even ‘cut back’ any vegetation from the sides of that two-track road.

    We still don’t know what Nate Peck, Jake Guadiana, Leo Vasquez and the four inmates were really doing all afternoon up there… but we know (now) some things they did NOT do.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      Shumate said…

      “ONE bush that took off and jumped over that road”.

      He makes it sound like the bush itself got up and walked across the road.

      Not a chance. That automatically means that not only was there this kind of FUEL still left there along the fire-side of the two-track even after hours of ;mop up’ work… it means that the OTHER side of the two-track hadn’t been improved or cleared of any ‘catch-fuel’, either.

      • Bob Powers says

        All this information of the escape of the fire from someone sitting in Yarnell.
        He never was on the Fire line Interesting.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Exactly. For Shumate to actually be telling ADOSH “It’s like ONE BUSH that took off”… that can’t be a GUESS on his part.

          Since he, himself, was NEVER up there ( and never even did any of his own RECONS with N14HX )… then this really must represent what someone ?? who WAS up there had TOLD him about ‘what happened’.

          So how much ELSE was he told about what did ( or didn’t happen ) up there that day that has never seen the light of day?

          Better yet… WHO was telling this to Shumate and why has that first-hand account also never seen the light of day?

  36. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Marti Reed post on January 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    >> Marti Reed said…
    >>
    >> I still believe if they had been making any kind of efficient use of N14HX,
    >> which was ALREADY being paid for. this whole moment of uncertainty
    >> could have been avoided.

    There is also the following from ADOSH’s interview with Arizona State Fire Managment Officer ( FMO ) David Geyer.

    Arizona Forestry was ‘paying’ for one Arizona DPS’s helicopters, and a ‘cooperative’ agreement was in place for AZ Forestry to use up to THREE DPS Helicopters ( at basically ANY time ) for ‘Bucket Work’. on a ‘Initial Attack’.

    Arizona Forestry had also seen to it that all the DPS Pilots were ‘certified’ for Bucket Work.

    So even if BLM Duty Officer Bruce Olsen hadn’t decided on Friday night that BLM should enter into this ‘cooperative IA’ plan with Shumate and also ‘bring resources’ to Yarnell on Saturday… AZ Forestry ICT4 Russ Shumate still had that ‘DPS Bucket Drop’ option available to him.

    NOTE: The following day ( Sunday )… when DPS Helicopter Ranger 58 was finally requested to help in Yarnell… it DID arrive with it’s own ‘Bambi Bucket’ and fully ready to participate in ‘Bucket Work’. It was never used for that purpose on Sunday. Ranger 58 was ONLY being used for RECON on Sunday.

    But Shumate COULD have called it in on Saturday if he wanted to… complete with ‘Bucket’.

    Actually ( according to FMO David Geyer ), Shumate could have called in up to THREE DPS Helicopters that day… each with its own ‘Bambi Bucket’.

    Here is that part of David Geyer’s ADOSH interview…

    Q1 = Dave Larsen, ADOSH WFA investigator ( Rest in Peace )
    A = David Geyer, Arizona State Forestry’s Fire Management Officer ( FMO )
    ————————————————————————————–
    522 Q1: You have a – you have helitack – state helitack people?
    523
    524 A: We do not – we do not have our own helicopter. Um, what we have done in
    525 the aviation side of the world is this last year we partnered very well with the,
    526 uh, the Department of Public Safety, DPS.
    527
    528 Q1: Okay.
    529
    530 A: We paid to keep one of their – their helicopters on and it doesn’t mean that
    531 that’s our helicopter. What it means is instead of having one or two on that
    532 day, they can have two or three. They are all trained. You – this last year, we
    533 took them through the bucket work and – and, uh, and so they’re trained at
    534 that.
    535
    536 Q1: Carded for buckets?
    537
    538 A: Ah… basically for the state land. They’re not for the federal. Um, would I like
    539 to see that in the future? But they are – they are a useful tool for the buckets.
    540 They have been used for inserting of our own personnel. Um, that – that kind
    541 of area. Ah, we can call on the National Guard as well.
    ————————————————————————————–

    The Yarnell fire was definitely on STATE land.

    So even if BLM hadn’t decided to bring N14HX to Yarnell on Saturday… Shumate had direct access to up to THREE ‘Bucket capable’ DPS Helicopters on Saturday if he had felt the need to include ‘Bucket Drops’ as part of his ‘Initial Attack’.

    Actually… if N14HX itself had NOT just ‘happened’ to be coming to Yarnell on Saturday as part of the ‘cooperative Initial Attack’ plan with BLM… then the moment the Lewis CRWB told Shumate the DOC crews would NOT be able to (quote) “achieve a hike to the fire”… I suppose Shumate would have HAD to call up one of the DPS Helicopters to try and get anyone up there to fight the fire on Saturday.

    Without N14HX just ‘accidentally’ being there… Shumate would have then been stuck with 2 full Type 2 Hand Crews standing around in the Yarnell Hill Fire Department parking lot and no way to get any of them up there to fight the fire.

    OR… he may have had to turn to the Lewis and Yuma CRWBs and say…

    “I’m not sure you fully understand the situation. You have GOT to find a way to hike up there.”

  37. Bob Powers says

    WTKTT and Marti
    Know you were Discussing the Air tanker accuracy. wanted to reply.
    There are several variables to accuracy. Wind, Height, Terrain & Pilot proficiency.
    The average accuracy is probably around 80% some Pilots are better than that but few ever
    have a 100% on all drops all year. They do not have bomb sites like Bomb plains its purity much a fly by the seat of your paints thing Pilot estimates of when to let go and adjust for wind, speed, and Height. About the time you really need a great drop Your at their mercy have lost a couple of fires because of a blow out from a missed drop. Also have had great success with others.
    That is what I like about Helicopters they are a lot more accurate if they don’t get to close to the ground.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Bob Powers post January 31, 2015 at 10:46 am

      >> Bob Powers said…
      >>
      >> The average accuracy is probably around 80% some Pilots are better
      >> than that but few ever have a 100% on all drops all year.

      Copy that. I wasn’t suggesting for one second that ALL of the SEAT drops on Saturday were worthless. Nothing of the sort.

      In fact… take a look at the following Jake Guadiana video…

      “USB YARNELL HILL 015”

      That’s the video clip of that SEAT coming right over the ridge and absolutely NAILING that drop on the side of the ‘escaping’ fire.

      It’s absolutely awesome how LOW he was coming ‘blind’ over that ridge and how he absolutely nailed it.

      All I was saying is that at the same time there is photographic evidence that SOME of the SEAT drops were SPOT on… there is also some actual photographic evidence of some TOTAL MISSES… and that one of those was at a very critical moment just after the fire had jumped the two-track road ( The Rory Collins photos ).

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> They do not have bomb sites like Bomb plains its purity
      >> much a fly by the seat of your paints thing Pilot estimates of
      >> when to let go and adjust for wind, speed, and Height.

      Exactly. The photographic evidence of the critical MISSED drop doesn’t show any kind of ‘access’ or ‘alignment’ problem. The guy was ‘flying the right line’. It just appears that he totally misjudged the ‘drift’ and it all fell to the ground faster than he thought it would… and just dropped into the black BEHIND the advancing ‘escaped’ fireline.

      That just unfortunate. It fell in the WORST place it could where it made no difference at all.

      If he had ‘erred’ in the OTHER direction ( towards the Leeward side ), then is MIGHT have then fallen in FRONT of the advancing fireline instead of ON it ( which is what it looks like he was trying to do )… and at least that MIGHT have had some chance of slowing it down.

      The whole thing falling BEHIND the fireline and into the black meant it was a worthless drop and had no chance of affecting anything at all.

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> About the time you really need a great drop Your at their mercy
      >> have lost a couple of fires because of a blow out from a missed drop.
      >> Also have had great success with others.
      >> That is what I like about Helicopters they are a lot more accurate
      >> if they don’t get to close to the ground.

      See a new post above with some testimony from Arizona Fire Management Officer ( FMO ) David Geyer.

      He was telling ADOSH that Arizona Forestry ( including ICT4 Shumate ) had access to up to THREE ‘Bucket Capable’ DPS Helicopters basically any time they wanted them… and AZF had seen to it that all the DPS Pilots were ‘certified’ for Bucket Work on State Lands.

        • Bob Powers says

          It also might be that AZFire was holding the costs down on Shumate which has not been stated any where and could have been Verbal between the State and Shumate. Just saying that could happen Holding costs down is becoming a reality in the IA of fires No body throws every thing at them any more. He had all he was going to get for Saturday.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Actually… the ADOSH investigators did a pretty good job of following this “line of inquiry’ during their interviews with Russ Shumate AND his own AZF ‘higher ups’ like Arizona State Forestry Fire Management Officer ( FMO ) David Geyer… and Geyers boss, State Forester Scott Hunt himself.

            Turns out Scott Hunt says he was pretty much ‘clueless’ about what was happening in Yarnell on Saturday. It wasn’t until the whole ‘Type 2’ request showed up after the Initial Attack FAILED that Hunt was even ‘pulled into the loop’.

            David Geyer told ADOSH that about the only ‘understanding’ in the Arizona Forestry system is that if any Incident starts to spend more than $50,000 ( FIFTY THOUSAND ) dollars… he would like to then start to be ‘included in the loop’… but only then for what he called ‘informational purposes’. He said his thinking is that if you are spending more than $50,000 for an ‘Initial Attack’ then that means the fire is probably starting to encroach on other jurisdictions and it would then be time for him to get involved and start doing some ‘Public Relations’ work.

            As for Shumate… when he was being asked about whether he had to CONSULT with anyone about what to order up for Initial Attack… he said the following…

            ———————————————————
            I have the abilities and authorities to determine an appropriate management response to a fire.
            ———————————————————

            In other words… NO… I get to call the shots on Initial Attack.

            ADOSH didn’t just let it go at that. They pressed him for more information about WHEN he was supposed to go ‘higher up’ and start ‘consulting’ with his superiors…

            ———————————————————
            Q2: Okay. And so if you – if you chose to monitor a fire rather than direct – direct action for whatever the reason maybe, you don’t have to go to a higher level of the organization to get that approved, uh, you can take that action and then tell them that you’ve done it that – or that’s what you’re doing? Or do you need some higher level of approval?

            A: I would say that it’s case-by-case. Um, I feel that my time in the agency and my experience level has – would probably afford me more leeway to be more of the – this what I’m doing and not inform you of what I’m doing and the response be okay. I probably have more of that leeway than maybe a newer person might.

            Q2: Yeah. So the – the ability to do that doesn’t necessarily come with the position, but with – with the knowledge rather than the position?

            A: I would say that’s a fair characterization.

            Q2: Okay. All right.

            A: I would say that there’s oversight and if somebody else had other ideas that there would be a meeting to determine the best and appropriate management response.

            Q2: Okay.

            A: So if somebody disagreed with me there would be…

            Q2: There would be an opportunity to change that.

            A: …an opportunity to reevaluate and s- either me give them my reasons for doing it and them giving you their reasons for wanting to do something else.

            Q2: Okay. Yeah. All right. Uh, let’s move on.
            ————————————————————–

            Notice that Shumate was only describing in ‘general terms’ what the normal procedure would be. He doesn’t give any detail about exactly what the situation was THAT weekend… for the Yarnell Hill Fire.

            In AZ FMO David Geyer’s ADOSH interview we learn that he certainly was ‘in the loop’ about Shumate’s approach to this ‘Initial Attack’… but it’s pretty clear that it was ‘Shumae’s show’ and there is no evidence DAvid Geyer was putting any LIMITS on what Shumate might have wanted or needed.

            The decision to bring in a ‘Type 2’ team after the Intial Attack FAILED is a different story.

            The decision to bring in just a Type 2 SHORT team seems to definitely have come out of a phone call conversation between David Geyer and Roy Hall.

            Shumate said he ‘had no preference’ regarding the Type 2 ‘short’ versus ‘long’ deal… just as long as a boatload of good OPS people would be showing up the next day.

            The actual decision to go with a SHORT team seemed to then be made after Shumate’s request and David Geyer got on the phone with Roy Hall.

            It really does LOOK like that decision/suggestion was Roy Hall’s itself… but it’s also not known if David Geyer was ‘bean counting’ on that phone call with Hall and encouraging the ‘cheaper’ option himself.

            • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

              To the best of my recollection, the state ONLY HAD one team of any Type, and THEY were it! I’m not sure if they had the immediate capability to go either LONG or SHORT, or were strictly just able to respond as a Short Team.

              But as far as capability goes, I doubt they could respond as a Long Team, because they were never, EVER, able to put together even a full Short Team when they were under-the-gun.

              If the bean counters were riding-herd on all State fire responses during that time period, it is completely understandable how they ended-up with only prison crews and a Short Team.

              Understandable, but not necessarily acceptable.

              • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                Follow-up clarification:

                While I noted above that I believed the “State” (State of Arizona) only had one Team, there WERE also 3 other National Type II Teams in Arizona, as well 2 Southwest Type I National Teams with members from AZ and the SW.

                But it was a State fire, and they’re going to budget and staff it as they so choose, and we are left with what we are left with.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  According to Roy Hall’s own ADOSH testimony… on Sunday morning… it was 20 minutes BEFORE he even had Russ Shumate make the ‘radio announcements’ that it was now HIS fire that he called AZ FMO David Geyer directly and placed his own order for the FULL Type 2 ‘Central West Zone’ team ( Bea Day’s FULL team ).

                  From Roy Hall’s ADOSH interview…
                  Notice the TIME. He said it was only 10:00 AM…
                  —————————————————–
                  A: And – and made a suggestion to him based on, uh, now it’s 10 o’clock and the fire is a little more active and it’s moving out to the northeast and northwest towards, uh, Model Creek School. And I made a phone call to David and I suggested to him that they go ahead and place an order for the central west zone type 2 team.
                  ——————————————————-

                  What happened from that point on is that Roy Hall was now just ‘assuming’ he was going to eventually get Bea Day’s FULL Type 2 team… as he just requested… so he just started calling people on that team ‘off the radar’ and telling them to get their butts to Yarnell.

                  There had still been no ‘complexity analysis’, no IAP, and not even an ‘official’ transition from Shumate’s ‘Type 4’ incident to the ‘Type 2 Short’ management.

                  An hour goes by. Hall then calls Jim Downey. Geyer hadn’t even told Downey about Hall’s request for Bea Day’s team yet and Roy Hall reiterated his NEED and wanted them to ‘get on it’….

                  ————————————————-
                  A: Bea Day was the type 2 IC. Following that call I – at 11:07 had a conversation – or thereabouts with Jim Downey. And Jim Downey and I talked and I said I – has David talked to you about the type 2 team order? And he said no. Uh, I said well you guys need to – you guys need to visit. I’m suggesting – strongly suggesting type team full blown central west zone team, because they’re – they’re closest here…
                  ————————————————-

                  Immediately after that 11;07 AM call to Downey… Roy Hall says he THEN called Bea Day directly to verify here ‘position in the rotation’ since even though he wanted HER team specifically ( because they were closest ) he wasn’t sure if they were ‘up at bat’ or not.

                  Roy Hall hears direct from Bea Day herself that YES… her team was ‘UP’ in the rotation…

                  ————————————————-
                  A: I left it at that recommendation and left the conversation between Jim and David. And then after I got off the phone with Jim, I made a call to Bea Day And, uh – and I called Bea Day and asked her about her position in the rotation.

                  Q2: Mm-hm.

                  A: Where are you in that – because I don’t follow that.

                  Q2: Right.

                  A: I don’t follow those other team’s rotation. It’s too confusing to me. And I don’t know what the batting order is.

                  Q2: Right.

                  A: I don’t keep track. And she said no we are up…

                  Q2: They were up?

                  A: They were up.
                  ————————————————-

                  So my whole point here is that Bea Day’s FULL Central West Zone Type 2 team WAS available.

                  They were just as available the previous night as Hall was now hearing at 11:00 AM Sunday that they were ‘up’ in the rotation… and available.

                  The only mystery here is why, when Russ Shumate’s Initial Attack FAILED and he was now on the phone asking for a ‘Type 2’ team… that Bea Day’s FULL team wasn’t immediately thrown into action.

                  By 10:00 AM the next morning… that’s who Roy Hall would now be ‘ordering’ anyway… and her team WAS not only ‘available’… they WERE, in fact, ‘next up’ in the regular rotation.

                  I still think Yarnell on Sunday would have been a story of being ‘behind the curve’… but if the ‘Central West Zone Type 2’ team had been activated the night before and had hit the ground running in Yarnell Sunday morning… I think a LOT of things might have been VERY different that day… and ( possibly ) no fatalities that afternoon.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to TTWARE post on January 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm

                >> TTWARE said…
                >>
                >> To the best of my recollection, the state ONLY
                >> HAD one team of any Type, and THEY were it!
                >> I’m not sure if they had the immediate capability
                >> to go either LONG or SHORT, or were strictly
                >> just able to respond as a Short Team.

                See other reply above. They ( Arizona FMO David Geyer, specifically ) DID have the ability to ‘go LONG’, as they say.

                We KNOW ( now ) that Bea Day’s FULL Central West Zone Type 2 team was not only available ( and the closest Type 2 team to Yarnell )… they were, in fact, NEXT UP in the ROTATION.

                So we ALSO know now that once Shumate requested a Type 2 on Saturday evening… there was some specific decision on David Geyer’s part to NOT call Bea Day right away.

                How do we know that?

                WHY would David Geyer even be calling Roy Hall and even asking him if he could take Yarnell as a ‘Type 2 IC’ unless Geyer had already decided to NOT activate the next available Type 2 team on the ‘roster’ itself? ( Bea Day’s team ).

                Roy Hall should have never even gotten that phone call.

                Shumate asked for a Type 2 team.

                The Central West Zone Type 2 was ‘available’, VERY close to the fire itself , and NEXT UP in the rotation.

                So WHY did Geyer even call Roy Hall at all?

                There is nothing in David Geyer’s ADOSH interview about this.

                Geyer DID go into detail about his phone call TO Roy Hall… and said it was ‘during that phone call’ that THEY ( plural? ) decided to go with a SHORT roster…

                …but ADOSH never asked him…

                “Why did you call Roy Hall at all? Why didn’t you just fill Shumate’s request with the next Type 2 ‘up at bat’ on the roster?”

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Just for reference… HERE is that moment in Roy Hall’s ADOSH interview where HE describes that initial phone call he got from David Geyer asking him to take Yarnell as a Type 2 IC.

                  There is still no explanation here why Geyer was even calling Hall and didn’t just order up the next Type 2 team on the roster ( The Central West Zone Type 2 team )… but at least this is Roy Hall confirming that the decision to go with a SHORT ‘Type 2’ team happened WHILE he and David Geyer were talking on the phone…

                  From Roy Hall’s ADOSH interview…
                  —————————————————-
                  A: I was contacted, uh, Saturday evening the 29th of June, uh, by David Geyer, uh, and – and it was about somewhere between 7:30 and 8 o’clock.

                  We talked about the – the fire and – and so at that point and time we discussed the – the various options and what they felt like their needs were for that fire.

                  The agreement was that we would go with a – a compliment of team members – of 17 team members including, uh, an additional resource order for two safety officers, closest available.
                  —————————————————–

                  So there it is.

                  It was just David Geyer and Roy Hall discussing what THEY thought Yarnell needed… and they AGREED that a 17 member team would be OK… instead of calling up the next ACTUAL ( Full ) Type 2 team that was ‘at bat’ on the roster ( Bea Day’s team ).

                  This was 8:00 PM Saturday evening.

                  Just 14 hours later… at 10:00 AM Sunday morning… Roy Hall would be calling David Geyer back directly and asking him to order Bea Day’s Central West Zone Type 2 team, anyway.

                  • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                    WTKTT said,

                    “There is still no explanation here why Geyer was even calling Hall and didn’t just order up the next Type 2 team on the roster ( The Central West Zone Type 2 team )…”

                    I know I’m stating the obvious here, but a jerry-rigged State Short Team on a state juridiction fire, is going to be a MUCH cheaper hit on the State’s budget than ordering a full-blown national Type II Team.

                    Of course, no-one in the decision making process will ever concede to that thought process, but if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then…………………

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      By the time the dust clears and the REAL ‘Hit on the State Budget’ is over… The Governor and the citizens of Arizona are going to wish Arizona Forestry had done both of the following…

                      1) Let Shumate spend as much money as needed on Saturday… and get the BEST crews and resources available so long as that Initial Attack SUCCEEDED. Spend money up front.. Don’t FAIL. That’s WAAAY more expensive.

                      2) Let the FMO ( David Geyer ) just call up the next FULL Type 2 team on the roster… instead of using that hodge-podge of ‘On Call’ retired guys.

                      Lessons Learned?

                      The ‘legal’ concept at play here is something called ‘assumption of responsibility’.

                      So let me also do my own ‘stating the obvious’.

                      It’s simple.

                      Once an agency or an entity has ‘assumed responsibility’… then it now has legal obligations to perform that task professionally, expediently, and in a manner that is MOST likely to produce SUCCESS, not FAILURE.

                      “We thought we could save some money” isn’t gonna cut the cake here.

                    • Marti Reed says

                      Totally agree with both of you. And (I’m doing this off the top of my head, but I have things I could post to corroborate this) I think that HAS been one of the things that has changed (especially in
                      “Region 3”) as a result of Yarnell.

                      I think there are other more specific Lessons Learned that need to be learned from all of this.

                      But I think beefing up IAs and resources, once “you” decide to take responsibility for fighting the damn fire, is where things are headed.

                      Which, of course, in this time of stripping dollars from agencies (both federal and state) responsible for maintaining the health of all kinds of versions of “The Commons,” means that:

                      If you are going to spend whatever it takes to put out fires before they get “really REALLY expensive” to put out, means less money going to the even messier and more complicated work of reducing the factors that are causing these fires to be so dangerous in the first place.

  38. Bob Powers says

    New Update—Looks like the Board approved benefits for the widows of Misner and Warneke.
    today with a unanimous vote against the city of Prescott. So they will get the retirement and health insurance benefits for their families.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Bob Powers post on January 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      >> Bob Powers wrote…
      >>
      >> New Update—Looks like the Board approved benefits for the
      >> widows of Misner and Warneke.today with a unanimous vote
      >> against the city of Prescott.

      That’s GREAT news!

      >> Bob Powers also said…
      >>
      >> So they will get the retirement and health insurance benefits for their families.

      I certainly hope so. This was just a decision by The Prescott Board of the Public Safety Retirement System (PSPRS) that they are, indeed, ELIGIBLE for the benefits.

      I think the Prescott City Council still has to ‘approve’ that decision… or decide to APPEAL it like they did with the Aschcraft ruling.

      They are actually even MORE likely to appeal in this case than in the Ashcraft case because while Ashcraft had definitely been working the ‘full time’ hours for 16 months… Misner and Warneke were only actually HIRED onto GM in April of 2013. They had only been working for Granite Mountain / City of Prescott for 3 months when they died.

      The MINIMUM eligibility for the PSPRS retirement benefits is actually 6 months of employment. That’s what makes these cases fundamentally different from Ashcraft.

      I’m glad the Prescott PSPRS decided that the 6 month requirement was NOT a deciding factor as far as eligibility goes.

      Some people are still talking about erecting life-size bronze statues of each and every one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots ( Warneke and Misner included ) either out at the site or somewhere in Prescott… yet here is the City of Prescott itself still trying to decide if their widows and orphaned children are even entitled to pension and heath benefits.

      Unbelievable.

      Here’s the ‘Daily Courier’ article about the decision.
      Not much detail… but article promises more about it tomorrow ( Saturday ).

      http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=141238

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Here is the Prescott Daily Courier ‘followup’ article that appeared Saturday…

        http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&subsectionID=1086&articleID=141259

        It’s still not TOTALLY clear whether this decision on the part of the PSPRS retirement Board decision is the ‘end of the story’… and that it is now a ‘done deal’… but the article does say this…

        —————————————————————–
        Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, who serves as the chairman of the local fire board, earlier voted against the Andrew Ashcraft survivor retirement benefit, saying at the time that he needed more time to consider the evidence.

        On the Misner and Warneke claim, Kuykendall voted for benefits, and said afterward: “We’re glad to get this behind us so everyone can start moving forward.”
        —————————————————————-

        So it appears that the MAYOR of Prescott is ‘onboard’ with the decision this time and I assume that means he won’t be pushing the City Council to ‘appeal’ the PSPRS decision like he did in Ashcraft’s case.

        Darrell Willis testified again… and was FOR the widows and children of Warneke and Misner receiving the standard survivor’s benefits.

        There were, apparently, no specific questions ( to Willis or any of the others who testified ) about what ‘happened’ on June 30, 2013… but there was an extensive debate about whether the GM Hotshots were doing ‘hazardous duty’ all the time… a repeat of the same debate from the Ashcraft hearings.

        Melissa Fousek is the Human Resources ( HR ) director for City of Prescott.

        She was ‘on the stand’ and was the one testifying that for the majority of their employment with the City of Prescott… the GM Hotshots were NOT doing ‘hazardous duty’.

        Attorney Patrick McGroder ( representing the families of Misner and Warneke ) asked her if she had any ‘personal information’ to back up her claim…

        ————————————————————————
        Patrick McGroder, attorney for Misner and Warneke, asked Fousek repeatedly whether she had “any personal, any foundational information” to back up her claim that the Hotshots were not regularly assigned to hazardous duty.
        ————————————————————————

        Melissa Fousek apparently responded with some whacky bit of mental gymnastics that the only time they were doing ‘Hazardous duty’ was when they were actually fighting a fire… but otherwise the City didn’t consider them to have a ‘Hazardous’ job and their payroll wasn’t coded as such…

        ————————————————————————
        Even though the Hotshots’ duty was hazardous while they were fighting a fire, Fousek said, they were not regularly assigned to hazardous duty. Their payroll was coded differently for the various duties, she said.
        ————————————————————————

        As far as ‘personal knowledge’ goes… remember this is the SAME “Melissa Fousek’ who was on that ‘Employee Interview Committee’ that interviewed all the GM Hotshots who were applying for the GM Squad Boss job when Philip Maldonado vacated that position in March of 2013… just a few months before the tragedy.

        Melissa Fousek was the fourth person along with Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed and Clayton Whitted on that committee that ultimately ended up hiring Robert Caldwell as the replacement for ‘Squad Boss’ Philip Maldonado.

        Melissa Fousek herself also directly heard that ‘testimony’ from Andrew Ashcraft during the interviews about that ‘dicey’ situation in Nevada where GM ended up ( apparently ) having to ‘burn out their safety zone’ and ‘survive’ something that was potentially life-threatening.

        All FOUR of the interviewers made similar notes as Ashcraft was relating the story of the ‘Nevada safety zone’ burnout and how ‘proud’ he was of himself for ‘keeping a cool head’… but here is interviewer Melissa Fousek’s OWN notes that SHE made while Ashcraft was talking…

        ————————————————————
        Committee Member: Melissa Fousek
        GM Hotshot being interviewed: Andrew Ashcraft
        PDF page: 10

        (3) Nevada – burn out safety zone. Kept a cool head.
        Turned out ok.
        ————————————————————

        So there is no doubt that at some point… HR Director Melissa Fousek had been hearing ( with her own ears ) directly from GM Hotshots how ‘dangerous’ the work can be.

        Anyway… I hope this is the ‘end of the story’ here with regards to the widows and orphaned children of Billy Warneke and Sean Misner receiving full pension and health benefits.

        It should be noted that the ‘children’ involved here are BOTH the babies that were born AFTER the men died. They are the ones that will never have known their fathers at all.

        • Bob Powers says

          I might add for the record. FS and BLM Fire Fighters who start as a crew person and work up thru the Fire ranks when they get a 13 and 13 appointment they start paying into the Federal retirement system. There part time employment also goes toward there years of service. Because of their hazardous occupation
          they build a different retirement system than regular Federal employees.
          They can retire at age 50 with 20 years of service and Mandatory at age 55.
          Under the Fire and law enforcement Government retirement program.
          So it is a very well documented Hazardous work environment even Federal Fire Fighters do not work full time in fire suppression spending winters doing other projects.
          Personal Note– I retired at 50 with 33 years FS at almost 75% of my base pay.
          Benefits to my Spouse during and after service included 55% of my base pay
          or retirement benefits and carried on my health insurance until her death or remarriage. That actually goes for all Federal Employees.

  39. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Marti Reed post on January 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    >> Marti said…
    >>
    >> I have to admit, as I’ve looked at the aerial photos, I’ve had a hard time
    >> seeing what relationship to the actual fire the retardant drops had.
    >>
    >> I keep thinking, “Am I missing something?”

    Not really.

    It was the SEATS that were ‘missing something’… like where they really needed the retardant.

    Even a series of photos taken by Rory Collins AFTER the fire escaped shows a SEAT drop taking place that did nothing but fall into the ‘black’ BEHIND the actual ‘escaping’ fire.

    That would be Collins’ photos IMG_0246 through IMG_0251.

    They were ( apparently ) trying to drop ONTO the now-expanding escaped fireline.

    They MISSED. Expected more ‘drift’ than they got and it just fell into the black.

    Not sure how MANY times that happened. Probably more than once.

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> You said Nate said:
    >>
    >> “Right before dark, called IC and asked for intent.
    >> He was asked for his order for resources as intent.”
    >>
    >> I actually have no clue what this means. Should I?

    From Shumate’s Unit Log
    ——————————————————————–
    I am now expecting the forces on the hill to stay up all night, and I ask ( Nate ) Peck
    to get a supply list together so supplies can be delivered.
    ——————————————————————–

    I read that as the moment when Nate Peck had been watching the SEATS ‘miss their targets’ and he now wanted the IC of this fire to tell him what he and the Lewis inmates up there were supposed to be doing. When the SEATS are ‘missing’… then there’s nothing ‘tie in to’.

    The response from Shumate was nothing more than “What groceries do you need?… because we can’t even come and get you out of there now.”

    The ONE thing that Shumate says he had been BASING his entire IA plan on ( not putting too many people up there and then having no way to retrieve them ) had now just come true, anyway.

    Shumate himself told ADOSH that he basically had NO PLAN AT ALL for those men up there for the night other than for them to just stay safe and watch the fire.

    As in… no ‘Intent’ for them other than to just hang around up there and be safe.

    From Shumate’s ADOSH interview…
    —————————————————————————————
    A: Our helispot became compromised so we couldn’t – we shut down the
    crews shuttle and dug in, so maybe that’s when I would say the initial attack
    was recognized as being failed is when I could no longer put more people
    up on the hill and knew that the amount of people on the hill were not gonna
    be able to achieve the objectives.

    That’s when we told the guys up on the hill to stop doing any, oh, as I recall
    you know, if you’re not being effective don’t beat yourself up, just kinda hang
    up there, stay safe and monitor and give us – be the eyes up on the hill for us

    We changed tactics again from pretty much an offensive, trying to catch it to,
    you know, we’re not gonna catch it, we’re in this for the long haul, you guys are
    gonna now be up on the hill all night long. Let’s settle in for a – a longer pace –
    a -a – more of a marathon pace than a sprint pace, and keep safe up there
    through the night, stay in that safe areas, keep people up and monitoring the
    fire. If you can be effective, do actually be effective, if you’re not being effective,
    then don’t spin your wheels was our mindset, by probably a little after sundown.
    —————————————————————————————

    So that was all she wrote from Shumate that day… even around sundown.

    No ‘Intent’ at all for those firefighters up there… other than just ‘hang out and be safe’.

    Not even any DIRECTIVES like ‘at least be sure this thing is anchored’.

    • Marti Reed says

      Copy.

      What more can I say?

      I’m just really experiencing severe cognitive dissonance regarding all of this.

      I have a lot more trust in/respect for Nate Peck than basically anybody else on this Initial Attack. Seriously.

      And yet, I’m thinking, WTF regarding that sling-drop that possibly was done too close to the already spreading/flaring fire and possibly caused it to jump the two track?

      Or is it possible that that’s not what happened?

      I’m so distrustful of anything that has been written about this (all things considered) by “the authorities” that I don’t know what to even believe.

      And why didn’t they seriously line/scrape that area between the fire area and that two track which was their supposed east boundary????

      And all those SEAT drops which seem totally extraneous while apparently a decision was made (seriously by whom, really?) not to use the helicopter to drop precision water drops (which is the entire reason to use helicopter drops)???

      And what I wrote below about not even trying to call in the Prescott Helitack?

      And an Initial Attack Incident Commander that never bothers to even set foot on the fire and is located where he can’t even SEE the fire???

      There’s just so much about this whole thing that just boggles my mind.

      There has to be something about this that someone doesn’t want anybody to know.

      That’s what I’m thinking right now.

      • Marti Reed says

        PS I’m only a “conspiracy theorist” when nothing else seems to make sense no matter what.

        And this whole year of looking at this fire has basically left me with an astounding amount of “this doesn’t make sense.”

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Marti Reed post on January 29, 2015 at 10:33 pm

        >> Marti said…
        >>
        >> I have a lot more trust in/respect for Nate Peck than basically
        >> anybody else on this Initial Attack. Seriously.

        And it wasn’t even ‘his fire’.

        You have to remember… the ONLY reason Chopper N14HX was even THERE on Saturday is basically because of the initial screw-up in the Dispatch log about the LOCATION of the lightning strike. It was originally reported in the Dispatch log as being in ‘Section 20’ of Township 10N, Range 05N.

        That’s BLM land.

        So BLM Duty Officer Bruce Olsen was immediately responding on Friday night.

        It wasn’t until he got there to Yarnell and met up with Shumate that it was determined the fire was ACTUALLY on Arizona State Trust Land… and NOT BLM land.

        From that moment on, however, Bruce Olsen had a ‘visual’ and thought that TOMORROW… there MIGHT actually be a ‘smoke’ in one of the other adjoining ‘Sections’ which then MIGHT actually be BLM land… and now in HIS lap.

        So that’s when the whole ‘cooperative Initial Attack’ plan was agreed to.

        BLM was going to ‘stay engaged’ just because of a ‘possibility’ something might actually popup on BLM land the NEXT DAY.

        That’s where Helicopter N14HX, BLM ICT3 Dean Fernandez, and the Moki Helitack came from. This ‘idea’ that BLM would then move forces currently in ‘Severity’ mode ( and already being paid ) closer to Yarnell so BLM could react to something on THEIR turf without spending any additional money other than ‘Severity’ funds ( already being spent ).

        So yes… Nate Peck got ‘dropped off’ at that Helispot… but I’ll bet he had no idea that was going to happen until Shumate radioed N14HX en-route for RECON and told them his DOC Crew Boss just informed him that the 2 Arizona Crews he ordered up were NOT even going to be be able to ‘hike’ to the damn fire.

        That’s when it all changed. Now they knew they were going to have to actively assist the Arizona Forestry guy ( Shumate ) and help him get his people out to that only visible smoke.

        The ORIGINAL plan was just to use N14HX for RECON, and then STAGE it at YFD Helibase ( still in ‘Severity’ funding ) just in CASE other smokes popped up. Then Fernandez was going to use HIS resources ( N14HX and Moki ) to handle the OTHER ‘Incident’ in the area.

        That’s what Shumate and Fernandez BOTH say the PLAN actually was.

        Shumate would handle the visible smoke with Arizona money/resources.
        Fernandez would move BLM Severity resources closer to Yarnell just in CASE another smoke popped up ( and might be on a BLM land Section now ).

        So there was poor Nate Peck up on a mountain all day WITHOUT his own Moki crew around him… just pitching in trying to help an AZF DOC Crew Boss, a Lewis Prison Sergeant, and four inmates fight a fire.

        I don’t think that was how Nate Peck thought his day was going to go when he was having his morning coffee.

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> And yet, I’m thinking, WTF regarding that sling-drop that possibly
        >> was done too close to the already spreading/flaring fire and
        >> possibly caused it to jump the two track?

        We still don’t know if Nate Peck or Jake Guadiana were even TOLD that was coming. They might have been just still trying to get after the ‘creeping’ fire and the next thing they knew this Chopper is over their heads trying to drop bladder bags. Shumate knew Peck wasn’t at the Helispot. It might have been Shumate who just said… “Get this crap up there to them ASAP. Just drop it where they are working.”

        Nate Peck might have had his own WTF moment when he saw that chopper coming down on them with some slingload.

        Again… we have NOT heard near enough of this ‘story’ from ANY of the people that were actually UP there that day.

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> Or is it possible that that’s not what happened?

        Yes. See above. Only the people that were UP there can say fer sure and their interviews might still be ‘accidentally’ sitting behind that Arizona Forestry filing cabinet where the Peeples Valley Firefighters testimony, photos and cellphone records also are.

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> And why didn’t they seriously line/scrape that area between
        >> the fire area and that two track which was their supposed
        >> east boundary????

        The SEATS were there and ‘dropping’ before anyone even got up there that day.
        Their ‘assignment’ ( according to Shumae ) was to ‘box the fire’… yet no attempt was ever made to even ‘reinforce the east-side two-track’ with retardant.

        Shumate said something about the ‘steepness” prevented that?

        From Russ Shumate’s SAIT interview ( notes )…
        “SEATS finished box but didn’t line road due to steepness holding road”.

        Around NOON… Shumate let the SEATS ( and Air Attack ) go because he thought they now had a good ‘box’ around the fire… but they didn’t.

        The EAST containment line ( the two-track ) had NOT been reinforced in any way.

        One more turn-around with the SEATS could have taken care of that, but it didn’t happen.

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> And all those SEAT drops which seem totally extraneous while
        >> apparently a decision was made (seriously by whom, really?)
        >> not to use the helicopter to drop precision water drops (which
        >> is the entire reason to use helicopter drops)???

        No one can ever expect SEATS to hit their targets ALL the time… but unfortunately that SEAT drop that MISSED ( photo-documented by Collins ) was a really CRITICAL one.

        The ‘escaped’ fire was still just sort of a ‘half bowl’ shape and anything ON it or in FRONT of it might have really made a dent in that fireline.

        It didn’t happen. They MISSED.

        Shortly after that… it ‘took off’ down that deep drainage and then turned into the ‘V’ shape seen in the Guadiana vidoes and other photos.

        It had TWO sides to it now… buring both downhill and UP the sides of the drainage at the same time and eventually turning into that ‘circle fire’ seen in the after-dark photos taken on Saturday.

        The time to have CAUGHT it with a good SEAT drop had passed.

        That’s the drop that MISSED.

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> And what I wrote below about not even trying to call in the Prescott Helitack?
        >>
        >> And an Initial Attack Incident Commander that never bothers to even
        >> set foot on the fire and is located where he can’t even SEE the fire???
        >>
        >> There’s just so much about this whole thing that just boggles my mind.
        >>
        >> There has to be something about this that someone doesn’t want
        >> anybody to know.
        >>
        >> That’s what I’m thinking right now.

        Of course there are ( and have always been ) things that Arizona Forestry doesn’t want people to KNOW here…. as far as DETAILS go.

        The LIABILITY is HUGE for them… and they know it.

        I just hope the good folks at Arizona Forestry do realize that withholding evidence in civil proceedings carries the same penalties as if it was a criminal proceeding.

        It’s a FELONY.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        There’s no real evidence that part of the IA wasn’t just going down the way it usually does. The AA shows up, gets some general ‘intent’ directives… and then the Air guys just go about their business. The ACTUAL detail decisions about where the ACTUAL drops should go are the just up to AA or lead plane guy(s) or gal(s).

        Saturday morning

        AA over Yarnell was Dan Eckstein. Call sign 0ED.

        Rory Collins was dealing with a busted plane that morning. General ‘intent’ was to BOX that small fire in up on the ridge. Shumate was told that had been accomplished and he let all the SEATS and Eckstein go around NOON. In reality… the fire had NOT been fully boxed. There had been no attempt to even reinforce that all-important EAST side containment boundary ( the two-track road ) NOR had any retardant been dropped on that ‘pocket of green’ which was going to ‘flare up’ later on and cause the fire to jump the two-track.

        Not only did Incident Commander Shumate never set foot up there where his fire was… Shumate never even used Helo N14HX to do his own RECON of the fire at ANY time that day.

        Saturday afternoon

        When things started going south… Shumate called Air Attack and SEATS back to Yarnell.

        This time he got AA Rory Collins. Call sign 9QY.

        General ‘intent’ was ‘stop the slopover’.

        Some of the SEAT drops hit target… but some of the most critical ones at the most critical moments completely MISSED intended targets.

        It was this AA (Collins) who said the terrain wasn’t appropriate for a VLAT and he said he “couldn’t use it”, and that is pretty much the sole reason Shumate declined the VLAT that was being offered to him by Dispatch.

  40. Marti Reed says

    I really think we should, now that we’ve gone over what happened on Saturday, June 29, 2013, with as much of a fine-tooth comb as I think we have available, do a re-look at John Dougherty’s article of October 17, 2013 called “Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Ignored Major Mistakes by the State.”

    http://www.investigativemedia.com/yarnell-hill-fire-investigation-ignored-major-mistakes-by-the-state/

    I did, today, and a number of little things regarding the Initial Attack caught my attention, as well as one fairly big thing.

    My computer’s overstuffed right now and typing slow and all (so I may have to post this and reboot etc) but this one thing really bothered me today.

    It seems, according to this article, that the Prescott Dispatch Center made a seriously significant effort to offer the resources they had access to on the night the fire was ignited. Their efforts were dismissed.

    I, personally, don’t feel comfortable second-guessing Shumate’s decision to not attack the fire that night.

    However. one asset Prescott Dispatch Center had access to was the Prescott National Forest Heli-Rappel Crew and its helicopter.

    That crew and helicopter could have flown to Yarnell way earlier on Saturday morning than N14HX was able to. The crew is very experienced. Moki Helitack was handicapped by their distance from the fire. It took awhile for them to all get to Yarnell. Thus, I guess, Shumate’s thinking in terms of trying to utilize a DOC crew to do the Initial Attack instead of Moki Helitack. (Which, IMHO, could have easily put that fire out on Saturday).

    I don’t know what helicopter Prescott Helitack was using in 2013, but, since it was a Rappel crew (with the skills and equipment to rappel), that tells me they might have had a bigger, more powerful helicopter than Moki Helitack had.

    It would have taken them, what, an hour to get up to Yarnell? Maybe an hour and a half for the rest of the crew to get there???? Like really???

    OK so I can’t guarantee they were available. I don’t know. But Shumate never even took up Prescott Dispatch on their offer to help, so there’s no record as to what Prescott Dispatch had to offer.

    I’ve been thinking about this all day.

    I think we should really look at what’s in this article.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Things have come a long way ( evidence wise ) since that original article ( and the actual start of this ongoing discussion ).

      There were still, at that time, just rumors that all kinds of offers had been made to Shumate on behalf of professional and volunteer firefighters to just ‘go up there and take care of it’.

      It was their backyard. Their turf. They knew it was a little ‘risky’… but they are Firefighters ( after all ) and they knew how to balance their own risks and how to handle themselves.

      They wouldn’t have made the offer if they didn’t think it was perfectly ‘doable’ and within their capabilities.

      We know NOW that those were never just rumors. It’s true. Offers were made by people that were perfectly capable of handling that lighting hit in its infancy to just go on up there and do just that… but Shumate REFUSED those offers of help.

      Because Arizona Forestry has NEVER released those interviews they did with both the Peeples Valley and Yarnell Fire department personnel… it wasn’t even really until the first anniversary of the fire that we learned from Bob Brandon and Ron Smith themselves that Peeples Valley FFs had, indeed, offered to just go up there and ‘take care of it’ on Friday evening ( even with daylight left )… but Shumate refused their assistance.

      Maybe that really is WHY all these known interviews and photographs and cellphone records that Arizona Forestry took from ALL of the Peeples Valley Firefighters have still never seen the light of day.

      We ALSO know now that what happened Saturday morning was the ‘game changer’.

      Shumate had seen the terrain ( and the location of the fire had been pointed out to him ) while there was still daylight on Friday night.

      If he had ANY doubts that evening as he was doing his ordering that the Arizona DOC crews were not going to be able to handle that terrain… then he shouldn’t have ordered them in the first place. He should have gone for ( as you say ) straight Helitack or Type 1 crews right from the get-go.

      He didn’t. He was AOK with being told to use the DOC crews and he left it at that.

      It was only when he was then TOLD at 10:00 AM the next morning by the CRWB of the Lewis crew ( Jake Guadiana ) that there was no way either his ( or the Yuma ) crew was going to be able to (quote) “achieve the hike to the fire” that everything CHANGED.

      Only NOW did all the ( what would prove to be ) crippling ‘limitations’ enter the picture.

      He’s now standing there in the parking lot of the YFD with two full crews and no way to get them up there. Shumate didn’t even know, at that point, if there WAS any valid ‘Helispot’ up there that could even be used by any non-rapel capable Helitack or for crew shuttle.

      He still had to wait another HOUR of precious morning fire-fighting time just to find that out.

      He now had to radio ahead to N14HX that in addition to its planned RECON… could he ( pretty please ) look around up there for a valid Helispot.

      He got lucky.

      If not for that para-gliding club that had accidentally cleared that circle up there… he would have been completely screwed with two full crews standing around and no way to get to the fire.

      NOW he would have had to order rapel-capable Helitack… and who knows how many MORE hours would then be lost.

      OR maybe only NOW would he have had to take the Peeples Valley Firefighters up on the offer they made the night before and let them go up there and take care of it. They seemed to be SURE that THEY could have ‘achieved the hike’ the day before… so I’m sure they were just as capable of doing that on Saturday as well… despite the inabilities of the DOC crews.

      So yes… we know a LOT more about the circumstances on Saturday, and the decison makeing ( or lack thereof ) that happened.

      But there is still so much MORE to know to get the ‘complete’ picture.

      There is STILL no good, detailed account of what really went ON up there all of Saturday afternoon… or how Shumate could have said Guadiana told him they were ‘on track’ for ‘job done’ and ‘dust off’ and then… just an hour later… it was a fire that no one could control.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Followup… meant to include this link ( and quote ) up above…

        On-scene Peeples Valley Firefighters ( who knew the area and the location of the fire ) offered to hike up there and put it out Friday afternoon/evening… but Arizona Forestry ICT4 Russ Shumate refused their offer.

        The Prescott Daily Courier
        A Narrow escape: Peeples Valley firefighters recount that frightening day
        Published: 6/30/2014 6:00:00 AM – by Joanna Dodder Nellans

        http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=133345

        From the article…
        ———————————————————————————
        Bob Brandon, a former Peeples Valley fire chief who helped start the department, hopes that one of the lessons learned from the fire is that fire commanders will listen more to local firefighters.

        He said Peeples Valley firefighters wanted to hike in and put out the Yarnell Hill wildfire the day lightning ignited it, but were told to stand down.
        ———————————————————————————

      • Retired with 38 says

        Not only did the Initial Attack fail on the part of Arizona Forestry, the organization continued to fail with the management and organization of this incident. So they failed on IA (for reasons this site has documented),then activate a Type 2 short team on Saturday evening. Again a failure, is Shumate the only employee of the state? He is currently the IC of an expanding incident, he ordered a team and where is his help? At the point the team was ordered other “agency folks” should be assisting in developing the packet for transition in the morning / and the In brief of the type 2 team. This packet would include goals and objectives, budget to work with, safety concerns, environmentally sensitive areas, private property concerns, and the “Delegation of Authority”. Prior to the transition on Sunday morning this “in brief ” with the Type 2 team should have occurred – no reason not to! To take the fire with limited intel and the comment of ” take the fire and put it out” or something to that effect is totally unacceptable and surprising the incoming IC would take the fire. Again a major event and failure in the overall “Command and Control” of this incident

        Oh, and then the failure of not releasing information so we can all learn from the mistakes made. Extremely disappointing Arizona Forestry! We all need to learn from our mistakes!!!

        • Marti Reed says

          “Again a failure, is Shumate the only employee of the state? He is currently the IC of an expanding incident, he ordered a team and where is his help? At the point the team was ordered other “agency folks” should be assisting in developing the packet for transition in the morning / and the In brief of the type 2 team.”

          I was really hoping to find some discussion of this in the ADOSH interviews of Shumate’s upper-ups.

          Nada.

          There was a full Type 2 Team available in Prescott………Bea Day’s team.

          They were the ones Roy Hall was having to “call up” all day Sunday to fill the holes in his team.

          Someone in the Arizona Department of Forestry Office decided, “Nah. Let’s go with the Short Team.”

          And Shumate said, “Whatever.”

          Shumate, who never stepped foot on “his” fire.

          • Retired with 38 says

            Yep, and regardless of which team was ordered – someone still needs to gather information for the in- brief and transition. This is not the role of the IC, although he needs to provide intel, but the Host Agency needs to gather this information for the incoming Team. I have never been involved in an incident that we didn’t have a formal “in brief” for the team and a Delegation of Authority prior to taking the fire. This doesn’t mean we didn’t have team members already in the field trying to gather intel and assist.in suppression efforts , but the transition needs to be official. As far as I can tell there never was an ” Official transition” to the type 2 short team- just my opinion

  41. Marti Reed says

    WTKTT~

    Yesterday at 1:54 PM you wrote:

    “Actually… just shortly after the ADOSH report came out there was some pretty heated discussion on this ongoing forum about what REALLY happened on Saturday.

    The SAIT investigation of Saturday was a joke… but ADOSH took a closer look and although we were a long way from actually seeing all the interviews they did… it was obvious when the report came out that ADOSH knew a lot about what went on Saturday from what had come out in THEIR interviews.”

    I’ve been looking for that “heated discussion” and, so far, haven’t been able to find it. Can you give me a link or something?

    Thanks!

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Marti Reed post on January 29, 2015 at 10:50 am

      >> Marti said…
      >>
      >> I’ve been looking for that “heated discussion” and, so far, haven’t
      >> been able to find it. Can you give me a link or something?

      The following might get a little ‘messy’… because the discussions about what happened Saturday really had been ‘fading in and out’ of primary focus really since the very beginning.

      Best way I can do this is to just use a whole bunch of separate REPLIES here with direct links to prior posts in different ‘Chapters’ of this ongoing discussion ( since there still can’t be more than 1 link per post here without a comment falling into ‘moderation’. ).

      The ‘heated discussion’ I was actually referring to is included in the list below.

      First things first…

      This entire ‘ongoing discussion’ ( and what is now known as Chapter 1 ) was actually just the series of comments that started appearing in response to InvestigativeMEDIA’s original article ( published on October 17, 2013 ) entitled…

      Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Ignored Major Mistakes by the State
      October 17, 2013 By John Dougherty 1,036 Comments

      http://www.investigativemedia.com/yarnell-hill-fire-investigation-ignored-major-mistakes-by-the-state/

      It was THAT article itself that, for the first time, had some pretty heavy detail about what actually happened on SATURDAY”… and that it was the Lewis DOC crew that was really up there trying to fight the fire that day.

      From the article…

      ————————————————————————
      More than 17 hours passed from the initial lightning strike before the state had firefighters helicoptered to within a quarter-mile of the fire at 10:48 a.m. on Saturday, June 29. By this time, the fire was reported at eight acres. Its size was reduced to about two acres shortly after noon.

      Not only was the state slow to respond, it sent in an ill-equipped, six-man crew from Lewis State Prison that wasn’t trained to handle initial attacks on wildfires (such crews generally are used for mop-up operations), wildfire experts say. But dispatching $1-an-hour-per-man prison crews rather than deploying more experienced firefighters, such as hotshot crews — which cost about $800 an hour — is a way for the state to save money fighting forest fires.
      ————————————————————————

      So right off the bat… this ‘ongoing discussion’ was ALSO about what happened on Saturday as well as what led to the fatalities on Sunday.

      This article ALSO contained that crucial interview with former Yarnell Fire Chief Peter Andersen… which is also the first moment ( way back in October of 2013 ) when we learned that there WAS ‘Bambi Bucket’ capability on Saturday… but it was NEVER used.

      He and his wife had driven to Wickenberg between 10-11 AM on Saturday morning and Andersen recalls seeing that BLM chopper ( N14HX ) still sitting down at the Weaver Helibase near Wickenberg. That actually matches the known timing and the Fernandez photographic evidence. N14HX didn’t even leave the Weaver helibase for Yarnell until around 10:15 AM.

      I added a complete transcript of that Chief Andersen interview to the comments section following the article… and here is a ‘partial cut’ from that article with Chief Andersen’s comments about what was NOT happening on both FRIDAY and SATURDAY…

      ———————————————————————————
      Q: They got here too late?

      Too LITTLE, too late.

      They got dozers out there… ah… We built an emergency escape route for Yarnell in case there was a burnout like this and people were unable to get out. We had an emergency escape route for either Yarnell to get out through Glen Ilah or Glen Ilah to get out through Yarnell… and it was back there… well… it went through that area below the Shrine… west of the Shrine… and they had dozers back there widening that so that it would create a fire break.

      Too little, too LATE, man.

      You shoulda been done doin’ all that Saturday morning.

      If they didn’t get that thing out Friday night… which… in my mind there’s NO reason for that to have not… not been put out.

      BLM station down here… the Weaver Mountain station… has a helicopter. It was there.

      When we went to… ah… my wife and I went to Wickenberg at about… maybe 10 o’clock on Saturday. At the bottom of the hill at an antique store was where we found out that there’d been a fire… and… as we drove by the BLM station I saw this helicopter sittin’ there.

      They have a 300 gallon Bambi bucket.

      They’ve been given permission to draw out of Hidden Springs Horse Ranch. They have a horshoe shaped lake that they use for training… er.. fer ah… like trainin’ their thoroughbreds and stuff… and… uh… Patrick Barnard has given ‘em permission to draw out of his pond…

      …and nobody did.

      Q: So they coulda used a chopper to get people up Friday night or early Saturday morning?

      They could have DRIVEN to that on Friday night.

      And they weren’t doing ANYTHING on Saturday. They were watching it.
      And it was… COOKING. I mean… the whole ridge.

      That’s the reason I went to the Fire Station when I came back from Prescott. I didn’t come home.

      I went to the Fire Station and I said… WHAT… IS… UP???

      You TOLD me this afternoon that you guys were on this… that you had it under control. I said this is… this thing’s over 500 acres now. It’s huge.

      Q: By Saturday afternoon?

      Saturday afternoon… when we WENT to Prescott… we could see a column of smoke… and I’d been told in Pres… in Congress that they’d gotten it OUT Friday night.

      So I broke out my cellphone and I called Bruce Olson. I didn’t know Bruce was on the fire but I knew Bruce was this area’s BLM guy. Turned out he WAS on the fire… and he told me “Well… ya know we’ve got it under control, we’re watchin’ it, we’re keepin’ it… ”

      They… they had crews up there on Saturday afternoon doing somethin’. ??

      Course.. it was ineffective… but…

      Without AIR in an area like this…you might as well get out there and piss on it.

      Course… that woulda been better than what they WERE doin’.
      ———————————————————————————

      1,036 comments then streamed in about this article… and that started this entire ‘ongoing discussion’ really rolling and those comments would eventually ‘max out’ the WordPress software comments for one article and become known as CHAPTER 1 of this ongoing discussion.

      Starting a series of ‘replies’ now to provide more links to important discussions about Saturday that then started ‘fading in/out’ of the ongoing discussion…

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Comment about the Lewis crew and Saturday sort of ‘came and went’ throughout Chapters 1 and 2. The ‘focus’ there really was still on trying to decipher the SAIR report and what happened on Sunday.

        At the start of Chapter 3 ( end of December / Early January ) is when ‘Robert the Second’ said…

        http://www.investigativemedia.com/chapter-iii-for-comments/#comment-7472

        —————————————————————————-
        Robert the Second says – January 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm

        WTKTT, I have heard that before about the radios and it’s similar to what has occured on other shelter deployments, so I’ll go with you on that issue.

        But the escape by the AZ State inmates? It was their blunder, their inattention, whatever, that caused the escape of a CONTAINED FIRE ALONG A JEEP ROAD. We’re not talking a one foot handline here; we’re talking a 10′-12′ road ! WTF, over ! THAT is what started the ball cascading downhill, Shumate’s response notwithstanding.

        WantsToKnowTheTruth says – January 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        >> RTS said…
        >> But the escape by the AZ State inmates?
        >> It was their blunder, their inattention.

        You’re right. They were there with the tools. It was THEIR job. They blew it.
        The lawyers will determine Shumate’s ‘involvement’ ( or lack thereof ).

        Robert the Second says – January 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        WTKKT, Shumate didn’t let it jump the road, it was the squad of AZ State inmates that let it jump the road that should have know better. THAT is when it all went downhill, and not talking about the fire here.

        WantsToKnowTheTruth replied – January 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

        Shumate was in charge. There was time to recover and the logs show he blew that, too. I’m not going to go there. The lawsuits filed are going to settle all that and what really went down on Saturday.

        The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says – January 4, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        RTS, CORRECTION: It wasn’t a blunder by the inmates, they were all probably working their asses off, and doing what they were told. It WAS, however, their LEADERSHIP that let it get away, along with the leadership above those leaders.
        ————————————————————————

        This dicussion then got a little ‘heated’ but only because there were still people commenting at that time who were trying to ‘shut down’ the entire conversation and practicing the ‘nothing to see here… why don’t you all just move along’ approach to participating in the discussion.

        There were still some people commenting who didn’t think that anyone who doesn’t piss forest green had no right to make any comments about the Yarnell Hill Fire.

        During this ‘noisy’ discussion about Saturday… and Shumate’s potential negligence… Mr. David Turbyfill himself chimed in.

        His comment is next ‘Reply’ with a direct link because Mr. Turbyfill had a LOT of important things to say and his entire comment is worth reading…

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Typo up above.

          The paragraph above should have read like this…

          “There were still some people commenting ( at that time ) who thought that anyone who doesn’t piss forest green had no right to make any comments about the Yarnell Hill Fire.”

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        http://www.investigativemedia.com/chapter-iii-for-comments/#comment-8982

        David Turbyfill says – January 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Hello to all, my name is David Turbyfill; I am the father of Travis, One of the Members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Group Crew.

        I’ve always felt from the beginning, that there has been huge misjudgments and mistakes made by the fire management teams. From the time on Friday evening the decision was made that the fire was too difficult to get to, and the lack of a decisive aggressive attack on Saturday, June 29.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        http://www.investigativemedia.com/chapter-iii-for-comments/#comment-8259

        WantsToKnowTheTruth says – January 10, 2014 at 11:43 pm

        >> TTWARE also said…
        >> I have been wondering lately about if there were any, key,
        >> irreversible, turning points over the course of the whole incident.

        I don’t disagree with your analysis above at all… I think it’s spot
        on… but there are still a LOT of people who still think that the
        ‘irreversible’ sequence of events started Friday night, and
        then again on Saturday. Sunday was the real circus… but the
        circus parade started the Friday before. That is, in fact, what a
        WHOLE bunch of lawyers are going to be arguing quite soon on
        behalf of a lot of residents of that area.

        WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        January 10, 2014 at 11:43 pm

        Reply to TTWARE post on January 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm.

        >> TTWARE said
        >>
        >> Many, many avenues, still need to be thoroughly investigated,
        >> both on this site, and if necessary, through the courts, to
        >> get the truth out into the open.

        Sadly… yes.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Around the END of CHAPTER 3 and into the start of CHAPTER 4… the discussions about the failed Initial Attack were ‘revisted’ on and off… and that is when I first proposed that since no one still really knew WHAT had been happening up there all day Saturday… that there was still a possibility that the fire had ‘escaped’ due to an ‘out of control’ indirect burnout up there.

        CHAPTER 4

        WantsToKnowTheTruth says – February 15, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        **
        ** THE SAIT DID USE THE WORDS ‘MOPPING UP’ TO DESCRIBE
        ** THE FIRE STATUS ON SATURDAY MORNING.

        This is a follow-up to a previous post where Sitta wondered if the
        words ‘mop up’ or ‘mopping up’ were ever actually used to describe
        the status of the Yarnell HIll Fire on Saturday morning… when all
        reports agree the fire was only 2-4 acres and showing ‘little to
        no fire activity’.

        As it turns out… that is exactly how the SAIT described it.

        The OFFICIAL SAIT documentation DOES say that one of the things DOC Lewis
        crew was actually doing on Saturday morning/afternoon was simply ‘mopping up’ ( their words ) the Yarnell Hill Fire.

        The specific words ‘mopping up’ were written by the SAIT investigation team itself
        in their preliminary report that they released just 72 hours after the incident
        and after the first pass of interviews.

        That original 72 ‘summary’ report from the SAIT is still online here…

        http://www.azsf.az.gov/system/files/documents/files/Yarnell%20Hill%20Fire%20Summary%20Revised%207-18-2013%2016%2030.pdf

        It contains one of the only specific quotes about what the Lewis DOC crew’s
        actual ‘assignment’ was on Saturday morning, June 29, 2013.

        That quote is as follows…

        “A six man squad from Lewis Crew and one BLM helitack crewman were flown
        into the fire ( Saturday, 10:30 AM ) by the BLM light helicopter.
        ( An additional 7 members of the DOC Lewis crew ‘hiked in’ to the same spot
        for a total of 14 firefighters there at the 2-4 acrew fire showing little to no activity
        at that time. ) Firefighters made progress hot-spotting the few active areas and
        MOPPED UP (extinguishing burning material) along the two track jeep road.”

        This preliminary SAIT report released just 72 hours after the Yarnell incident
        is also the ONLY official document that gives any detail at all about what
        happened later that afternoon… when the fire ‘jumped the jeep road’ and
        became the fire that would need to be fought on Sunday.

        That quote is as follows…

        “At about 4:30 p.m. a small unburned island on the east side of the fire
        flamed up and spotted across the two track jeep road on the east side
        (called a “slopover”).”

        That mention of a ‘small unburned island’ is never mentioned again in
        any other official report. All the (final) official reports simply said that
        sometime around 4:30 PM the fire that had been ‘fully contained on
        all sides’ for over 5 hours suddenly ( and inexplicably ) ‘jumped the jeep road’.

        So even though the SAIT specifically says the Lewis DOC crew was
        just ‘hot-spotting’ and ‘mopping up’ all day ( along the two-track jeep
        road ) there still is no evidence whether they were using any ‘indirect
        attack’ or ‘burnoffs’ of their own to accomplish that… or whether any
        such ‘manual burnoff’ might have been how the fire “accidentally”
        escaped over the jeep road circa 4:30.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup… it should be noted that even now… there really is no detail on WHAT Nate Peck and the Lewis crew were really DOING up there all of Saturday afternoon… but MORE is known about other things now.

            The Lewis crew was NOT really fully up there and ‘at work’ on that that fire until upwards of 12:15 PM that Saturday.

            That’s a full HOUR AND A HALF LATER than Russ Shumate said they were all ‘up there’ in his Unit Log ( He said they were ‘inserted’ at 10:45 AM )

            We also know now that using Bucket Drops WAS discussed… but it was the opinion of the Moki Helitack AND Shumate that it would be better to NOT use that option at all and just send up 12 bladder bags. This decision was made BEFORE the fire ‘escaped’ over the two track.

            We also know now that SEVERAL TIMES that day ( and long before the fire escaped ) BLM Rep ( and ICT3 ) Dean Fernandez had been urging Shumate to set up some ‘Pumpkins’ for potential ‘Bucket Work’ in support of the operations up on the ridge. Shumate never took any actions on these suggestions until AFTER the fire had ‘escaped’.

            We also know much more now about the TIMING and the LOCATION of the ‘hover delivery’ of those 12 bladder bags. Moki Helitack Nate Peck was NOT at the Helispot when Jake Guadiana called down to Shumate and said the fire was now ‘creeping’… so the delivery of the bladder bags was directly to the spot where Moki Helitack Nate Peck and the Lewis Crew were trying to ‘catch’ the fire.

            I no longer think it is likely that these men were doing any kind of ‘indirect burning’ up there and that THAT is what caused the fire to jump the road.

            Shumate himself says that the fire ESCAPED over the two-track WHILE they were delivering the 12 bladder bags directly to the fire area.

            I think it is MUCH more likely now that the ‘flare up’ and the ‘escape’ over the two-track was a result of the ‘rotor wash’ inflaming the fire as this delivery of the 12 bladder bags was taking place.

      • Marti Reed says

        Thanks for writing this all up, WTKTT!

        After writing that, I kept hunting and found the long long collection of comments and replies in Chapter IV and spent the morning reading them.

        Explains how it took us until now to figure out (especially using the photos) that those helicopter trips weren’t described accurately in the official reports. They really jumbled that up!

        Pretty clear to me that the SAIT/SAIT set the “official record” and then ADOSH and Wildland Fire Associates pretty much copy/pasted their narrative and then that became the reinforced narrative.

        The other thing that stands out in my mind right now is the fact that, as you noted, the only mention of that little “island of green” that flared up was only in the synopsis and then became conveniently forgotten.

        I’ve also appreciated the fire-fighters here underscoring the importance of the IC being “boots on the ground” on the fire. I think a lot of the confusion etc had a lot to do with the guy with the most authority/accountability not even being where he could actually see, much less taste, smell, feel, walk, i.e. be present where the fire was even burning.

        I gotta go real quick. Mom took a turn for the worse, and I had to scramble to make sure with the credit union that her accounts were prepped to go quickly where they need to just in case. Turns out we set them up the right way from the get-go, but that was seven years ago, and I couldn’t remember.

        Apparently, though, Terra’s there and mom’s feeling better. It’s really been rough.

  42. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** AIR ATTACK RORY COLLINS ADVISED SHUMATE NOT TO ORDER VLAT

    Reply to Marti Reed post on January 27, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    >> Marti said…
    >>
    >> I am also currently wondering if Air Attack Rory Collins had anything to
    >> do with the decision-making on Saturday.

    You damn betcha.

    When Shumate was told the HEAVY Air Tanker he had ordered up to try and catch this ‘escaped’ fire ( because the SEATS weren’t able to keep up with the spread ) was NOT going to be available… but was then offered a VLAT instead…

    …it was the Air Attack over the fire that late afternoon ( Rory Collins ) who ( together with BLM Rep Dean Fernandez ) advised against it.

    Shumate admitted to ADOSH he basically didn’t know jack shit about VLATS… so he ‘punted’ that decision to Air Attack Rory Collins and Dean Ferandez ( who, himself, was recently carded as an AA ).

    Rory Collins and Dean Fernandez were both of the opinion that the TERRAIN was not right for a VLAT… and Rory Collins additionally thought there wouldn’t be enough ‘time over the fire’ for the VLAT… and Shumate completely deferred to their judgement and ( as IC ) refused the VLAT.

    From Russ Shumate’s ADOSH interview on October 18, 2013
    ——————————————————————————————-
    1000 Q5: Yeah. At some point they offered you up a VLAT?
    1001
    1002 A: That is correct.
    1003
    1004 Q5: And uh, what – do you remember what the rationale was? Uh, was it based on
    1005 input from air attack or…
    1006
    1007 A: Yes.
    1008
    1009 Q5: …or was it your own decision about not taking the VLAT at that point?
    1010
    1011 A: Well, I will say it was my responsibility to say yes or no. I have like almost
    1012 everybody in fire service, very little experience with a VLAT, so I honestly
    1013 don’t know what it can do and what it can’t do, especially at that time. I’ve
    1014 learned a lot since.
    1015
    1016 Q5: Yeah.
    1017
    1018 A: But at that time, I – it’s one of those things that I really don’t know what, so
    1019 the question I posed to Dean Fernandez, who was a carded air attack, and the
    1020 po- question I posed to Rory (Collins) was, they’re offering us the VLAT, is it a tool
    1021 that we can use? Both of them came to the conclusion, they thought that the
    1022 terrain was not what they could utilize the VLAT on, both – both of those
    1023 people had that determination, and then Rory had the additional determination
    1024 that if we launch it now and get it here, I don’t know if I can finish its work
    1025 before pumpkin time. Which, is cut off.
    1026
    1027 Q5: Mm-hm.
    1028
    1029 A: When they have to leave the…
    1030
    1031 Q2: Sun goes down.
    1032
    1033 A: Yeah. So, based on – and – and we had 10 minutes to make a decision,
    1034 because other – because flight time and pumpkin time would’ve eliminated
    1035 that as an option anyway. Uh, so we made the determination no, we don’t feel
    1036 that the VLAT is the correct tool to be utilizing at this time, so that’s why we
    1037 did not order the VLAT that night.
    ——————————————————————————————-

    The key part… Shumate didn’t know much about VLATS so he was completely
    deferring to what Fernandez ( a carded Air Attack ) and Air Attack Rory Collins
    were ‘advising’ him…

    1019 The question I posed to Dean Fernandez, who was a carded air attack, and the
    1020 po- question I posed to Rory (Collins) was, they’re offering us the VLAT, is it a tool
    1021 that we can use? Both of them came to the conclusion, they thought that the
    1022 terrain was not what they could utilize the VLAT on, both – both of those
    1023 people had that determination, and then Rory had the additional determination
    1024 that if we launch it now and get it here, I don’t know if I can finish its work
    1025 before pumpkin time. Which, is cut off.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      ADOSH was querying Shumate more about this VLAT decision and Shumate basically then just tried to ‘sum it up’ for them.

      He didn’t know crap about VLATS. He asked the guy who is SUPPOSED to know about them ( Air Attack Rory Collins ) and he said he couldn’t use it. End of story. No VLAT.

      1047 A: Yeah. But I – I – I think still this type – on the time of the air attack is telling
      1048 me he couldn’t use it, I’m not gonna order it, ‘cause he’s the expert on that
      1049 and I’m not. I’m not an expert in aviation, I don’t know all the rules and regs
      1050 and aviation. That’s their job to know that and inform me. I’m gonna give
      1051 aviation the – the task and they’re gonna say yes we can or no we can’t. And,
      1052 so that – that’s why I left it to them.

      ADOSH was never able to interview Rory Collins.

      • Bob Powers says

        VALAT—-Simply a Crop-duster Air Craft outfitted as a 100 Gal. Air Tanker.
        If you have ever watched these little planes crop dust you can see they are very acrobatic .
        I do not think that any one really knew their capability from the sounds of it.
        Because of the small loads the problem is turn around time How ever they are able to set up with water and a mix tank and operate off a road or small air port close to the Fire. This was a big selling point in their use when first accepted as a AT.
        I am not sure what they are talking about with terrain.
        They are used a lot here in Idaho in some very rugged and steep terrain and work well.
        If the little tanker had been used on the ridge line where the creeping was before the escape it would have done well as it looked like it did on earlier drops the night before . Looking at the morning flight pictures of the 2 acres.
        They are small they have great maneuverability and can get into tight spots.
        I never did see where they were reloading at and there turnaround times.
        They are low cost and work great on small flare-ups on or near the line and very pin point accurate.

          • Bob Powers says

            Messed that up we were looking at the Small AT that they were using on the 28th and I was trying to note that for IA.
            Old Brain Fart should know better thanks. There is picture of the light dropping after the escape should have been using it before was my thoughts.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                There is also testimony that at least one of these critical SEAT drops totally MISSED late Saturday afternoon… which did nothing but ADD to Moki Helitack Nate Peck’s frustration.

                Nate Peck said flat out ( to the SAIT )….

                “I have felt that things were poor at this time and little faith in IC and process. Stayed on the clock with crew all night. I have struggled with the IC and process.”

                From Moki Helitack Nate Peck’s SAIT interview notes…
                ———————————————————

                Right before dark, called IC and asked for intent.

                He was asked for his order for resources as intent.

                By this point, fire is moving,

                SEAT dropped MISSED.

                Still need to tie in but NO SAW GAS and NOT going to happen.

                Focus now is to secure the anchor point for the next morning’s work.

                I have felt that things were poor at this time and little faith in IC and process.

                Stayed on the clock with crew all night.

                I have struggled with the IC and process.
                ——————————————————-

                • Marti Reed says

                  I have to admit, as I’ve looked at the aerial photos, I’ve had a hard time seeing what relationship to the actual fire the retardant drops had.

                  I keep thinking, “Am I missing something?”

                  You said Nate said:

                  “Right before dark, called IC and asked for intent.

                  He was asked for his order for resources as intent.”

                  I actually have no clue what this means.
                  should I?

      • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

        WTKTT,

        In all fairness to Shumate, both of the AA’s SHOULD HAVE known more about VLAT operations and capabilities in THAT situation.

        I think there are a whole lot of OPS people out there that would defer to their aviation (AA) people’s advice on matters of air operations, and rightly so in many cases.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Well… obviously… whatever Mr. Collins thought HE knew about VLATS and what ‘terrain’ they were right for didn’t match anyone else’s opinions the following day.

          You realize, of course, that EXACTLY where they needed the VLAT to drop on Saturday night is the EXACTLY where Warbis and Lenmark were using the VLAT the following day.

          And I mean… the EXACT spot.

          Warbis and Lenmark had the VLAT begin that long line of retardant from the east to the west in the EXACT same drainage where the fire ‘took off’ on Saturday evening after escaping the road.

          That VLAT drop, EXACTLY where it might have ended this whole story had it happened on Saturday evening, was caught on VIDEO.

          It’s actually the one where there was the near-collision with the Skycrane Helicopter.

          That VLAT came in from the WEST, right over where the Lewis crew had been working, and he started dropping RIGHT as he crossed the peak of the ridge. Worked perfectly.

          That is EXACTLY the kind of ‘drop’ that might have stopped this thing dead in its tracks on Saturday evening.

          So what was Mr. Collins really thinking when he said ‘I can’t use it’ to Shumate on Saturday?

          No one has ever asked him.

          • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

            I agree, and of course, the ‘operative’ words in my comment were “SHOULD HAVE”.

        • Marti Reed says

          I think that’s definitely true. I also think it’s understandable. Which doubly puts the onus on Fernandez and Collins.

          I still believe if they had been making any kind of efficient use of N14HX, which was ALREADY being paid for. this whole moment of uncertainty could have been avoided.

      • Marti Reed says

        I’m pretty sure that’s why NWCG made it one of their tasks (as advised by the SAIT/SAIR) to produce a report on How To Use VLATs.

        I think it was realized that probably significant numbers of Overhead, at this point, are uncertain about the financial wisdom of using those Oh So Expensive Very Large Air Tankers.

        They have, in fact, proven their worth.

        But, to be honest, I can’t totally fault this team for being unsure of what to do with that offer. All things considered.

        I just wish they had put the helicopter they had and the Bambi Bucket they had to work.

        But I think I’m going to write some more stuff in a comment I’m going to put at the top.

        Based on all this stuff I’ve read today.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Marti Reed post on January 29, 2015 at 7:34 pm

          >> Marti said…
          >>
          >> I’m pretty sure that’s why NWCG made it one of their tasks
          >> (as advised by the SAIT/SAI