Comments

  1. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Bob Powers post on July 14, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    >> Bob Powers said…
    >>
    >> I think McKee is the Father and he was one of the 12.

    Yes. As Grant McKee’s father, he had the ‘standing’ to file his OWN ( separate ) ‘wrongful death’ action on the part of his son… and HE did so through attorney Patrick McGroder who was handling all 12 of those ‘enjoined’ cases in Federal Court.

    Marcia McKee, Grant’s mother, was the FIRST to file a ‘wrongful death’ action of her own way back when… but she did NOT use attorney Patrick McGroder. She used attorney Craig Knapp of the firm “Knapp and Roberts” in Phoenix, Arizona.

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> So he must not have signed.

    Joy just stated publicly down below ( with Grant McKee, Sr.’s permission ) that he has told her in-person that he has NOT signed any ‘settlement’ documents… and he has NO INTENTIONS of doing so… even though HIS ‘wrongful death’ action was one of the 12 ‘enjoined’ cases in Federal Court ( and not Maricopa County District Court ) all handled by attorney Patrick McGroder.

    ———————————————————————–
    On July 14, 2015 at 1:25 pm, Joy A. Collura said…

    I asked Grant Scott McKee due to discernment I would
    remain quiet and he said no need— I could publicly share
    Grant McKee who Sonny and I recently spent time with stated
    to hikers FIRST HAND he did not and was not signing

    I got first hand he had NOT signed any settlements.
    ———————————————————————–

    It’s unclear how that’s actually going to work, legally speaking.

    It would appear that unless Mr. McKee accepts the ‘settlement’ that was ( supposedly ) negotiated by attorney Patrick McGroder… then his ‘wrongful death’ case must then be de-coupled from the others who ARE deciding to ‘settle’… and then his valid ‘wrongful death’ suit can then proceed to trial.

    Negotiating settlements in cases that have been ‘enjoined’ is NOT a democracy.

    Just because a majority of the other ‘enjoined’ plaintiffs might want to make a deal with the defendants doesn’t mean that all the other plaintiffs have to just “go along with the majority”.

    Doesn’t work that way.

    What is astounding is that there was NO MENTION of this during the ‘dog and pony’ show over the ‘settlement’ that took place just two weeks ago.

    Everyone involved in that ‘dog and pony’ show ( attorney McGroder, Arizona State Attorney General Mark Brnovich, State Forester Jeff Whitney, etc., etc. ) made it sound like everything was a ‘done deal’ and that ALL of the 12 ‘plaintiffs’ were ‘onboard’ with the settlement.

    Apparently… not so much.

    The only three plaintiffs ( out of the 12 enjoined cases all being handled by McGroder ) that we seem to be able to be SURE have ‘accepted’ the ‘deal’ would be the three that were standing there at the ‘dog and pony’ show on June 29.

    That would be Juliann Ashcraft, Deborah Pfingston and Roxanne Warneke.

    Only Pfingston and Warneke actually spoke publicly and SAID they were ‘onboard’ with the deal being announced that day ( June 29, 2015 ).

    It can be ASSUMED that Juliann Aschcraft is, as well, but she did NOT take the opportunity to speak and to say so publicly.

    Heck… for all we know… ONLY these 3 plaintiffs are ‘accepting the deal’, and the ‘dog and pony’ was meant to blow smoke at the press and make them think that ALL of the 12 ‘enjoined’ plaintiffs were ‘onboard’ with the deal.

    Maybe nothing could be further from the truth.

    >> Bob Powers also asked…
    >>
    >> Do you know if the other 2 are part of the 12 or separate?

    If you mean the two ‘wrongful death’ cases that were ‘enjoined’ with Marcia McKee’s over in Maricopa County District Court ( on behalf of GM Hotshots John Percin, Jr. and Jesse Steed in addition to the one for Grant McKee )…

    …then all THREE of these ‘wrongful death’ cases are NOT part of the 12 that were being handled exclusively by attorney Patrick McGroder.

    They are SEPARATE CASES, and weren’t even part of the ‘mediation’ talks, as far as we know.

    Again… there was absolutely NO MENTION of these realities during that ‘dog and pony’ show on June 29… but back when all this ‘global mediation’ stuff was announced AZCENTRAL did a good job ( back then ) of making the distinction.

    AZCENTRAL
    Article Title: Yarnell hotshots’ death case going to mediation
    Published 9:10 p.m. MST January 16, 2015 – by Dennis Wagner
    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/01/16/yarnell-hotshots-death-case-going-mediation/21901207/

    From the article…
    ——————————————————————–
    FIFTEEN (15) family members of hotshots have sued the Division of Forestry based on claims of negligence in overseeing the fire suppression effort.

    TWELVE (12) hotshot family members are plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, and THREE (3) more filed their case in (Maricopa) County Superior Court.

    “The families believe this is an opportunity to discuss with the state options to resolve their cases in a way that hopefully reflects changes and transparency, and will ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again,” said Patrick McGroder III, an attorney for Juliann Ashcraft and the other ELEVEN (11) plaintiffs in the FEDERAL complaint.

    Attorney Craig Knapp, who represents the OTHER (3) hotshot family members in a parallel wrongful-death action in Maricopa County Superior Court, said he also asked that litigation be put on hold pending efforts to negotiate a settlement.

    Knapp said he’s prepared to go to trial, but willing to seek a resolution. “Our clients want change,” he added. “They want answers. They want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. And they want the state to take responsibility for what happened. Too many people died.”
    ——————————————————————–

    So there it is.

    AZCENTRAL reported that while attorney Craig Knapp ( representing Marcia McKee and family members for John Percin Jr. and Jesse Steed ) was fully aware of these ‘mediation’ efforts… he was NOT part of what attorney McGroder was doing with the cases over in FEDERAL court. That was just 12 of the 15 wrongful death lawsuits. The other THREE were ( and are STILL ) duly registered cases in Maricopa County District Court.

    Knapp seemed to say HE was also willing to put the Maricopa County cases ‘on hold’ for ‘talks’… those negotiations would be SEPARATE from whatever ‘deal’ McGroder was trying to work for the 12 clients HE represents.

    And now that the families involved in the other THREE wrongful death suits over in Maricopa County have seen what Arizona Forestry’s idea of a ‘settlement’ is over there in FEDERAL court… it’s pretty doubtful they will accept the same piss-poor deal.

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> McKee’s mother filed separate suit. in California?

    No. She filed her own separate ‘wrongful death’ suit on behalf of her son, Grant McKee, through attorney Craig Knapp of the firm “Knapp and Roberts” in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Her ‘wrongful death’ case ( and the other two for John Percin Jr. and Jesse Steed ) are all active in Arizona’s Maricopa County District Court.

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> We do not know what others have not Signed off on the agreement
    >> unless they release that or the news media gets ahold of it.

    Correct.

    As I said above… for all we know at this point… the ONLY plaintiffs of the 12 that were being handled by attorney Patrick McGroder over there in FEDERAL court that are actually WILLING to ‘accept’ this one-sided ( bogus ) settlement offer from Arizona Forestry would be the ones that bothered to show up at the ‘dog and pony’ show on June 29.

    Juliann Ashcraft, Deborah Pfingston and Roxanne Warneke.

    We’ve also now ‘heard’ from Grant McKee’s father… and he says in no uncertain terms he is NOT going to ‘sign any settlement agreement’ and is ready to “go to trial” and find out what really happened to his son and push for even more CLEAR ‘industry changes’.

    That still leaves ELEVEN ( 11 ) ‘wrongful death’ plaintiffs that need to be heard from as to whether or not they still want their own cases to go to trial.

    And remember… there only needs to be ONE case that remains active and proceeds to trial in order for anyone and everyone who had anything to do with the tragedy to be called to the witness stand and have to tell the WHOLE truth this time ( under penalty of perjury )… and not just the ‘part’ of the truth that fits their own personal agenda(s).

  2. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Joy A. Collura post on July 13, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    >> Joy Collura said…
    >>
    >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE2QkGLstF0
    >>
    >> here is the video Sonny where you almost blew off the Weavers; soft giggles.

    Joy… thank you for reposting a link to that particular video.

    I was wondering if you could verify something for me.

    For THIS video… you appear to be standing in the EXACT SAME SPOT as when you shot that now FAMOUS photo of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on Sunday morning with their backs to you and hiking AWAY from you and up that two-track towards where they were going to be working.

    The KEY is that rock formation to the left side of the two-track seen as you pan the camera to the right ( to the east ) in THIS video.

    It’s a large rock formation that looks like a stack of pancakes on a breakfast plate.

    That is the EXACT same rock formation as seen in your now-famous photo of the Granite Mountain Hotshots hiking in a line on Sunday morning… correct?

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      To be specific… at exactly 18.5 seconds into this video is almost an identical shot as that now-famous photo you took of the Granite Mountain Hotshots hiking away from you on Sunday morning… but this frame at 18.5 seconds in the video now shows the AFTERMATH of what happened to that area where that famous GM-Hiking-Up-The-Ridge photo was taken.

      Correct?

  3. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** AT LEAST THREE YARNELL RELATED ‘WRONGFUL DEATH’
    ** LAWSUITS ARE STILL HEADED FOR TRIAL?

    As reported already by InvestigativeMEDIA… the recently announced ‘settlement’ of the 12-party enjoined ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits does NOT include the original ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit filed by Marcia McKee, the mother of deceased Granite Mountain Hotshot Grant McKee.

    Marcia McKee filed the FIRST ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit, but it was NOT through Prescott attorney Patrick McGroder. She used attorney Craig Knapp instead.

    The actual PUBLIC ‘Case Docket’ for that Marcia McKee lawsuit says it is still on its way to trial… with oral arguments in the case already scheduled.

    The last ‘entry’ in the case docket was back on May 19, 2015, but there is nothing to indicate that the case has been ‘settled’ or ‘dismissed’… so it remains an ‘active court docket’.

    Indeed… the case docket itself still says “There are NO JUDGEMENTS ON FILE”.

    The most recent entries actually just show that the ‘oral arguments’ regarding a standard ‘motion to dismiss’ ( filed by Arizona Forestry in an attempt to stop the case from proceeding to trial ) just keep getting ‘reset’ and ‘rescheduled’.

    NOTE: Arizona Forestry filed the same sort of ‘motions to dismiss’ in all the other cases they have been involved with. It’s always ‘worth a shot’ for them to attempt to do this. Arizona Forestry apparently first FILED this standard ‘Motion to Dismiss’ almost a YEAR ago, on August 29, 2014, but they still have yet to have ‘oral arguments’ with regards to this motion.

    This ( public ) online ‘case docket’ in Maricopa County Superior Court for Marcia McKee’s ongoing ‘wrongful death’ suit is at the following link…

    NOTE: This online docket shows events happening in the case and when documents were being filed in the case, and about what, but it does not contain links to the documents themselves.

    https://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CivilCourtCases/caseInfo.asp?caseNumber=CV2014-009068

    Information showing ( as of today ) in the public case docket…
    —————————————————————–
    Case Number:CV2014-009068
    Judge: Gama, J. Richard
    File Date: 6/26/2014
    Location: Downtown
    Case Type: Civil

    Judgments – There are no judgments on file

    Party Information
    Party Name, Relationship, Sex, Attorney
    —————————————————–
    Kylie Steinmetz, Plaintiff, Male, Craig Knapp
    Desirre McCarthy, Plaintiff, Female, Craig Knapp
    State Of Arizona, Defendant, ?, Brock Heathcotte
    Arizona State Forestry Division, Defendant, ?, Brock Heathcotte
    Marcia McKee, Consolidated, Female, Craig Knapp
    Herman O Federwisch, Consolidated, Male, Craig Knapp
    Michael Parrish, Endorsement Case, Male, MICHAEL PARRISH
    ———————————————————

    Case Documents
    ——————————————————–
    Filing Date, Description, Docket Date, Filing Party

    5/19/2015, 095 – ME: Oral Argument Reset, 5/19/2015
    1/16/2015, 095 – ME: Oral Argument Reset, 1/16/2015
    1/15/2015, ORD – Order, 1/21/2015
    NOTE: VACATING THE ORAL ARGUMENT ON THE PENDING MOTIONS TO DISMISS IN THE CONSOLIDATED STEINMETZ FEDERWISCH AND MCKEE CASES
    1/5/2015, STP – Stipulation, 1/6/2015
    NOTE: STIPULATION TO VACATE AND RESCHEDULE ORAL ARGUMENT ON PENDING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
    12/3/2014, 053 – ME: Case Consolidation, 12/3/2014
    12/3/2014, 311 – ME: 150 Day Minute Entry, 12/3/2014
    11/26/2014, 339 – ME: 100 Day Notice, 11/26/2014
    10/31/2014, REL – Reply, 11/4/2014
    NOTE: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS
    10/21/2014, NOT – Notice, 10/21/2014
    NOTE: Rule 7.1(g)Notice of Second Extension of Time to File Memoranda
    10/6/2014, MEM – Memorandum, 10/7/2014
    NOTE: JOINT RULE 16.3(a) MEMORANDUM
    9/29/2014, RES – Response, 9/30/2014
    NOTE: Response to Motion to Dismiss
    9/15/2014, RES – Response, 9/16/2014
    NOTE: RESPONSE BY THE STEINMETZ, FEDERWISCH, AND McKEE PLAINTIFFS TO THE MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE FOUR CASES: CV 2014-009068, CV 2014-009069, CV 2014-009070, AND CV 2014-009160, PURSUANT TO RULE 42(a), ARCP
    8/29/2014, MTD – Motion To Dismiss, 8/29/2014
    NOTE: Motion to Dismiss
    8/29/2014, MCD – Motion To Consolidate, 9/2/2014
    NOTE: MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE FOUR CASES: CV2014-009068, CV2014-009069, CV2014-009070, AND CV2014-009160, PURSUANT TO RULE 42(a), ARCP
    ———————————————————

    ** THREE GM HOTSHOTS ARE STILL REPRESENTED

    There are actually THREE ‘plaintiffs’ who are part of this remaining ‘wrongful death’ action.

    Notice above the referenced to CONSOLIDATION around September 15, 2014.

    At least THREE of the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits WERE ‘consolidated’ into this one Maricopa County court case.

    There are THREE ‘plaintiffs’ remaining…

    Plaintiff McKee on behalf of GM Hotshot Grant McKee
    Plaintiff Steinmetz on behalf of GM Hotshot John Percin, Jr.
    Plaintiff Federwisch on behalf of GM Hotshot Jesse Steed.

    So ( apparently ) family members for GM Hotshots Grante McKee, John Percin Jr., and Jesse Steed have NOT made any kind of settlement agreement with Arizona Forestry and those cases are still ( apparently ) proceeding to TRIAL.

    There also still has been no POSITIVE CONFIRMATION that ALL 12 of the ‘plaintiffs’ in the OTHER ‘Patrick McGroder’ suits that ( supposedly ) just got ‘settled’ have actually ALL AGREED to the terms of the settlement.

    The only two family members we actually heard from during the press conference were Deborah Pfingston and Roxanne Warneke, nor has anyone see the actual ‘signatures’ of ALL 12 of the ‘plaintiffs’ showing that they ‘accept’ the proposed settlement.

    It is still possible that one ( or more ) of the 12 ‘enjoined’ plaintiffs will NOT accept the terms of the settlement… and then those case get ‘de-coupled’ from the group agreement and proceed to trial on their own.

    And all it takes is just ONE case proceeding to trial in order for anyone and everyone who had anything to do with this tragedy being called as a ‘witness’ and having to SWEAR ( under penalty of perjury now ) to tell the TRUTH, and ( most importantly ) the WHOLE TRUTH… and NOT just the part that fits your own agenda.

    More about all these ( still pending? ) wrongful death suits later.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      I asked Grant Scott McKee due to discernment I would remain quiet and he said no need— I could publicly share Grant McKee who Sonny and I recently spent time with stated to hikers FIRST HAND he did not and was not signing so Grant McKee asked Joy what information would it take for Joy to find closure in all this and I said recently local Brent Yadon asked that and now that I know he has not signed—publicly speaking to John Dougherty, Bill Gabbert and Morgan Loew to make sure it hits media platform that what happen in the news last week is not reality….I got first hand he had not signed any settlements. I also told him there cannot be a day until this fire is properly assessed and the proper people SPEAK UP…than and only than can I have closure.

    • Bob Powers says

      I think McKee is the Father and he was one of the 12. So he must not have signed.
      Do you know if the other 2 are part of the 12 or separate?
      McKee’s mother filed separate suit. in California?
      We do not know what others have not Signed off on the agreement unless they release that or the news media gets ahold of it.

  4. Otis says

    Saw this news item the other day and thought it just put the Settlement into perspective with regards the payouts and fines;

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/07/07/time-warner-robocalls/29846041/

    It makes an absolute mockery of the whole fines and victim awards for YHF!

    There should not be a comparison here, but the amount awarded for being harassed by automated calls is staggering when you compare it to the fines where people actually died.

    • Gary Olson says

      Thank you Otis. I think your comment and the corresponding link sums up what I have been trying to say lately very nicely. And you are right of course, there shouldn’t be a comparison between the two situations but unfortunately there is one.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Thank you, Otis.

      It seems the REAL ‘equivalent’ here would be if this person stated publicly they had no intentions of getting the ‘automated calling’ company to ever admit they were doing anything wrong… and they ended up settling the suit ( for a fraction of what was being demanded ) just based on some VERBAL ‘promises’ from the company that they would ‘take a look at current policy and practices’ and ‘see where we can make some changes’.

      People don’t like lawsuits… but the way we have structured our society and our organizations… sometimes it’s the ONLY thing that can FORCE CHANGE upon people ( and organizations ) that DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE.

      You have to hit ’em where it hurts… right smack in the WALLET.

      Sad, but true.

      • Joy A. Collura says

        WWTKTT said:
        People don’t like lawsuits… but the way we have structured our society and our organizations… sometimes it’s the ONLY thing that can FORCE CHANGE upon people ( and organizations ) that DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE.

        reply:
        I can say some of the loved ones of the GMHS feel this IS THE ONLY reason for their suits—- THEY WANT CHANGE!

      • Gary Olson says

        WWTKTT said:
        People don’t like lawsuits.

        Actually…that statement should read, MOST people don’t like lawsuits. That is just one of the nice things about being off the reservation with no intention to ever go back!

        FYI…Retirement funds can’t be taken by anyone except the IRS, and I don’t have anything except those. So…I really enjoy telling attorneys to kiss my ass, in fact, I have made a retirement hobby of doing just that.

  5. Gary Olson says

    Oh…and one more thing. I guess his federal retirement isn’t enough to enable Mr. Jeff Whitney to finish his otherwise stellar and honorable career with his head held high? A mighty Coconino hotshot alum needs the 30 pieces of silver (check it…a Biblical reference) the state of Arizona is paying him to sign off on screwing the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Families?

    I know the state of Arizona isn’t paying more than that, it just isn’t in their nature. Somebody has to sign off on that disgrace of a settlement, but does it have to be a former Coconino hotshot?

    All of us have our price, and now wildland firefighting history will record exactly how much Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney’s is…right?

    Wait, is this too harsh?

    • SR says

      I think you, yourself, suspect it may be too harsh.

      He had no involvement in the hiring and training and evaluation and business plan processes at PFD that were direct contributing factors, imo, to what occurred. Nor, directly, did his current employer.

      This to me is similar to a business executive joining a construction firm that’s embroiled in litigation but that didn’t necessarily directly cause the construction accident that led to the litigation.

      • Gary Olson says

        Well actually…my “is this too harsh” comment was just another manifestation of my quirky, flippant, immature attempt at humor mixed with my persistently sarcastic personality that is without a doubt a sign of deep seated anger that a psychiatrist could have a field day with if they were so inclined.

        And I suspect your opinion is one that is popular within the wildland firefighting community as a whole because Jeff Whitney is a without a doubt a highly respected, popular and even legendary figure from that community.

        But I don’t share in that opinion. In fact, I think Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney should resign in protest rather than oversee the implementation of such a shameful disgrace masquerading as a settlement agreement on behalf of a shameful disgrace of a governor who is masquerading as a leader.

        A governor who shamelessly panders to the lowest common denominator in the Republican Party in the Great State of Arizona by being a climate change denier. A wildland firefighter who supports climate change deniers. Really?

        And I do understand all too well how the actual implementation of retirement plans can change a person. For example, a divorce can reduce assets by half or more (I don’t have the slightest idea what Mr. Whitney’s marital status is), which is just one more reason I work so hard at keeping my dear wife happy as often as my habitually difficult personality will allow.

        In addition, I do know for a fact one thing that has been hard on Mr. Whitney since he retired as one of the greatest fire gods who ever laced up a pair of White’s, he has had a hard time adjusting to becoming invisible. Which is one thing that happens to every retired person just as soon as they truthfully answer the inevitable question, “What do you do?”

        And I understand this phenomenon even though I wasn’t even close to being one of the greatest fire gods who ever laced up a pair of White’s when I retired. I always answer that question with a straight face by saying I am writing a book and running travel and off road web sites even though everything I have done in retirement to date has been a loss leader without any subsequent pay off. But at least I don’t say…”nothing, I don’t do a damn thing.”

        And even though I understand these things, I would still resign rather than sign off on that insult to the still grieving families. And I specifically speaking about the families who didn’t sue. Offer them nothing except your deepest condolences, but don’t offer them $10,000 in lieu of the $25,000 awarded to them by ADOSH. And like I said before, if someone offered me an insult to compensate me for the horrible death at their hands of one of my children, it would get really ugly in the room, really fast. Not physical of course…just really ugly.

        Please let me make one thing perfectly clear to everyone who has not been keeping up with current events. And I want to preface my pronouncement with this statement. There is no doubt in my mind that I know every causal factor on the Yarnell Hill Fire that resulted in the deaths of 19 GMIHC hotshots, in addition, I also understand the complicated nuances of all of the contributing factors in their deaths as well.

        The Arizona Division of Forestry is responsible for the deaths of 19 wildland firefighters on the Yarnell Hill Fire as a direct result of their gross negligence and incompetent management of said wildfire…period, end of story.

        Someone asked me in an email if I was going to name the last chapter of my book (Betrayed By Our Fire Gods) “Thirty Pieces of Silver.” And if Mr. Whitney signs off on that agreement as we currently understand it exists, the answer to that question is a resounding…hell yes! That name fits in with the whole betrayed theme…wouldn’t you agree?

  6. Gary Olson says

    This has been stuck in moderation for some time, so I am reposting it to see what happens..

    This comment fits into at least 2 categories. Clutter…and you can’t make this stuff up.

    When I first heard the name of the new Arizona Stage Forester…Jeff Whitney, I said to myself…I think I know that name from the old days. I am pretty sure there were two Whitney brothers who worked at the Blue Ridge Ranger District for the US Forest Service in the generation right before mine.

    They were both very tall and lanky with big mustaches and kind of looked like twins. They were both on the Blue Ridge Hotshots and fit into the category of college students studying to become professional foresters at NAU rather than terminal blue collar workers.

    By the time I was on the Happy Jack Hotshots next door to Blue Ridge, they had moved on to run engine crews as foremen. I know I kept hearing the name Whitney over the years in fire management, so one or both of them went on to become high ranking fire managers and an , as professional foresters as they moved up through the ranks. I am sure this is the same guy (Jeff Whitney) and he would have been retired from the USFS or whichever federal agency he worked for after them by now and be in a good position to be appointed as a political hack, State Foresters are always political hacks and change whenever there is a new governor, or there is a big screw up as the fall guy for the governor.

    So a former Blue Ridge Hotshot being in charge of screwing the families over would be classic karma…right?

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Yep. Whitney has “entered from stage left” and is now part of this shakespearean level tragedy. He’s already earned billing as the one who helped get some of the litigation to just “go away”… but will he go on to be the one, in the third act, doesn’t live up to ANY of the promises he made.

      We shall see.

      Attorney Patrick McGrocer really has made it sound like all these “promises” Whitney made which then caused the families to “cave” during the settlement negotiations were PERSONAL promises on Whitney’s part.

      So if Whitney just quits or gets thrown under his own personal bus… what happens to all these crucial “promises”?

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        There is STILL, apparently, no PUBLIC copy of the actual settlement agreement between Arizona Forestry and the families of the dead Hotshots… and STILL no explanation as to why that wasn’t made available with the other ‘settlement’ documents… or when a copy of this other crucial document will be made available.

        So we still don’t know how much/many of these “promises” that both attorney Patrick McGroder and Jeff Whitney went on and on about in the settlement press conference.are actually CODIFIED in the legally binding ‘settlement document’ itself… or whether they just remain mostly VERBAL promises on the part of Jeff Whitney.

  7. Gary Olson says

    FYI – Even if the lawsuit was still ongoing, and proceeded all the way into a courtroom, the Prescott FD — with all their misdeeds/misrepresentations that are at the very core of why 19 people wound up dead with being immune in the end to any accountability as the PFD was excluded from litigation. No trial, no settlements, no bothering with empty assurances of reforms. They got to skate away clean.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      They could (all) still be called as witnesses in any court case… and that might contribute to solving some/all of the ongoing questions/mysteries.

      There are obviouy a lot of people involved with this incident who are never going to ‘do the right thing’ until they are FORCED to do so. I hope at least one court proceeding stays active so that can happen.

  8. Bob Powers says

    In case someone thinks I bailed here, I did tomorrow till Monday Ill be on vacation to Northern Idaho
    Camping and relaxing so will be back to catch up Monday evening.

    • rocksteady says

      Enjoy the escape Bob, just make sure your campfire is out… Here in BC we have a province wide campfire ban

      • Bob Powers says

        Preaching to the quire HAHAHA–
        Actually will be in Post Falls on Saturday to watch our son race in the K&N NASCAR West at Stateline. 1/4 mile track. Then over to Mazola Smoke jumper base and down thru Salmon 2 days going 2 days coming home with the Camp Trailer.

  9. Gary Olsonfs says

    This comment fits into 2 categories. Clutter…and you can’t make this stuff up.

    When I first heard the name of the new Arizona Stage Forester…Jeff Whitney, I said to myself…I think I know that name from the old days. I am pretty sure there were two Whitney brothers who worked at the Blue Ridge Ranger District for the US Forest Service in the generation right before mine.

    They were both very tall with big mustaches and kind of looked like twins. They were both on the Blue Ridge Hotshots and fit into the category of college students studying to become professional foresters at NAU rather than terminal blue collar workers.

    By the time I was on the Happy Jack Hotshots next door to Blue Ridge, they had moved on to run engine crews as foremen. I know I kept hearing the name Whitney over the years in fire management, so one or both of them went on to become high ranking fire managers as professional foresters as they moved up through the ranks. If it is the same guy, he would have been retired from the USFS or whichever federal agency he worked for after them by now and be in a good position to be appointed as a political hack, State Forester are always political hacks and change whenever there is a new governor, or there is a big screw up as the fall guy for the governor.

    So a former Blue Ridge Hotshot being in charge of screwing the families over would be classic karma…right?

  10. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Bob Powers post on July 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    >> Bob Powers wrote…
    >>
    >> WTKTT–Thanks for jumping in over on Wild Fire Today.
    >> They have added even more statements that are not found any where and
    >> keep changing the story… and who said what and what was said and who herd it.
    >> anyway take a look if you feel up to the Challenge.

    I posted a ‘Reply’ to user ‘FFSafety’ pointing out how wrong he was about where the fire actually was circa 4:30 PM… and that even the SAIT’s own firelines prove he is wildly mistaken.

    But some weirdness going on over there at Gabbert’s Blog.

    I posted the response at 9:30 PM. It stayed in ‘moderation’ for a few hours and then was suddenly ( and fully ) DELETED at exactly 11:15 PM. I figured I had once again hit that mysterious ‘Gabbert wall’ whereby it’s almost impossible to figure out what sort of comments he will ( or won’t ) allow.

    An hour or so went by… and a few more posts from other people appeared on other threads.

    Then my original post that had ‘vanished’ at 11:15 suddenly ‘reappeared’ and it was now no longer ‘in moderation’.

    So go figure.

    I’m think my ‘batting average’ over there for posts even making it out of ‘moderation’ is less than 50 percent at this point… and it’s always hard to tell what ‘criteria’ he uses for ‘valid comments’.

    Anyway… just in case he changes his minds and trashes my entire comment again… here is what was posted over there as a reply to ‘FFSafety’…

    ( My original Reply to ‘FFSavety posted as the next Reply here… )

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to FFSafety post on July 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      >> FFSafety said…
      >>
      >> Bob they announced that they were going “SOUTH” – on the trail
      >> that was “MID-SLOPE.” That’s the trail that we can see in the pictures.
      >> And Musser and Cordes and other ppl testified that they heard GM
      >> say they were moving on their predetermined escape route down to
      >> their bomb-proof safety zone from that “morning.”
      >> Lord-a-lord, Bob – hows much more specific did you want them to be?

      In his one-and-only ADOSH interview, OPS2 Paul Musser DOES mention hearing something along those lines… but unlike what your statement above suggests… Musser specifically told ADOSH he heard absolutely NO mention of any ‘escape route’ and/or ‘safety zone’. He was sure about that.

      Musser told ADOSH that when HE spoke directly with Marsh ( at exactly 3:42 PM ) and Musser was checking on Granite Mountain’s ‘availability’ for additional assignments closer to Yarnell itself… the only response he got was that GM was still “committed to the ridge” and Musser told ADOSH that Marsh never talked of an escape route or safety zones during THAT conversation, either.

      Musser also told ADOSH that whatever might have been said over the radio ( in some other conversation he was not a part of ) about a ‘predetermined route’… he ( Musser ) had no frickin’ idea WHAT that meant.

      No one was talking to HIM about it… and Musser told ADOSH that he could only assume whoever they WERE mentioning that to over the radio understood what they meant… and Musser then never lifted a finger to find OUT what it meant.

      Paul Musser didn’t even have any idea who the ‘someone’ is that Marsh was talking to and also made no attempt to find that out, either.

      From OPS2 Paul Musser’s ADOSH interview…
      Starting with line 2542 of the interview…
      ———————————————————————
      Q = Brett Steurer, ADOSH investigator
      Q2 = Barry Hicks, ADOSH investigator
      A = OPS2 Paul Musser
      ———————————————————————-
      Q2: Oh. Uh, anything else you can think of that we probably need to know at this point and time? Uh…
      A: Uh, at one point I did hear Granite Mountain say they were using their predetermined route towards the structures.
      Q2: Oh, you did hear that?
      A: I did – I overheard that. Uh, I don’t know whether that was Granite talking to Eric or who they were – I did – I overheard that part of a conversation.
      Q2: Between Granite and somebody?
      A: Yes.
      Q2: Uh, but you don’t know who they were actually talking or…
      A: No. I do not… But there was no urgency, no – never talked of an escape route or safety zones or anything like that. It was just – or…
      Q2: And how did they say it? They…
      A: I think they said we’re going down our predetermined route towards the structures, I think is what was said.
      Q: Is that predetermined route something they might have marked with flags or…
      A: Uh, obviously whoever – who they were talking to knew what that meant.
      ———————————————————————

      So I believe your question was…

      “How much more specific did you want them to be?”

      How about specific enough that OPS2 Paul Musser ( and others ) wouldn’t have later testified to ADOSH that he/they had no frickin’ idea what Marsh was talking about?

      So regardless of what was SAID…
      OPS2 Musser had no idea what Marsh really MEANT… and he also never bothered to find out.

      Likewise…

      * OPS1 Todd Abel, on the north side, had no idea what Marsh really meant.
      * None of the Blue Ridge Hotshots had any idea what Marsh really meant.
      * TLFD(t) Trainee Tyson Esquibel had no idea what Marsh really meant.

      The evidence record suggests that the ONLY person in Yarnell who DID have ANY idea what all that “predetermined this morning” stuff meant was the man who “predetermined” it… and made that ‘Safety Zone’ assignment to Marsh that morning.

      That was SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

      Cordes is still the only person on the Yarnell IMT who admits to never having any doubts where Granite Mountain was going. Cordes might have had no idea they would be so foolish as to NOT stay on that two-track and attempt a shorcut through a blind box canyon filled with explosive fuel… but Cordes was SURE they were headed to the Boulder Springs Ranch.

      Unfortunately… Cordes’ own Situational Awareness (SA) was so bad that afternoon that even he had no idea what the fire was ACTUALLY doing out in that ‘middle bowl’ and so he was under the FALSE impression they had ‘plenty of time’ and there was no need for any kind of ‘intervention’ on his part.

      >> FFSafety also said…
      >>
      >> In hindsight it would have been great if someone had stopped
      >> them and asked for more detail.

      Wow. You are talking as if you consider it to be OPTIONAL that a Incident Management Team know EXACTLY where their resources are and EXACTLY where they are going ( if they are still moving and not safe yet ) when a dangerous fire is exploding like a bomb.

      There is no “would have been great” about it.

      As a ‘Division Supervisor’ moving resources from one Division to another… Marsh was REQUIRED by the rules of his profession to make it CLEAR to ‘Operations’ what was happening… and to be sure they APPROVED of his decision(s).

      Marsh was a “Division Supervisor” on that fire and he was essentially moving ALL of the resources assigned to his Division OUT of their assigned Division ‘A” and into ANOTHER Division on the fire ( Division Z ).

      The official NWCG rules for Division Supervisors REQUIRED that he make this clear to his “Operations Section Chief” and that there be no ‘mysteries’ involved.

      NWCG Task Book for the Position of: Division Supervisor
      Page 13…
      Item 29: Notify Operations Section Chief when resources are
      moved or shared between divisions/groups.

      There is no “would be great if you would do that” in the DIVS TASKBOOK.
      It’s a MUST DO.

      Marsh did NOT communicate the ‘move’ in any kind of clear, effective manner to everyone who SHOULD have known, as also required by just the ‘C’ in LCES.

      >> FFSafety also said…
      >>
      >> who was gonna ask because Cordes knew where they were headed
      >> and he thought they had plenty of time so he and Musser were not
      >> going to second guess.

      You are right… but with a ‘caveat’.

      SPGS1 Gary Cordes seemed to be the ONLY one who understood ANY of Marsh’s references to “predetermined” routes or ‘safety zones’… because Cordes is the one who GAVE the BSR that “predetermined’ label ( to Marsh ) that morning.

      But as for OPS2 Paul Musser…. see above.

      OPS2 Paul Musser told the ADOSH investigators that even after hearing something about ‘predetermined route’… Musser had no frickin’ idea what that meant… and ( apparently ) never even lifted a finger to FIND OUT what that meant.

      >> FFSafety also said…
      >>
      >> When things are heating up on a fire, commo can slip without us even
      >> noticing until commo is bad. Have ya ever been sending on 1 tac and
      >> receiving on another? You know – a conversation where you are sending
      >> on Tac 1 and they are hitting you back on Tac 3 and neither of you are
      >> realizing it because you are hearing each other and not looking down.
      >> You have conversation but if either of you had thought to look you would
      >> have realized you werent really having good commo. Ya. It happens.

      The problem you are now describing sounds like if something isn’t done to improve THAT situation… someone is GOING to get KILLED… but what you are describing is NOT what was happening in Yarnell, Arizona, on June 30, 2013.

      Yes… there were some ‘bad spots’ and people actually had some minor ‘tone guard’ and physical radio problems such as Cordes’ BK portable’s transmit switch taking a dump and he had to throw on the seat and just use his Motorolas ( which did NOT have the Incident’s A2G channel programmed in and he never stopped for a moment to fix THAT problem ).

      But all in all… TWO different investigations actually determined that there were not enough technical issues with radios or tones or lack of repeaters for that to have been an ACTUAL (direct) causal factor in the deaths of 19 Arizona Forestry employees.

      The ‘bad como’ that day was not because of the radios themselves.

      It was because of people either choosing ( or never having been taught how ) to use them to actually COMMUNICATE in an effective, safety-minded way.

      Once again… even Mike Dudley, the Co-leader of the SAIT itself, told a roomful of firefighters in a public speech in Utah on June 20, 2014…

      “A lot of people were talking… very few people were communicating.
      It was almost as if Granite Mountain was being deliberately vague.”

      >> FFSafety also said…
      >>
      >> You don’t realize that there are communications problems until there
      >> are communications problems!!! Everyone sees it in hindsight but the
      >> people in the thick of it don’t get the benefit of our hindsight.

      Again… you are describing a problem that I’m sure exists… and if it isn’t addressed someone else is GOING to get KILLED for this reason alone…

      …but as far as the Yarnell Incident goes… investigations have proven that Granite Mountain did not LACK the ABILITY to communicate. They simply were not communicating “Clearly and Effectively”, as LCES requires.

      We can hear for ourselves in the Caldwell video that Eric Marsh had NO PROBLEMS communicating directly with OPS1 Todd Abel on the north end of the fire. No ‘relay’ needed.

      OPS2 Paul Musser testifies to having been able to communicate directly with DIVSA Eric Marsh, when he wanted to. No ‘relay’ needed.

      Other testimony establishes that OTHERS were hearing Marsh and Steed communicate directly over both TAC and A2G channels without any problems. No ‘relay’ needed.

      The ‘como’ problem that day was that only ONE person seemed to fully UNDERSTAND what they were SAYING… and that was SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

      Even when OPS2 Paul Musser testified to ADOSH that he HEARD Marsh communicating directly with ‘someone else’ and mentioning something about a “predetermined route”… OPS2 Paul Musser never lifted a finger to even find out what that really meant.

      The radios themselves are not to blame for the lack of communication on this particular Incident. No way.

      >> FFSafety also said…
      >>
      >> Your timeline is off too Bob. At 4:30 pm the fire was at least
      >> a good 3/4 of a mile from the Boulder Springs Ranch.

      That is totally false.

      The SAIT’s own published fireline progression charts AND other existing photographic and video evidence proves otherwise.

      ** THE SAIT FIRELINE PROGRESSION CHARTS ( IN 3 DIMENSIONS )

      The following YouTube video shows all of the Special Accident Investigation Team ( SAIT ) official fire progression estimates transposed onto Google Earth in 3 dimensions.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boj4zCdOX5I

      NOTE: The ADOSH investigators agreed that these SAIT fireline progressions could be considered accurate and so they never did their own charts. They simply relied on these SAIT charts for their own investigation.

      At +0:52 into the video… the SAIT’s own 4:30 PM estimated fireline appears transposed onto the ground in 3 dimensions.

      It isn’t even as ‘far along’ as other photographic evidence indicates it REALLY was by 4:30 PM… but it’s pretty close… and even this SAIT 4:30 PM fireline estimate has the ‘flaming front’ of the now south-headed fireline only 1,148 feet due north of the perimeter of the Boulder Springs Ranch.

      1,148 feet equals just 338 yards and only .22 mile away ( LESS than 1/4 mile ).

      The same SAIT 4:30 PM fireline shows the leading edge also only 971 feet away from the ‘mouth’ of the box canyon. That’s just 324 yards and under 2 tenths of a mile ( 0.18 mile ).

      The same SAIT 4:30 PM fireline shows the leading edge also only 1,877 feet away from what would become the actual ‘deployment site’ there on the floor of the box canyon. That’s 626 yards and just over 1/3 of a mile ( 0.36 mile ).

      • Bob Powers says

        Yes Bill tends to make his own rules he cut me entirely off for several months until thru private E-Mail I convinced him my statement was a JOKE Referencing and old rivalry between our crews.
        Also I do not think he is use to long replies that you post or the reference of other links that may be causing you problem.

        You do a excellent job of putting the facts out there.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Actually… in all fairness… Bill Gabbert obviously likes to run a ‘tight ship’ over there at “Wildfire Today” and he expects the comments being made on his constant Blog titles to be about what HE wrote at the top.

          In a way… that thread about the Kyle Dickman FOX news interview got what is commonly referred to in the blogosphere. as “hijacked”.

          That’s when the commenters start going in a direction other than what the article they are commenting on was really about.

          That is kinda/sorta what happened here… and I can see Gabbert getting ‘pissed’ about it and trying to knock out comments that HE didn’t feel were directly related to what HE wrote at the top.

          IMHO… the discussion really is/was related to his article, since Gabbert himself described what Dickman said on-camera as “throwing Eric Marsh under the bus”.

          That’s makes an open review of the evidence about what Eric Marsh may ( or may not ) have done ( and who else knew what when ) sort of “fair game” for commenting on this particular blog post… but maybe Gabbert just didn’t see it that way and thought the thread was being “hijacked”.

          Whatever.

          What Bill Gabbert himself didn’t actually ‘catch’ in the Kyle Dickman on-camera interview was that when Kyle Dickman was asked the direct question… “Is there someone to blame here”?… Dickman first started to say “Incident Commander” or “Incident Management”… but then he caught himself and said “If you need someone to blame… blame Marsh”.

          You have to actually give the FOX anchor some credit here.
          She was pretty ‘savvy’ while she was questioning Dickman and she was asking some pretty damn good questions that still NEED to be asked.
          She was coming from the place of being a fellow ‘journalist’ and
          she was EXPECTING a guy ( Dickman ) who had already published
          a book that his own publishers have been calling “the definitive account
          of the Yarnell Hill Fire” to KNOW the answers to the questions she
          was asking him.

          He ( Dickman ) didn’t.

          He just ‘danced around’ her questions with vague responses that anyone could give even without reading any books… and he proved on-camera that he never really lifted a finger to find out for himself the answers to some of the ongoing ‘mysteries’ of what happened that entire weekend in Yarnell.

          Dickman just did a “feature piece”… and apparently simply didn’t complain when the publishers started calling it “the definitive story of the Yarnell Fire”.

          Here is actually exactly what Kyle Dickman said on-camera in that FOX news interview that Bill Gabbert decided to post about on his ‘Wildfire Today’ Blogsite…

          ———————————————————————
          ( Reporter ): Now.. there have been a series of different reports over the last two years about WHO made the call to move these firefighters and WHO is to blame… because, of course, in stories like this, everyone’s looking for that. An ANSWER to ‘explain the unexplainable’, virtually, but Kyle… what did YOU learn in reporting about this story?

          IS there someone to blame here?

          ( Kyle Dickman ): I mean I think you can blame… we… we can certainly lay blame on the Incident… uhm… on the Superintendent of the Hotshot Crew. His name was Eric Marsh. It was, ultimately, his decision to move the men… uhm… ya know… the truth is that fire was incredibly explosive. Nature was doing things to that… that blaze that… that were pretty exceptional and… uhm… ya know… I think that… that really these men died… uh… uh… because of the way fires are burning today… and so… uhm… but I guess if we… if we have to lay blame… maybe we blame Eric Marsh?
          ————————————————————————-

          NOTICE this obvious “stumble and backtrack” on Dickman’s part…

          “…we can certainly lay blame on the Incident… uhm… on the Superintendent of the Hotshot Crew”.

          Dickman’s FIRST instinct was to (apparently) say something like…

          “we can certainly lay blame on the Incident Commander”.
          OR
          “we can certainly lay blame on the Incident Management”.
          OR
          “we can certainly lay blame on the Incident Management Team”.
          etc., etc….

          but he ‘caught’ himself, backtracked real quick, and then said…

          “we can certainly lay blame on the Superintendent of the Hotshot Crew”.

          Interesting ‘brain fart’ there, Kyle.

          Bill Gabbert did not catch this in HIS Blog post about the interview.

          • Bob Powers says

            As you showed and have over and over the actual fire burn towards BSR
            in a 25 Min. time frame to 1630 is the real kicker here.
            if They had had a good lookout or even Como with some one who could see the progression of the Fire they could have moved back up or never gone Down the Canyon. Marsh had to have seen the fire progression before he got back to the crew in time to deploy.
            That’s my take they made a bet they could beet the fire and lost. sooner or later the Family and GM friends are going to have to realize that simple fact.
            They– Marsh and Steed had the responsibility and they made the call, no matter what else was going on with new plans or structures burning.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      I posted the response at 9:30 PM. It stayed in ‘moderation’ for a few hours and then was suddenly ( and fully ) DELETED at exactly 11:15 PM. I figured I had once again hit that mysterious ‘Gabbert wall’ whereby it’s almost impossible to figure out what sort of comments he will ( or won’t ) allow.

      reply:
      I have to point out Bill’s page just like John’s page does that at times…but I cannot see him deleting comments. I just cannot see John or him doing that…If anyone posts a post like you do WWTKTT with all the sources like you do…don’t think you would be deleted on purpose just retry or refresh the page or erase cookies….I want to skim read fast because I have to get some sleep. Sonny comes to get me at 3am-

  11. Bob Powers says

    WTKTT–Thanks for jumping in over on Wild Fire Today.
    They have added even more statements that are not found any where and keep changing the story.
    And who said what and what was said and who herd it. anyway take a look if you feel up to the Challenge.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Will do. We are seeing the ‘ongoing tragedy’ over there at Wildfire today.

      And that is the fact that here it is… TWO YEARS later… and people are still THAT confused about the circumstances under which 19 men were burned to death while working for Arizona Forestry.

      And that there are people who were direct eyewitnesses and participants who are still REFUSING to say what they know and content to leave even their own FF ‘brothers’ grasping at straws.

      A few are the comments over there are perfect representations of that old Mark Twain quote…

      “It ain’t what they don’t know that bothers me.
      It’s what they know fer sure that just ain’t so.”

      Isn’t it interesting, however, to discover that even amongst the “brotherhood”… everyone KNOWS that information has been ( and is till being ) withheld.

      Whoever still thinks otherwise just hasn’t been paying attention.

      • sonny says

        Truly information is being with held but add to that distortion of facts. A lush forest has been painted over the barren sands of lies. Awards and trophies and bravos to people that preformed the worst firefighting job in recent history if not ever considering the whole job from beginning to end. Shame, shame to those keeping the secret of their woeful job that killed nineteen young men. Yea-lay all the blame to the dead men while they cry out from their graves that the whole truth be known as to their demise. For sure ignorance and carelessness was on their part, but why did they take such risks. Who trained these men that they would do that and who was foolish enough even to ask them to come down to help protect structures? Do you hand out awards to anyone for their great job as firefighter boss on this Yarnell blunder? Yes and the public seems to have gone along — their eyes shaded from the real truth.

        But I am not an authority or a firefighter. Yet I clearly see how badly this fire was handled. Hell is the abyss one enters by going down in a thicket of brush that only a bear can wallow through while weather conditions are bound to change the direction of a fire in a heart beat and with raging winds to drive it up a slope at velocities that no man can out run in a thicket of brush.

        That day we were on the mountain and when I topped out the wind had already shifted to the south, though gently–but by the time we had dropped off on the Congress side it was already picking up. The argument Joy and I had is a testimony to how foolish it would have been for us to challenge nature. The fact that learned firemen would be convinced to go down in that canyon reminds me of how at that very point from the two track Joy would have met her demise had she dropped off at that point. Even after I tracked up that hill to the top I did not really want to go back to see if she had gone down–fortunately she had not and this time I did a Dr. Putnam on how he saved the lives of green horn fire fighters. I cursed and got stern–something with a hard head like Joy that might have driven her down — but it did not. So why would they go down into that brush and it was thick. Joy’s photos at the very place they died that early morning do not lie as to the conditions those men had encountered. Cordes knows and so does the majority of the men that fought that fire that day. All the honchos know and kid Donut is happy to report on one channel that the truth would go with him to his grave while the unfortunates cry from their grave that all the truth be known to the world. Will it win out–If you are religious you would think the devil has the upper hand here when you see the sole survivor of that crew of 20 withholding information yet saying he is a convert and I imagine one of the studies under Mr. Willis–the other survivor boss of that crew and total incident. Is that Christianity?-A slap at the dead and a dishonor to truth. Shame on those that held back the truth and worked to cover up what really happened. Shame on anyone that worked this fire and took awards. Does your heart feel guilt–it should.

        I told Joy we need to start looking at the dead beyond the 19. How come we have 50 and now more dead in the Yarnell area. This is not a coincidence to the fire–It is indeed related and I believe the fire is a causal factor in these obituaries that keep popping up. This is where we need to a study. Seems like that too many are thinking this retardant is a benign agent that has nothing to do with killing old people. There have been no long time health studies, although when it is dumped into a river thousands of fish die–a fact you can read about on line. Yet that NH3 gas that is given off is recognized as a lung tissue killer. Well it works out that we got 300 thousand gallons of that delightful lung killer dumped right next to our dwellings in Yarnell. Yes and now many of the locals if they are aged and have not expired since the fire are in trouble with their lungs. Heart conditions are connected to the lungs and those hidden chemicals must have added to the NH3 effects. If Zack Ashoor had not died since the fire–a young 29–and I hiked him with his asthma problem–he would be working on this problem with me. Joy is helping get a full list of the deceased since the fire–the 50 plus beyond the 19. Their demise was slow and painful if it is like my own. Lungs no longer work as well and it becomes painful to hike any distance and now the heart and brain no longer get the proper oxygen and those organs suffer as do all others in the body that no longer has sufficient oxygen. So the NH3 from the retardant either hangs you to an oxygen bottle or kills you slowly–yet not so slowly considering that more than 50 elderly have succumbed since the fire. Zack by the way was on the state respiratory board in Arizona–he was working on a very light respirator for fire fighters–maybe I could have directed to him on a study to this retardant and its effects on fire fighters.

        • Joy A. Collura says

          Truly information is being with held but add to that distortion of facts. A lush forest has been painted over the barren sands of lies. I AGREE WITH YOU SONNY..THEY SHOULD OF BETTER INVESTIGATED THE AREA BEFORE THE ASH WAS WASHED AWAY AND THE GROWTH IS LIKE IT IS. Awards and trophies and bravos to people that preformed the worst firefighting job in recent history if not ever considering the whole job from beginning to end. I JUST DID NOT LIKE ACCOLADES BEING ACCEPTED OR BONUS BEING MADE OR VACATIONS GIVEN OR ANY LUXURY OR PRAISE ESPECIALLY WHEN WE SPOKE TO BRYAN SMITH AND GARY IS IN THE MEDIA FOR SAVING LIVES AND BRYAN WAS LIKE NO THE GUY THAT SAVED ME WAS AGE 44-54…GARY, SORRY YOU DO NOT LOOK LIKE HOW BRYAN DESCRIBED HIS CAPTAIN WHO SAVED HIM. ALSO I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT PAUL MORIN. Shame, shame to those keeping the secret of their woeful job that killed nineteen young men. I GUESS WE HEAR SO MANY AGENDAS AND ANGLES AND PERCEPTIONS SINCE THE FIRE ON THE FIRE —SO UNTIL ALL THE FACTS ARE OUT I THINK THIS IS A HARSH STATEMENT IN MY HUMBLE OPINIONYea-lay all the blame to the dead men I HAVE SEEN THAT AND THAT IS UNFAIR…while they cry out from their graves that the whole truth be known as to their demise. I HOPE ONE DAY SONNY IT HAPPENS THAT WAYFor sure ignorance and carelessness was on their part, but why did they take such risks.GOOD TOPIC. Who trained these men GOOD TOPIC. IS ALL THE EVALUATIONS OF EACH GMHS PUBLIC FOIA…CAN A REGULAR FOLK ASK FOR IT? that they would do that and who was foolish enough even to ask them to come down to help protect structures? AGAIN JUST PIECES MISSING THERE SONNY…Do you hand out awards to anyone for their great job as firefighter boss on this Yarnell blunder? HMMM…ROUGH TOPIC FOR ME— I SAY NO. Yes and the public seems to have gone along — their eyes shaded from the real truth.TRUE—WHERE WAS I…OH YES, SELLING AT MAYOR ED’S TRADING POST AND THIS COUPLE WHO LIVES IN GLEN ILAH- GAIL AND JOHN—NEAR DINO AND VICKI AND JIM NAGEL (THAT IS RIDGEWAY SO YOU KNOW)—THE YARNELL FIRE WAS NOT OF ANY INTEREST TO THE COUPLE TO EVEN TALK ON IT. ALL SHE DID SAY WAS BETWEEN 3–4PM THE HOME BEHIND HER EXPLODED. NO MORE DETAILS. NO INTEREST IN SHARING PHOTOS. “MOVE FORWARD” OUTLOOK. SLOWLY AND I MEAN SLOWLY PEOPLE WHO SAID TWO YEARS AGO THEY WOULD SHARE THEIR PHOTOS FINALLY DID TODAY AND I EMAILED THEM TO WWTKTT, MARTI AND GARY BECAUSE FOR SOME REASON BOB POWERS EMAIL WAS NOT POPPING UP IN SAVED AREA SO THIS ACCOUNT IS FROM ANNA MARIE LECHNER. I AM NOT GOING TO FORWARD THEM TO OTHERS BECAUSE I AM BUSY TRYING TO COME UP WITH ER/AMBULANCE FUNDS BUT IF ONE OF THE FOLKS I SENT IT TO DECIDES TO TALK ON IT HERE THEY ARE FREE TO DO SO WITH NAME AND ALL ATTACHED AND LOCATION. I DO APOLOGIZE TO THE 3 I SENT IT TO BECAUSE I SENT IT AND FORWARDED AS I GOT IT AND SO IT SEEMS LIKE ALOT OF EMAILS. I THOUGHT SOME OF THE FIRE ONES WERE INTERESTING AND THE FIRE TRUCKS AND PLANES AND SUCH…THANK YOU ANNMARIE FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT TO LET US PROPERLY ASSESS THE YHF.

          But I am not an authority or a firefighter.YEP, YOU ARE SONNY… Yet I clearly see how badly this fire was handled. Hell is the abyss one enters by going down in a thicket of brush that only a bear can wallow through while weather conditions are bound to change the direction of a fire in a heart beat and with raging winds to drive it up a slope at velocities that no man can out run in a thicket of brush.

          That day we were on the mountain and when I topped out the wind had already shifted to the south,YOU MENTIONED IT TO ME WHEN IT HAPPENED WITH CONCERN TOO though gently–but by the time we had dropped off on the Congress side it was already picking up. The argument Joy and I had is a testimony to how foolish it would have been for us to challenge nature. THAT IS THE MOUNTAIN MAN KNOWLEDGE IN YOUThe fact that learned firemen would be convinced to go down in that canyon reminds me of how at that very point from the two track Joy would have met her demise had she dropped off at that point. AGAIN —FOR THE RECORD—I WAS NEVER GOING DOWN WHERE THE GMHS WENT BUT AROUND TOWARDS CATTLE POND AREA NEAR HELMS—WHICH FIRE HISTORIAN STEPHEN PYNE AND DR TED PUTNAM STATED IT WAS MORE NARROW AND WAS MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE CANYON. Even after I tracked up that hill to the top I did not really want to go back to see if she had gone down–fortunately she had not and this time I did a Dr. Putnam on how he saved the lives of green horn fire fighters. I cursed and got stern–INDEED HE DID—something with a hard head like Joy that might have driven her down — but it did not. OKAY- NO COMMENTSo why would they go down into that brush and it was thick. I DO NOT KNOW WHY EXCEPT A RADIO MISCOMMUNICATION PERHAPS—Joy’s photos at the very place they died that early morning do not lie as to the conditions those men had encountered.TRUE. MORGAN LOEW USE TO HAVE IT WHEN YOU GOOGLED YARNELL HIKERS BUT THE VIDEO HAS SINCE VANISHED BUT MORGAN WILL LOOK INTO IT HE SAID Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM (Let me see where the video file is located.
          -Morgan) Cordes knows and so does the majority of the men that fought that fire that day. WE HAVE HEARD THAT FROM ALOT ON THE FIRE YET A MAN WHO LOST HIS HOME IN THE FIRE WAS A FIREFIGHTER FROM PEORIA SO I LOOK FORWARD TO HIS ACCOUNTS BECAUSE HE WROTE TO VICKI:Date: (((Sun, 12 Jul 2015 16:39:43 -0700 I do have pictures and some video, I will definitely get you some soon. Right now I need to get my comp to the Apple store to get a new hard drive so can’t do anything for a few weeks.
          I don’t have much video of the fire, just what I put on YouTube.
          Thanks, Don))) For me, Vicki asked Don for that link to youtube.

          All the honchos know KNOW WHAT? SOMETHING? and kid Donut is happy to report on one channel that the truth would go with him to his grave while the unfortunates cry from their grave that all the truth be known to the world.NOT JUST THE LOVED ONES BECAUSE THE WORLD MOURNED THESE MEN TOO Will it win out–If you are religious you would think the devil has the upper hand here when you see the sole survivor of that crew of 20 withholding information yet saying he is a convert and I imagine one of the studies under Mr. Willis–the other survivor boss of that crew and total incident. Is that Christianity?I DO NOT AGREE HERE. ON BOTH ACCOUNTS. I DO NOT SEE THE TIE TO CHRISTIANITY AND THEIR IN HOUSE MENTALITY RIGHT NOW. I HAVE WITNESSED BEHAVIOR OF OMISSION AS WELL AS COURT SIDE HEARSAY FROM WILLIS SHARING IT AS HE HEARD IT ELSEWHERE TO HIM BUT TO WHAT DEGREE- WHO KNOWS— I LIKE WILLIS AND HIS WIFE—SO IF I CAN PLACE THEM ON A NEUTRAL LIST UNTIL EVIDENCE CAN BE BUILT THAN I HAVE THAT RIGHT. A slap at the dead and a dishonor to truth. Shame on those that held back the truth EXACTLY BUT PLACING NAMES OUT LIKE SUCH WE DO NOT KNOW WHO KNOWS WHAT JUST HEARSAY SONNY—and worked to cover up what really happened. Shame on anyone that worked this fire and took awards. AMEN THERE. Does your heart feel guilt–it should.I AGREE.

          I told Joy we need to start looking at the dead beyond the 19. I ALREADY BEEN DOWN THIS PATH…AFTER MY HEALTH AND HIKES I MAY THINK TO REJOIN DOING THIS AREA BUT IT SEEMS NOONE GIVES A SHIT LOCALLY OR IN THE WORLD BUT ME AND SONNY ON THE TOPIC—How come we have 50 and now more dead in the Yarnell area. GOOD QUESTION AND THAT ALONE IS WORTH AN INVESTIGATION. This is not a coincidence to the fire–It is indeed related and I believe the fire is a causal factor in these obituaries that keep popping up.IT IS SO SAD TO MY COMMUNITY DWINDLING..PEOPLE WHO NOT TOO LONG AGO NEVER HAD A HEALTH CONCERN NOW DO OR HAVE DIED…I JUST WOKE UP TO WORK ON SOME STUFF IN GARAGE BUT THINK I WILL HIT THE HAY AGAIN—SUN ZAPPED ME TODAY. This is where we need to a study. I AGREESeems like that too many are thinking this retardant is a benign agent that has nothing to do with killing old people.WHERE DO YOU GO FOR SUCH A STUDY SONNY? There have been no long time health studies, although when it is dumped into a river thousands of fish die–a fact you can read about on line. Yet that NH3 gas that is given off is recognized as a lung tissue killer. ASK BRENT YADON- HE KNOWS THE INGREDIENTS SONNY-Well it works out that we got 300 thousand gallons of that delightful lung killer dumped right next to our dwellings in Yarnell. Yes and now many of the locals if they are aged and have not expired since the fire are in trouble with their lungs. Heart conditions are connected to the lungs and those hidden chemicals must have added to the NH3 effects. If Zack Ashoor had not died since the fire–a young 29–and I hiked him with his asthma problem–he would be working on this problem with me. Joy is helping get a full list of the deceased since the fire–the 50 plus beyond the 19. NOT YET. I AM JUST TRYING TO FIGURE MY BLOOD LABS AND CATSCAN AND MRI AND XRAYS BEFORE I THINK THERE—IT IS NICE I GOT THEM BUT HOW I GOT THEM…IT WILL COST ME AN ARM AND A LEG—Their demise was slow and painful if it is like my own. Lungs no longer work as well and it becomes painful to hike any distance and now the heart and brain no longer get the proper oxygen and those organs suffer as do all others in the body that no longer has sufficient oxygen. So the NH3 from the retardant either hangs you to an oxygen bottle or kills you slowly–yet not so slowly considering that more than 50 elderly have succumbed since the fire. Zack by the way was on the state respiratory board in Arizona–he was working on a very light respirator for fire fighters–maybe I could have directed to him on a study to this retardant and its effects on fire fighters.HOWEVER HE WAS YOUNG AND PASSED ON. OKAY. SONNY I READ IT AND REPLIED HERE BUT DO KNOW THIS…I WILL NOT REJOIN THIS TOPIC UNTIL I HANDLE WHAT I NEED TO DO—OKAY. AS FOR LAST WEEK AND THAT LOVED ONE OF THE GMHS- I HAVE NO CLUE BECAUSE IT WAS TO BE A FUTURE HIKE BUT I AM NOT SURE THAT WILL PLAY OUT WITH ME OR SONNY BECAUSE OF A DIRECT QUESTION ASKED OF ME THAT I COULD NOT MEET—NOT MY STYLE…I WON’T WRITE IT HERE BUT IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE FOR WHO I AM—I JUST WANT TO KEEP GATHERING THE INFORMATION FOR BETTER CLARITY. GOOD NIGHT.

  12. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** FULL TRANSCRIPT OF THE SETTLEMENT PRESS
    ** CONFERENCE THAT TOOK PLACE ON JUNE 29, 2015.

    Here is a FULL transcript of that June 29, 2015 Settlement Press Conference, including the part at the very end when the attorney for the 12 Granite Mountain families, Patrick McGroder, is heard admitting to his opponent, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, that Brnovich “got the better of him” during the settlement negotiations.

    Just before the video ends… we see McGroder meeting Brnovich in the center of the stage and ( right in front of the still “open” microphone ) having their mano-y-mano “Thank you… NO… thank YOU” moment.

    McGroder then points his finger right at his opponent and says…

    “You GOT me!”

    Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich responds to McGroder with three “HA HA HAs” of laughter, and the video ends.

    This transcript also contains the ACTUAL questions that were being asked by the reporters, and also contains the background conversation between attorney Pat McGroder and Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney where they decide they are just ‘annoyed’ by the questions the reporters are asking and they decide to ‘cut them off’.

    ABC15 carried the Settlement Press Conference LIVE and their own raw video recording of the press conference was posted to their PUBLIC YouTube account later that evening.

    It is 45 minutes and 33 seconds long and it is HERE…

    YouTube title: FNN: Yarnell Hill Fire Settlement Press Conference
    Posted by YouTube User: FOX 10 Phoenix
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7GASJl5T6Q

    I am sure this ‘transcript’ is a little larger than what is allowed in one posting, so the
    transcript itself will now be posted as a series of ‘Replies’ to this message…

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      The FULL Transcript of the June 29, 2015 Settlement Press Conference…
      ——————————————————————————-
      +0:00
      NOTE: As the video starts, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is standing at the podium and looking at the documents before him. Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney is flipping some pages of the documents and ‘explaining’ something to him.

      ( Jeff Whitney… whispering to Mark Brnovich ): This sentence shoulda been quite before we got started.

      ( Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): Okay. Thank you.

      ( Jeff Whitney… whispering to Mark Brnovich ): You’re welcome.

      ( Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): Thank you.

      Everyone ready?

      Oh… uh… Senator Pierce… ya wanna come?…

      NOTE: Brnovich gestures to the back of the room in an apparent offer to allow Arizona State Senator Steve Pierce to say something. Pierce says something (inaudible) that makes Brnovich smile, then Brnovich continues with his prepared speech…

      Uh… First and foremost… um… I want to thank the families… um… that are here today. Um… we know that we’re approaching the two year anniversary of this terrible tragedy in Yarnell Fire… and I’m glad to announce as the State Attorney General, working with…uh… folks like the State Forester, working with… uh… plaintiff’s counsel, we have reached a final settlement… uh… regarding… in litigation… regarding litigation involving the Yarnell Fire.

      Um… this settlement will resolve mult… resolve multiple claims for the families of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hots… Hotshot crew that perished in the two thousand and thirteen fire… um… I want you to know as the Attorney General… and I came here… uh… very early… I think probly my first or second week in office… I… I sat down with Mr. McGroder. I also sat down with our lawyers, liability management section, and I wanted them to know two things.

      Um… ONE is… as a State… um… we don’t measure our success in wins and losses. We measure our success in whether justice is done for victims.

      Uh… SECONDLY… we are not State Farm. We are not Allstate. We are the State of Arizona… and that means that we have an obligation… um… when there are times when we can settle and resolve matters and hopefully prevent future tragedies from happening… we must do that.

      And that’s what this settlement does.

      I believe it’s a win-win from… uh… for everyone.

      Um… there’s nothing I can say or do… um… to ( pause ) comfort the hurt that the families must be feeling… um… but at least we’ve been able to come together and hopefully prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

      Um… so… I… I… want to just thank the families once again. Thank you Pat ( McGroder )… uh… thank you to the Forester for everything you’ve done… and… um… ultimately this settlement… um…

      +2:09
      ( NOTE: Someone in the first row asked a question which is barely audible in the video.
      ( Sounds like: “Who had control of the settlement?” )

      Do you want me to answer that? ( Inaudible response ). Okay.

      Ulti… ultimately this settlement… um… doesn’t assign… ya know… blame the state… um… the agencies aren’t… aren’t admitting any sort of guilt or… or negligence because frankly that wasn’t the goal, ulitmately, of all of our parties.

      Um… ya know… we have another motto around here and that’s “don’t fix blame… fix the problem”

      Some folks look for answers… others look for fights… and what we did in this situation is we wanted to look for answers to prevent these kind of tragedies from occurring in the future and to make sure that justice… that victims and their families are served the justice they deserve.

      So thank you very much and now Mike Liburdi from the Governor’s office will say a few words.

      ( Mike Liburdi, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s general counsel, takes the podium ).

      +2:58
      ( Mike Liburdi ): Thank you Attorney General Brnovich.

      I’m Mike Liburdi. I’m Governor Ducey’s general counsel, and I just wanted to say a few short things because really this day is about the families of the fallen firefighters… um… and to respect their memory. On behalf of Governor Ducey we thank the State Forester and the Industrial Commission for reaching a settlement with the families of our fallen firefighters. We hope that this will bring closure for the families and encourage safer policies for fighting wildfires in the future.

      ( Pat McGroder, attorney for the plaintiffs, now takes the podium. As he does so… he )
      ( passes by Roxanne Warneke holding her baby Billie Grace Warneke, who was born )
      ( after her father William ‘Billy’ Warneke died in Yarnell, and attorney Pat McGroder says )
      ( “Hey Billie” to her as he walks to the podium ).

      +3:42
      ( Pat McGroder ): Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

      My name is Pat McGroder… together with my partners Shannon Clark and Lincoln Combs… we had the honor of representing twelve of the Granite Mountain Hotshot families.

      We’re here today to talk about what has occurred in the litigation involving the State of Arizona and the State Forester.

      Two years tomorrow… Arizona suffered a national tragedy.

      Tomorrow, the families will grieve publicly… but they’ve been grieving every day for the last two years.

      Their losses… immeasurable. Their pain… their despair… every day of their life over the loss of their loved ones.

      The outpouring of national empathy and support for these families in Arizona was unprecedented… however… the darkness and despair caused by this tragedy is ongoing for these families… nevermore to be forgotten.

      As the facts of the tragedy began to unfold… rumors… innuendos… speculation… seemed to run rampant.

      Various reports were authored. Charges were made. Recriminations received.

      I don’t know that we’re ever going to know every detail of that fateful day, June thirtieth, two thousand thirteen… but to the extent that these plaintiffs, these family members, these loved ones, particularly these 3 women of courage, and commitment and dignity behind me ( he looks over to Juliann Ashcraft, Deborah Pfingston, and Roxanne Warneke, who are present )… made an effort to try and bring transparency and, more importantly, change… which would ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again… whether it be in Arizona, or anywhere else.

      We were asked, and had the privilege, to represent twelve of the families in wrongful death litigation against the State of Arizona.

      We also had the privilege of representing Mrs. Misner, Warneke and Ashcraft in benefit cases that, fortunately, we were successful in in the city of Prescott.

      As many of you know, the only remedy for wrongful death action are damages.

      Compensatory damages.

      But that’s not what this case was about, and that’s not what this case has EVER been about.

      Our clients wanted transparency and change… to ensure that what happened to their loved ones that day would never happen again.

      Acting selflessly, they wanted to create a legacy for their loved ones, lest they ever be forgotten… and in doing so ensure that change and remedial measures are enacted… as a fitting remembrance and an everlasting imprimatur of these fallen heroes, on wildlife science, wildland fire fighting, and wildland fire fighting operations.

      They had a vision… and that vision was what was in the best interests of the State of Arizona and what was in the best interest of the families.

      That vision was simple.

      How can the State of Arizona and how can these families best by served by continuing litigation… whether it be in the context of the wrongful death action that we filed… or the concomitant litigation involving ADOSH and the State Forester arising out of citations, fines and recriminations… uh… by ADOSH.

      The vision was brought to, and supported by, Governor Ducey.

      The enormity of the commitment of Mike Liburdi, Governor Ducey is appreciated by the family.

      This vision was also brought to Attorney General Brnovich, a man who believes in creativity and innovation and not necessarily business as usual.

      The families thank Governor Ducey.

      They THANK Mark Brnovich… and ALL the Attorney Generals that worked so hard on this case to bring closure.

      +8:37
      Chief of Staff Bailey, Mark Heathcote, Terri Harrison, Joy Hernbrode, David Selden, ALL the lawyers that were involved on the State of Arizona side to try and bring a thoughtful, analytical, non-incriminatory result to this litigation.

      Lest I forget… this resolution was THREE parties.

      It was us, the State of Arizona, and “ADOSH and the State of Arizona”.

      After three grueling days of mediation we finally were able to effectuate a settlement.

      Besides displaying extraordinary leadership in the form of Governor Ducey, and Mark Brnovich and state senator Steve Pierce, and Risk Manager Mr. Di Ciccio… Governor Ducey blessed us with something very near and dear, and that is a new State Forester Jeff Whitney.

      A former Hotshot, he came to this problem without an agenda, without any preconceived notions… with a concept of what was best for the State of Arizona and what was best for the families.

      He talked to our families.
      He cried with our families.

      He demonstrated the type of integrity and honesty and character that we demand so much from our state government.

      Forester Whitney told us about changes that he had made as a result of the Yarnell experience.

      He told us about changes that he WOULD consider making in the future.

      And then he sat with us and the families and looked over some 50 or 60 recommendations that were generated by our families.

      Not only these courageous women… but ALL of the families that we represented.

      And we talked about those.
      And we talked about those in a non-incriminating way.

      No fault. No blame. No recrimination.

      Simply what is in the best interest of the Sate of Arizona, what is in the best interest of these families, and what is in the best interest of wildland fire science as we move forward.

      As a result of that collaboration and that cooperation, and all the emotional toll that this case has taken on our clients… we were able to achieve a result.

      ( Continued next Reply… )

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        ( Continued… Attorney Patrick McGroder is still speaking… )

        ( Patrick McGroder ): The result is twofold.

        Number one… most importantly… most importantly… we have worked with the State Forester, collaboratively and cooperatively, to try and make the State Forestry Department of Arizona the best in the country.

        Through dialogue, through change, through remedial measures, through innovation and creativity that Jeff Whitney has brought to this office and our families have supplemented with their own suggestions and their own thoughts.

        Ya know, tomorrow… um… the families hearts will again turn to the tragedy two years ago and, of course, there will be a swirl of activity surrounded… uh… that tragedy anniversary.

        At the end of the day tomorrow… these families will have to return to their homes, to their memorabilia, to their pictures, to their memories, to the continuing thoughts of those that they love.

        To say that these clients are courageous would be an understatement.

        They’re not complicated people.
        They’re simple people… that believe in character and honesty.
        They’re hard-working Arizonans.
        They’re families who have suffered the most immeasurable of all tragedies.

        Their hell on earth.

        For the families.. um… I hope this settlement can achieve a modicum of peace.

        I’m not sure that it ever will but I hope it does.

        Knowing most importantly that through this settlement the legacy of their loved ones will never be forgotten… and that was an important common denominator among the thread that led to the vision and led to people like Governor Ducey and Mark Brnovich and Steve Pierce and ALL of the Assistant Attorney generals that came to the table.

        They understood how important a peaceful, collaborative resolution was to this case.

        +14:04
        ( Reporter… interrupts McGroder ): Could you give us the DETAILS of the actual settlement? Just run ’em off?

        ( Patrick McGroder ): Yea. I’m comin’ to that.

        In addition to change and remedial measures that have already been made, are considering to be made, the State Forester has agreed to make changes that we have suggested. He’s agreed to review and analyze other suggestions that could not be implemented immediately because of statutory restraints or budgetary restraints or that required a national mandate so that Arizona, although striving to be the best, is not gonna stand out in the cold when it comes to communication and technol… technology and all the advances that Forester Whitney has looked at, has reviewed and will implement.

        The other piece is the compensation piece.

        The compensation piece is reflective of the motivation of these families.

        The compensation piece calls for fifty thousand dollars per family… which… compared to the enormity of this tragedy sends the strongest possible message that NO way, NO how was money or compensation for these families the motivating force in this litigation… and as you’ll hear shortly… uh… some of the families… uh… are setting up a non-profit foundation to support wildland firefighters and all of those proceeds will be donated to that new foundation.

        And I’m glad you asked that question because I want the record to be VERY clear, and I want this message to ring out… loud and clear whether it be in Prescott, Arizona… whether it be in Timbuktu.

        Lest ANYONE challenge the motivation of these families, their commitment to the greater good or the terms of this settlement… let me simply say that they have gone through hell.

        The integrity, the character, the honesty that these women and ALL the families have displayed in trying to not only learn from this horrible tragedy while trying to put the… their lives back in some semblance of order… with their children… tryin’ to explain to their children what happened to dad… why he’s not here on birthdays and holidays and anniversaries…

        But at the same time acting out of the most pure of motives… and that is to make sure this tragedy never happens again.

        Uh… the lawyers in my office… Shannon Clarke is here… uh.. Tom Kelly our co-counsel… uh… Caroline McGroder, who doesn’t like to use her last name, a lawyer in our office. We’re very proud of having the opportunity to serve these women… and these families… and we’re very proud of our ability to bring together such a public / private partnership with the help of ALL of the public servants that I’ve mentioned… to achieve the greater good.

        ( Billy Warneke, the baby, starts to cry and Deborah Pfingston’s husband takes him and head for the side door. He passes the podium and Pat McGroder announces… )

        +17:45
        ( Pat McGroder ): That’s Billie Warneke, by the way.

        +17:48
        ( Reporter ): Pat?

        ( Pat McGroder ): Yes.

        ( Reporter ): What about the ADOSH… ya know… there are those of us that sat through those hearings. All that. What happens to the whole ADOSH penalty… and recognizing penalties designed to get people to act properly in the future. Where does that fit in?

        ( Pat McGroder ): As I understand it, Howard, the… uh… ADOSH will be issuing a concomitant press release with this press conference. The ‘ADOSH / State Forester’ matter has been resolved on terms that are acceptable to both sides.

        Uh… we were present… but not privy to or party to the negotiations at the mediation so I will… uh… address those… uh… answers to the ADOSH folks… who are not here but, as I understand, going to issue a press release today… uh… setting forth the terms and conditions of that part of the agreement.

        So… uh… let me turn it over to… uh.. Roxanne Warneke.

        You’re gonna hear from Roxy as well as… uh… Deborah Pfingston, the mother of Andrew Ashcraft.

        Roxy?…

        ( Continued next ‘Reply’… )

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        ( Continued… Roxanne Warneke comes to the podium… )

        +18:52
        ( Roxanne Warneke ): Good afternoon.

        As you all know we are hear to announce that the Granite Mountain families, the Arizona State Forestry, and ADOSH came to a settlement in principle that originated from the deaths of the nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshots at the Yarnell Hill Fire on June thirtieth, twenty thirteen.

        My husband Billy Warneke was one of the nineteen firefighters that died that day.

        Two weeks after my husband died I was able to visit the deployment site.

        At the site a flagpole was… was… put out with the American flag to mark the site.

        I kept my eye on it as I neared closer to the… to the flagpole, preparing myself emotionally and mentally for the desolation that I would see.

        As I stood at that flagpole I was able to see charred cacti, blackened boulders and blackened dirt… but what took my breath away was the topography.

        I had seen topography maps of the area… and that showed the steep hills… but I was not prepared for it.

        ( She pauses to collect herself )

        What my eyes saw were boulders that were the size of cars… and I had remembered a saying that my… my husband had once told me when we were deer scouting two years before.

        He said to never go into a canyon.

        That inside the canyon would be thick brush and that wind travels through that canyon.

        I know my… my husband’s military and firefighting training.

        Descending into that canyon went against everything that he had ever been taught in advanced land navigation that he had spent over eight years studying and practicing.

        I was enraged.

        After that day I knew that I needed answers.

        It prompted me and my family to file a suit against the State of Arizona to prevent another tragedy like this from happening.

        To prevent Yarnell Hill.
        To prevent the Dude Fire.
        The South Canyon Fire.
        The Thirty Mile Fire.
        The Esperanza Fire,
        and the Kramer Fire…

        …from ever reoccurring again.

        I do not want history to repeat itself as it has done several times before.

        I do not want my husband and his firefighter brothers to have died in vain.

        And I dread the day when my daughter asks me WHY she never had a chance to meet her father… because he died before she was born.

        As this case has reached its resolution in principle… and my PSPRS case settled earlier this year… I can say that I am one step closer to closure… and with the love and support from my family, my friends, my community… I have been able to heal.

        And from the kinship that I have experienced with my Granite Mountain family… I have seen and felt that love is a true gift from god.

        But the greatest outcome of this lawsuit is for the State of Arizona, the leader in wildland firefighting… and… for the wildland firefighters who bravely defend the citizens of increasing threat of wildfire.

        I am proud to announce that the Warneke, Ashcraft and Pfingston families will be donating ALL of the settlement award… and we will be creating a non-profit organization that will be an advocate for wildland firefighter safety.

        The Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute, a 501(C3), that arose from the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy.

        A foundation that will be formed from the love, the concern and the dedication to wildland firefighters from the wives and the parents of the fallen firefighters of Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew.

        Wildland firefighter safety is of the utmost importance to our organization.

        We will champion firefighter safety through independent investigations, education, and real-life support for firefighter, family and fire community.

        Truth, transparency, accountability, change.

        The future in wildland firefighting is NOW.

        The organization will conduct independent investigations on fatalities, injuries, equipment and technology.

        We will be a wildland firefighter watchdog group where anyone can report to us anonymously to seek positive change in wildland firefighting.

        We will offer scholarships for safety investigations, programs and courses.

        We will be an advocate for an accredited school of wildland fire at universities with a focus in wildland fire.

        We will outreach to local communities to teach how wildland fires affect them and the importance on defensible space.

        We will find new safety techniques and equipment to benefit the safety of wildland firefighters.

        From the Yarnell Hill Fire… a great majority of wildland firefighters, first responders and dispatchers suffered PTSD from the deaths of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

        We have personally felt, and we have SEEN, the effects of PTSD, which we will facilitate PTSD counseling for any of those involved in ANY fire tragedy.

        Lastly… I would like to close to a… with a big ‘Thank You’ to my attorneys Pat McGroder, Shannon Clark and Tom Kelly.

        Thank you for passionately fighting on behalf of our loved ones.

        Thank you to ADOSH, the State Forestry, Attorney General Brnovich and Governor Ducey for understanding and accepting that wildland firefighter safety needs to be the first priority… and for agreeing that wildland firefighting needs to be brought into the twenty-first century.

        Thank you to everyone who supported us… for supporting the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew… but most importantly… thank you for supporting our nation’s wildland firefighters.

        ( Roxanne Warkneke leaves the podium and Deborah Pfingston steps up )…
        ( Continued next Reply )…

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        ( Continued… Deborah Pfingston takes the podium following )
        ( Roxanne Warneke… )

        +25:54
        ( Deborah Pfingston, Andrew Ashcraft’s mother, takes the podium.. )

        ( Deborah Pfingston ): I’m old. I need readers.

        I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to Pat McGroder, Tom Kelly, and Shannon Clark.

        It is through their sound management, passion and deep hearts that we are here today. I cannot express my complete gratitude to these men.

        Since the moment I received the call I lost Andrew I have been working with a tear in my heart that will never be healed.

        When our family hiked to the fatality site… I knew we needed to find TRUTH and make changes to ensure that no other mother will hear the words that her son is not coming home.

        It has been TWO LONG YEARS of questions, discovery, frustration and education.

        This family has been humbled by the love and support from around the world, the country and our neighborhood.

        Please know this. This is a beginning… not an end.

        There are several families that have started foundations to continue the motto of the Granite Mountain Hotshots… “Esse Quam Videri”.

        To be, rather than to seem to be.

        There’s the Wade Parker Foundation.
        The William Howard Warneke Memorial Foundation.
        and the Kevin Woyjeck Explorers for Life Association

        …with more on the horizon

        ( SIDENOTE: Pfingston makes no mention of the “Eric Marsh Foundation for Wildland Firefighting”, which was founded by Amanda Marsh in October of 2014 and has been quite active since then in its fundraising efforts ).

        And as stated… the Ashcrafts, Pfingstons and Warnekes are standing together giving ALL… may I say that again… ALL of the money awarded to us through these lawsuits and giving all of our passion to form the Wildland Firefighting Guardian Institute.

        Our mission statement is as follows…

        Wildland firefighter safety is the utmost importance to our organization. We will champion firefighter safety through independent investigation, education and real-life support for firefighter families and firefighters and the fire community. Truth, transparency, accountability and change.

        The future in wildland fire safety is NOW.

        Truth, transparency, accountability and change has been our mantra since the day it began.

        We STILL have work on the horizon.

        The lessons learned, the TRUTH about the death of our sons, husbands and fathers WILL be coming.

        The fact that we now are working with the State Forester and ADOSH to provide transparency.

        We know we have a Hotshot as a Forester.

        Accountability is for the Granite Mountain Hotshots, our boys lost, and for Granite Mountain Hotshot alumni. They deserve this.

        +28:55
        Now change.

        Change that started in our long ( inaudible ) with discussions with the Granite Mountain Hotshot alumni and family. Changes already started with the Forester who worked with our guys. He KNEW their unquestionable skills. Wildland firefighting will be now more effective.

        The interface between urban and wildland is now nationally recognized.

        Incident commands WILL change.

        The tragedy’s truth and the State of Arizona will be on the cutting edge of updated wildland fighting.

        The Crew.

        Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshots were an amajit… amazing group of men.

        They were godly men.

        This crew proved ( themselves ), and they strived to be the best crew in wildland fire.

        They KNEW fire.
        They KNEW family.
        They KNEW what it was like to be the underdog, but rise above it.

        Why did god choose to bring them home?

        I say it’s because they were men after his own heart… and he wanted the world to know how they lived, how they worked, and who they were.

        As Andrew’s wristband states… “To be better”.

        I would like to thank Jerry, my husband, for always standing there beside me.

        My final comments is for my son, Andrew.

        I promise to find the TRUTH… and I will continue that path.
        I promise to live life until I see you again, even though there are days I wake up and I have to fight to breathe.

        ( She takes a moment to collect herself )

        I called you my treasure from the day you were born.
        Now you are hidden from my sight… but never from my heart.
        Thank you.

        ( As she finishes, a reporter asks her what her NAME is )

        ( Deborah Pfingston ): Deborah Pfingston.

        ( Deborah Pfingston leaves the podium and Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney steps up… Continued next ‘Reply’… )

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Continued…

        ( Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney, who was appointed by the new )
        ( Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to replace Scott Hunt, takes the podium… )

        +31:12
        ( Jeff Whitney ): Thank you, Deborah. Thank you very much..

        Ya know the… uhm… the reality that two years ago tomorrow we lost nineteen of twenty fine young men on a Hotshot crew that we called our own here in Arizona isn’t lost on any of us.

        We all understand and respect the reality that there’s nothing that can be to replace or restore them to their families.

        Through this process, I’m confident that we will create a fitting memory to those young men.

        Through the process I’ve renewed old friendships, made new ones, and… uh… I think had an opportunity to… uh… be a part of bringing a greater appreciation and awareness of safety to the fireground for these young men who were… uh… incredible examples of the skill and the dedication and the honor that wildland firefighters provide.

        I think it would be… I would be remiss if I didn’t… uh… thank Senator Pierce publicy and Representative Fann for the work that… uh… you all did and are continuing to do. Thank you so much for your support and the support from the Governor’s office… and the AG… uhm…

        This is… uh… difficult… difficult work… but… uh… well… well meant.

        Thank you all… so much… and Pat… thank you.

        ( Reporter ): Hey Jeff. Jeff… could you talk about some of ( these changes ) that the State Forester will adopt from the changes the family was hoping for when you… you guys ( all got together ) ).

        ( Jeff Whitney ): Thank you. It… ya know… in brief… uh… we… uh… as counselor McGroder pointed out there were probably sixty different requests / expectations voiced by the family. We were able to… uh… to… uh… clear the air on some of the things that… uhm… that we do as a standard in the wildland fire… uh… environment… uhm…. we’ve agreed to… uh… increase our… uh… awareness and training and to take some remedial efforts to… uh… find ways to more fully communicate on a regular ongoing basis… particularly under extremely rapid, changing… uh… accelerating fire behavior to assure that this sort of… uh… tragedy does not occur again… not only in Arizona but across… uh… the wildland community worldwide.

        We’ve also… uh… continue to look at… uh… emerging technologies and we’re going to be… uh… uh… adopting some new… uh… opportunities that are out there in the… uh… in the industry in terms of increased resource tracking, monitoring… and… uh.. we’ve gone back through all of our standard policies and practices and I think as… uh… counselor McGroder mentioned, I… I DO have an ability… uh…, in some respect, to carry our desires… our shared desires… uh… forward nationally into the interagency wildland community… uh… and so those are… are some of the things that I’ll be involved with.

        Thank you.

        ( Whitney thought he was done and tries to leave the podium but reporters
        immediately started shouting more questions… )

        +34:31
        ( Reporter 1): What kind of ‘things’?

        ( Reporter 2 ): What kind of things will it take legislative action for? I mean… that was mentioned earlier. You’ve got a limited budget… uh… we all know what that’s about… so… what do you need to take back to the folks up the block here?

        ( Jeff Whitney ): At this point I don’t see that… uh… ya know… there’s any major changes… uhm… ya know… it’s certainly up to the Governor’s office and the legislature to… uhm… ya know… work through some of those opportunities.

        Uhm… we work in an interagency environment and… uh… we work well with our cooperators. I look forward to having all of the support that I’ve had from the Governor’s office and that my organization’s had from the great state of Arizona for… uh… forty-nine years… fifty years coming next year.

        Uh… one final thing I have to say in closing is that… uh… ya know… ah… I could not NOT come to this challenge… and I could not have done it without legal counsel that we had… uhm… both uh… ya know… in the AG’s office and in DOA risk with… uh… Joy and Brock and David… thank you so much… uhm… and Pat and your team.

        Thank you.

        ( Whitney again thinks he’s done and tries to step away from the podium but the reporters again start shouting questions. As Whitney is ‘backing away’ from the podium the live mike captures the what appears to be the following verbal exchange between Jeff Whitney and attorney Pat McGroder… )

        ( Jeff Whitney, to Pat McGroder ): I think you got behind that.
        ( Pat McGroder, to Jeff Whtiney ): Yea.
        ( Jeff Whitney, to Pat McGroder ): Yea. Thank you.
        ( Pat McGroder, to Jeff Whtiney ): I’ll explain.
        ( Jeff Whitney, to Pat McGroder ): Yea.

        +35:47
        ( Reporter 1 ): Excuse me… could you just explain… you talked about the interagency element… uhm ( he realizes Whitney is talking to McGroder and not listening to his question so he stops asking it ).

        ( Reporter 2 ): Mr. Whitney?

        ( Reporter 1 ): Mr. Whitney?

        ( Whitney has finished his background conversation with McGroder and now acknowledges the reporter… )

        ( Jeff Whitney ): Yes sir.

        ( Whitney will take a DEEP breathe and exhale ( heavy sigh ) while Reporter 1 is asking this next question )…

        +35:56
        ( Reporter 1 ): Could you explain… this is what’s leaving me confused is… the changes that you guys are offering in return… promises made… how can they have an impact when you’re part of an interagency system that, for example, doesn’t BELIEVE in transparency? The Forest Service won’t even let its firefighters discuss this… and they conduct investigations that… their very statement about the investigation is “We don’t wanna find out what went wrong”.

        +36:21
        ( Jeff Whitney ): Uh… I think you may mis-characterize the posture and the findings of the Serious Accident Investigation.

        Um… The Wildland fire community is… uh… a large one.

        Uh… I have an opportunity in my position to… uh… carry the… the banner and the interest that all in the wildland community desire in terms of firefighter and public safety… uh… but I think I can bring… as we develop a “Lessons Learned”… uh… document out of this and prepare and provide a staff ride that we’re gonna be able to provide a learning opportunity… uh… to… to take it to that extent.

        Thank you.

        +37:02

        ( Even more reporters have questions now and they start to shout on top of each other as Whitney, again, tries to END the Q/A by stepping away from the podium ).

        ( Reporter 1 ): Family members… two family members…
        ( Reporter 2 ): Just to review… the ADOSH report…

        ( Even as the reporters are directing more questions to the podium… )
        ( Jeff Whitney and Pat McGroder have this exchange between themselves )
        ( and decide they are DONE taking questions… )

        ( Jeff Whitney to Pat McGroder ): I think we’re done.
        ( Pat McGroder to Jeff Whtiney ): Yea.
        ( Jeff Whitney to Pat McGroder ):Yea.
        ( Pat McGroder to Jeff Whitney ): Last one, yea.

        +37:05
        ( Reporter 1 ): This is occurring WITHOUT the sworn testimony of Brendan McDonough… and… are you… are you content with that?

        ( Jeff Whitney to Pat McGroder ): This one’s in your (world). ( It’s about Brendan ).

        +37:13
        ( Pat McGroder ): Uh… I’ll answer that question.

        Uh… at some time… uh… Mr. McDonough may or may not chose to publicy describe what he saw… what he heard that day.

        Uh… Mr. McDonough has an attorney at this point in time.

        But in terms of today… whether it be Mr. McDonough or the Blue Ridge firefighters… the purpose of today was to let YOU know of the enormity of the commitment that State Forester Whitney has made to sit down with our families… at great lengths… at great expense… and answer their questions, describe what happened… whether it be informally or formally… or in the case of a… a ‘ride’.

        So we’re very comfortable in terms of the commitment to the State Forester.

        This litigation was in State Court. It was not… well… it was originally in State Court… it wound up in Federal Court.

        The Arizona… or strike that… the National Forest Service was not a defendant in the case.

        Uh… had the case gone forward, could we have commanded… uh… depositions?… testimony?…

        Absolutely.

        But… echoing Dennis’ thought…

        The IDEA… the IDEA that the Federal Government is withholding information…

        The IDEA that ANYONE would withhold information from these families…

        Uh… is… it… it really speaks to the lack of understanding and empathy and dignity that they should have for these families.

        So… we would PUBLICLY call for the Blue Ridge Mountain folks and the National Forest Service to let their people talk.

        However… at THIS point in time… we’re dealing with families that have suffered the utmost of tragedies… and we are VERY comfortable in terms of the commitments that the State Forester has made to render information to us within HIS purview.

        Mr. McDonough is… uh.. irrelevant to this press conference today.

        +39:28
        ( Reporter 1 ): Well wait… I wanna make sure…

        ( Moderator, talking on top of Reporter 1 ): Last question.

        ( Reporter 1 ): You’re saying… that they PROMISED… based on this… NOW they will open up… which seems a little different than ‘they’ve opened up and now you feel confident’. Your last statement suggests that ‘now that we’ve got a deal… now they’ll give you the rest of the details’. That seems a little bass-ackwards.

        (Pat McGroder): Well… uh… let me straighten your ass out, Howard. Uh…

        ( Loud laughter erupts in the room )

        ( Reporter 1 ): Okay. Tell me where I’m wrong.

        ( Pat McGroder ): Allright.

        First of all.. there ARE published, public reports… on both sides of the ledger.

        State Forester. ADOSH.

        Those reports were generated by interviews, uh… by expert testimony, etcetera, etcetera… and obviously, depending on which lawyer you talk to, those reports were diametrically opposed.

        The problem we have here in terms of whether or not, Howard, we will ever know exactly what happened… those that can tell us… those who can speak to it… are in heaven… and we don’t have an opportunity to talk to them.

        At the time and place, Mr. McDonough decides to talk… obviously we will take that into consideration.

        But the overriding scientific issues… whether it be weather, whether it be communications or lack thereof… whether it be issues regarding Incident Command and things of that nature…

        All of that, in addition to the two reports that have been issued, have been subject, nationwide, to theorists… to conspiracists… to who killed Martin Luther King… and right now, for the families, in THIS litigation, their concern, and their singular concern, was working with Jeff ( Whitney ), and working with Mark ( Brnovich ), and working with Governor Ducey to get in an optimal position so they can have a modicum of peace and understanding.

        And Jeff ( Whitney ) has committed to do that and we are comfortable with Jeff’s commitment to do that.

        +41:49

        Now… whether or not… uh… the Federal Government decides to HIDE again as they did in another one of my cases, fast and furious, we’ll see.

        Uh… but at the end of the day… uh… I am comfortable that to the extent there are FACTS out there that we may or may not know… or a spin on those facts that we may or may not know… that information will be forthcoming.

        Thank you all for coming.

        ( Moderator ): There’s some additional information in the back… if you don’t have the details with ADOSH… back there with the gentleman… back there.Some of us will be stickin’ around. Thank you all for coming.

        ( The open microphone captures the following verbal exchange between Plaintiff’s attorney Pat McGroder and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich where McGroder admits to Brnovich… “You got me!” during their mano-y-mano “Thank you… NO.. thank YOU” moment on the stage )…

        +42:24
        ( Pat McGroder ): Mark… thanks man.

        ( Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): Thank you, brother. Thanks for everything.

        ( Pat McGroder ): Thank you.

        ( Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): Thank YOU, seriously.

        ( Patrick McGroder ): You GOT me!

        ( Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): ( Laughs… three HA, HA, HA’s ).

        ( The video camera is now turned OFF ).

        END OF PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO
        ————————————————-

  13. Gary Olson says

    I did my best to try and break my Jeep playin’ in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area for the past few days…but I didn’t.

    “WTKTT said, Actually… am I the only one who is just cynical enough to think that the very reason Ronald Gamble IS now sitting right there in Eric Marsh’s old office is because the Prescott Fire Department thought it would be a good idea to have him there where they can keep their ‘eye’ on him… and continue to CONTROL what he says?

    Is it REALLY just some gigantic coincidence that the guy who MIGHT know who was telling Eric Marsh to “Hurry up” in Yarnell on June 30, 2013 is now coming to work every day and sitting in Eric Marsh’s old office?”

    And I say, Experience taught me not to believe in coincidences.

    I am gratified to see that basically everyone agrees with take on the settlement offer to the families and their attorney, even if they didn’t use as colorful language as I did. I was especially gratified to read that David Turbyfill has basically agreed with what I said, since I know he has followed these events very closely due to his tragic and unimaginable loss.

  14. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** STILL NO UPDATES TO “ARIZONA FORESTRY VS. ADOSH” ONLINE CASE FILE

    In just the ‘settlement’ documents that have been released so far we can see clearly that
    there has been correspondence going back and forth during June between the Arizona
    Forestry lawyers and Administrative Law Judge Michael Mosesso…

    …but there have still been NO updates to the public online ALJ Hearing File since
    last May 28, 2015.

    That ALJ Hearing File page is still here…

    https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/home/yarnellhillaljhearingfile

    We can also see from these documents ( that SHOULD have been appearing in the online ALJ Hearing File but have not ) that the ‘Settlement’ was being submitted for approval to Judge Mosesso as early as June 1, 2015.

    So since last May 28, it’s obvious there was a conscious decision to STOP updating the public ALJ Hearing File out of fear the “public” would learn of the settlement before they were ready to announce it with a press conference.

    It will be interesting to see if even now that the ‘settlement’ has been announced… the ALJ Hearing File gets updated with the relevant documents exchanged during June, 2015.

    Arizona LAW requires that the proceedings in an Administrative Judge action be made PUBLIC in as timely a manner as possible. The original ALJ Hearing File was being updated on at least a weekly basis before the ‘blackout’ starting on May 28, 2015.

    There’s also still no word on when the actual ‘settlement’ document between Arizona Forestry an the families of the deceased GM Hotshots will be available for PUBLIC inspection.

    It, too, is SUPPOSED to be a PUBLIC document, but has not yet been released.

    Rumor has it that the Arizona Attorney General’s office has “jumped the gun” and announced the settlement BEFORE actually obtaining ALL the required signed documents ‘accepting’ the settlement from ALL of the plaintiffs in the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits.

    Until they do… then the ‘settlement’ itself is not ‘official’.

    Obviously Deborah Pfingston and Roxanne Warneke were somehow designated ( or volunteered ) to be ‘spokes-persons’ for the plaintiffs at the press conference… but they are actually just TWO of the TWELVE plaintiffs.

    It’s odd that we haven’t heard ( yet ) from the ALL the other TEN plaintiffs… and what THEY think of this lop-sided “settlement” being offered by Arizona Forestry.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      I hope Sonny you come here. I have no way to reach you not by cell or in person. My labs/tests need further immediate attention. Please drop off the dvds if not here to me than at the proper libraries- one says MARICOPA or YAVAPAI/PRESCOTT/SEDONA/ETC.

      I was at the ER until wee early morning today between 3:30-4am. Long evening. You speaking to EMT in the manner you did Sonny was not only inaccurate stating I hiked with a loved one where you said I did. Very not true. I have plenty of in person eye-witness that can stand up for me. You omitting yourself from scenario was very wrong. Also the biggest wrong was you told certain people WHO you spent the day with knowing FULL well we were asked PRIVACY on matter. Nice discernment. Biggest wrong you did to me is state what you did at the cabin; ugly talk. Way wrong. For the record, you are way off base like always.
      Yesterday began with my request as I did and you said “Joy, all is fine…just my teeth/oral pain…let’s go get breakfast”…My Congress neighbors are the first eye-witness that were at the Ranch house restaurant and the owner and workers were the other ones. I would not go to areas unless cleared first because I just won’t- I don’t want no unneeded horseshit. So we go to cabin with someone who knew the 19 very dear—We get into this person’s vehicle and spend time with McCracken’s and mind you I was planning defensible space for Sunday and now I am in yet another God led moment with the very person I always wanted to meet since the fire. Here I am looking at childhood photos of the GMHS and I am thinking here I was angry at this person just recently when the settlement happened and thought this person of all of them I was shocked they signed the settlement. Guess what…I can first hand confirm at least one of the 12 did not sign yet and… well… not to be of any spite… but for the honor and purity and for principle I hope the person never signs. I look forward to helping share the details to this person who mind you NEVER knew who I was or Sonny before yesterday. The person never watched media or anything. Knew of the on the burning edge book from hearsay. When the person sat next to us I was floored the person come in and the timing of service of beverage I joked to the person and than I said “you look familiar” and if I say the reply I would be poor in discernment like Sonny was last night. Yet it began a very lovely healing time. I took note Sonny felt I cut him off but I mean I had so many questions and so for that I apologize Sonny for any interruptions I made when you were attempting to speak. I just had no clue how long this person would sit in front of me. To think I spent the entire day versus just some sit down breakfast moment was indeed so helpful and healing for me. This person is genuine. Nothing like what you spoke to me like last night Sonny. I felt his pain as deep as I feel your pain Sonny of the loss of a loved one. You two share that depth. I was relieved this person has not yet signed and I was grateful for the memory yesterday. I have some items yet to get of mine at the cabin. I just do not deserve the path I am currently on with undeserving words so I have to shift it for health sake. Any doctors I can trust on here? Since last cancer marker/blood labs…besides the old horseshit the new changes are…my platelets are way too low, my neutrophil abnormally high (a high neutrophil count can be caused by cancer spreading in the body which explains the follow up on bone marrow), abnormally low lymphocyte count and I have a very junked up congested spleen/lymphatic system so that does not help., abnormally low eosinophil count caused by intoxication excessive production of cortisol (a steroid produced naturally in the body)., I barely have sugars unless I visit McCracken’s so that did not make sense to have high glucose. Electrolyte imbalance and very low calcium was drastic since last labs. Strange because I take supplements due to endurance hikes and medical history so strange to see that change. Low alkaline phosphatase was another new strange low…The strange thing as I am trying to gather focus and thoughts EMT lady who recognized me is correct in her assessment on scene because my vitals are always perfect or way low not abnormal on the high side and as a frequent hiker she is right on her statement. To have the higher pulse and shortness of breath and lose control of areas…sucks…I did find it funny my labs for the first time had results that this ER doctor had no clue who I am because they tested me for amphetamines/barbiturates/benzodiazepines/cocaine/methadone/opiates/oxycodone/pcp/tca/thc and it came back NEGATIVE. Really? duh. I never touch anything but my hershey bar with almonds…I do not have substance vices just side kick one and that stems back to being around at a young age of a serial killer. If my husband was working I either had my female workout pals or my male shopping or movie folks or hiking or archaeologist fun or bicycling but Sonny was my first hiking pal where I spent 24/7 moments trailing and pioneering all over Arizona and caves. He was my first to know in my life someone twenty four hours a day…you see my husband and I worked odd schedules that even him and I never saw another much. My urobilinogen borders abnormal. What was strange was the tearing/rupturing effect of the throat tumor when projectile vomiting with blood for hours on end until I FINALLY okayed the Zolfran into IV. My husband passes out on stuff like blood and vomit like I was so he walked out of room while Wendy helped me. I could not take the rough vomiting plus not feeling like ME but I was hard headed and waited too long because I don’t like any pharmaceuticals . I got a new copy of my brain but not able to open up on my desktop so take it to my chiropractor who has program to view- After my recent falls I was relieved to see no fractures or breaks or dislocations. Soft tissue concerns are much better than broken bones….What what was funny as hell was there is a stern direct quote statement and I do not even work but it says “Rest at home.” in regards to if I am able to regards to activities to work and or school. So I reckon no job yet and no school for me. The bacteria in blood, the bone marrow, the lymphatics, the tumors and the locations those are my main focus right now. Thank you again Marti Reed.

      I have no clue how much an ambulance ride or ER visit will put me back or under quite yet.
      I am sure I could of used an ambulance ride many other times but I could not function last night that it scared me—when I pee and poop without brain function acknowledgement and I cannot gather voices and what’s going on around me…time for me to be seen.

      I have something that was said in private but it is in regards to Dickmans book. The accounts of 65% of the book are not confirmed with the loved ones and are just the views of Donut who has not yet been brave or bold or do the right thing and speak up to these loved ones about that day and 2 prior hotshots accounts make that book—but no way the definite account. Do not BELIEVE everything you read in the NARRATIVE book of Dickman’s. Now, his account on us matches the given SAIR notes on the hikers so it now time for me to go to my friend’s home who has all the information kept there for safe keeping vs. my home and pull out the sound recording to send the SAIT people to show just alone the interview notes on us is not complete and inaccurate so Dickman only went by the notes he read—not his fault—yet tsk tsk tsk to the ones who did our interview. Not right.

      Not right at all. Today I am weak. Not doing a darn thing. Doing what they said- rest. I gave this person yesterday one of the glass pieces that Sonny turned into a purple 19 arrowhead.

  15. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** IN A VIDEO INTERVIEW ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY…
    **
    ** AUTHOR KYLE DICKMAN SAYS EVERYONE JUST HAS TO
    ** BE READY FOR MORE TRAGEDIES.

    Some media outlets are still only now getting around posting their VIDEOS from the second anniversary to their public YouTube accounts.

    EnGlobal News, a news feed for the FOX TV network, actually had an on-camera prime-time interview on the day of the second anniversary of the Yarnell tragedy with none other than author ( and former Hotshot ) Kyle Dickman.

    That VIDEO interview with Dickman ended up saved to EnGlobal’s own public Youtube page…

    Youtube account: EnGlobal News US
    Yourube video title: Two years after Yarnell Hill fire, what can be learned?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fas_5AaFOhc

    Here is a full transcript of this on-camera interview with Dickman…
    ————————————————————————————
    ( Reporter ): Today marks TWO years since the Yarnell Hill fire killed a team of elite firefighters and we know you’ll remember this story well. The fire burned in Northern Arizona. Nineteen firefighters, known as ‘Hotshots’, got caught behind a wall of flames and despite their best efforts to survive, they all perished in the blaze.

    What have we learned from that disaster now, TWO years later?

    Kyle Dickman is a former Hotshot. He’s author of a new book “On the Burning Edge, A fateful fire and the men who fought it”.

    Kyle… it’s great to have you on the program and this story is one that I know really resonated with our viewers because it was so heartbreaking and so horrific to see this elite group of guys die trying to save others.

    Talk to us a little bit about what you were able to learn over the last TWO years.

    Why DID they die?

    ( Kyle Dickman ): Well… they died trying to protect the town of Yarnell… and, I think, one of the biggest takeaways in reporting the book was that I think we have to be ready to see even MORE fatalities like this. I mean… you were just talking about all the fires that are burning. Southern California… in Northern California… I mean… Alaska’s burning.

    NOTE: At this point, +1:07 into the video, the background video being shown is that piece of ABC15 ‘Air 15’ Helicopter footage shot on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, which clearly shows the fire in the background that would eventually enter the box canyon and kill the GM Hotshots.

    ( Kyle Dickman ): When all these big fires start a lot of them are burning closer to houses… and so as we continue to see firefighters protecting these towns I think the sad truth is we have to continue to ready ourself for… uhm… more tragedies like Yarnell Hill.

    ( Reporter ): So I wanna talk to you a little bit about how we can do BETTER, in just a moment, but bring us back to that day two years ago.

    WHAT happened to these firefighters?
    WHY did they get caught in this fire?

    ( Kyle Dickman ): Right… so… so… what happened is a thunderstorm developed over the fire and it sort of produced these thirty and forty mile per hour winds and it rapidly changed direction and started running toward the town of Yarnell.

    Uhm… the Hotshots were in what’s known as “the black”, which is the already burned fuel and it’s basically the safest place that anyone can be on a fire.

    And… uh… as they watched this fire face toward Yarnell they made the decision to get up and leave the safety of the black, presumably to help protect the houses.

    Uhm… ultimately, of course, they didn’t make it all the way back to the homes and… uh… they were caught and tragically killed enroute.

    ( Reporter ): Now.. there have been a series of different reports over the last two years about WHO made the call to move these firefighters and WHO is to blame… because, of course, in stories like this, everyone’s looking for that. An ANSWER to ‘explain the unexplainable’, virtually, but Kyle… what did YOU learn in reporting about this story?

    IS there someone to blame here?

    ( Kyle Dickman ): I mean I think you can blame… we… we can certainly lay blame on the Incident… uhm… on the Superintendent of the Hotshot Crew. His name was Eric Marsh. It was, ultimately, his decision to move the men… uhm… ya know… the truth is that fire was incredibly explosive. Nature was doing things to that… that blaze that… that were pretty exceptional and… uhm… ya know… I think that… that really these men died… uh… uh… because of the way fires are burning today… and so… uhm… but I guess if we… if we have to lay blame… maybe we blame Eric Marsh?

    ( Reporter ): And we certainly don’t… you know… it’s not about finger pointing as much as it’s being able to look back and reflect on it and figure out how we can actually do better.

    ( Kyle Dickman ): That’s right.

    ( Reporter ): You mention these… these fires that we’ve seen… and… they’re… I mean… they’re… they’re also taking homes and threatening lives as well. It’s taxpayer dollars that are going, whether or not you’re in a… in a state where the fire is burning or not… being invested to try and make sure that we fight these fires and keep them away from homes.

    What can we be doing BETTER?

    ( Kyle Dickman ): Well… I think… ya know… right now we’re spendin’ 4.7 billion dollars most years between Federal, County and State… uh… firefighting agencies and I think what we NEED to be doing is spending millions PREPARING for fires and then millions… uh… fighting the fires that really need to be fought.

    And those are the blazes like Yarnell Hill, ultimately.
    Those that are burning very close to towns.

    But… uhm… I think that… that… solution to the problem is not to fight ALL fires, but to help… ya know… prepare for them.

    ( Reporter ): Let me ask you about the fire shelters. I know you have experience as a firefighter… also spent a year as a Hotshot as well. Uhm… we first learned about fire… uh… shelters probably during this story, because these were what looks like a sleeping bag that these firefighters put themselves in trying to protect themselves from the… the blaze. It… it… obviously didn’t work.

    How good is the technology that is given to firefighters to protect them?

    ( Kyle Dickman ): Well… I think that’s a good question. I mean… I think that current fire shelters… obviously there’s… there’s a limit to what they can do and we saw that limit at Yarnell Hill. Uhm… they’re not actually designed to withstand direct contact with flames, ah… so the Forest Service is going back and is committed to redesigning these shelters to make something that’s… that can withstand higher temperatures.

    But… uh… you have to keep in mind that these guys are walking, carrying 40 to 50 pound packs… they may hike 12 miles a day… they’re… ya know… they’re running chainsaws, they’re cutting line all day, so… uh… they have design these shelters to be… to be very lightweight… and, ultimately, I don’t think you CAN create a shelter that will… uh… EVER withstand direct contact with flames… so…

    ( Reporter ): Right… right… the goal is never to be that close, really, to the fire… as dangerous as it is.

    ( Kyle Dickman ): It’s not. That’s right. Yea.

    ( Reporter ): Kyle… just a quick final question for you. Since you spent time as a firefighter and as a Hotshot… what was this story like reporting it out… and being so close to this story.

    How did it impact YOU?

    ( Kyle Dickman ): Well… I mean… obviously it was devastating story, and especially… for me… I didn’t know any of these men personally before I started the book, but… uhm… it was impossible for me not to see… ya know… myself in a lot of them and also a lot of my closest friends… so… ya know… it… it definitely took a toll.

    ( Reporter ): And it’s certainly something, again, as we watch some of the footage from this big story that WE remember well.. and we’ll remember their families today because, surely, for them, this story isn’t over.

    Kyle… great to have you on the program.
    Best of luck with the book, we really appreciate it.

    ( Kyle Dickman ): Thanks for havin’ me.
    ————————————————————————————————–

    As far as this statement of Dickman’s goes…

    ( Kyle Dickman ): When all these big fires start a lot of them are burning closer to houses… and so as we continue to see firefighters protecting these towns I think the sad truth is we have to continue to ready ourself for… uhm… more tragedies like Yarnell Hill.

    I think someone has neglected to tell Dickman that the laywers from the Arizona Attorney General’s office that have been assigned to defend Arizona Forestry against the Yarnell Fire ‘Property Damage’ lawsuits ( with over 160+ plaintiffs ) have already found the ‘answer’ to this problem.

    The lawyers told a Judge that Arizona Foresty ( and everyone who ever works or contracts with them ) does not EVER have even ONE single atomic molecule of duty and/or responsibility to EVER be ‘protecting town’, or ‘houses’, or ‘people’.

    And the Judge AGREED with them.

    That means in the future ( and indeed, in the past, such as in Yarnell itself ) if ANY firefighter in Arizona is EVER hurt or injured trying to protect a home or a person… then they were/are AUTOMATICALLY committing gross negligence.

    It means they were ALREADY doing something the Arizona Forestry lawyers have said they were/are NEVER supposed to be doing at all.

    Problem solved?

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      Just this morning, Bill Gabbert over at Wildfire Today felt compelled to write a posting of his own regarding this FOX news on-camera interview with Kyle Dickman.

      His article ( and the comments being left ) amount to a lot of “who is throwing who under what bus”… but the person. actually being thrown under a moving vehicle seems to be Kyle Dickman himself.

      The first comment left is absolutely scathing with regards to former Hotshot Dickman and his ‘book’… and it’s unusual to see Gabbert allow a comment like that to appear. He usually just DELETES comments like that.

      Here is Gabbert’s post about the Dickman interview…

      http://wildfiretoday.com/2015/07/06/interview-with-author-of-book-about-yarnell-hill-fire/#comments

  16. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** DAVID TURBYFILL COMMENTS ON SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

    There are still articles ( and interviews ) ‘popping’ with regards to the recently announced ‘settlement’ agreement in just the ‘wrongful death’ suits that were only being handled as one ‘enjoined’ case by attorney Patrick McGroder, who was caught by an open microphone at the end of the Settlement Press Conference itself telling his opponent, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich “You GOT me!”.

    This one appeared today in the ‘Mojave Daily News’ and includes comments from David Turbyfill, the father of deceased GM Hotshot Travis Turbyfill.

    The Mojave Daily News
    Article Title: Yarnell lawsuit ends
    Published: Sunday, July 5, 2015 12:26 am
    http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/yarnell-lawsuit-ends-with-little-cash/article_29bd8106-22e7-11e5-9f43-1ba162dd31ea.html

    From the article…
    ——————————————————————————-
    Dave Turbyfill, whose son Travis died in the blaze, said he’s happy the families got something but it wasn’t enough to prompt real changes. He said he wasn’t a party to the lawsuit because he doesn’t believe that the state Forestry Division can force changes within the firefighting community.

    The settlement, he noted, was only a tiny fraction of what they originally sought.

    “It was a save face for the families, for the attorneys involved,” he said.
    “It was either get that or get nothing.”

    Turbyfill said he was disappointed there were no real answers to what happened.
    ——————————————————————————-

    In addition to Mr. Turbyfill’s comments… the article contains some additional ‘opinions’ coming from an attorney named Dwane Cates, a Phoenix trial attorney.

    He thinks the settlement was just way for everyone involved to “save face”.

    Dwane Cates said…
    ——————————————————————————-
    “You have to prove that there were just red flags everywhere and everybody ignored the dangers,” said Dwane Cates, a Phoenix trial attorney.

    Instead, the settlement allows both sides to essentially have a win. The state paid less than 1 percent of what the families originally sought — and avoided the public relations black eye that would have come from trying to beat widows and orphans in the courthouse. The families got a small amount of cash and a promise by the state Forestry Division to make safety changes.

    “I believe that the settlement probably was kind of a win-win because the firefighters had a long row to hoe to even get to the point to where they could win,” Cates said. “And No. 2, I don’t think the state of Arizona necessarily wanted to win, because that would have been a PR disaster if they had won in court and the firefighters got nothing.”
    ——————————————————————————-

    The settlement was NOT a real ‘WIN’ for the families of the Hotshots..

    It was FULL of compromises and just a one-sided settlement that favors Arizona Forestry.

    Even their own attorney, Pat McGroder, appears to have told his opponent Mark Brnovich at the end of the press conference that Brnovich “got the better of him” during these settlement negotiations.

    Since it really WAS never about the ‘money’ at all… and compensatory damages are simply a requirement as part of the filing for a ‘wrongful death’ suit… the REAL WIN for the families would have been to not accept ANY settlement… and just let the 12 wronful death cases proceed to trial.

    Even if Arizona Forestry prevails in the end… the TRUTH about what happened would very likely come out DURING any court proceeding regarding what happened that entire weekend in Yarnell… and that, itself, would be the VICTORY the families were ( and are still ) looking for.

    • Bob Powers says

      We could have given them about 20 RED FLAGS.
      It isn’t hard to find them if you pull a few out of the SAIT. And the past two years here .
      JD has mentioned quite a few in his Articles.. All Very provable and significant.

      On thing we do know McDonough Talking to Willis and things he told him was enough for Willis to Run to the City Attorney and the Both of them immediately go directly to the State Attorney General That in its self says a lot about the Information being quite a revelation.

      Hopefully Mrs. McKee will get a Court hearing or McDonough will hear from God and revile all to the Families and in his Book. One can only hope if we want all the Answers and Lesions Learned..

      If DICKMAN thinks lessons learned are that we are going to have more Fatalities he has totally missed the point. That is a lesson the Fire community never wants to repeat and one that says Wild Land Fire Fighters will take chances to save structures—- Which fly’s in the face of all the Safety Training the 10 and 18. No structure is worth ONE Fire Fighter’s life a thousand acres more burned is not worth ONE FF Life. The Government lets Thousands of Acres burn to reduce fuel— You should do the same when it is a matter of Safety.
      Get out of the way and let it Burn

      Stay Safe My Brothers and Sisters No One Needs To Die.

  17. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** KYLE DICKMAN ANSWERED QUESTIONS ON JULY 2, 2015

    Just a few days ago, on July 2, ‘Inside Climate News’ magazine published an article online that contains a Question/Answer session with Kyle Dickman.

    Kyle Dickman is the author of that book that came out recently called “The Burning Edge”, which the publishers are trying to (unbelievably) ‘pawn off’ as ‘the definitive account of the Yarnell Hill Fire’. It is no such thing.

    No great revelations in this interview with Dickman… but he DOES confirm that most of what he printed about what it was like to ‘ride’ with Granite Mountain came from Brendan McDonough and just TWO other former GM Hotshots ( Brandon Bunch and Renan Packer ).

    Inside Climate News
    Article Title: The Deadlier Scourge of Wildfires in an Age of Climate Change
    A Q&A with author Kyle Dickman, whose book, On the Burning Edge, explains
    why wildfire seasons are so bad and getting worse.
    Published: July 2, 2015 – by Katherine Bagley
    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/02072015/deadly-scourge-wildfires-climate-change-yarnell-hill-fire

    From the article
    ———————————————————-
    CN: The book is incredibly descriptive, reconstructing the Granite Mountain Hotshots’ 2013 wildfire season and the personal lives of the team. What was the reporting and research process like?

    Dickman: It was sad. I spent a lot of time with the families, of course. In the book, there is Brendan McDonough, who is the sole survivor of the Yarnell Hill fire. But there are two other sources who were critical in telling this story of the crew before the fire: Brandon Bunch and Renan Packer, who both left weeks before the tragedy. I spent a lot of time talking to those guys, figuring out where did they go, what happened on the fire line, the sort of everyday stuff. I love that. That’s the stuff I think was exciting to report because I got to see these guys, who I spent so much time thinking about, alive in some sense.

    What I wanted to do with each one of them was profile them so history won’t just remember them at the 19 guys who died, but as individuals. That was really what I was trying to do with the book.

    ICN: At the end of the book, you still didn’t find out what exactly happened that day on Yarnell Hill with those 19 men. Was that frustrating?

    Dickman: Maybe in the beginning that was frustrating. When hotshot groups get together, they still ask that question. Why did they leave the black [the already burnt, and therefore safe zone]?

    But I think, for me, I don’t think we’re ever going to know, but that doesn’t necessarily bother me.

    Not to diminish all the other factors in play, but I think mostly it was human factors, and that is why if we continue to fight fires, we have to continue to expect people to die because people are fallible. People are going to make mistakes. In an environment as dangerous and dynamic as a wildfire, the cost of those mistakes can be deadly.
    ———————————————————-

    It’s more than a little disengenuous for Kyle Dickman to pronounce that it will never be known WHY Granite Mountain left the safe black when he, himself ( as an author of a book about the tragedy ) barely lifter a finger to even TRY and find out what really happened.

    As an author ( with most likely an advance from his publisher to be working on this book ), he could have interviewed any number of people who were both participants and witnesses to the tragedy… including MANY people who were right there in the thick of it and have NEVER been interviewed by anyone… investigators included.

    He did NOT.

    He didn’t even bother to talk, himself, with Sonny (Tex) Gilligan and Joy Collura. He just regurgitated (false) statements attributed to them that were printed in the SAIR.

    He was also in a position to try and run some of the ‘mysteries’ to ground such as WHO Eric Marsh was ‘reporting’ to at 4:27 PM as recorded in the YARNELL-GAMBLE video, or what dozer operator Paul Morin STILL knows about what really happened that day, or any of the other ‘known mysteries’ surrounding the afternoon of June 30, 2013 in Yarnell.

    He did NOT.

    Nice work, Kyle.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Typos above. Sorry.

      Paragraph above should have read like this…

      It’s more than a little disingenuous for Kyle Dickman to pronounce that it will never be known WHY Granite Mountain left the safe black when he, himself ( as an author of a book about the tragedy ) barely lifted a finger to even TRY and find out what really happened.

  18. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** NEW PUBLIC PHOTOS OF THE YARNELL HILL FIRE
    **
    ** FOUND BY JOY A. COLLURA

    Joy… thank you for finding those ‘new’ photos of the Yarnell Hill Fire on the public photos service known as FLICKR.

    These are all AMAZING photographs that I don’t believe many people have ever seen.

    They were ALL taken between 9:07 PM and 10:12 PM on Saturday night, June 29, 2013, in the hours just after the fire had ‘escaped’ from Arizona Forestry’s ICT4 Russ Shumate and started burning along the Weaver ridgeline to the north and the northeast.

    The were all taken with a telephoto lens from various vantage points in Yarnell.

    These photos show more CLEARLY than any others I’ve ever seen that were taken after dark on Saturday night how it was that fire burned north along the Weaver ridge… and how it burned DOWN the drainages near what would become known as the ‘anchor point’ that Granite Mountain was working on the next day… and how all that ‘safe black’ they would find on Sunday morning in that ‘anchor point’ area was actually created.

    It also shows clearly the fire that created the ‘slopover’ to the Congress side.

    These are INVALUABLE for anyone studying how the fire ESCAPED on Saturday and the progress it was making after the firefighting operations ceased on Saturday as the sun set.

    They clearly show how the ‘escaped’ fire burned north on the ridge AND was burning DOWN the drainages as it encountered them, even though it was nighttime.

    There are valuable “Lessons to Learn” just looking at these photos alone.

    These pictures show CLEARLY the ‘nightmare scenario’ that was apparently NOT in the mind of Arizona Forestry’s ICT4 Russ Shumate as he planned his Initial Attack on Saturday and only sent 6 men up there to make sure the fire was contained before dark THAT DAY.

    Here’s how to view these PUBLIC photos…

    FLICKR Username: jeremyii

    Direct link to his ‘page 3’ of PUBLIC photos containing 7 Yarnell Hill Fire photos…

    https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/jeremyii/page3

    NOTE: His ‘page 4’ contains one more Yarnell Hill Fire photo named “090”.
    Just hit the ‘Next Page’ button on his page 3 to see that photo on his ‘page 4’

    There is no GPS data embedded in the original photos.

    The time/date information IS embedded in the photos and appears to be accurate.

    The ‘Device’ information is also embedded in the photo.

    ALL of these photos were taken with the following camera…

    Camera Make: Canon
    Camera Model Name: Canon EOS REBEL T1i

    Here’s the time/date detail embedded in all of the photos…
    —————————————————————————————-
    On page 4 ( of 8 pages )…

    091 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 22:12:26 ( 10:12:26 PM )

    On page 3 ( of 8 pages )…

    090 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 22:12:14 ( 10:12:14 PM )
    055 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:56:15 ( 09:56:15 PM )
    049 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:53:44 ( 09:53:44 PM )
    043 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:51:59 ( 09:51:59 PM )
    039 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:29:02 ( 09:29:02 PM )
    031 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:23:55 ( 09:23:55 PM )
    026 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:07:15 ( 09:07:15 PM )
    —————————————————————————————-

    NOTE: When dealing with photos on public FLICKR accounts… the trick to getting an actually ‘original copy’ of the photo complete with all the EXIF data still embedded in it is to just choose a photo from someone’s album and then look for the “More information about this photo” link. Click that… then look for the “View all sizes” link. 9 times out of 10… on the next page that appears FLICKR has an option to ‘View Original Size’. Once you do that you can then right-click the image and then pick the “Save Image As” option. That saved image will usually be a copy of the same photo that was uploaded to FLICKR complete with the original EXIF metadata still embedded in the photo.

    Once again… THANK YOU to Joy A. Collura for ‘finding’ these IMPORTANT (public) photos.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      And when I say the photos “CLEARLY’ show what the fire was doing… I’m not kidding.

      These HIGH RESOLUTION photos taken by FLICKR user JeremyII all have a resolution of 4,752 pixels wide by 3,168 pixels high.

      In some of the photos… INDIVIDUAL BOULDERS can be made out up on the ridge, illuminated by the light of the fire itself.

      Joy… a QUESTION for you.

      Do you know who FLICKR User “JeremyII” actually is?

      The reason I ask is that we are seeing the original sequential photo numbers that were stamped on the photos with the Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera… but there are obviously a number of sequential photos MISSING from the FLICKR page.

      Again… here’s the ‘summary’ of the photos including filenames.

      Some of the filenames are in sequence ( like both 090 and then 091 ), but the rest of them obviosuly indicate there are MOR photos in-between the numbers.

      Matter of fact… there’s an indication there might be more than THIRTY other photos in-between photo number 055 taken at 9:56 PM… and then photo 090 taken 16 minutes later at 10:12 PM…

      091 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 22:12:26 ( 10:12:26 PM )
      090 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 22:12:14 ( 10:12:14 PM )
      055 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:56:15 ( 09:56:15 PM )
      049 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:53:44 ( 09:53:44 PM )
      043 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:51:59 ( 09:51:59 PM )
      039 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:29:02 ( 09:29:02 PM )
      031 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:23:55 ( 09:23:55 PM )
      026 – Date/Time Original: 2013:06:29 21:07:15 ( 09:07:15 PM )

      The sequential photo filenames 026 through 091 indicate that “JeremyII” actually took at least 65 ( SIXTY FIVE ) photos between that 1 hour and 6 minute time period on Saturday night, June 29, 2013, between 9:07 PM and 10:12 PM.

      Only EIGHT of them ended up being posted to that public FLICKR page.

  19. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Bob Powers post on July 3, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    >> Bob Powers said…
    >>
    >> WTKTT You need to reread the above news release
    .>> Noted ___ When all litigations conclude including appeals then the
    >> State will discuss the information with the Families.

    Yes. You are right. Thank you.

    The article reporting about the remaining litigation on behalf of Marcia McKee, written by Nigel Duara of the “Daily Pilot”, DOES say that.

    Again.. that article is here…

    The Daily Pilot ( covering Newport and Costa-Mesa, California )
    Firefighters settlement in deadly wildfire includes dad of former Costa Mesa man
    Published: June 30, 2015, 5:42 p.m – By Nigel Duara
    http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0701-mckee-settlement-20150630,0,7791868.story

    Actually… the article has a mysterious bit of detail in it as well with regards to
    this supposed “8 hour meeting”… and what it specifically says is the following…
    —————————————————————————————
    A common complaint from families of the dead Hotshots was that state officials did not fully explain what caused the tragedy and whether it could have been avoided. The Forestry Division agreed that when all litigation concludes, including appeals, it will have an eight-hour meeting with the families and consultants to review information about the fire and answer questions, with lawyers present.
    ————————————————————————

    BTW: The “Daily Pilot” is NOT an Arizona newspaper. It’s mailing address is 10540 Talbert Ave., Suite 300 Fountain Valley, California, 92708, and the paper covers the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, California areas. Marcia McKee lives in the Costat Mesa area so this was a “local story” for the “Dailly Pilot”.

    There is no reason to doubt this “Daily Pilot” article.

    The QUESTION would be… how do they know what they just printed including the specific detail that this Q/A session will be an “8 hour meeting”? ( Just ONE? ).

    AFAIK… a copy of the actual settlement agreement where kind of detail might be specified still hasn’t been “made available” to the press or to the public yet… and there is actually no good explanation why that is so… or WHEN it WILL be made available.

    Perhaps the “Daily Pilot” actually got that bit of detail from Mr. Scott McKee Sr., who WAS part of the 12 combined wrongful-death cases that just settled?

    Does the ACTUAL (written) settlement agreement actually say “not until all litigation has ceased” and does it actually (specifically) say there will be just this ONE “8 hour meeting”? If so… I wonder what ELSE it says?

    What I was going on was what attorney Pat McGroder said during the Settlement Press Conference the other day.

    Attorney Pat McGroder is the one who told the public, in the press conference, that as part of the settlement Arizona Forestry has PROMISED to (quote) “sit down with the families and answer their questions”. And not just ONCE, either.

    Mr. McGroder makes NO MENTION of there being any constraints or conditions regarding these “sit downs” and the impression he was giving everyone was that these Q/A sessions could now take place IMMEDIATELY.

    Here is exactly what attorney Pat McGroder said about this
    in the Settlement Press Conference…
    ————————————————————————
    +37:13
    ( Pat McGroder ): I’ll answer that question.

    Uh… at some time… uh… Mr. McDonough may or may not chose to publicy
    describe what he saw… what he heard that day.

    Uh… Mr. McDonough has an attorney at this point in time.

    But in terms of today… whether it be Mr. McDonough or the Blue Ridge
    firefighters… the purpose of today was to let YOU know of the enormity
    of the committment that State Forester Whitney has made to sit down
    with our families… at great lengths… at great expense… and answer
    their questions, describe what happened… whether it be informally
    or formally… or in the case of a… a ‘ride’.

    So we’re very comfortable in terms of the committment to the State Forester.
    ————————————————————————

    So there was the PERFECT ( and the APPROPRIATE ) opportunity for attorney Pat McGroder to inform everyone that one of the (apparent) CONDITONS of this part of the settlement agreement is that Arizona Forestry will still be REFUSING to open and honestly “answer any questions” about the fire and what happened… and what they may know that has never been made public or supplied via valid FOIA requests… only when all litigations and appeals have ceased.

    But McGroder obviously chose to NOT mention THAT part of the settlement.

    >> Bob Powers also said…
    >>
    >> I would conclude that means the Mckee Law suit and any appeals.

    Yes. No other way to read that, really.

    If what the “Daily Pilot” is reporting is true then we have to also assume that means any/all appeals that stem from the unrelated “Property Damage” lawsuits filed against Arizona Forestry.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      By ‘unrelated’… I simply meant that the Property Damage lawsuits are NOT ‘wrongful-death’ lawsuits.

      The cases obviously ARE related in that the same long list of Arizona Forestry employees and contractors could still be called to the witness stand as easily in the “Property Damage” suits as they could in any “wrongful death” proceeding.

      So even though the “Daily Pilot” article does not specifically mention the ‘Property Damage’ suits… if the actual recently-signed settlement document does contain specific language about “We will still answer NO questions from the families of the deceased until there is NO litigation or appeals still pending”… then it stands to reason that is talking about the “Property Damage” suits ( and the 160+ plaintiffs ) as well.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Let me also say that I think it’s strange we have to be reading articles being published by a small local newspaper in Costa Mesa, California, in order for some of these very important details about this historic legal settlement to be emerging.

        I’m VERY curious about this specific “8 hour meeting” thing. ( ONE time only? ).

        It sits in direct contradiction of what attorney Pat McGroder seemed to be saying ( during the Settlement Press Conference ).the families were/are expecting from Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney.

        • Bob Powers says

          As usual some additional good Information. I had to read the article twice to realize what it was saying. Would this end up a private release of information and the public not be privy to it?????
          More strange things going on here. Along with every thing else we have gone thru in Search of the truth. now we get hung out again for how ever long the State wants to keep the Families on a string.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Bob Powers says

            Reply to Bob Powers post on July 3, 2015 at 8:47 pm

            >> Bob Powers said…
            >>
            >> Would this end up a private release of information
            >> and the public not be privy to it?????

            Good question.

            Totally unaddressed by attorney Patrick McGroder or Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney during this one-and-only press conference about this historic ‘settlement’.

            Something tells me that even when we finally see the actual written settlement document between Arizona Forestry and the 12 families… it won’t even SAY whether the information that’s (supposedly) going to be revealed in this (supposed) 8 hour Q/A session is meant to be private or public.

            Arizona Forestry could give a rats ass what the public ever knows.

            The ‘settlement’ was all about making the families happy… or at least satisified. Happy is the wrong word. There is NOTHING ‘Happy’ about maybe finally learning the TRUTH about why your loved ones burned to death working for Arizona Forestry.

            >> Bob Powers also said…
            >>
            >> More strange things going on here. Along with every thing
            >> else we have gone thru in Search of the truth. now we get
            >> hung out again for how ever long the State wants to
            >> keep the Families on a string.

            There MAY even be a clause in the “contract” that just got signed ( and make no mistake… that’s what a settlement document is ) which states that the families are NEVER supposed to reveal ANYTHING they learn from Arizona Forestry from this day forward… or they have to give the money back.

            I just wonder WHEN there is going to be a PUBLIC copy of this actual ‘contract’ the family members just signed.

            There isn’t even a good explanation why it wasn’t made available already along with the other PUBLIC settlement documents.

            Remember… this is not Exxon Mobile doing the ‘settling’ here.

            It’s a 100 percent taxpayer funded PUBLIC agency.

  20. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** SOME OF THE ACTUAL SETTLEMENT DOCUMENTS NOW ONLINE

    FYI… InvestigativeMEDIA has now published 3 of the actual ‘settlement’ documents.

    They are available via this IM page…

    InvestigativeMEDIA
    Article Title: Supporting legal documents to Yarnell Hill Fire settlement released
    Published: July 1, 2015 By John Dougherty
    http://www.investigativemedia.com/supporting-legal-documents-to-yarnell-hill-fire-settlement-released/

    From the IM article…
    ————————————————————————————
    InvestigativeMedia is posting the settlement agreement, settlement agreement and order and the revised citation issued by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health against the Arizona Forestry Division in connection with the June 30, 2013 deaths of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

    InvestigativeMedia will post the settlement agreement between ADOSH, the Forestry Division and the 12 families of the deceased hotshots when it becomes available. One remaining lawsuit brought by the mother of Granite Mountain Hotshot Grant McKee remains in litigation.
    ————————————————————————————

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      >> John Dougherty said…
      >>
      >> One remaining lawsuit brought by the mother of Granite Mountain Hotshot
      >> Grant McKee remains in litigation.

      Marcia McKee was the first to file a ‘wrongful death’ suit on behalf of her son Grant… and I hope the lousy settlement the other family members just decided to agree to convinces her that she should NOT even enter ( or continue ) any settlement talks with the defendants.

      Win or lose… the BEST thing Marcia McKee could do is simply let her civil action proceed to trial.

      There only has to be ONE active court case in order for any number of participants and witnesses to be “called to the stand” and have to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

      Even the family members who just agreed to this lopsided settlement said at the settlement press conference itself that “there is still work to do”… and that they intend to still continue to find out what REALLY happened that weekend in Yarnell.

      There are people that were involved with the tragedy who will obviously ONLY tell what they know if they are FORCED to do so.

      So I hope Marcia McKee realizes that… and also realizes that she alone now has one of the only remaining legal instruments to finally get some of these people to tell the truth.

      Even if she LOSES the proceeding… most ( or perhaps all ) of what still needs to be discovered has a good chance of simply coming out DURING the trial… and that will be the best thing she could possibly cause to happen for ALL the families of the fallen.

      • Marti Reed says

        As I wrote downstream:
        ———————————————

        “”There’s a lot of things that had been withheld and lied about, and you cannot lie to somebody about how their child died,” said Scott McKee, whose son, Grant, was killed on the mountain that day.

        McKee believes state forestry officials know more than they have disclosed about what happened.”

        http://www.kpho.com/story/25909911/state-keeping-yarnell-hill-fire-secrets-say-critics

        This actually fits in with the conversation below about Investigations™ in the era of “Lessons Learned™”.

        So, I guess what Scott McKee said “you cannot lie to somebody about how their child died,” is really about all I have to say.

        Except for this addition:

        I wonder where Scott McKee went
        —————————————–

        Apparently he’s still there. In spite of everything. We may have an actual hero here.

        Thank you for holding firm, Scott McKee!

        And all my heartfelt best to you.

        • Bob Powers says

          I would imagine with one Law Suit Still hanging the State is not going to be forth coming about any thing until The McKee Law Suit is Settled.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Absolutely NO mention of any kind of ‘conditions’ like that in the recent settlement on the part of the other 12 families.

            Nothing about “When all litigations and appeals have ended”.

            Zero. Zip. Nada.

            State Forester Jeff Whitney has (supposedly) PROMISED to start sharing information with the families and answer (quote) “whatever questions they might have” IMMEDIATELY… not years from now.

            That brings up the real question (again) about ‘accountabity’.

            What provisions are their in this settlement to FORCE Whitney and Arizona Forestry to live up to all the crucial ‘promisrs’ upon which the settlement is based?

            We still have yet to see the actual document that codifies this actual settlement between Arizona Forestry and the families of at least 12 of those men who died a horrible death while working in an Arizona Forestry mis-managed workplace.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Sorry about all the typos up above. Posted from a ‘dumbphone’.

              I obviously meant to say…

              Where is the “accountability” on Arizona Forestry’s part for all these crucial new promises they have made as part of a legal, binding settlement agreement?

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          The following article clears up some confusion regarding the McKee lawsuits.

          GM Hotshot Great McKee’s father ( Grant McKee Sr. ) WAS part of the ‘enjoined lawsuits’ that were all being handled as one legal action by attorney Patrick McGroder.

          It is the original ( and FIRST ) wrongful death suit filed by Grant McKee’s MOTHER, Marcia McKee that hasn’t been settled yet. She is using a different attorney ( as in… NOT McGroder ).

          http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0701-mckee-settlement-20150630,0,7791868.story

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Darnit… dumbphone spell checker struck again and changed an instance of ‘Grant’ to the word ‘Great’ up above.

            Apologies (again).

            His name was ‘Grant McKee’.

            He had no intentions of being a career Hotshot. It was just a temp job to him and he was hoping to make enough money to continue his education and pursue his dream of being an EMT.

      • Marti Reed says

        I’m sitting here waking up and wondering if this was a “group decision” of some kind.

        What benefit would there be to agree to decide to go ahead and settle, but have just one suit proceed?

        They may have won more than they lost, since it wasn’t about the money (and I believe that).

  21. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** GM HOTSHOT FAMILIES ATTORNEY PATRICK MCRODER TELLS
    ** HIS OPPONENT, ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK BRNOVICH, THAT HE
    ** KNOWS BRNOVICH ‘GOT THE BETTER OF HIM’ DURING NEGOTIATIONS..
    **
    ** MCGRODER TOLD BRNOVICH…
    **
    ** YOU GOT ME!

    I’ve finished that full transcript of the Settlement Press Conference held the other day at the Arizona Attorney General’s building in Phoenix and I will publish that shortly.

    The transcript now also shows the actual questions that the reporters were asking during the press conference.

    The transcript ALSO shows what was said by GM Hotshot families attorney Patrick McGroder to his opponent, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the moment the press conference ended.

    I thought that deserved a POST all by itself.

    The Press Conference VIDEO itself ( 45 minutes and 33 seconds ) is HERE…

    YouTube title: FNN: Yarnell Hill Fire Settlement Press Conference
    Posted by YouTube User: FOX 10 Phoenix
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7GASJl5T6Q

    The following is a transcript of the final few moments of the press conference when the attorney for the GM Hotshot family members, Patrick McGroder, was answering a reporter’s question “What about McDonough and Blue Ridge?”

    Mr. McGroder finishes his answer, and that is the end of the press conference, but the microphone was still ‘HOT’ and we hear Mr. McGroder then saying a final “Thank you” to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich… but then McGroder CLEARLY says to his opponent…

    “You GOT me!”

    From the Press Conference VIDEO / AUDIO…
    —————————————————————————————
    +41:49

    ( Attorney for the Hotshot familes Pat McGroder ): Now… whether or not… uh… the Federal Government decides to HIDE again as they did in another one of my cases, fast and furious, we’ll see.

    Uh… but at the end of the day… uh… I am comfortable that to the extent there are FACTS out there that we may or may not know… or a spin on those facts that we may or may not know… that information will be forthcoming.

    Thank you all for coming.

    ( Moderator ): There’s some additional information in the back… if you don’t have the details with ADOSH… back there with the gentleman… back there. Some of us will be stickin’ around. Thank you all for coming.

    ( The open microphone then captures the following verbal exchange between Plaintiff’s attorney Pat McGroder and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich where McGroder admits to Brnovich… “You got me!” during their mano-y-mano “Thank you… NO.. thank YOU” moment on the stage )…

    +42:24
    ( Pat McGroder ): Mark… thanks man.

    ( They shake hands and pat each other on the back ).

    ( Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): Thank you, brother. Thanks for everything.

    ( Pat McGroder ): Thank you.

    ( Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): Thank YOU, seriously.

    ( Patrick McGroder ): You got me!

    ( Attorney General Mark Brnovich ): ( Laughs… three HA, HA, HA’s ).

    ( The video camera is now turned OFF ).

    END OF PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO
    —————————————————————————————————

    So basically… we now hear from GM family attorney Patrick McGroder himself that he KNOWS Attorney General Brnovich “got the better of him” during these negotiations.

    It was NOT a ‘win’ for the families.

    McGroder KNOWS he LOST… and the Hotshot families got SCREWED.

    Just based on this statement alone… I think the Granite Mountain Hotshot families should retract the settlement agreement(s), find themselves another attorney, and just refuse to even negotiate this second time around.

    Just go for the trial… and find out what REALLY happened.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      There is actually a clear (visual) view of the “You GOT me!” moment in the video itself.

      The camera was panning back and around at the end of the conference but at the very moment when GM Hothshot families attorney McGroder and his ‘opponent’ Arizona Attorney General Brnovich are having their mano-y-mano “Thank you… NO… thank YOU” moment…

      The foreground clears and at exactly +42:30… McGroder says… “You GOT me!”…

      …and he is clearly pointing his finger right at Brnovich’s chest when he says it.

      Then Brnovich is clearly seen laughing his three “HA HA HA’s” in response just as the video is “fading to black”.

      If anyone is having ANY trouble hearing McGroder admit to his opponent Brnovich that the Attorney General “got the better of him” during the deliberations… just look for that moment at +42:30 when McGroder is clearly pointing his finger at Brnovich up there on the stage.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      **
      ** BASS-ACKWARDS

      And here is that part of the transcript of the Settlement Press Conference video that covers that moment when the attorney representing the Granite Mountain Hotshot families ( Patrick McGroder ) told the reporter ( whose first name was Howard ) that he was going to “straighten his ass out”.

      This shows the actual QUESTION that reporter asked Mr. McGroder.

      From the Settlement Press Conference video…
      —————————————————————————–

      ( Patrick McGroder, attorney for the GM Hotshot families, is still speaking to the issue of whether information is being withheld by the US Forestry Service with regards to ALL of its ’employees’… who have either never been interviewed at all or have been put under ‘gag’ orders… and that includes the Blue Ridge Hotshots, Prescott National Forest employees Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell, Bravo 33 Air Attack crew John Burfiend and Thomas French, and a long list of others… )

      +39:00
      ( Attorney Patrick McGroder )…

      The IDEA… the IDEA that the Federal Government is withholding information…

      The IDEA that ANYONE would withhold information from these families…

      Uh… is… it… it really speaks to the lack of understanding and empathy and dignity that they should have for these families.

      So… we would PUBLICLY call for the Blue Ridge Mountain folks and the
      National Forest Service to let their people talk.

      However… at THIS point in time… we’re dealing with families that have suffered the utmost of tragedies… and we are VERY comfortable in terms of the commitments that the State Forester has made to render information to us within HIS purview.

      Mr. McDonough is… uh.. irrelevant to this press conference today.

      +39:28
      ( Reporter 1 ): Well wait… I wanna make sure… you’re saying… that they PROMISED… based on this… NOW they will open up… which seems a little different than ‘they’ve opened up and now you feel confident’. Your last statement suggests that ‘now that we’ve got a deal… now they’ll give you the rest of the details’. That seems a little bass-ackwards.

      (Pat McGroder): Well… uh… let me straighten your ass out, Howard.

      ( Reporter 1 ): Okay. Tell me where I’m wrong.

      ( Pat McGroder ): Allright.
      ———————————————————————-

      And then McGroder DID attempt to answer the reporter’s ( Howard’s ) question… but actually never did. He just concludes his response by saying that he simply ‘thinks’ that if there are any other ‘facts’ out there still to be known or heard… that they will be (quote) “forthcoming”… but he gives no timeframe, timetables, or assurances.

  22. Gary Olson says

    Well…I just read the settlement document AZDF agreed to, and here is my take.

    The families, the truth, and almost everybody else really took a good hard fuckin’ on this one, AZDF skated by thumbing their noses at everybody, whatever they agreed to do with the families is lip service and not worth the paper it will be written on.

    The system and “they” have won again. What a joke. I’m sorry, but this is bad even for somebody who is used to seeing the worst and sees the world only in shades of grey by experience, never in black and white, right and wrong is relative not an absolute, everything is subjective and negotiable. Reading the official agreement document itself somehow seems much worse than reading a summary of it.

    I am however, interested in what each of you thinks, am I just being a negative prick or is this as bad as I think it is?

    I would NEVER have signed that document. I may not have had the money to keep fighting someone with unlimited defense funds, so I may have had to walk away, but I never would have signed that almost unconditional surrender.

    AZDF saved more than $219,000,000, you can fight for a long time for that kind of money.They aren’t even paying the families who didn’t sue the $25,000, which I thought was the LEAST they could do under the circumstances.

    • rocksteady says

      I agree with you Gary…

      It goes to show how much value a state government puts on its dedicated employees, who go out and fight wildfires, or police or EMT’s, or what have you…

      I would hope my wife would never have signed the deal, if I was in the shoes of the GMIHS.

      • Gary Olson says

        No, that was one thing I learned over the years that took me awhile to comprehend, the government doesn’t care one little bit about the individual except in very general terms.

        The government is like a giant organism that sheds individual cells at will and focusing all of it’s energy on the health of the overall system. It’s no different than Exon Mobil or any other big company.

        And no, I don’t get the math. The millions of dollars the families got from the public changed all of the math for everybody. Nobody NEEDS any of the money from the state, some may want it, but nobody NEEDS it.

        And I have walked the walk in addition to talking the talk on that one, I would have walked away from that settlement deal in a heartbeat. The blah, blah, blah about making changes in the way fire is fought is bullshit and they could have gotten that much by writing a letter to them, or having that crazy nut job Karen Fann write a letter for them. It sounds like a big con game to me and the families have to know that, they are just looking for an excuse to get out of it with enough cover to hold their bullshit Peace With Honor press conference.

        Which I can understand, but if that’s the case, they should never have started. What did they think fighting the government for 220 million dollars was going to be like? They should have asked me, I have been blogging about it for years now at this point.

        • SR says

          Looking at this from a community perspective, I get it. Sort of like how a family has a need to bury its secrets and move on, which is accentuated if the family is a bit insular. If I were to have been giving advice to the relatives of the deceased, part of it would have been focused on, once they decided to pursue a lawsuit, to move and develop support networks in another state. Because the screw-ups here were pervasive. The people they were negotiating with have practice every day in distancing themselves emotionally from problems and cleaning up, and doing so under a badge of authority. The families have no practice, no badge, and have just gone through grieving so are even more subject to pressure to paper everything over to make everyone “feel nice.” So, from a social network and social pressure perspective, I get it.

  23. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** AZCENTRAL JUST DID A VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH EX-BLUE RIDGE HOTSHOT
    ** RONNIE GAMBLE… WHO SHOT THE ‘YARNELL-GAMBLE’ VIDEO

    In conjunction with this SECOND anniversary of the tragedy in Yarnell, AZCENTRAL did a VIDEO interview with ex-Blue Ridge Hotshot Ronnie Gamble.

    Ronnie Gamble is ( supposedly ) the Blue Ridge Hotshot who was sitting in the driver’s seat of one of the Blue Ridge Crew Carriers and shot the infamous video entitled YARNELL-GAMBLE at exactly 4:27 PM.

    That’s the video that (apparently) captured a conversation with someone in fire management wondering why Granite Mountain wasn’t ‘in town’ yet and then telling Eric Marsh to “Hurry up and get town” at 4:27 PM.

    Eric Marsh replied ( with exasperation in his voice ) “They’re comin’ from the heel of the fire”.

    The identity of the person who seemed to be fully aware that Granite Mountain had an ‘assignment’ in Yarnell and was wondering why they weren’t in place yet at 4:27 PM has never been fully established.

    CAVEAT: It has also never been fully established that the conversation at the beginning of the YARNELL-GAMBLE clip with someone telling someone to “Hurry up… but you’re the superintendent… you’ll figure it out” actually was the radio traffic that Eric Marsh was actually responding to with his “They’re comin’ from the heel of the fire” response. But regardless… Eric Marsh’s voice and his response has never been in doubt and Marsh was obviously responding to SOMEONE in fire command whom he felt obligated to report to about the current status of Granite Mountain at 4:27 PM… just 12 minutes before Jesse Steed’s first MAYDAY was going to appear on the Air-To-Ground radio channel.

    As we discovered here a few months ago… shortly after the tragedy, Blue Ridge Hothshot Ronnie Gamble left the Blue Ridge organization and went to work as part of the ‘new’ Prescott Station 7 ‘Fuels Crew’. ( along with two other FFs yet to be identified ).

    He actually works out of ‘Station 7’ in Prescott, the former home of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,. and that’s where this recent AZCENTRAL video interview actually took place.

    As you will see if you watch the video… he and the other two Prescott Fuels Crew members are still ‘spooked’ about stepping on the black tiles that spell out GMIHC onthe floor of Station 7. Eric Marsh laid those tiles himself and the rule when he was alive was that if any ‘newbie’ stepped on any black tile in the GMIHC logo on the floor… they were immediately obliged to “drop and give me 50” ( pushups ).

    So Gamble and the other FFs are still ‘spooked’ about that and they try to never step on the black tiles.

    I think that’s just WEIRD ( and unnecessary ) but you’re mileage may, of course, vary.

    This AZCENTRAL article actually went NATIONAL today, and the following is the USAToday link…

    AZCENTRAL
    Article Title: Crew continues work started by fallen Arizona firefighters
    Published: 4:50 p.m. EDT June 30, 2015 by Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/30/yarnell-hill-fire-anniversary/29508705/

    VIDEO window has this caption…
    —————————————————-
    Prescott firefighter Ronnie Gamble works with two other firefighters
    continuing the work of the 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shots killed in
    the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013.
    —————————————————-

    Here is a TRANSCRIPT of the audio from this video interview with Ronnie Gamble…

    RR = AZCENTRAL reporter Richard Ruelas
    —————————————————————————————
    ( RR ): It’s hard for any firefighter to work in the shadow of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

    ( Ronnie Gamble ): It’s very humbling, ya know, I mean… knowing that the reason I have a job is because of what these men did.

    ( RR ): Ronnie Gamble works with two other firefighters cutting brush and trees to stop the spread of wildfires. They fight fires before they get started.

    ( Ronnie Gamble ): So you can tell by looking at it how much we thinned that out.

    ( RR ): At Prescott Fire Station 7, reminders of the 19 firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire are everywhere.

    ( Ronnie Gamble ): You tend not to think about it.. but you never forget. When you walk in through these doors.. ya know… you respect… you respect those guys, ya know, one of the rules is that you don’t step onto the black.

    After you were here for a year as a Hotshot… you were allowed to step on the black tiles on the floor and so… ya know… all of here who have never… ya know.. been on the Granite Mountain Hotshots… we still honor that rule… ya know… we honor that for them… ya know.. because we… we’ll never be Granite Mountain Hotshots so we… still just don’t… we.. we honor that rule and we don’t walk on the black tiles.

    It’s somethin’ we can still do to honor them… ya know. They were great men.

    I think with time… um… it gets easier.
    You never forget… but with time it gets easier.

    ( RR ): In a quiet way… he’s continuing the work of the Hotshots, following in footsteps left at Station 7.
    —————————————————————————————

    The absolute ASTOUNDING thing here about this VIDEO interview is that here we have Ronnie Gamble himself consenting to a VIDEO interview with Richard Ruelas from the Arizona Republic ( who has been known to be doing hard-hitting coverage of the Yarnell incident from day one )… and reporter Richard Ruelas doesn’t ask him ONE SINGLE QUESTION about this infamous YARNELL-GAMBLE video that he ( supposedly ) shot and was supplied to the original SAIT investigation.

    Much less any question such as… “Did you hear the rest of that conversation that was apparently taking place between someone in fire command and DIVSA Eric Marsh.. and do you recall the CALL SIGN of the person who appears to be urging him to “Hurry up”?

    I.Just.Can’t.

    If Ronnie Gamble now feels that free to be ‘interviewed’ and talk about Granite Mountain ‘on camera’… I wish Ruelas would shoot right back to Station 7 and ask him even just that one crucial question.

    It is still REALLY, REALLY important.

    What’s almost a little scary is to realize that there he is… one of the Blue Ridge Hotshots who might still hold the KEY to what happened to the Granite Mountain Hotshots… no longer working for the Blue Ridge Hotshots but, instead, showing up for work every day in the same station where Granite Mountain worked and trying not to step on the black tiles laid by Eric Marsh.

    You.Just.Can’t.Make.This.Shit.Up.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Actually.. if anything we heard at a press conference yesterdady initiated by the Arizona Attorney General himself… and attended by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s own personal legal counsel is TRUE…

      And if anything attorney Pat McGroder and new Arizona Sate Forester Jeff Whitney said at this same PUBLIC press conference is not complete BULLSHIT…

      Then Jeff Whitney, Pat McGroder, Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light, and the families of the deceased Granite Mountain Hotshots should walk into that Granite Mountain Station 7 with a video camera as soon as possible and the resulting video should capture the following conversation…

      ——————————————————————————
      ( Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light ): Just answer the questions as best as you can Ronnie, and don’t be afraid. I am you’re boss and I’m assuring you whatever you say… you are NOT going to lose your job.

      ( Pat McGroder or Jeff Whitney ): Ronnie… tell us everything you know about this YARNELL-GAMBLE video that you seem to have supplied to the SAIT investigators. Did you remember the REST of that conversation and do you remember the CALL SIGN of the person who seemed to be wondering why Granite Mountain wasn’t where he was expecting them to be by 4:27 PM and was then telling Marsh to get them to “Hurry up”.

      ( Ronnie Gamble then says ): ?????????
      ———————————————————————————

      If he doesn’t remember… he doesn’t remember.

      If he DOES… then this could end up one of the most important pieces of testimony that has ever surfaced in this ongoing investigation.

      If he remembers ANYTHING ELSE about that 4:27 PM ‘YARNELL-GAMBLE’ radio conversation… then it could blow the lid off everything that appears to have been always been concealed as fast as you can say…

      “It’s always okay to just tell the frickin’ TRUTH”.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        I mean… this is not ‘rocket science’, folks.

        There he is… one of the persons who might hold the KEY to finding out what really happened on June 30, 2013 actually showing up for work every day at the very ‘Station 7’ where the dead men used to work… trying not to step on black tiles.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Followup…

          Forgot to mention…

          It’s also not like AZCENTRAL reporter Richard Ruelas didn’t know WHO he was actually talking to, either.

          In the TEXT portion of Ruelas’ report we find this…

          ———————————————————————
          Gamble also fought the Yarnell Hill Fire, as part of the Blue Ridge Hotshots.

          His team picked up Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain crew working as a scout some distance from the fire. The other 19 members of the Granite Mountain crew perished June 30, 2013, when they were overtaken by fire in a brush-filled canyon.
          ———————————————————————

          That’s it.

          That’s all he said about Gamble’s involvement with the Yarnell File.

          ASTOUNDINGLY… absolutely NO MENTION that this is the individual who is presumed to have shot the infamous YARNELL-GAMBLE video… which could still hold the key to one of the biggest ‘mysteries’ of this entire tragedy.

    • Marti Reed says

      I caught that one, too.

      I bet Holly Neil did, also.

      And the Gamble video was one of her major “talking points” in her evaluation of Kyle Dickman’s book on Amazon Dot Com.

      Speaking of Kyle Dickman, he was interviewed June 28 on National Public Radio.

      “Two Years After Deadly Wildfire, Are There Lessons In The Ashes?”

      http://wvpublic.org/post/two-years-after-deadly-wildfire-are-there-lessons-ashes

      ” And the fire suddenly changed direction — there was 30-to-40 mph winds … what had been a relatively sleepy flank of the fire suddenly jumped and became, you know, 20-foot and then 30-foot and then 40-foot flames. And that wall of fire was rushing toward the town of Yarnell. And Eric Marsh, who was the superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, was forced to make a decision. He had to decide whether or not he wanted to leave the safety of what’s called “the black,” which is the already burned fuel, and move into the town of Yarnell, where they could presumably do something to protect the houses, or he could keep his crew in the safety of the black and watch this town burn.

      Ultimately, of course, he decided to move the crew back into the town of Yarnell. And they never made it; the fire caught them before they reached the houses.”

      • Marti Reed says

        Kyle Dickman didn’t speak of the same “Lessons Learned” we have written here.

        He, as usual, pulls the focus to the need for, as Gamble did, also, essentially, controlling fire on our terms instead of trying (mostly in vain) to fight fire on its terms.

        Which is, absolutely, a good and necessary thing.

    • Gary Olson says

      Based on my experience that interview was set up by the Prescott Fire Department and or the City of Prescott Public Information Officer or the equivalent and there were preconditions that Ruelas agreed to, especially regarding the general topics and even specific questions that could be asked or discussed.

      I am very confident that not only was at least one PIO present off camera, but Gamble’s boss was also present very closely monitoring everything that was asked or said and they were prepared to step in and intervene at any moment. Think…North Korea without the prison camps, torture or being eaten alive by starved attack dogs for displeasing the regime.

      Gamble was prepped ahead of time by both the PIO and his boss. Gamble knows who is depositing a paycheck in his name at his bank 26 times a year and he knows he is pretty low in the food chain. Getting his current job was a big break for him and he knows it and keeping his job is his number one priority in life right now. The GMIHC are gone and he knows he can’t bring them back or make it hurt less.

      Now you can argue that Ruelas professional ethics as a news reporter or journalist should have precluded him from agreeing to those preconditions, which if he hadn’t agreed to them, there wouldn’t have been an interview or story period, but that is another topic entirely.

      But there is no doubt in my mind that Gamble was not free to talk, he has full time employment, he gets to be home on a regular basis and he had benefits, like a retirement package of some sort even in this day and age of war on the former middle class, and health insurance, which thanks to the Affordable Care Act is probably pretty good.

      Which brings up a point I have hinted at, but I have never said outright. Why have I spent so much time talking about my retirement benefits, politics, marital status (as in married to an attractive woman who makes more money than I do and is a lot smarter than I am) the seat I had at the table were discussions were held at the highest levels of the agency I worked for to cover problems up (not because of corruption or bribes necessarily, but just because everybody likes it when there are no problems, like the politicians and even the public so the special interest groups who are connected can operate freely without any pesky oversight) and my years (30 years in a system that considered 20 years full retirement) of service?

      It’s very simple really (other than I like to brag) and most of you have probably already figured it out. I don’t want to be pegged as a lonely, bitter, angry, loser in the game of life. I really do care about other people, not more than myself, but because I have all I need plus a little more, I can afford to be concerned about others.

      For example, others like Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed and 17 more Granite Mountain Hotshots who were mostly kids and who deserved to do all the same kinds of things I have done with my life, have the opportunity to see the things I have seen and have a chance to have the same kinds of experiences I had. And so now I can look back and truthfully say without regret, it was one a hellavu ride. And if I had it to do all over again…I would, except I would try harder to get it right next time!

      • Marti Reed says

        Exactly.

        And what you wrote dove-tails with something I’ve been wondering.

        It SOUNDS LIKE AZDF is inviting the Blue Ridge Hotshots et al to speak freely.

        I wonder how real that invitation is.

        If Holly Neill is as interested as we are in Ronnie Gamble’s video (which she most certainly is), have both of them REALLY, just been invited to get together and have a nice little chat about that?

          • Marti Reed says

            Oops. I forgot. Today is the first day of my announced retirement from this job.

            But, then, you’re on sabbatical, also.

            Salud!

            • Gary Olson says

              Marti,

              I have taught you everything I know…and still you don’t know anything (tongue in cheek, hee, hee, just kidding, so on and so forth).

              NO…it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to the United States Department Of Agriculture – Forest Service what AZDF wants, thinks, cares about, doesn’t want, or either isn’t smart enough or know or smart enough to think about.

              The USDA-Forest Service, more specifically the attorneys representing them, don’t care about you or me, or anyone else, or any other group, the Blue Ridge Hotshots, or any other individual federal employee or the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, the fact that they are dead, how or why they died, their families or the TRUTH…period, end of story.

              These attorney’s work for the USDA Office of the Solicitor General, they are bound by ethics, regulations, laws, policies and their individual job descriptions to care about only ONE thing. And that ONE thing is the best interests of their CLIENT, the USDA-Forest Service as an AGENCY, and by extension, the federal government itself and the American people as a whole.

              They will do anything (that’s legal and ethical by the loose standards that govern the behavior of attorneys) and that includes cutting the throats (figuratively speaking) of ANYONE who threatens or could possibly threaten in the future in any way conceivable the best interests of their clients…you and me.

              They will never lift that gag order or tell you, me or anyone else what they know, because that would not be in the best interests of their client. For starters, they would lose their jobs, their licenses to practice law and maybe even be prosecuted. And you should not interpret that gag order as an indicator that they know anything, or there is anything to hide, that is standard protocol that is ALWAYS implemented just as a matter of Standard Operating Procedure, it always happens. I have had a lot of gag orders put on me, anyone would have to have their permission to ever talk to me and they never give permission. I keep telling everyone on this thread you have no idea what dealing with, fighting or challenging the federal government in anyway that threatens them is like, what it will mean to you and your happiness in the long run (or short run).

              The only time you can get them to do anything, is when the behavior was so outrageous and that almost always involves a deliberate, brazen, malicious, violation of the United States Constitution or by acts the violated the U.S. Constitution that were so stupid, not just regular stupid, but think…criminally stupid, that they decide to take themselves to the woodshed for a spanking…and then they will give you permission to go after an individual(s). Don’t you ever watch the news (tongue in cheek, hee, hee), the only people who ever go to prison are the whistleblowers, not the wrongdoers.

              • Gary Olson says

                Let me see if I can shorten that answer…the attorneys who work for the government are no different than attorneys who worked for Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, AIG or Exon after the Exon Valdez spilled all of that oil in the Gulf of Alaska.

                Just think about how they represented their clients, the government attorneys represent all of us in the same way. It’s just what they do.

                • Gary Olson says

                  Oh…and one more thing, I have given up on my sabbatical, I have discovered I am a serial blogger.

                  Plus, I can’t expect others to keep going when I am not willing to do the same thing. In addition, believe it or not, I keep learning things that should be put in my Yarnell Hill Fire chapter, nothing that you don’t know about or really earth shaking (since the info about the Clear Creek Fire, which was earth shaking to me) but little things that all add up…to little WTF…Over? moments.

              • Marti Reed says

                Thanks Gary!

                I was hoping you would substantiate my suspicions.

                Remember, my dad was the chief meteorologist for the atmospheric nuclear weapons testing program.

                Which is why I thought it was weird that AZDF and the lawyers were saying that.

                • Gary Olson says

                  Of course I had picked up your dad was a meteorologist, but not THAT meteorologist, they wrote one of the books on keeping secrets and not really worrying about the public in general, or what they think or want to know…trust us, we know what’s best for you.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Gary Olson post on July 1, 2015 at 6:14 am

        >> Gary Olson said…
        >>
        >> Based on my experience that interview was set up by the Prescott Fire
        >> Department and or the City of Prescott Public Information Officer or the
        >> equivalent and there were preconditions that Ruelas agreed to, especially
        >> regarding the general topics and even specific questions that could be
        >> asked or discussed.
        >>
        >> I am very confident that not only was at least one PIO present off
        >> camera, but Gamble’s boss was also present very closely monitoring
        >> everything that was asked or said and they were prepared to step in
        >> and intervene at any moment. Think…North Korea without the prison
        >> camps, torture or being eaten alive by starved attack dogs for
        >> displeasing the regime.

        Once again, Gary… you have “nailed it from your living room”.

        There is no direct mention in the article of the “powers that be” sitting just off-camera… but there IS a photo that accompanies the article itself which proves that was the case.

        Again… that interview with former Blue Ridge Hotshot Ronnie Gamble ( the one who is assumed to have shot the infamous YARNELL-GAMBLE video ) is here…

        AZCENTRAL
        Article Title: Crew continues work started by fallen Arizona firefighters
        Published: 4:50 p.m. EDT June 30, 2015 by Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic
        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/30/yarnell-hill-fire-anniversary/29508705/

        At the BOTTOM of the article is a photograph of the “field trip’ that the reporter took with Gamble out to a site that had been worked on by Gamble and his “Fuels Crew”.

        Standing right next to Gamble in the photo ( in the distance ) is Gambles direct supervisor, new Prescott Fire Department ‘Community Interface’ Division Chief Don Devendorf.

        Here is the full caption on that photo at the bottom of the article…

        —————————————————————-
        Prescott Fire Department’s division chief, Don Devendorf, left; and Ronnie Gamble, fuels reduction coordinator, look at an area they cleared of brush April 22, 2015, in Prescott, Ariz. A crew of three now works out of the Granite Mountain Hotshot station doing fuels management. (Photo: Michael Chow, The Arizona Republic)
        —————————————————————–

        So even though Prescott Fire Division Chief Don Devendorf does NOT appear in the VIDEO that accompanies the article… there is NO DOUBT that he was standing just off camera the whole time and breathing down the reporter’s neck.

        It’s actually odd that he ( Devendorf and any other Prescott PIOs that were lurking around for this interview ) would have even let reporter Ruelas MENTION that Ronnie Gamble was a former Blue Ridge Hotshot… and that he was THERE in Yarnell that fateful day.

        I can imagine the ‘negotiations’ with AZCENTRAL and reporter Ruelas went something like this…

        —————————————————————
        ( Reporter Richard Ruelas ): Okay… I get it… I can’t ask this Gamble guy ANYTHING about Yarnell or that YARNELL-GAMBLE video he seems to have taken… but the people at InvestigativeMEDIA found out MONTHS ago that this IS the same “Ronald Gamble” who was there in Yarnell as a Blue Ridge Hotshot on June 30, 2013, and that he’s the one who shot that YARNELL-GAMBLE video with Eric Marsh clearly saying, at exactly 4:27 PM ( in the middle of a supposed communications blackout ), “They’re comin’ from the heel of the fire”.

        So my BYLINE for the story itself is that he IS that guy… and that he WAS part of Blue Ridge who saved Brendan McDonough’s ass that day.

        So if I can’t at least mention that he WAS a Blue Ridge Hotshot and that he WAS there in Yarnell on June 30… and now there he is working for YOU and trying not to step on those black tiles Eric Marsh put down… then the whole deal is off.

        You will NOT get your little FREE ‘commercial’ for this new brush clearing deal you have going there in Prescott if I can’t at least mention he WAS one of the Blue Ridge Hotshots in Yarnell.
        ———————————————————————–

        So (perhaps) the Prescott PIO’s caved.

        They agreed to just at least let Ruelas ‘mention’ that this Gamble guy WAS a Blue Ridge Hotshot… so Ruelas could at least “tie that in” for an interesting BYLINE and a better STORY.

        Heck… the Prescott PIOS ( and/or Devendorf ) might have been already perfectly aware that we proved months ago right here on this forum that he IS the same Ronald Gamble who was with the Blue Ridge Hotshots on June 30, 2013… now coming to work every day for the Prescott Fire Department.

        So what the heck… just let Ruelas mention THAT… but under NO circumstances could there be any questions about what else Ronnie Gamble heard circa 4:27 PM in Yarnell on June 30, 2013.

        Actually… am I the only one who is just cynical enough to think that the very reason Ronald Gamble IS now sitting right there in Eric Marsh’s old office is because the Prescott Fire Department thought it would be a good idea to have him there where they can keep their ‘eye’ on him… and continue to CONTROL what he says?

        Is it REALLY just some gigantic coincidence that the guy who MIGHT know who was telling Eric Marsh to “Hurry up” in Yarnell on June 30, 2013 is now coming to work every day and sitting in Eric Marsh’s old office?

  24. Marti Reed says

    BREAKING!!!!!

    IN OTHER NEWZZZZZZZZ

    So the State won the auction for the site.
    ————————————–

    State wins land auction for Yarnell memorial

    3 hours ago • The Associated Press0
    PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The site where 19 Arizona firefighters died battling a wind-driven blaze will become a memorial park.

    The Arizona State Parks won a public auction Tuesday for the 320 acres near Yarnell where the Granite Mountain Hotshots were overrun by flames exactly two years ago. One crew member who was at another site serving as the lookout survived.

    State Parks Director Sue Black was the sole bidder in the auction held at the Yavapai County Courthouse plaza. She held up her bidding card, which she turned from a “1” to a “19” when the auction began, agreeing to pay the fair market value of $304,000.

    Family and friends of the Hotshots cheered and hugged one another when Black was declared the winner.

    http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/state-wins-land-auction-for-yarnell-memorial/article_f5932200-1f76-11e5-829a-1b6b9548913c.html

    So that’s good news. I’m feeling 20% better.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Of course… the $196,000 dollar question NOW is…

      What happens to the other $196,000 dollars?

      The Arizona State Legislature allocated $500,000 for the purchase of the land.

      How that money became immediately ( and directly ) available to “Arizona State Parks” so they could actually “do the bidding” themselves today is a bit of a ‘backroom’ mystery… but regardless… what happens now to the part of the allocation they did NOT have to spend?

      Does ‘Arizona Parks’ get to use the extra $196,000 to help pay for better ‘access rights’ to the site, or to begin to deal with “handicap access”, or (perhaps) it gets to be applied to the site design and infrastructure development costs?…

      …or do they have to turn the extra $196,000 back over to the State and everything that happens from this point on still has to be done with ‘donations’?

      I suppose if this PUBLIC “Arizona State sponsored Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board” ever starts obeying Arizona LAW and publishing the minutes to all of their PUBLIC meetings… we might find that out.

      • Marti Reed says

        “Does ‘Arizona Parks’ get to use the extra $196,000 to help pay for better ‘access rights’ to the site, or to begin to deal with “handicap access”, or (perhaps) it gets to be applied to the site design and infrastructure development costs?…:

        Well, given that I wasn’t sure how they were going to pay even for that trail that was in that Plan, I’m guessing that they must have been hoping (or something) they would have enough money left over from the purchase to do that.

        Or maybe wave that money in front of Maughan™ (and maybe even Helms™) to get him/them to back down and open up his/their rights-o-wayz to make it easier for the public to access that site?

        “…or do they have to turn the extra $196,000 back over to the State and everything that happens from this point on still has to be done with ‘donations’?”

        I just don’t know. Twill be interesting.

        OTOH, from this point forward, AZ State Parks has their own budgets to do what AZ State Parks does with AZ State Parks. Even though AZ has been seriously negligent in funding AZ State Parks, that has resulted in AZ State Parks getting increasingly creative in finding monies to do what they decide they need to do.

        And there’s this little thingy in my mind regarding some memory that Yavapai County has taken upon themselves some commitment to some kind of “maintenance” of the site. But I’m currently too braindead (after spending the past two days researching the legal details of Friday’s Supreme Court Decision regarding Marriage Equality and the challenges to it) to go looking for that little thingy in my mind. And, to be honest, that might have nothing to do with what we are talking about, generally speaking.

        All I have to say is that it will be quite interesting to see how this evolves.

        “suppose if this PUBLIC “Arizona State sponsored Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board” ever starts obeying Arizona LAW and publishing the minutes to all of their PUBLIC meetings… we might find that out.”

        Totally agree. WTF is this all about???

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Marti Reed post on June 30, 2015 at 8:59 pm

          >> Marti Reed said…
          >>
          >> All I have to say is that it will be quite interesting to
          >> see how this evolves.

          Yes… but you already said it yourself.

          Amidst what has been a very confusing 48 hours full of ‘announcements’ ( which I had a feeling were all going to POP at once )… the news that Arizona State Parks really does now OWN the land ( forever ) is really a GOOD piece of news.

          It still just hurts my brain to think what would have happened if people who have already quoted the Bible and Leviticus for why any ‘psychic’ or ‘medium’ should be BANNED from ever even just visiting the site might have gotten ahold of that deployment site.

          >> Marti also said…
          >>
          >> “suppose if this PUBLIC “Arizona State sponsored Yarnell Hill
          >> Memorial Site Board” ever starts obeying Arizona LAW and
          >> publishing the minutes to all of their PUBLIC meetings… we
          >> might find that out.”
          >>
          >> Totally agree. WTF is this all about???

          Don’t forget that the absolute FIRST order of business that this ‘Yarnell Hill Site Board’ did when they FIRST got together for their FIRST meeting was to immediately go into ‘Executive Session’ to consult with the lawyers about whether they ( as a bona-fide Arizona PUBLIC Board ) had to pay any attention to this pesky LAW stuff and either allow the public to attend any meetings.

          We still don’t know what was actually said ( or by who ) during that FIRST ‘Executive Session’… but since the public HAS been invited to all subsequent meetings it’s pretty safe to say they ‘lawyers’ responded to the ‘Board’ in that Executive Session with something like…

          “Yes. You DO have to provide proper PUBLIC notice for your little meetings and you DO have invite the PUBLIC. That’s the BAD news. The WORSE news is that you really do also have to allow for ‘public comment’ at any of these meetings. I know you’d rather just do whatever the fuck you want and not have to have anything to do with the PUBLIC… but that’s not what this is all about.”

          So yea… the fact that they ( the Board ) aren’t paying attention to Arizona Law with regards to posting the ‘agendas’ and the ‘minutes’ according to the required timeframes is no surprise.

          It’s sort of like the attitude of a lot of FFs and FF agencies have with regards to “the public” ( the people who actually pay their salaries ).

          “Just give us ALL the money we want… and go away and leave us alone”.

          • Marti Reed says

            “Just give us ALL the money we want… and go away and leave us alone”.

            And “BWAHAHAHAHA” with all your pesky little conspiracy theories!

  25. Marti Reed says

    I confess.

    After reading WTKTT’s postings here regarding the settlement (and THANK YOU WTKTT for posting them), and doing a bit more looking around, I have just been too numb and disgusted and disheartened and cognitively dissonanced (and trying to re-convince myself over and over again that I haven’t wasted a large chunk of my past year and a half — including while my mom was dying — working on this quest for THE TRUTH (CT™) …

    … to even want to THINK about this FIRE™ and this ANNIVERSARY™ today.

    The first words that came to mind were:

    “Nothing to see here, move along”

    “OK”

    Rinse Repeat Rinse Repeat Rinse Repeat

    My next thought (and I was actually going to post this) was:

    “I really really can’t think of anything more to say.”

    And I was going to just post that and walk away, for I don’t know how long, which you all know where that’s coming from.

    ——————————————————————-

    And then I remembered this. From June 30, 2014.

    That KPHO story/video

    “State keeping Yarnell Hill Fire secrets, say critics”
    Posted: Jun 30, 2014 6:13 PM MDT
    By Morgan Loew

    It’s the story that features our very favorite law professor.

    But it also features Scott McKee, Grant McKee’s father.
    ————————————————-

    “”There’s a lot of things that had been withheld and lied about, and you cannot lie to somebody about how their child died,” said Scott McKee, whose son, Grant, was killed on the mountain that day.

    McKee believes state forestry officials know more than they have disclosed about what happened.”

    http://www.kpho.com/story/25909911/state-keeping-yarnell-hill-fire-secrets-say-critics

    This actually fits in with the conversation below about Investigations™ in the era of “Lessons Learned™”.

    So, I guess what Scott McKee said “you cannot lie to somebody about how their child died,” is really about all I have to say.

    Except for this addition:

    I wonder where Scott McKee went?

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        And still not one single comment from ANYONE on the Gabbert article even though the comment box is fully engaged.

        Sometimes Gabbert posts something and he turns the comment option OFF. That is not the case with this posting of his about the settlement.

        There are simply NO COMMENTS from his readership.

        Zero. Zip. Nada.

        If you know his Wildfire Today site… that qualifies as VERY unusual.

    • Marti Reed says

      “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

      Good luck, Wildland Firefighters!!

      My Number One “Lessons Learned™” lesson learned from the Yarnell Hill Wildfire.

      By lightyears.

        • The Hikers says

          Also when you see Roxanne speak and holding Billy-

          that’s why I do it-
          the innocence of a child who one day may want to know the truth of why daddy is not here…

          Also let us all regroup and remember what Gary wrote even though comes off harsh—it is an unjust how it was done and yes where is McKee’s dad this anniversary?

          • Marti Reed says

            “that’s why I do it-
            the innocence of a child who one day may want to know the truth of why daddy is not here…”

            I love you, “The Hikers says” !

            And tomorrow, after I recover from this funk, I will email you.

            Namaste

  26. rocksteady says

    I am sure me or anyone else on this board could write the Lessons Learned script.

    Follow the 10 and 18.
    Fight fire based on actual and predicted fire behaviour
    Have a lookout in place at all times
    Ensure communications are in place with command staff, who have the ability to veto a stupid plan.
    One NO is a no-go!!! If your gut says its a bad idea, it probably is.
    Don’t risk your own personal well being (life) in order to save some scrub shit brush or a community that is not defendable.
    DON’T TRY TO BE A FRIGGIN HERO!!! Think of your family when you decide to do a risky move and reflect on how it could affect them for the rest of their lives…

    Feel free to tag on and extend more lessons…

    Oh, I forgot…
    When doing an investigation, do a thorough, complete job, holding nothing back and/or worrying about hurting feelings .or pointing fingers where fingers need to be pointed. Open, honest true investigation….

    • rocksteady says

      We need a cool acronym that would make it easy to remember….

      LACES…
      Lookouts
      Anchor Points
      Communications
      Escape Routes
      Safety Zones…

      OH WAIT, we already have that… too bad they did not use it…

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to rocksteady post on June 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      >> rocksteady said…
      >>
      >> Follow the 10 and 18.
      >> Fight fire based on actual and predicted fire behaviour
      >> Have a lookout in place at all times
      >> Ensure communications are in place with command staff, who
      >> have the ability to veto a stupid plan.

      Here’s an idea… those absolute ‘common sense’ rules should be codified by the industry, and published in some kind of ‘pocket guide’ that can be carried by all WFFs to remind them that these are some of the BASE RULES of their profession that MUST be followed at all times.

      Oops. I forgot. Already done LONG before June 30, 2013.

      >> rocksteady also said…
      >>
      >> When doing an investigation, do a thorough, complete job, holding nothing
      >> back and/or worrying about hurting feelings .or pointing fingers where
      >> fingers need to be pointed. Open, honest true investigation….

      As far as I know… there are still no PUBLIC copies of the actual ‘settlement’ documents… so it’s hard to say for sure what is actually in them ( or not in them )… but so far what seems astounding is that there has been NO MENTION of the “investigation process” and what CHANGES Arizona Forestry intends to make there.

      There is still absolutely NO QUESTION that Arizona Forestry conducted ( via contractors ) one of the most worthless fire fatality investigations in history.

      That is still the “elephant in the room”.

      There is still every chance of more fatal accidents that will NOT kick in either the USFS or the Inspector General’s office on the investigations. That ONLY happens ( automatically and by law ) if a Federal employee is one of the dead or injured.

      So what about future Arizona Forestry investigations into injuries and death?

      Is it just going to be ‘rinse and repeat’?

      Publish BULLSHIT, hope ADOSH doesn’t come snooping around and that no one sues… but if they do… just fight all that off like its junkyard dog yapping at your heels?

      If the families did NOT address this part of the whole ‘tragedy’… and make it a REQUIREMENT that future incidents are ‘better investigated’…

      …then, in essence, they just wasted all that time and energy.

      Other families WILL still have to go through what they just went through… and the same people who are spouting “Brotherhood forever” and “We must take care of the families no matter what” will still be the same people who will sick their free Arizona Attorney General’s office lawyers on your ass if you dare to ask any questions like “What really happened”?

      • The Hikers says

        Here’s an idea… those absolute ‘common sense’ rules should be codified by the industry, and published in some kind of ‘pocket guide’ that can be carried by all WFFs to remind them that these are some of the BASE RULES of their profession that MUST be followed at all times.

        reply:
        or tattoo it on their arms so when their sleeves are rolled up they have it right there on their arm…kidding…long day and I am hearing from all areas from loved ones of the gmhs to homeowners to just depressed people plus long day at hospital…plus I am sad because just so many things and I GET the litigations and predicted it but Craig Knapp said June 29th 9:20pm he stated “Don’t worry. I will not settle for 50k per family. The State knows that, I’ve litigated against them many times. The appeals will be filed.” So I will continue on doing the needed research still. What else…just too much information coming at me WRONG DAY is all…Carrie Dennett no longer handles public records for Arizona State Forestry. How do I challenge the incomplete FOIA interview on the hikers…PUBLIC and authors DO NOT USE THEIR INCOMPLETE INTERVIEW ON US or you will put out misinformation like Dickman did- my plate is too full but I will get the records of that interview we had and I already KNOW it does not match what I read today..WTF????

        I have too much information coming in…just wrong time,,
        I can tell you this for the homeowners and some of the folks we met of the GMHS I will continue to get you pieces to the puzzle…I am very understanding to comments Gary made today and I totally hope we can as a Investigative Media team finally piece it together…who cares if 2 investigative reports did an injustice and who cares of the lawyers and Forestry feel the way they do…I was on those Weavers…I know that terrain. I know more details than I have yet spoken because of the confidentiality level of the folks and THEY NEED TO SPEAK UP— I have one enough speaking up…It is YOUR TIME to speak up…

      • Marti Reed says

        Without some kind of version of “10s and 18s” for Wildfire Management, I don’t think anything provided here will make one IOTA of a difference.

        Seriously.

        It wasn’t rolled up sleeves that got the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed.

        It was a plan agreed to and co-implemented by the effective first-in-command Operations Supervisor, at that time, on that fire, possibly initiated by a Division Supervisor (who also happened, normally, to be the Supervisor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots), which, given the timing and circumstances of the implementation of that plan, was an extremely dangerous last-ditch hail mary plan…………

        ………..that got the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed.

        And if somebody doesn’t like that…………

        ………feel FREE to prove me wrong.

        • Marti Reed says

          Regarding the 10s and 18s for Wildland Fire Management.

          There IS something that addresses this, and it’s Safety Matters and their June 2014 “Safety Matters Forum Briefing.”

          http://ffsafetymatters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SMBriefingFINALnoCOV.pdf

          I remembered this when I was posting upstream about Holly Neill. It’s something I’ve been meaning to mention but just hadn’t gotten a Round Tuit.

          The people involved in Safety Matters are some of the people who wrote the report for the ADOSH investigation. Here’s part of what they say in their briefing:
          ———————————————————-

          “A year has passed since the deaths of 19 firefighters on the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. Another fire season is now underway. The agencies managing wildland fire have not made any significant changes to existing procedures, nor have they announced any plans for procedural or policy updates for the future. This reflects the apparent perception that the existing system is working as well as can be expected. Safety Matters disagrees.

          The mission of wildland firefighters has never been clearly stated or understood. The public, elected officials, agency managers and firefighters themselves not only interpret the mission differently, but their perception changes if the situation becomes dire. Firefighter and public safety is continually stated to be the highest priority by all agencies involved in wildland fire. Safety Matters does not believe this statement is always put into practice.

          The following pages illustrate topics where we feel firefighter safety could not only be improved, but that this could largely be accomplished by changing existing procedures with potentially minimal cost. These topics are not intended to be the comprehensive fix, but instead highlight some of the existing safety deficiencies in the system.

          Safety Matters has identified the following areas in need of immediate change, in order to provide for maximum firefighter safety. They include:

           A benefit analysis of values at risk (homes, private property, public lands) vs. the risk to firefighter’s lives.

          Development of an independent investigative body for serious accidents and fatalities.

           Direct involvement of agency administrators and program managers, especially when fires escape initial attack and incident management teams are mobilizing or in transition.

           Establishing standardized emergency communications protocol.

           Establishing uniformity in mapping systems.”

          Of course, they have been essentially stonewalled by the US Forest Service, the National Wildfire Co-ordinating Group, and the Department of the Interior.

          Wait, why would I say that “of course” they’ve been stonewalled?

          Think about that.

          They’ve presented totally solid, evidence-based recommendations for increasing wildland fire-fighter safety and they’ve been completely stone-walled.

          You can see that for yourself on their website. They have their correspondence with the above-mentioned agencies posted there.

          • rocksteady says

            You can make the 10 and 18’s, standard operating guidelines and procedures, acronyms for people to remember safety tricks(LACES), however it will all be for not if the personnel feel that its “hillbilly guidance”.

            Young fire fighters seem to think they are immortal, invincible and sterile… I don’t know if its a macho thing or trying to fit into a crew that may have been described as “hard asses”…

            Until all of the rules are followed, to a “t”, fire fighters will still perish…

            Unfortunately…

      • Marti Reed says

        “If the families did NOT address this part of the whole ‘tragedy’… and make it a REQUIREMENT that future incidents are ‘better investigated’…

        …then, in essence, they just wasted all that time and energy.”

        Exactly.

    • The Hikers says

      Amen.

      Also it was very pleasant to hear Roxanne and Debra speak today.
      Thank you for the links WWTKTT!

      Sonny says fifteen million+ donated for the loved ones of the GMHS- add one million to make the state memorial park a training center for current and future firefighters.

      Save lives from those lost.

      I am finally back to try and upload the information but last time the legion did not work—plus Sonny had rough day and he is on a barley diet for the moment to kill or ease the pain at the legion

      • Marti Reed says

        Please tell Sonny, from the bottom of my heart, if you have to transport yourself inside of you mind to a really awesome and beautiful place far away from all of this insanity, in order to allow yourself to heal…….

        ……..just do it. You are needed.

      • Marti Reed says

        “add one million to make the state memorial park a training center for current and future firefighters.”

        I totally agree. Does anybody have any idea how to make that happen?

        State Parks just paid about $300K for the land. (Thank you, Maughan™ and The Widows.Inc for not getting in the way of that).

        That means they have about $200K left in their coffers. They’ll need that for putting in that (possibly inadequate, all things considered) 3 mile hardcorely uphill trail into the site.

        Come on, Maughan™, give it up, already!

        I don’t see where any kind of funding for anything more than just making the site “visitable” is. OTOH I don’t see where that kind of funding has been necessary for the Storm King site to have been made really really useful for teaching the things that fire needed to teach.

        I’m just really really really glad, sitting here at my computer tonight, after the dismal news about the settlement, that Arizona State Parks was able to grab hold of that section of hallowed land with no contest. That speaks a few volumes to me.

  27. Gary Olson says

    Mr. Shitsack said, “All of that, in addition to the two reports that have been issued, have been subject, nationwide, to theorists… to conspiracists… to who killed Martin Luther King… and right now, for the families, in THIS litigation, their concern, and their singular concern, was working with Jeff ( Whitney ), and working with Mark, and working with Governor Ducey to get in an optimal position so they can have a modicum of peace and understanding.”

    I don’t know about the rest of you people (conspiracy theorists like me), but I take great satisfaction in knowing that Mr. Shitsack has been reading our not so little blog and there is no doubt in my mind that he is still reading it to evaluate our response to his ridiculous lies and assorted bullshit.

    Therefore, I am proud to announce one more time for the public record to be memorialized here for as long as there is an internet and John Dougherty doesn’t hit the delete button, that I, Gary L. Olson do hereby state and affirm that according to my information and belief that Pat McGroder is without a doubt a certified Grade A Extra Large Shitsack, further your affiant sayeth not, on this date June 30, in the year of our Lord, 2015.

  28. John says

    This Arizona settlement is baffling me. It is nothing for the families. I hope all the other monies from pensions and other settlements meet their needs because the State of Arizona sure isn’t looking after them. Donut should be ashamed of himself for keeping his mouth shut along with a lot of other firefighters that terrible day.

    • Bob Powers says

      John—Have you herd or seen anything about this 32 point settlement agreement that the State is going to respond to. It seems some one should have asked what it is and will it be released to the public.

      That seems to be the settling point on part of the Lessons learned.
      The Families were never fully vested in the money settlement as much as to the truth they still may get that as there is some indication of more information to come.

      My information from a family member said they also had a considerable amount of info the Lawyers had found that was new and not in any investigation. So I am sure there was a lot of pressure being put on by the Families Attorneys to pressure the State. to tell all in this Lessons learned even without Naming Names.

      I hope we have more to come here from the State.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Bob Powers post on June 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        >> Bob Powers said…
        >>
        >> My information from a family member said they also had a
        >> considerable amount of info the Lawyers had found that was
        >> new and not in any investigation.

        I certainly hope, after all this time the lawyers spent on this, that that is the case.

        Any word from your sources whether the families are now under some kind of ‘gag’ order to NOT TALK ABOUT what they may have heard / learned… or they don’t get the money?

        >> Bob Powers also said…
        >>
        >> I hope we have more to come here from the State.

        Yes… but from the FAMILIES, too.

        I hope we just aren’t entering a ‘new phase’ here where everything that IS known, but not public yet, is all tied up with ‘gag’ orders related to settlement sums.

        What would be great, at this point, is if the families themselves would now hold their OWN press conference… and allow a long Q/A session… and be allowed to tell the ‘story’ of the negotiations themselves and what THEY might now know about how their loved ones died.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Followup…

          Actually… if the family members really did learn a lot more than has ever been released to the public during the course of these court proceedings and negotiations… but also had to agree NOT TO TALK as part of the settlement…

          I actually hope some ( or all ) of them remain true to their word that it was “never about the money”… that it was always about TRUTH and CHANGE… and just come out and talk. anyway, about all the things they may now know that Arizona Forestry still doesn’t want them talking about.

          Look at it this way.

          If all they are getting is a measly $50,000… then which is going to stand the better chance of “saving other firefighter’s lives in the future”?

          – Keeping their mouths shut about what they now know and just donating the $50K to the Arizona Wildfire Academy for ‘scholarships’, or something else just as mundane?

          – OR saying “the heck with the $50K… here’s what really happened and here’s what all other firefighters can now actually learn from this tragedy”?

          My pick would be “door number two”.

          • Gary Olson says

            I wish they would offer me $50,000 minus court costs, attorneys fees and taxes (?) to quit posting on this blog, I would love to tell them to roll that check up into a little ball and stick it…well, you know the rest.

            If I was in the same room with someone who offered me that amount of money (or any amount of money without the other demands being met) to go away for the death of my child in one the most horrible ways imaginable due to the complete incompetence and negligence of their employees (Marsh and Steed worked for the state on that fire), it would be a really, really ugly scene, I shit you not!

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Gary Olson post June 30, 2015 at 8:11 pm

              >> Gary Olson said…
              >>
              >> I wish they would offer me $50,000 minus court
              >> costs, attorneys fees and taxes (?) to quit posting
              >> on this blog,

              That is actually a ‘spot on’ summation of what happened with this ‘settlement’.

              The ‘settlement’ has essentially said…

              “Here’s a lousy $50,000 and some vague promises. Now quit trying to find out what really happened”.

              Yes, I know, there is this mysterious “Lessons Learned” document that’s supposed to magically appear ( written by WHO? )… and Whitney has promised to try and get ‘staff ride’ going ( whoopee shit… that was going to happen no matter what ) and also promised some kind of vague Q/A ‘get togethers’ at undetermined times and under undetermined circumstances…

              …. and Yes, I know, McGroder’s mantra during the press conference was “We are comfortable with the promises made by Mr. Whitney”…

              But I still think the ultimate goal on the Arizona Forestry side was to just make sure no one was ever going to be called to any kind of witness stand. That was ( and still is ) their ‘worst nightmare’.

              >> Gary Olson also said…
              >>
              >> I would love to tell them to roll that check up into a
              >> little ball and stick it…well, you know the rest.

              And to continue what I think is your ‘spot on’ analogy of what has happened here.. the equivalent moment for the familes would have been…

              “It isn’t about the money. It’s about the TRUTH. Thank you for the offer but we will see you in court… and guess what?… it really ISN’T about the money and we don’t even care if we LOSE. What we need to know ( and what everyone still needs to know, firefighters included ) will come out DURING the trial.”

              That didn’t happen… and that’s too bad.

              Win or lose… the ‘families’ just ‘gave up’ the best ‘instrument’ they had for getting what they actually wanted.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to John post on June 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      >> John said…
      >>
      >> This Arizona settlement is baffling me. It is nothing for the families.

      Correct. Basically pittance on the financial side and ( apparently ) nothing but vague ‘promises’ from Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney.

      Whitney has ( apparently ) promised to just “meet with the families somewhere, sometime, somehow, maybe a staff ride, maybe not” and “answer their questions”.

      Seriously?

      Is this actually CODIFIED in the agreements?

      Are there any sanctions or penalites if Whitney just keeps his answering machine on saying “I’m sorry… I’m out of the office right now. Please leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can”?

      I seriously hope this “promise” that attorney for the plaintiffs Patrick McGroder kept referring back to like it was a MANTRA during the press conference actually IS codified in the settlement somewhere… and isn’t just Whitney saying “Yea…. sure… I’ll talk to them sometime, somewhere”.

      >> John also said…
      >>
      >> I hope all the other monies from pensions and other settlements meet
      >> their needs because the State of Arizona sure isn’t looking after them.

      Correct… even though the Arizona Attorney General’s office lawyers who were assigned to the case(s) have admitted in their own documents filed in the case that there is NO QUESTION that ALL of the deceased were “working for them” at the time of their death.

      Lesson Learned: Think twice ( and three times and four times ) about ever doing ANY contract work for Arizona Forestry.

      >> John also said…
      >>
      >> Donut should be ashamed of himself for keeping his mouth shut along
      >> with a lot of other firefighters that terrible day.

      According to Brendan… it’s all about “man love”.

      It ( apparently? ) justifies his behavior in his own mind.

      Brendan McDonough is still describing his ‘occupation’ on his PUBLIC Facebook page as “Public Figure”, and he did his own home-grown version of a ‘press release’ today with ‘a statement’.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=489455674554629

      Brendan said…
      ———————————————————–
      Facebook – June 30, 2013

      Not a day that’s doesn’t go by that I’m not reminded of my brothers. You did more for me than I could ever explain. No words can be said for how grateful and blessed I am to have you in my life. Your legacy continues to guide me spiritually, emotionally and physically. There’s no greater love than man love.
      ———————————————————–

      The PHOTO that accompanies this ‘statement’ is that one of himself and his GM crewmates forming that ‘pyramid’ near the Juniper Tree.

      Also doesn’t sound like the same guy who came crawling to Darrell Willis and said he couldn’t take the guilt of withholding crucial information from investigators anymore and he needed to “get something off his chest”.

      That was before the publicly announced book deal, of course.

      There are no more active court cases at the moment.

      And there probably won’t be unless the Property Damage lawsuit appeal overturns the Judge’s decision that Arizona Forestry never has one atomic molecule of duty or responsibility to protect any piece of property, at any time, anywhere.

      So there are no “constraints” whatsoever on Brendan McDonough now for simply speaking freely about what happened except the ‘financial’ ones he might have agreed to as part of the ‘book deal’.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Correction for above. I typed the wrong YEAR on the date line.

        The Facebook ‘statement’ Brendan published is from TODAY, June 30, 2015, and
        not ‘2013’.

        The statement on his PUBLIC Facebook page actually reads like this…

        Brendan said…
        ———————————————————–
        Facebook – June 30, 2015

        Not a day that’s doesn’t go by that I’m not reminded of my brothers. You did more for me than I could ever explain. No words can be said for how grateful and blessed I am to have you in my life. Your legacy continues to guide me spiritually, emotionally and physically. There’s no greater love than man love.
        ———————————————————–

  29. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** DEPLOYMENT SITE SOLD TO ARIZONA STATE PARKS

    Disaster was avoided this morning. Arizona Parks was the ONLY bidder on the
    south half of Section 9, Township 10 North, Range 05 West where the Granite
    Mountain deployment site is located.

    They got the land for the ‘fair market value’ price of $304,000.

    And a good thing, too. That was actually the maximum amount Arizona State Parks was allowed ( by law ) to bid for that piece of land… and if anyone had bid the next valid increment of $314,000… they would have lost it.

    AZCENTRAL
    Yarnell fire anniversary: Site of future state park sold
    Published: 12 p.m. MST June 30, 2015 by Amy B. Wang
    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/06/30/prescott-yarnell-hill-fire-hotshots-anniversary/29487645/

    From the article…
    ——————————————————
    The memorial activities Tuesday, on the second anniversary of the fire that killed the Granite Mountain Hotshots, began with an auction both significant and largely symbolic.

    At 11 a.m., representatives from the state Land Department gathered at the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott to offer a plot of land for sale. The 320-acre parcel encompasses the site where the 19 Prescott-based firefighters died in the Yarnell Hill fire.

    A representative from the state parks board selected the number 19 for her placard. When bidding opened at $304,000, she placed the first, and only, bid.

    The auctioneer read her number twice. Then, the deal was done.

    Because the land is owned by the state, it must, by law, be sold at public auction. But the winning bid guaranteed the spot would be preserved, as the future Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.
    ——————————————————

  30. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** NEW YORK TIMES REPORT ON THE SETTLEMENT

    I’m still not seeing any public copies of the actual documents surrounding the ‘settlement’ that was publicly announced yesterday… but apparently someone at the New York Times has obtained copies of them and is reporting on things that are in them.

    Such as some kind of bizarre “We’re still not saying anybody did anything wrong… but boy did we screw up” section.

    The New York Times
    Arizona Settles Cases With Relatives of 19 Who Died Fighting Wildfire
    Published: JUNE 29, 2015 By FERNANDA SANTOS
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/30/us/arizona-reaches-settlements-with-kin-of-19-who-died-fighting-wildfire.html?_r=0

    From the article…
    ———————————————————————————-
    The agreements capped more than a year of discussions involving the families, their lawyer, forestry officials and the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which conducted an investigation that revealed the chaos in the hours before the firefighters’ deaths.

    While the pacts do not hold the forestry agency formally responsible for the deaths, they give the families some vindication with a critical assessment of the commanders’ decision making.

    According to one of the settlements, the commanders “failed to re-evaluate, re-prioritize and update fire suppression strategies and plans after fire behavior and weather conditions dramatically changed,” exposing firefighters to “serious hazards” posed by fierce, fast-moving flames. They mostly left the firefighters to fend for themselves as an approaching thunderstorm pushed the fire their way.
    ———————————————————————————-

    • SR says

      Shades of the ADOSH.

      Seems to me the two main factors that haven’t been covered yet are 1) the human factors most recently summarized by you and Gary and others, that imo there’s no way will get covered frankly in a lessons-learned doc (not even the “learn to speak when spoken to” review that is an objectively know fact with big behavioral and communication implications), and 2) better time trials on rate of travel. For this 2) on the one hand getting some true harder numbers for various types of vegetation and inclines up and down could be useful for others, but on the other hand, but for this fire it would likely be a distraction imo. Better to have someone else do this in a neutral context. Reason being, with the existing weather and other variables that we now know were known, imo it was known at the time the descent began that this would be a close one. The human factors that led to a decision to do something where danger was already recognized, while leaving a position of much greater safety, are the keys here, along with the original hiring policies and decisions in establishing the crew.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          >> Gary Olson asked…
          >>
          >> What does imo stand for?

          IMO = “In My Opinion”
          IMHO = “In My Humble Opinion”

          It’s just DOCOMO text shorthand stuff.

          DOCOMO = Where ‘texting’ came from. Started in Japan. They were the first ones to notice there were ’empty packets’ in the standard digitial cellphone protocol and they found a way to fit characters into the packets and so ‘texting’ was born… but they could only fit about 140 characters.

          That’s why you don’t need a ‘data plan’ with your cellphone just to do texting. Unlike email and stuff ( which is Internet stuff and needs a data connection ), DOCOMO ‘texting’ fits into the same packets being used to do the voice transmissions.

          Sorry… more than you wanted to know, I’m sure.

          Lifelong habit. Ask me what time it is and I tend to try to tell you how to build a watch.

          • Gary Olson says

            No, actually, it wasn’t more than I wanted to know, I am trying to figure this stuff out as I go along, I have really trying to figure out the hash tag thing, but…

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Well then… speaking of ‘hash tags’…

              Until ‘Twitter’ came along that was just known as the ‘pound sign’ on your keyboard.

              The REASON that ‘Twitter’ is like ‘Texting’ and only allows a minimal amount of ‘characters’ in any one message is because the whole frickin’ Twitter codebase thing is nothing but a failed programming project that was based on ( you guessed it ) ‘cellphone texting’.

              Once the whole orgininal ‘Twitter’ project turned into a disaster and was about to go into the toilet… somebody decided to do their own “Hail Mary’ play with the codebase and just bring it up on ‘regular Internet’.

              Lo and behold ( Whooda thunk it )… they found out that most people never have anything more to say than something fits into 140 characters, anyway.

              And the rest is history.

              Entire generations growing up now have the idea that a ‘conversation’ consists of short bursts of statements less than 140 characters.

  31. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** ATTORNEY PAT MCGRODER ISSUES A PUBLIC PLEA ASKING USFS TO LET THE
    ** BLUE RIDGE HOTSHOTS SPEAK FREELY ABOUT THE YARNELL INCIDENT

    The Press Conference today was carried LIVE by TV Channel FOX10 in Phoenix, and they have now uploaded a video of the entire press conference to a public YouTube page.

    The Settlement Press Conference itself ( 45 minutes and 33 seconds )…

    YouTube title: FNN: Yarnell Hill Fire Settlement Press Conference
    Posted by YouTube User: FOX 10 Phoenix
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7GASJl5T6Q

    I have almost finished a full transcript of the entire press conference, and I will upload that soon… but some very interesting things were said near the end of the press conference that aren’t showing up in any of the MSM news reports.

    Example 1: Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney was answering a question from a reporter and he alluded to a ‘new document’ that is supposed to be generated following this settlement. He called it a “Lessons Learned” document.

    Example 2: A reporter asked direct questions about both Brendan McDonough AND the Blue Ridge Hotshots… and attorney for the plaintiffs ( Pat McGroder ) took those questions. He says that McDonough will do whatever he wants… and is ‘irrelevant’… and McGroder then makes a public ‘plea’ to the Blue Ridge Hotshots to start talking freely about the incident.

    From the Press Conference video at the link above…
    ————————————————————————————-
    +36:00

    ( A question is being asked by a reporter which cannot be heard but it was referencing the original Serious Accident Investigation Report ).

    +36:20
    ( Jeff Whitney, Arizona State Forester that succeeded Scott Hunt ):

    Uh… I think you may mis-characterize the posture and the findings of the Serious Accident Investigation. Um… The Wildland fire community is… uh… a large one. Uh… I have an opportunity in my position to… uh… carry the… the banner and the interest that all in the Wildland community desire in terms of firefighter and public safety… uh… but I think I can bring… as we develop a “Lessons Learned”… uh… document out of this and prepare and provide a staff ride that we’re gonna be able to provide a learning opportunity… uh… to… to take it to that extent. Thank you.

    +37:05

    ( Another question is asked by a reporter but also cannot be heard. It appears to be asking about Brendan McDonough AND the Blue Ridge Hotshots, and whether they will still be required to testify openly about what they know. )

    (Pat McGroder, Attorney for the plaintiffs ): I’ll answer that question.

    Uh… at some time… uh… Mr. McDonough may or may not chose to publicy describe what he saw… what he heard that day.

    Uh… Mr. McDonough has an attorney at this point in time.

    But in terms of today… whether it be Mr. McDonough or the Blue Ridge firefighters… the purpose of today was to let YOU know the enormity of the commitment that State Forester Whitney has made to sit down with our families… at great lengths and great expense… and answer their questions, describe what happened… whether it be informally or formally… or in the case of a… a ‘ride’.

    So we’re very comfortable in terms of the commitment to the State Forester.

    This litigation was in State Court. It was not… well… it was originally in State Court but wound up in Federal Court.

    The Arizona… strike that… the National Forest Service was not a defendant in the case.

    Uh… had the case gone forward, could we have commanded… uh… depositions?… testimony?… Absolutely.

    But… echoing Dennis’ thought…

    The IDEA… the IDEA that the Federal Government is withholding information…

    The IDEA that ANYONE would withhold information from these families…

    Uh… is… it… it really speaks to the lack of understanding and empathy and dignity that they should have for these families.

    So… we would PUBLICLY call for the Blue Ridge Mountain folks and the National Forest Service to let their people talk.

    However… at this point in time… we’re dealing with families that have suffered the utmost of tragedies… and we are very comfortable in terms of the commitments that the State Forester has made to render information to us within HIS purview.

    Mr. McDonough is irrelevant to this press conference today.

    ( Another question is asked from a reporter but it is not audible ).

    (Pat McGroder): Well… let me straighten your ass out, Howard.

    First of all.. there ARE published, public reports… on both sides of the ledger.

    State Forester and ADOSH.

    Those reports were generated by interviews, uh… by expert testimony, etcetera, etcetera.

    And obviously, depending on which lawyer you talk to, those reports were diametrically opposed.

    The problem we have here in terms of whether or not, Howard, we will ever know exactly what happened… those that can tell us… those who can speak to it.. are in heaven… and we don’t have an opportunity to talk to them.

    At the time and place, Mr. McDonough decides to talk… obviously we will take that into consideration.

    But the overriding scientific issues… whether it be weather, whether it be communications or lack thereof… whether it be issues regarding Incident Command and things of that nature…

    All of that, in addition to the two reports that have been issued, have been subject, nationwide, to theorists… to conspiracists… to who killed Martin Luther King… and right now, for the families, in THIS litigation, their concern, and their singular concern, was working with Jeff ( Whitney ), and working with Mark, and working with Governor Ducey to get in an optimal position so they can have a modicum of peace and understanding.

    And Jeff ( Whitney ) has committed to do that and we are comfortable with Jeff’s commitment to do that.

    Now… whether or not… uh… the Federal Government decides to HIDE again as they did in another one of my cases, fast and furious, we’ll see.

    Uh… but at the end of the day… uh… I am comfortable that to the extent there are FACTS out there that we may or may not know… or a spin on those facts that we may or may not know… that information will be forthcoming.

    Thank you all for coming.
    —————————————————————————————–

    • Gary Olson says

      WTKTT,

      Thank you, thank you so much, that was wonderful, that was a real hoot. Pat McGroder is a real shit bag in a world full of shit bags. Priceless.

      • Gary Olson says

        Whoops, bad typo. I meant to say

        Thank you, thank you so much, that was wonderful, that was a real hoot. Pat McGroder is a VERY SPECIAL shit bag in a world full of REGULAR shit bags. Priceless.

          • Bob Powers says

            My thoughts—We got little of the Lessons learned from 2 Investigations.

            Do they actually have information dug up from both sides that will shed light on Lessons Learned?

            With out Blue Ridge Talking can they confirm any of those Lessons learned. They are quite imbedded in this Story.

            The Families seem to have stuck to there need for the truth buy getting a release of the facts on both sides in a State release of Lessons Learned.

            I Guess I am Skeptical of an all seeing all knowing all telling document
            but we shall see. My real hope is that the Families get the full truth and that there is real lessons learned by Wild Land Fire Fighters.
            All of us need a reliable Honest answer.

            Rest in Peace Granit Mountain 19 on the day of the second Anniversary.
            And Peace be with all the Families.

            Hold on to the good memories they will carry you the rest of your lives as my memories have carried me.

            WE WILL NEVER FORGET——–

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Bob Powers post on June 30, 2015 at 6:32 am

              >> Bob Powers said…
              >>
              >> My thoughts—We got little of the Lessons learned
              >> from 2 Investigations.

              Well… in the FIRST investigation there wasn’t even any ‘little’ about it. There was NOTHING. “No one did anything wrong… move along… move along”.

              19 men dead… and no one did anything wrong.

              Lesson Learned: Shit just happens… God had a different plan for those men. Get over it. Move on.

              That’s what pissed EVERYONE off ( Firefighters and Non-firefighters alike ).

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> Do they actually have information dug up from
              >> both sides that will shed light on Lessons Learned?

              If by ‘they’ you mean the plaintiffs… I don’t think so… and that is what surprised me. A team of lawyers working for them for almost a year-and-a-half and my impression is that those lawyers don’t know any more about what happened than what they have been reading in the newspapers.

              In other words… NO attempt seems to have ever been made on THEIR part ( McGroder and his other two assistants ) to interview ANY of the dozens of people even WE have identified here as either never being interviewed at all ( Dozer operator Paul Morin, Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd, KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell, Blue Ridge Hotshot Ronald Gamble, the THREE other Blue Ridge Hotshots that were moving the GM vehicles and probably heard everything this squirrelly McDonough guy heard, the elusive Air Attack Rory Collins, yada, yada, yada ) or that we identified as needing to be re-interviewed with some pretty specific questions.

              And that’s just the SHORT LIST.

              There’s a lot of other ‘prep-work’ I was just assuming these attorneys had been doing themselves ( as in… their own investigative work ) that appears to have been totally blown off.

              At least that’s the impression Mr. McGroder gave at that short press conference.

              Throughout the press conference ( and the questions that followed ), this McGroder guy kept coming back to the ‘mantra’ he had decided to be humming for this public appearance.

              “We are comfortable with the commitment from Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney to get together with the plaintiffs some way, somehow, to be announced, and supposedly answer some of their questions that fall into HIS purview”.

              What kind of horseshit is that?

              Is that some kind of tacit admission ( as you just surmised ) that Arizona Forestry has ALWAYS known more and they have ALWAYS been withholding that information and now that they know they aren’t going to get their little-boy asses paddled… they are “willing to share that information”?

              It’s still hard to hear but I believe that was basically the question a reporter was asking State Forester Jeff Whitney during the press conference. Something along the lines of…

              “So are you basically now admitting that the original SAIT investigation was nothing but a coverup??

              Whitney looked like a frickin’ deer in the headlights throughout the press conference and all he said back to the reporter was…

              “I think you mis-characterize the nature of the SAIT document”.

              >> Bob Powers said…
              >>
              >>
              >> With out Blue Ridge Talking can they confirm any
              >> of those Lessons learned. They are quite imbedded
              >> in this Story.

              Yes, they are.

              And even if McDonough ‘disappears’ ( highly likely )… those 3 Blue Ridge Hotshots who were also moving the GM vehicles still most likely heard everything Brendan did… both GM intra-crew and TAC channel traffic included.

              That seemed to actually be the attitude that McGroder came into the press conference with.

              McGroder basically said…

              “Screw this slippery McDonough character. He’s “irrelevant to this press conference”.. but I’m sending out a PUBLIC PLEA to the USFS to let their people talk”.

              It’s hard to tell whether McGroder was including Prescott Natioanl Forest employees Jason Clawson, Aaron Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell in there… along with the Blue Ridge Hotshots… and even Thomas French and John Burfiend ( who ADOSH was also never able to interview )… or even the ever-elusive Air Attack Rory Collins…

              …but it sounded like it.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> The Families seem to have stuck to there need for
              >> the truth buy getting a release of the facts on both
              >> sides in a State release of Lessons Learned.

              I disagree.

              I think the families “caved”.

              And by ‘families’ I also get the impression that this Deborah Pfingston woman was almost literally “running the show” on the plaintiffs side of the table. She has that kind of personality.

              I also think we were RIGHT and all the delays and postponements were about Brendan McDonough.

              I mean… just LOOK at the terms of the settlement itself.

              There is NOTHING in there ( that we know of so far ) that should have taken all the various postponements and delays to come up with. It’s just a namby-pamby list of “if you do this ( drop the fines and any attempt to assign blame )… then we’ll do this ( implement some changes and write some document )”.

              Nah. My feeling is that ALL of the delays were still in the hopes that this slippery McDonough guy was going to finally do what he should have always done from day one… tell the TRUTH and tell the ‘whole story’ of he saw/heard/knows.

              But during the last 30 days… it looks like McDonough’s attorney David Shapiro was just doing HIS job and keeping his client “off the stand” until if/when there was an actual trial.

              So the families “caved”.

              They had Arizona Forestry “on the ropes”.
              They were “running the show” here.

              But they “balked” and went for the settlement itself.

              I think that’s a shame.

              There are too many people involved here that would have ONLY told the truth if they were dragged into a courtroom kicking and screaming. That’s how much “character” THEY have.

              I wish the families had proceeded to trial.

              I still think after all the additional depositions were taken and/or people who still know things had been called to the stand and faced jail time for not finally talking…

              …they would have “mopped the floor” with Arizona Forestry and gotten everything THEY wanted… INCLUDING the REAL TRUTH about what happened that day.

              All they have now is an outside chance they MIGHT get the REAL TRUTH. That’s too bad.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> I Guess I am Skeptical of an all seeing all knowing
              >> all telling document but we shall see.

              We still have no idea what this mysterious ( new? ) “Lessons Learned” document is that both plaintiff spokeswoman Deborah Pfingston and State Forestry Jeff Whitney seem to be talking about.

              It could end up being written just like the SAIR and just say things that even SAIR Co-Lead Mike Dudley admitted to believing… but never put it in his SAIR document.

              Stuff like…

              “Yea… it’s probably a bad idea to have a DIVS ordering his resources all over the damn place over a PRIVATE Hotshot intra-crew radio frequency so no one else has a clear understanding what that resource is ACTUALLY doing or the chance for any input if they are making a stupid mistake”.

              Lesson Learned: Try not to do that.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> My real hope is that the Families get the full truth

              Me too… but they ‘families’ just basically “gave up” on their absolute BEST chance to achieve that goal.

              I think that’s a shame.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> and that there is real lessons learned by Wild Land
              >> Fire Fighters

              I’m still not sure WFFs know WHAT lessons to actually take away from this greatest BLUNDER in the history of Wildland Firefighting … but how much you want to bet that out there, already, at morning briefings somewhere on an active fire… some supervisors aren’t also telling the crews they are sending into harm’s way…

              “Oh… and one more thing… nobody do a ‘Granite Mountain’ out there today, okay?”

              …and somehow…the crews know what that means.

              >> Bob Power also said…
              >>
              >>.All of us need a reliable Honest answer.

              Yes.. because ALL of us were asked to mourn these men, and to send money, and to grieve, and to follow all these bullshit shenanigans as we watched men who are supposed to have courage hide behind lawyers and their own fears.

              This truly has been “the world is watching”… but someone forgot to make that clear to the dinosaurs who run this WFF business.

              >> Bob Powers also said…
              >>
              >> Rest in Peace Granite Mountain 19 on the day of the
              >> second anniversary. And Peace be with all the Families.
              >>
              >> Hold on to the good memories they will carry you
              >> the rest of your lives as my memories have carried me.
              >>
              >> WE WILL NEVER FORGET——–

              What you said.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Gary Olson post on June 30, 2015 at 2:58 am

        >> Gary Olson said…
        >>
        >> WTKTT,
        >> Thank you, thank you so much, that was wonderful, that was a real hoot.
        >> Pat McGroder is a real shit bag in a world full of shit bags. Priceless.

        Just ONE of his “Master Card / Priceless” moments was when he compared all the ‘theorizing’ and ‘speculation’ about what really happened that day to “Who killed Martin Luther King”.

        I’ve got a ‘news flash’ for Mr. McGroder.

        We really DO know who killed Martin Luther King…

        …and it only got “figured out” after a lot of ‘theorizing’ and ‘speculation’. combined with some damn good investigative work.

  32. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** FAMILIES AGREE TO SETTLE ‘WRONGFUL DEATH’ LAWSUITS

    Breaking news ( on June 29, 2015 ).

    The families have agreed to settle the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits.

    The State of Arizona will pay the family of each of the 19 deceased Hotshots just $50,000.

    FOX10 – Phoenix
    Families, Arizona settle suit in deaths of 19 firefighters
    Posted: Jun 29, 2015 1:25 PM CDT Updated: Jun 29, 2015 7:04 PM CDT
    http://www.fox10phoenix.com/story/29433896/settlement-appears-close-in-yarnell-hill-fire-lawsuit

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Correction for above.

      Only 12 of the families of the 19 were actually part of the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits.
      Only these 12 will get a lump sum $50,000 payment from Arizona Forestry.

      The “Arizona vs. ADOSH” court proceeding is now also ‘cancelled’.
      As part of the ‘settlement’… Arizona Forestry has agreed to drop their appeal of the ADOSH findings, accept the findings, and just pay the fines.

      As part of paying those fines… Arizona Forestry has also agreed to pay just $10,000 to each of the other SEVEN families who were NOT part of the ‘wrongful death’ suits.

      Here is the complete text that accompanies the article at FOX10 – Phoenix…

      —————————————————–
      PHOENIX (AP) — A dozen families who lost members when a Hotshot firefighting crew was overcome by a wildfire near the small community of Yarnell have settled a suit they filed against the state of Arizona.

      The settlement announced Monday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich will pay the families $50,000 each. Some vowed to donate the money to a new wildland firefighter safety foundation.

      A second part of the agreement ends a state Forestry Division appeal of nearly $560,000 in fines issued by the Arizona’s workplace safety agency. The state agreed to enhanced safety training for wildland fire crews and will pay the other seven families $10,000 each.

      The 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots died on June 30, 2013 while fighting a fire about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.
      ——————————————————————

      So it looks like Brendan McDonough will never be deposed ‘under oath’.

      There are now no more active court proceedings that can call him to testify.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          See (public) statement below from Deborah Pfingston ( mother of Andrew Ashcraft ).

          She seems to suggest that Brendan has already ‘secretly testified’ since the previous May 28 deposition got cancelled… OR that his “testifying”, once and for all, is actually part of the settlement itself.

          They are still playing games and just “hinting” at things here.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup… scratch my comment above. The AZCENTRAL article has now appeared and it includes a interview with Patrick McGroder, attorney for the families.

            He seems to make it clear that Brendan was NOT secretly deposed in the ‘cone of silence’ since the THIRD attempt to depose him… nor are there any plans for him to make any more statements whatsoever.

            So what you said above. It’s all about his ‘book’ now… and ( cha-ching ) the price ( and his cut ) just went UP.

            • Gary Olson says

              Well…it goes against my personality to say I told you so…but I told you so.

              Of course I was always hoping for them, but fighting the government is a really, really, really hard thing to do as I have been saying all along, although I was hoping fighting the state of Arizona might be easier than fighting the federal government, but that was not the case.

              I have also been saying that the name of the game for everybody with deep pockets is never to admit ANY wrong doing, period. I have also been saying that making any changes in how willdland firefighting is fought, was always a pipe dream, especially since as I have said many times, the Arizona Division of Forestry is just too small of a player in the game. So that was never to be.

              And other than the fact that I am a Terminal Asshole, my main reason to point all of this out by saying “I told you so” is to highlight that if anybody wants ANY change to come out this disaster, this is the only game in town and this thread is all but being ignored except for a few diehard bloggers and viewers.

              I would like to see some of the families get behind what we are trying to do here, IF…they want any measure of truth or any changes, those things will come out of this thread or from nowhere and if more of those who are, or were on the inside don’t help us more, we don’t have much of a chance here either.

              • Gary Olson says

                Oh…and one more thing, that settlement obviously fits into the category of a “nuisance” settlement that any good attorney representing the government will do to make a nuisance lawsuit go away.

                The attorneys representing those families did them a great injustice by not explaining all of this to them in the very beginning, and if the attorneys did explain it to them, then shame on those families for bringing a nuisance lawsuit IF they really weren’t prepared to go to the mattresses (The Godfather), after attorneys fees they won’t get squat for all of the drama, stress and heartache.

                They should have at least hung in there long enough to make that little rat bastard McDonut be deposed…SHIT!

                I have to have a lot of respect for the families that stayed clear of this disaster…on top of a disaster.

                • Gary Olson says

                  Wow! A bunch of human excrement attorneys doing someone a disservice. Nobody could possibly see this coming…right?

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Some quotes from the video at the FOX10 – Phoenix link above.

        Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, speaking at the press
        conference that was held this afternoon to announce the settlement…

        “The agencies aren’t admitting ANY sort of guilt or negligence… because, frankly,
        that wasn’t the goal, ultimately, of all of our parties. Um… ya know… we have
        another motto around here and that’s ‘don’t fix blame… fix the problem'”.

        Reporter: The Families of the fallen firefighters said it really wasn’t about the money. It was about sending a message and making sure this sort of thing never happens again.

        Then Deborah Pfingston ( mother of Andrew Ashcraft ) said ( at the podium )…

        “We still have work on the horizon. The ‘Lessons Learned’… the TRUTH about
        the deaths of our sons, husbands and fathers WILL be coming”.

        That’s all she said. ( on camera, anyway ).

        She herself emphasized the “WILL be coming” part.

        So what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

        Does that mean that Brendan McDonough is not really ‘off the hook’ here, and
        part of the ‘settlement’ itself is some kind of promise that he will finally do what
        he should have always done in the first place and tell the TRUTH and the ‘whole
        story’ of what he knows?

        Or does it mean that within the last few weeks… they worked out the consternation that cause the cancellation of the May 28 deposition… and somehow Brendan has now already ‘secretly testified’ under-oath… and that’s what has actually led to this ‘settlement’?

        • Gary Olson says

          I don’t know, but that sounds to me like putting lipstick on a pig, calling it your date and buying it dinner.

          Those statements from Deborah Pfingston, and I am truly sorry for her loss, but those statements remind me of President Nixon withdrawing from Vietnam with his Peace With Honor declarations, and then they has to push all of the helicopters off the deck of the aircraft carrier to make room for more U.S. Embassy officials running for their lives.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        The AZCENTRAL story about today’s ‘settlement’…

        AZCENTRAL
        Yarnell Hill Fire lawsuits settle for $670,000, reforms
        Published: 2:40 p.m. MST June 29, 2015 by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
        http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/06/29/yarnell-hill-fire-lawsuits-settlement-press-conference/29463359/

        From the article…
        ————————————————————
        The settlement occurs without the testimony of Granite Mountain Hotshot Brendan McDonough, who barely escaped the firestorm that day and was the crew’s lone survivor.

        McDonough recently told the crew’s founder that he overheard a radio conversation between Eric Marsh, the crew’s supervisor who’d separated from the others to scout the fire, and Jesse Steed, Marsh’s top deputy. It it, Marsh is believed to have ordered the crew to leave their safety zone. The conversation is believed to have occurred shortly before the hotshots were overcome by flames.

        Attorneys for state forestry repeatedly sought McDonough’s testimony under oath, but a deposition never happened.

        When asked about the lack of deposition from McDonough, attorney McGroder replied, “I’m not sure anyone will have all the answers to what happened that day.”

        He continued, “Our position is, Mr. McDonough will do what he wants to do when he wants to do it, and that will be his decision.”
        ————————————————————

        So scratch what I said above about Deborah Pfingston seeming to indicate that Brendan had either already testified in secret during the now month-old ‘cone of silence’ surrounding the ALJ Hearing File… OR that his ‘deposition’ was actually still forthcoming and still part of the ‘settlement’.

        Attorney McGroder now seems to be making it clear that is NOT the case.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          **
          ** SETTLEMENT WAS ACTUALLY APPROVED BACK ON JUNE 18

          Another AZCENTRAL article that says the ‘settlement’ was actually ‘approved’ behind closed doors in the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee back on June 18, 2015…

          http://myinforms.com/en/a/14255532-yarnell-hill-fire-lawsuits-settle-for-670000-reforms/

          From the article…
          ——————————————————-
          The Republic has learned a proposed settlement was approved by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee behind closed doors in executive session on June 18.
          ——————————————————

          So they’ve been “sitting on it” until today and were just timing the public announcement to coincide with the second anniversary of the tragedy.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      **
      ** ARIZONA FORESTRY DOES NOT HAVE TO PAY THE ADOSH FINE(S)

      The following article makes it clear that as part of today’s settlement… where Arizona Forestry has agreed to DROP their appeal of the $559,000 ADOSH fine for an unbelievably UNSAFE workplace on June 30, 2013… Arizona Forestry does NOT still have to pay the fine.

      As part of the “the deal”… ADOSH agreed to WITHDRAW the $559,000 fine in EXCHANGE for Arizona Forestry paying $10,000 to each of the SEVEN families that were not part of the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits.

      So Arizona Forestry got the ADOSH $559,000 fine whittled down to just $70,000.

      The Arizona Capitol Times

      Article Title: Families of perished Yarnell firefighters agree to
      substantially reduced settlement

      By: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services June 29, 2015 , 5:31 pm

      http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2015/06/29/families-of-perished-yarnell-firefighters-agree-to-substantially-reduced-settlement/

      From the article…
      ——————————————————————
      Part of Monday’s deal includes the Industrial Commission dropping the maximum permissible $559,000 penalty it imposed on the state Forestry Division after the deaths, a penalty the state had challenged.

      The settlement reduces that to $70,000 – $10,000 for each of the seven families that did not sue. More significant, it cancels hearing set for later this year to determine whether violations of safety regulations led to the firefighters’ deaths.

      ———————————————————-

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      The Prescott Daily Courier has chimed in…

      The Prescott Daily Courier
      Article Title: Parties involved in Hotshot wrongful-death lawsuit announce settlement
      Published: 6/29/2015 5:20:00 PM by Cindy Barks
      http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1087&ArticleID=147091

      From the article…
      ————————————————————————–
      Central to the settlement: A list of 32 changes that the Arizona
      State Forestry Division will either make, or has already made in
      the way it fights wildfires.
      ————————————————————————–

      I don’t see anyone actually reporting ( yet ) what these ’32 changes’ actually ARE.

  33. rocksteady says

    So the land sale was yesterday at 11:00, who was the lucky bidder?

    Arizona Parks or the Widows or someone else???

    Cant find anything in the news.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to rocksteady post on June 29, 2015 at 10:30 am

      >> rocksteady said…
      >>
      >> So the land sale was yesterday at 11:00, who was the lucky bidder?

      Just echoing what Bob Powers said.

      The actual deployment site land auction isn’t until this Tuesday morning, June 30, 2015, at 11:00 AM on the steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse, on the morning of the official second anniversary itself.

      The memorial service / park dedication that happened yesterday ( June 28 ) in Yarnell was scheduled for Sunday, I believe, because of some of the speakers and guests who were there ( Like Darrell Willis, State Representative Karen Fann, etc. ). That was a ‘best fit’ for their schedules given they will probably be part of the other June 30 memorial service scheduled to take place in Prescott.

      There will be ANOTHER memorial ceremony at this same spot in Yarnell where yesterday’s ground-breaking took place this Tuesday, June 30, 2013. It takes place between 4:00 and 5:00 PM and includes observing the State-wide ‘moment of silence’ at exactly 4:43 PM.

      4:43 PM is one of the ‘accepted’ possible times for the deployment site burnover itself.

      Also… just making it clear that the ‘park dedication’ yesterday in Yarnell has nothing to do with the deployment site. It was the dedication of that empty lot in Yarnell itself at the corner of Shrine Road and Highway 89. That is a Yarnell thing only and doesn’t have anything to do with what the Arizona State Yarnell Hill Memorial Board is trying to do with the deployment site itself.

      • rocksteady says

        Thanks for clearing it up.

        Been working 16 hours a day for a week on a fire, so not as sharp as I usually am. 🙂

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Well… if anyone asks you to take a shortcut through a blind box canyon filled with explosive fuel within less than a mile of an exploding, wind driven fireline and with no lookout…

          Please say “NO THANK YOU”.

          • rocksteady says

            Not my first rodeo… 33 years in the job, never had that sort of silly thought. Presently doing FBAN on a type 1 incident trying to keep my boys and girls safe by hitting home fire behaviour messaging…

  34. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** NEWS FOOTAGE FROM TODAY’S SECOND ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY
    ** AND MEMORIAL PARK DEDICATION IN YARNELL

    KPHO/ KTVK / 3TV’s Jonathan Lowe’s video report with footage from today’s memorial ceremony and park dedication in Yarnell…

    http://raycomgroup.worldnow.com/story/29426644/19-hotshots-killed-in-yarnell-hill-fire-honored-on-2nd-anniversary

    At +2:18 into this video there is an interview with Lew Theokas, Peeples Valley resident and the grandfather of GM Hotshot Garret Zuppiger.

  35. Joy A. Collura says

    at memorial—names for the female puppy mascot were tossed out:
    Nellie for Yarnell
    Sweetie
    Honeybunch
    Junior
    Honest
    June
    Willis wife said “Bonita 19”
    Wild Willy
    cutie pie
    Willis
    Liberty
    Kid
    Lola
    Lily
    correction on earlier post—I posted link to Barbi twins when I was thinking of Bambi—ooops

    • Bob Powers says

      NAME
      How about SHY—— had a Dalmatian back in the 60’s I named. she was shy as a puppy but never after. She kept my kids away from a 3 FT Rattlesnake in our yard till the Engine crew got there and got rid of it. She raised holy hell until then. She played with those kids every day and was their protector. She even rode with me in my Patrol truck made a great hit in the camp grounds.

  36. Joy A. Collura says

    Thank you Cliff and Shirley…Happy 59th Anniversary…they lost their home and there is sooo many people I continue on and this lovely couple are one of my top reasons…they were in Laughlin when their home burned down. How do I get raw footage from a news station…same as FOIA’s?

    I called Craig Knapp with them present on speaker phone and we have had mix accounts so we went to the source and some say they had to pay $280 for appeals and 1% but this couple confirmed Knapp sent material out asap Friday and they got it Saturday and they do not owe any funds for the appeals process so I have no answers to why some say what they do but this couple an I confirmed right to the source—

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Joy A. Collura post on June 28, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      >> Joy A. Collura asked…
      >>
      >> How do I get raw footage from a news station…same as FOIA’s?

      Private companies and organizations are not subject to “Freedom of Information” requests from the public…. but if you simply ask them for specific pieces of footage that might be in their archives they will usually try to help you out.

      That’s been my experience, anyway.

      They DO have a right to CHARGE for the material, though, especially if there is any kind of time-consuming effort involved on their part to make copies and whatnot.

      >> Joy Collura also said…
      >>
      >> I called Craig Knapp with them present on speaker phone and we have
      >> had mix accounts so we went to the source and some say they had
      .> to pay $280 for appeals and 1% but this couple confirmed Knapp sent
      >> material out asap Friday and they got it Saturday and they do not
      >> owe any funds for the appeals process

      Thank you, Joy. Yes. The ‘rumor’ has been that ALL of the 160+ plaintiffs in the property damage suits were supposed to come up with $280 in order for the appeals to go forward. Nice to hear that is most likely NOT the case.

  37. Joy A. Collura says

    wow. one person just made the comment in legion “those people have to do the memorial but I don’t”

    this is how many think in this town so you have to understand how NOT EASY it has been to piece the puzzle and I know who is who and I have tried to get the word out for the world to properly assess the fire…

  38. Joy A. Collura says

    at memorial rememberance today—The one who spoke the GMHS names as one rang a bell for each name—he is from CYFD—my whole energy and connect to him—HE KNOWS SOMETHING on missing elements to YHF.
    see video.
    I strongly feel that way.
    Can you on here identify him to be one from the fire that weekend?

  39. Joy A. Collura says

    during a song and having WIllis on stage so near and meeting his VERY lovely wife I had a hard to keep from going into a seizure while filming Blazing Honor song because all day I cannot SHAKE how come Cordes got awards and firefighter of the year—I plan to talk to the other family he supposedly saved but I already spoke to direct to one of the families and he was not the man who saved him but a slightly bearded man age 44-54 in a green forestry truck. I said hello and waved to Karen Fann and she so ignored me plain as day…okay the world will be able to view it…let me figure out how to do it because I recorded it—over one hour…I had a great time talking with Willis and his wife; I learned a lot about his process after the deaths as his wife explained their ministering part in it…fine woman. Saw Dona Kafer there too Okay let me upload for you all. I made it to the legion.

  40. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** GARY CORDES APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET OUT TO THE BOULDER
    ** SPRINGS RANCH HIMSELF IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE DEPLOYMENT.

    Reply to Marti Reed post on June 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    NOTE: This is a continuation of a thread from the other day that was discussing WHY, since SPGS1 Gary Cordes knew Marsh and GM were headed to the Boulder Ranch, that arrangements weren’t being made to have them “picked up” sooner than Cordes telling Esquibel to send ‘engines’ to the BSR just prior to the deployment radio traffic.

    >> Marti said…
    >>
    >> You said:
    >> “it was (perhaps) because that’s where they were supposed
    >> to GET TO WORK on something in that same vicinity.”
    >>
    >> So, if you are correct on this (and I am understanding this), that
    >> this was in Cordes’ head……..
    >> ……then what was in Gary Cordes’ head (via, possiby Eric’s head)
    >> was that GM would be able to, relatively quickly, hoof it from the
    >> Boulder Springs Ranch, via that Driveway that led out from there
    >> to wherever “they” were imagining that dozer line that would be
    >> heading southwest from that place you have located earlier, down
    >> that draw would have met them.

    Yes… and with regards to Gary Cordes (possibly) having it “in his head” that part of the plan WAS to have Granite Mountain ( as you say ) “hoof it down the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway”…

    …I have just found more evidence that *could* indicate that was exactly what he was thinking they would do… and that after Tyson Esquibel FAILED to send anyone out there to the Boulder Springs Ranch as Cordes had instructed him to do… that Cordes, himself, actually entered Glen Ilah to see if they might have gotten ‘caught’ somewhere on that driveway.

    See below.

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> Yes, I can imagine that being a slide in both (or three) of their heads.
    >> And, thus, not necessitating a “pre-positioned” plan for any vehicles
    >> to have met them there at the Boulder Springs to safely pull them
    >> out of there – until everything went south into total chaos and Gary
    >> Cordes realized that was happening, and thus, requested his Strike
    >> Force Leader (Trainee) to send an Engine to the Boulder Springs
    >> Ranch to meet them and get them out “safely.”

    Yes. And there is now new evidence which suggests that when Esquibel FAILED to do that… Cordes himself went all the way into Glen Ilah to the very place where the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway meets Ridgeway Drive to see if he, himself, could find them.

    See below.

    >> Marti also said…
    >>
    >> So THAT means that, by THAT time, Gary Cordes must have
    >> realized “The Plan” was basically toast, even though GM was
    >> heading down as a result of trying to fulfill it. and he needed to
    >> (finally) take responsibility for trying to get some kind of
    >> transportation over to them to get them (safely) from the Boulder
    >> Springs Ranch to some kind of, relatively speaking, safe (and,
    >> potentially after that, useful) place.
    >>
    >> Is that what you are “seeing” here?

    Yes, Marti. That is exactly the ‘scenario’ I was thinking of.

    That up until the moment Cordes realized EVERYTHING was ( as Paul Musser said to KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell ) “going to shit”… and that ALL plans to defend ANY part of that town were now out the window…

    Only then did he realize that any ‘plans’ that had been in place for using Granite Mountain to do anything near the BSR were also ‘out the window’.

    And since he KNEW that’s where they were heading ( or even thought they had already arrived there ) he only NOW realized the only valid ‘plan’ was to make sure they got the hell OUT of there, or were at least SAFE there at the Boulder Springs Ranch.

    So THAT is what we hear him telling Esquibel to do in the Aaron Hulburd video.

    But Esquibel never did it.

    Esquibel evacuated to the Ranch House Restaurant and never sent any engines back towards the Boulder Springs Ranch as Cordes had instructed him to do.

    ** NEW EVIDENCE?

    So here comes some NEW (?) evidence which *suggests* that the moment Gary Cordes showed up at the Ranch House Restaurant himself and realized that Esquibel had NOT sent any engines to ‘check on Granite Mountain’ out at the Boulder Springs Ranch… Gary Cordes decided to do that himself.

    Let me preface the following by saying we still do not know exactly WHEN Gary Cordes himself showed up at the Ranch House Restaurant parking lot along with everyone else.

    As far as I know… there are still NO ‘sightings’ of him in any of the Tom Story or Michelle Lee photographs taken in and around the RHR before, during and after the time of deployment.

    But what we DO know is that as the fire was coming into Glen Ilah… Gary Cordes himself was ‘back there’ in his own vehicle… trying to do “something”.

    That “something” has always been thought to be simply assisting with the evacuation of Glen Ilah… and he certainly did do some of that while he was “back there” ( and ended up winning the AWA “Fireman of the Year” for two rescues he did” ) but is that really the ONLY reason Gary Cordes went “back there” into Glen Ilah? TWICE?

    There’s some (possible) new evidence to suggest it WAS more than just that, and that he had particular “destinations” in mind BOTH times he went “back there”.

    ** CORDES TO ESQUIBEL: ARE ALL THE RESOURCES SAFE?

    Even though we don’t know the exact moment Cordes arrived at the RHR… I think it’s pretty safe to assume that when Cordes DID arrive there he must have asked Esquibel if he had done what he had told him to do with regards to ‘checking on Granite Mountain’… and Cordes then quickly found out Esquibel had done no such thing.

    Actually… Gary Cordes doesn’t mention this specific consultation with Esquibel regardinig his order to send an Engine to the BSR… but his own ADOSH testimony says that he DID have a “are all the resources safe” conversation with Tyson Esquibel at the RHR.

    Gary Cordes told ADOSH he definitely asked Tyson Esquibel if “everyone was accounted for” as soon as he arrived at the RHR.

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

    Q2 = Dave Larsen, WFA / ADOSH investigator ( Rest in Peace )
    A = SPGS1 Gary Cordes
    ——————————————————————————————–
    1569 A:… I was helpin ev- evacuate which looks like that Norton
    1570 way, I was trying to get some evacuation done in there because it was coming
    1571 in pretty aggressive on that end of town.
    1572
    1573 Q2: And so you were assi – you tied in with your assigned resources…
    1574
    1575 A: Right. And then after…
    1576
    1577 Q2: …uh, I…
    1578
    1579 A: …after I did that I went down to the Ranch Restaurant like which is just up by
    1580 Glenn Ilah there, and tied in with um, everybody. At that point I was making
    1581 sure everybody, all the resources were in the safety zone and uh, because we
    1582 had already made the determination that we were not gonna actively fight fire
    1583 within the community ‘til it had pulsed through because of the, the high risk.
    1584 Um, so I tied in with the crew and, and made sure everybody was accounted
    1585 for there. With the uh, task force leader.
    ———————————————————————————————–

    The ‘task force leader’ that Cordes says he ‘tied in’ with at the RHR once he got down there and was then doing that ‘confirmation’ with was, of course, Tyson Esquibel.

    It must have been at that moment when Cordes realized Esquibel had NOT done what he told him to do and Esquibel had NOT sent any ‘Engines’ out to the Boulder Springs Ranch yet.

    Matter of fact… if Cordes’ focus at that point really was just simply doing a ‘head count’ at the RHR and ( as he said himself ) ‘making sure all the resources were in the RHR safety zone’… then that is most likely the same moment he learned ALL of the following things…

    1. DIVSA and Granite Mountain were NOT there at the RHR.
    2. TFLD(t) Esquibel had NOT sent any engines to the BSR to ‘get them out safely’.
    3. No one seemed to know where the dozer and operator Paul Morin were, either, but his last know location was out there at the ‘staging area’ at the end of Manzanita Drive.

    The very NEXT thing Cordes said he did after this ‘head count’ with Esquibel at the RHR was enter the Glen Ilah subdivision itself….

    —————————————————-
    1600 Okay, and then uh, here’s one, entered the subdivision of Glenn Ilah
    1601 and what is that, removing four stranded elderly on uh??…
    1603
    1604 A: Several trips in and out.
    1605
    1606 Q2: …several trip, trips in and out, turned them over to an ambulance for tran- uh,
    1607 transmit
    —————————————————–

    The ‘several trips’ that Cordes is referring to appear to have been just TWO separate trips, each resulting in him putting two people in his truck in and driving them back to the RHR…

    …but BOTH of those rescues appear to have simply ‘interrupted’ him from reaching certain ‘destinations’ based on where those ‘interruptions’ ACTUALLY took place.

    Continued next message…

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      ** DID CORDES HAVE SPECIFIC DESTINATIONS ON BOTH TRIPS INTO GLEN ILAH?

      It has always been assumed that the only reason Gary Cordes ended up ‘back there’ in the Glen Ilah subdivision as the fire was coming into Glen Ilah is because he was trying to ‘rescue’ citizens.

      I’m not sure now that was the PRIMARY reason he went ‘back there’ at all, on BOTH of his trips, and it is based on new evidence of exactly WHERE he really ended up ‘back there’ BOTH times.

      Let me explain…

      In March of 2014, Gary Cordes received the “Firefighter of the Year” award at the Arizona Wildfire Academy’s annual awards ceremony.

      It was for the ‘citizen rescues’ he had performed in Glen Ilah on June 30, 2013.

      It was not until this award was presented to him that we finally learned most of the DETAILS of these ‘citizen rescues’.

      A lot of those details came out in THIS article about him winning the award…

      AZCENTRAL
      Mystery man rescued residents during Yarnell Hill Fire.
      Published: 10:44 a.m. MST March 31, 2014
      http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/2014/03/31/yarnell-hill-fire-mystery-man-rescued-residents/7101035/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

      Cordes performed TWO ‘citizen rescues’ as the fire was coming into Glen Ilah.

      ** THE FIRST RESCUE – ON NORTH MANZANITA

      The FIRST rescue took place at a spot on Manzanita Drive as Cordes was heading NORTH on Manzanita and (presumably?) towards that spot where the pavement of both Manzanita and Lakewood ends. In other words… Cordes might have learned at the RHR that no one knew if Paul Morin and the dozer had actually made it ‘out of there’… and Cordes *could* have been trying to succeed where even Cory Ball had failed and *could* have been trying to reach that spot at the end of Manzanita where the dozer LOBOY was staged and operator Paul Morin’s last known location.

      But if that WAS his “destination” for this FIRST trip… he never made it there.

      Cordes was ‘interrupted’ and encountered an elderly couple walking in the middle of Manzanita holding hands and dressed in pajamas. He put them into his vehicle, and drove them straight back east on Manzanita ( then via Lakewood ) to the Ranch House Restuarant.

      A friend of the couple believes this was Bob and Ruth Hart because they told him the same story.

      This is all detailed in the MSM article linked to above.

      It is even possible that after this first failed attempt to reach the end of Manzanita to try and find Paul Morin and the dozer… Cordes might have then told either OPS2 Paul Musser or the now designated “Granite Mountain Incident within an Incident Commander” Todd Abel that he was unable to confirm if Paul Morin and the dozer were either safe or had evacuated… so Morin should be officially considered “missing” along with Granite Mountain.

      Cordes then turned right around and headed back into Glen Ilah… but this time with (apparently) a different ‘destination’ in mind.

      ** THE SECOND RESCUE – NEAR THE BOULDER SPRINGS RANCH DRIVEWAY

      The SECOND trip took him all the way to west Glen Ilah, and then he was traveling north on Ridgeway Drive towards the start of the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway.

      That’s when he literally almost ‘ran into’ Bryan Smith where Deertrack Drive intersects with Ridgeway Drive, just short of the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway, and this second trip then resulted in him evacuating Bryan Smith and his 85 year old cousin.

      I’m not going to retell Bryan Smith’s entire story. It’s all detailed in the article above about Cordes winning his “Firefighter of the Year” award…. but I will give some detail which relates to this posting and WHY Bryan Smith was where he was when he (apparently) stopped Gary Cordes from making it all the way to the start of the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway.

      The reason Bryan Smith was standing in the middle of the intersection of Ridgeway Drive and Deertrack Drive is because he didn’t have a car, and he received absolutely NO EVACUATION NOTICE ( not even from any ‘Jeep Squad’ ), and he was, at the last minute, trying to get himself and his 85 year old cousin out on foot from his home on West Deetrack Drive.

      Bryan Smith’s home actually survived the fire and its location is no secret since that’s where he conducted his public video interview(s). The center of Bryan Smith’s house itself is here on the east end of Deertrack Drive…

      34.219210, -112.763609

      That short section of Deertrack Drive that is EAST of Ridgeway Drive is a dead end… so in order to have any chance of escaping on foot they ( Bryan and his 85 year old cousin ) first had to start walking WEST and back towards the intersection of Deetrack Drive and Ridgeway Drive.

      That intersection of Deertrack Drive and Ridgeway Drive is where the only road access out to the Boulder Springs Ranch is.

      The only way out to the Boulder Springs Ranch is to pass through that intersection of Deertack Drive and Ridgeway Drive, heading NORTH on Ridgeway Drive, and then where the pavement of Ridgeway Drive ends at this point…

      34.219431, -112.76464

      …Ridgeway Drive actually BECOMES the start of the dirt road that leads out to the Boulder Springs Ranch.

      So according to Bryan Smith’s story that he was freely telling the media in filmed interviews at his house… he and his cousin only walked a short way WEST on Deetrack Drive towards that intersection when his cousin collapsed and said she could go no further.

      Bryan says he got her to the center of the road so she would not be burned by the trees and bushes that were catching fire now on either side of Deertrack Drive, and he continued on through the heavy smoke towards that intersection.

      The center of that intersection of Ridgeway Drive and Deertrack Drive is exactly here…

      34.219068, -112.764813

      When Bryan Smith reached that intersection…he ran into ( almost literally ) Gary Cordes in his vehicle with its lights on ( because it now smoky and dark ) heading north on Ridgeway towards that start of the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway.

      So either this was one HUGE COINCIDENCE… or what actually happened was that Gary Cordes was purposely back there and headed out to the Boulder Springs Ranch when he almost ran right into Bryan Smith standing in the middle of that intersection of Ridgeway Drive and Deertrack Drive.

      Gary Cordes then, apparently, abandoned any other plans he might have had ( like going out to the Boulder Springs Ranch ) and he put Bryan Smith in his vehicle.

      The two of them then ‘creeped’ EAST on Deertrack Drive to try and find Bryan’s cousin who he had left in the center of the road. They had to ‘creep’ forward because the smoke was so bad and Bryan was warning Cordes to go slow so they would not accidentally run over her.

      They found her there in the middle of the road, collected her into Cordes’ truck, and then Cordes hightailed it back west to the intersection of Ridgeway and Deertrack, then south a little on Ridgeway, then east on Westward Drive which then turns INTO Lakewood drive which took them all back to Highway 89 and the Ranch House Restaurant staging area where Bryan Smith and his 85 year old cousin received medical attention.

      According to his testimony… this was the LAST trip that Cordes made back into Glen Ilah.

      Even if he had been trying to get out to the Boulder Springs Ranch when he ran into Bryan Smith at that intersection of Deetrack Drive and Ridgeway Drive… he did not repeat the effort at that point.

      Bottom line: I really don’t think Cordes running into Bryan Smith exactly where he did was just sheer coincidence. There were a lot of places and a lot of other intersections where Gary Cordes could have been in Glen Ilah at that point… but there he was at the one just a few hundred feet away from the start of the driveway for the Boulder Springs Ranch when he almost literally ‘ran into” Bryan Smith standing in the middle of that intersection.

      I believe Cordes WAS trying to either get out to the Boulder Springs Ranch himself at that point in time… or at least see if it was still possible for anyone to get out there.

      I believe that if Cordes had NOT run into Bryan Smith at that intersection of Ridgeway Drive and Deertack Drive… he would have probably continued north on Ridgeway for that few extra hundred feet and *might* have then even attempted to go out to the Boulder Springs Ranch itself via that long dirt driveway.

      After this second “Bryan Smith and Cousin” rescue… Cordes’ didn’t go back into Glen Ilah. He stayed there at the Ranch House Restaurant along with everyone else.

      ** SUMMARY

      The question really is… was it an absolute COINCIDENCE where Cordes WAS when he ended up effecting those two ‘rescues’ that afternoon… or could they (perhaps) be an indication there was a ‘purpose’ to them both and a ‘destination’ that he had in mind before ( both times ) he was ‘interrupted’ by almost literally ‘running into’ residents that he would then need to evacuate.

      I’m going to say that the evidence indicates these two locations were NOT just a ‘coincidence’.

      On his FIRST trip into Glen Ilah… he very well COULD have been heading north on Manazanita because his destination was the ‘staging area’ for the dozer and the last known whereabouts of operator Paul Morin. He may have even thought some or all of Granite Mountain were there by then.

      On his SECOND trip into Glen Ilah… he very well COULD have been just a few hundred feet away from the Boulder Springs Ranch driveway when he encountered Bryan Smith because he was actually trying to get out to the Boulder Springs Ranch… or at least make sure Granite Mountain hadn’t gotten ‘caught’ somewhere on that long driveway itself.

      And Cordes might have been doing this because Tyson Esquibel did NOT do what he had asked him to do earlier… so now he was trying to do it himself.

      That’s how SURE Cordes might have been that Granite Mountain had either already made it to the Boulder Springs Ranch… or had actually been farther along than that ( as part of “the plan”? ) and either somewhere on the BSR driveway or even somewhere near the dozer staging area where Paul Morin and the dozer were last seen.

      Cordes was certainly concerned about the citizens of Glen Ilah… but he was VERY LIKELY doing everything he could at that moment to also find both Granite Mountain AND Paul Morin, the dozer operator… especially if they had all been part of some last-ditch-effort “plan” that had now gone horribly wrong.

      Cordes himself told ADOSH investigators how personally he felt about the chance there were fatalities “back there” in Glen Ilah… both Firefighters and Citizens…

      From Gary Cordes’ ADOSH interview…

      “We assumed we had fatalities… We thought we had a, a fair amount of fatalities in there which obviously um, I felt was my responsibility”.

      • Marti Reed says

        WTKTT thank you SO MUCH for this..

        It’s really really really late, and I still need to spend a lot more time going over this, and that probably won’t happen until tomorrow.

        Trying to synchronize several timelines together inside of my head right now.

        I’m wondering how this syncs to Brian and Trew going in there, also.

        Also wondering how this connects to “everybody knowing,” by that time, that the Granite Mountain Hotshots had already deployed.

        Of course, at that time, he hadn’t actually heard those radio transmissions, he had just heard about them, and his response to having been told about that was “Bullshit!”

        I’m having a hard time imagining, all things considered, that by the time of that second trip into Glen Ilah he could have possibly thought that the Granite Mountain Hotshots would have been walking out in their full physicality via the Boulder Springs Ranch road.

        By then it was way past the time everybody knew the Granite Mountain Hotshots had deployed.

        Or maybe he was still thinking “Bullshit”?

        I really agree that he was probably heading up to the Boulder Springs Ranch on that second trip.

        But I’m thinking it was probably more with the idea of “Where TF are they????” than “I need to meet them coming out.”

        I can’t realistically imagine that by then, all things considered, his “Bullshit!” mindset was still operative.

        But maybe, on the other hand, it possibly still was?

        Hope (and delusion) springs eternal.

        And sometimes that’s a good thing. And sometimes it’s not.

        • Marti Reed says

          And sitting here thinking about this further…….

          Given the fact that he didn’t actually HEAR those radio transmissions that mostly everybody else did……….

          ……………..and thus might not have totally believed them….

          And given the “fog of war” and the whole thing about how humans don’t process exponentially escalating factors (ala the fatal Cramer Fire) all that well…………….

          It could have been possible that when he drove into Glen Ilah that second time, it WAS in hope that he would meet the Granite Mountain Hotshots coming out via that route.

          After what happened yesterday, which was a supremely historical day, my heart aches for Gary Cordes and Paul Musser and Roy Hall and everybody who set up the stage for this tragedy that happened almost two years ago. It really does.

          But that doesn’t even remotely lessen my solid opinion that the Truth of this catastrophe needs to come to light.

          So it doesn’t EVER happen again.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            >> Marti said…
            >>
            >> It could have been possible that when he drove into Glen
            >> Ilah that second time, it WAS in hope that he would meet
            >> the Granite Mountain Hotshots coming out via that route.

            I’m not sure he was even ‘processing’ all the ‘realities’ at that point.

            He had NOT heard that same radio traffic we have now ALL heard.
            His BK radio had crapped out… and he told ADOSH he has simply turned it off and thrown it on the seat of his truck.

            He was then only relying on the Motorola mounted in his truck and the one other Motorola handheld he had. Neither one had the A2G programmed at all so that’s why he didn’t hear ANY of the radio traffic recorded by Aaron Hulburd.

            So he was ONLY relying on what he had been told by Captain Reyes of Engine 59. “They got cut off and they deployed”.

            So he really COULD have been thinking they actually got “cut off” while they were on the driveway of the Boulder Springs Ranch itself.

            He really COULD have been thinking that they were lying right there on that driveway, somewhere, and in need of medical attention, and the sooner he could find them the better.

            It was just pure instinct.

            WHERE ARE THEY???

      • sonny says

        Joy contacted Bryan Smith this morning with a long talk. Cordes was not the man who picked him up but someone in a green truck did.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Copy that. Thank you, Sonny. See my reply to Joy’s post just directly below this one. If it wasn’t Bryan Smith that Cordes rescued, then according to Cordes’ testimony to ADOSH he performed an almost IDENTICAL rescue, and it did seem to be on Ridgeway Drive which is the road that becomes the driveway out to the Boulder Springs Ranch right after it crosses Deertrack Drive.

      • Joy A. Collura says

        at 6:40am I said I would contact Bryan to confirm above

        at 8:31am I contacted some by email that I called Brian before he went Pastor Well’s sermon at the Assembly of God

        I tried to post via cell on here IM—failed.
        so emailed.

        All I state is public information.
        Bryan had called Saturday the 29th 911 concerned about the fire as well as so many homeowners and were told it was under control and assured them all was A-Okay.

        Sunday the hospice called Bryan 3pm because Pearl Moore had lung cancer and to let them know if they decided to need assistance to just call them yet the electric went out which is tied to the landline so no phone.
        No electric on a hot day means inside home is HOT
        so when Bryan went outside and saw neighboring tall pine on fire up top and bushes burning and heavy thick smoke with no one in sight that he felt with no car and a 85 y,o, with lung cancer and he is not too hot health wise and no car better start heading out. As he walked out with Pearl he felt he was the last one in there. He never got a call or stop by from anyone to evacuate and deer track was already on fire when he left. Bryan was shocked HOW close the fire was because it was at a distance than all of a sudden bam his street is ON FIRE so we have always wanted Helms to Shrine area to be further investigated.
        Brian was not picked up near Deer Track or his home. A captain with slight bearded ages 44-54 saved his life not who was in article—Cordes—the man picked him up in a green Forestry truc.k. near Brent Yadon’s NOT near his home nor near Helm’s . Pearl was picked up by George DeLange’s home and they were delivered to the ranch house restaurant where ambulance was and Bryan was persistent and insisting to be brought by ambulance to Prescott. Bryan heard the delivery message they would need 19 ambulances andBryan had no idea why until laterbut his concern was getting him and Pearl to the hospital …so why would the media tie Bryan into the SAVING LIVES with Cordes when he did not save his life or pick him up…????

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Thank you, Joy.

            So… to be clear… Bryan Smith has now seen a picture of Gary Cordes and he is saying that is NOT the man who rescued him and Pearl on June 30, 2013?

            If that is the case… then it’s quite hard to fathom how AZCENTRAL could have run the article they did… complete with a VIDEO interview with Bryan Smith himself… and THEY are the ones who then published the story that Mr. Smith is definitely the person Cordes says he rescued in his ADOSH testimony…

            …but they never even bothered to do what you just did and simply SHOW Bryan Smith a photo of Gary Cordes?

            Wow.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Joy A. Collura post on June 28, 2015 at 4:39 pm

          >> Joy A. Collura wrote…
          >>
          >> at 6:40am I said I would contact Bryan to confirm above
          >> at 8:31am I contacted some by email that I called Brian
          >> before he went Pastor Well’s sermon at the Assembly of God
          >>
          >> Brian was not picked up near Deer Track or his home.
          >> A captain with slight bearded ages 44-54 saved his life
          >> not who was in article—Cordes
          >>
          >> the man picked him up in a green Forestry truck. near
          >> Brent Yadon’s NOT near his home nor near Helm’s .
          >> Pearl was picked up by George DeLange’s home and they
          >> were delivered to the ranch house restaurant where
          >> ambulance was.

          Thank you, Joy. Please extend thanks to Bryan Smith as well.
          Sorry to hear that Pear has died since the Yarnell Fire happened.

          The article that was originally matching Cary Cordes’ own testimony ( which won him his “Firefighter of the Year” award ) to real people and real events is here…

          AZCENTRAL
          Mystery man rescued residents during Yarnell Hill Fire.
          Published: 10:44 a.m. MST March 31, 2014
          http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/2014/03/31/yarnell-hill-fire-mystery-man-rescued-residents/7101035/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

          The article contains that in-person video interview with Bryan Smith himself, whose account of his rescue ( at that time ) matches Gary Cordes’ own testimony almost exactly… even though Bryan was never sure WHO it was that had rescued him and Pearl.

          At the time the “Firefighter of the Year” award was being given to Cordes and the article was written… Gary Cordes himself refused to be interviewed by the reporter(s).covering the AWARD ceremony.

          The article itself says…
          ——————————————————–
          This month, the Arizona Wildfire and Incident Management Academy honored Cordes with the 2013 Wildland Firefighter of the Year Award for rescuing residents.

          He declined interview requests from The Arizona Republic, citing ongoing legal issues surrounding the fire.
          ———————————————————

          So since the man receiving the award was refusing to be interviewed himself… the AZREPUBLIC put a blurb at the bottom of the article detailing how it was they were matching Gary Cordes’ ADOSH testimony with real people and events… ( Like Bryan and Pearl )…

          How the story was done
          ——————————————-
          Senior reporter Anne Ryman based this on her interviews with residents and an interview that Gary Cordes gave to investigators with the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

          The ADOSH interview transcripts and audio recordings were obtained through a public-records request. Radio-dispatch logs from the community of Congress, the Arizona Dispatch Center, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the private Lifeline Ambulance service were also used to establish time frames, as well as Cordes’ activity log and the interagency Serious Accident Investigation report.
          ——————————————–

          And here is that ADOSH testimony from Cordes that the article ( and his “Firefighter of the Year” award ) was based on…

          From SPGS1 Gary Cordes’ ADOSH interview on September 11, 2013

          ** THE FIRST RESCUE ( ON MANZANITA )…

          According the article that accompanied Cordes receiving his “Firefighter of the Year Award, the ‘two elderly people’ being referred to by Cordes in his ADOSH testimony were Bob and Ruth Hart.

          Gary Cordes’ own testimony to ADOSH…
          —————————————————————————-
          I drove up Manzanita Trail uh, structures on both sides of the road were on fire and I saw an elderly couple walking down the road and there was almost zero visibility in there and, and uh, with the smoke laying in there 40 plus mile an hour winds and two elderly people holding hands walking out in their pajamas, and um, so I pulled up, they asked me to uh, if they could please get a ride and I told them to get in the vehicle very abruptly and uh, assisted the elderly woman into the vehicle and the elderly gentleman got in and, and I took them back out to the Ranch Restaurant um, dropped them off with the crews…
          —————————————————————————-

          ** THE SECOND RESCUE ( ON RIDGEWAY )

          According the article that accompanied Cordes receiving his “Firefighter of the Year Award, the man who “flagged him down’ being referred to by Cordes in his ADOSH testimony was Bryan Smith, and the woman Smith had tried to carry out but ended up leaving her in the middle of he road was Smith’s 85 year old cousin.

          Gary Cordes’ own testimony to ADOSH…
          —————————————————————————–
          I re-entered the subdivision, went down Ridge Way, Came across a gentleman waving me down in the smoke, uh, told him to get into the vehicle, he said he could not leave the area. By this time I’m getting a little annoyed because of the, the the responses of why they can’t leave. He informed me he had a, he had a uh, handicapped uh, disable neighbor, elderly woman who was – he was trying to carry her out and he couldn’t, uh, he was unable to carry her any farther. It was obviously fairly emotional, during all of this. Um, at this time I asked him where she was, he pointed uh, on a road that was fairly unattainable, all of the structures on the north side were on fire. So I made an attempt to go down that road and uh, he advised me to be careful so I wouldn’t run her over. She was in the road, and she was. I picked her up, got her into the vehicle and, and uh, uh, unfortunately he op- he opened the other side of my vehicle that was full of burning embers, and I probably yelled something unkind to him, but got the vehicle shut up and, and uh, got out of there. So uh, we thought she was burned, he had some blisters to his face, um, got, got her over, put her in an ambulance at the uh, back at the Ranch Restaurant. That was the last uh, I didn’t go any farther back in after that.
          —————————————————————————–

          So if the account being given above for this ‘second’ rescue by Gary Cordes himself is NOT referring to Bryan Smith and his 85 year old cousin… then Cordes’ story is of another… almost IDENTICAL rescue… including the part where they had to go carefully down the road in order to not run over her where she had been left in the road.

          Even if Cordes is describing some other ( almost identical ) rescue… Cordes still says he went down “Ridgeway” the second time he entered Glen Ilah, which is still the road out to the Boulder Springs Ranch.

          If Cordes’ was NOT the one who rescued Bryan and Pearl… do you know, or have you heard, of any OTHER ( almost identical ) rescue story somewhere in the Ridgeway Drive area, where Cordes told ADOSH the rescue HE performed took place?

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Apologies. Typo in first paragraph up above.

            Bryan Smith’s 85 year old cousin’s name was ‘Pearl’.

            First paragraph should have said…

            Thank you, Joy. Please extend thanks to Bryan Smith as well.
            Sorry to hear that Pearl has died since the Yarnell Fire happened.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      you have to love the posse jeep pics and the helicopters and such…and how about that fire right at Shrine to Sesame area. I want to thank all firefighters and homeowners that have shared their photos without a price tag and for free to properly assess this fire.

      I bow down to all that give their time and accounts to piece this fire

  41. Gary Olson says

    Well, I have two things to say regarding many of the recent posts. The first may only be of interest only to me because of my background of growing up in Prescott and because I am a born again Progressive, just like some people are born again Christians. And just like born again Christians I have a tendency to let my politics creep into some of my blogging and I have noticed I am the only one who does this, obviously the rest of you have more sense and self control than I do.

    Although I carry a burden that most of you probably don’t, an original sin that I am trying to atone for before I meet my maker. And now that I am an old (a young old man as Bob tells me) man that prospect looms closer each and every day. You see….it’s like this, when I was young and very stupid, I sent $20.00 to help Ronald Reagan get elected the first time he ran for President. And I am pretty sure that if there is a just God, he is going to send everybody who helped that bastard Reagan get elected President straight to hell because he was the one who started the war on the middle class that has all but destroyed it today. So…I have work to do before that glorious day comes…Hallelujah Jesus! I watched our America born rightfully elected President and Commander-In-Chief, President Barack Hussein Obama. give the eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney yesterday and it was his greatest speech ever…Hallelujah Amen Sweet Baby Jesus! So…if you missed it you should look it up on YouTube and watch it…just sayin’.

    And once again, as I am so fond of saying, even though I have almost no tangible possessions (we downsized big time to be gypsies), I do have a very fair and equitable pension check that comes on the first of every month thanks to you, the good American people. So it is the rest of YOU PEOPLE (Tropic Thunder) I worry about, many of you are screwed and many more of you are going to be screwed in the future, so I fight for you. Your welcome.

    1. When I was growing up in Prescott, the Fann Ranch was the biggest thing around the area. Think John Chisum, Charles Goodnight and the King Ranches in Texas and New Mexico (Bruce King was governor of New Mexico when we first moved there.) except scale it down to Yavapai County size. They had a huge mansion (by Prescott standards back in the day) sitting on a big hill overlooking their ranch, which the town of Prescott Valley occupies today and continued out across that huge valley that sits between the mountains around Prescott and Mingus Mountain to the east.

    So, I don’t know it for a fact, but I am guessing that is where Representative Fann is coming from, which in my progressive rebel frame of mind is not a good thing. And if any of you have heard (hee, hee) of Arizona’s SB 1070 German Gestapo Show Me Your Papers Law, well THAT guy is Senator Steve Pierce another Prescott area mini me version of Chisum, Goodnight, and King who got his money the old fashioned way, he inherited it. Now tie all of that in with Rex Maughan and his mega ranch centered around Yarnell…do you see what we have here? Well…frankly I don’t either, but Yavapai and Arizona politics are up to no good, of that we can be sure (Men In Black).

    2. Now, this one is not such a long trip down a rabbit hole but it may still be a be a stretch…I don’t know? Everybody (meaning especially you Marti) has really been on the Blue Ridge Hotshots case because most of them spent most of that tragic day laying around lickin’ their nuts instead of fightin’ fire. What if THEY don’t want us to find out that the reason Blue Ridge didn’t move to engage the fire by going to the backside of Yarnell to back fire the hasty dozer line was because they did opt for the Turn Down Protocol and that’s why THEY went to the GMIHC to ask them to attempt their insane bushwhack down the Canon del Muerto to the Valle de la Muerte?

    Nobody would want the masses to know that…right? And even though Blue Ridge did the right and sane thing, that is not something they would even want to talk about, which would make the gag order by Uncle Sam easy to enforce because those boys don’t want to talk to the media or even be photographed by the media in the first place. So…

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Well… as far as evidence goes… there IS some testimony from Musser that SPGS1 Gary Cordes himself told him Blue Ridge was simply ‘not available’ ( to do something Musser wanted? ) at the same time Musser himself had just been told by Marsh that GM was “committed to the ridge” and also not available for whatever it was Musser was trying to round up a Type 1 Hotshot crew for circa 4:42 PM.

      There is no evidence of Blue Ridge ever being ‘asked’ to do anything other than what their final assignment was before they self-evacuated. That assignment was to ‘improve’ that dozer push on the Cutover Trail that dozer operator Paul Morin had completed.

      Here is that “availability check’ moment again.. in Musser’s own words.

      NOTE: This moment was not mentioned at ALL in the Arizona Forestry’s SAIT Investigation Notes. This “availability check” moment only came out months later when Paul Musser was being interviewed by ADOSH.

      ALSO NOTE: The way Musser tells this, with his ‘at that point’ reference and his PAST TENSE referenced that he “called” Granite… the way to read his testimony here is that he recalls having made his “availability check” with Marsh BEFORE he met with Cordes on the side of the road. Only when he was finally face-to-face with Cordes did the then do what Marsh apparently told him to do on the radio and Musser then asked Cordes about Blue Ridge’s “availability”.

      From Paul Musser’s one-and-only ADOSH interview on August 16, 2013…

      Q2 = Barry Hicks, ADOSH investigator
      A = OPS2 Paul Musser
      —————————————————————————–
      1412 A: Uh, got on the 89 to a vantage point and met with Gary Cordes. Face to face
      1413 with Gary. As far as – oh at that point, I’d also called Granite on their radio.
      1414 Because Todd was still tied up with Model Creek. I called Granite on the
      1415 radio and asked if them and Blue Ridge were still committed on the ridge?
      1416 They said that they were committed on the ridge. But Blue Ridge was on the
      1417 bottom and may, may be available. I talked with Gary, he said no their
      1418 committed to, uh, hold – to prepping and hold the dozer line.
      1419
      1420 Q2: You’re talking about Blue Ridge?
      1421
      1422 A: Yes, Blue Ridge.
      1423
      1424 Q2: Okay.
      1425
      1426 A: And that Granite was still committed in the black…
      1427
      1428 Q2: Okay.
      ————————————————————————-

      So according to OPS2 Paul Musser… he did “check about Blue Ridge” after he got off the radio with Marsh… and it was SPGS1 Gary Cordes who then (supposedly) told Musser that Blue Ridge was still ‘busy’ working on that Cutover Trail dozer line that connected the Sesame Clearing area to the Shrine Road Youth camp area.

      The timeframe for the “availability check’ that Musser made with GM is definitely in the 4:42 to 4:44 PM timerange… just moments after Brian Frisby was informing Marsh and Steed that he was now ‘rescuing’ Brendan and did Marsh want the GM vehicles moved?

      Musser’s callout to Marsh on the TAC channel came at exactly 4:42 PM and was captured in one of the Panebaker Air Study videos.

      But only Musser’s callout of “Division Alpha, Operations, Musser” was captured.

      Marsh was actually ‘busy’ on the radio at the moment completing that conversation with Frisby about moving the GM vehicles. It is assumed that the moment Marsh finished that radio conversation with Frisby that he then got with Musser and this “availability check” conversation took place.

      The assumption here has always been that Musser was doing this “availability check” on GM as he was driving down from the Sickles Road area… and that radio conversation with Marsh was over before he then ran into Cordes on the side of Highway 89, somewhere just north of where Shrine road meets Highway 89.

      Everything you suggest above is possible… but it really does look like Brian Frisby himself was pretty much clueless’ about anyone even WANTING his crew to do anything other than try and improve that “Cutover Trail”… and then they all “self-evacuated” to the Ranch House Restaurant.

      Blue Ridge Hotshot Cory Ball is another story altogether, though.

      He DEFINITELY testifies to having been given this “scout emergency dozer line” assignment by Gary Cordes.

      In his OWN Unit Log… Blue Ridge Hotshot Cory Ball said…

      1600 ( 4:00 PM ): BRIHC disengaging to safety zone.
      BRIHC one informs Structure Group One They are pushing engines everyone
      out of subdivision. (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
      Structure group one assigns me and one other to locate possibility of dozer line
      to southwest of Yarnell.
      Acquire ATV: travel into subdivision back to Dozer line.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Two important points to make about this all-important testimony from Blue Ridge Hotshot Ball about Cordes telling him to “scout dozer line to protect Glen Ilah”…

        1) There is no evidence Ball himself did any kind of TDWAO. To the contrary. According to his own testimony he basically told Cordes “Aye, aye, sir!”… and he got right on the assignment… to the point where he went to the trouble to borrow an ATV to better accomplish Cordes’ assignment.

        2) If Cory Ball’s time estimation of about 1600 ( 4:00 PM ) is correct… then this matches exactly the mysterious and ongoing “When did GM actually decide to leave the black?” timing consideration. Even the SAIR established that at 3:55 PM, the men were “at rest” in the safe black ( as per MacKenzie’s photos and videos )… but then they were “on the move” and heading out of the black by 4:05 PM.

        So that ever-mysterious moment when Steed told the men to “gaggle up” and head for the Boulder Springs Ranch MUST have happened in a 10 minute window between 3:55 PM and 4:05 PM.

        Right smack in the middle of that 10 minute window ( at 4:00 PM ) we have Cory Ball testifying that is when SPGS1 Gary Cordes suddenly had this NEW IDEA and Cordes was ordering him to go scout a NEW emergency dozer line to try and protect Glen Ilah.

        Marsh and Steed would have actually HEARD Cordes give Ball that order.
        It happened over a TAC radio channel.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Forgot to mention… there’s a lot of “Cordes did this” and “Cordes knew that” and “Cordes told Cory Ball” up above… but that’s because the above is just a breakdown of some pretty specific statements in the evidence record.

          I am just as convinced as Marti is that it was Paul Musser himself who was driving Cory Ball over to the Yarnell Fire Station to GET that ATV so Ball could carry out Cordes’ “order” to scout emergency dozer line.

          That means it is “not credible” to think that OPS2 Paul Musser was not only aware of this “emergency” dozer line plan that Cordes seems to have set in motion circa 4:00 PM… but was, in fact, one of the authors of “the plan”.

          I also stated below that as far as “authorship” goes… it could have been a TRIAD and Eric Marsh himself ( despite what he told Musser in the “availability check” at 4:42 ) could have been the “originator” of the plan himself.

          And I’m not even sure Cory Ball would have known that, even if he could be re-interviewed and asked more questions about this testimony in his own Unit Log.

          All Blue Ridge Hotshot Cory Ball might have known was that Cordes was telling him to go “scout out” this emergency dozer line.

          Cory Ball, himself, might have had no idea where this “last-ditch-effort plan” might have actually originated.

          For all we know… Marsh and Musser might have exchanged cellphone numbers during that “availability” check at 4:42 PM… and subsequent communications between them were now “private” and not going over the radio.

          As far as we know… neither the SAIT nor ADOSH ever requested the cellphone records of OPS2 Paul Musser or SPGS1 Gary Cordes.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            Apologies. I think I killed the King’s English up above and didn’t really say what I meant to. I was trying to say that if Musser really is the one driving Ball over to YFD to get that ATV… then Musser MUST have known all about “the plan” that Cory Ball was “executing” on ( as per Cordes’ orders ) and was also most likely one of the “authors” of “the plan” itself.

            • Gary Olson says

              WTKTT,

              Well…reading Norb’s comment and putting it together with everything you, Marti, Bob and others have been working on does make a lot of tactical sense to me if you disregard the safety aspect of moving the GMIHC into place to back fire the dozer line.

              Hell…it could even have worked if they would have tried it earlier, we did the exact same thing and on the Clay Springs Fire on the Fishlake National Forest in 1983 and saved the little town of Oak City from a grass fire that had a huge flaming front with tremendous flame lengths.

              BUT, the miscellaneous overhead, the dozer and the Santa Fe Hotshots were all in the same place at the same time when somebody came up with the idea at the last minute and then it was rock and roll. We had just stepped off the bus from the airport and found ourselves standing in front of the flaming fire front being pushed by high winds right at us and the town.

              I would really like to know more about what efforts were made to reposition Blue Ridge for this possible assignment. And I would really like to do some interviews with a stack of Garrity waiver forms and see everybody’s cell phone records.

              Although once again, and I hate to have to keep saying it, Jesse Steed had the obligation to just say no. But this angle is a very interesting contributing factor and I do think it would be something the brotherhood would be highly motivated to cover up.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                >> Gary Olson said…
                >>
                >> Although once again, and I hate to have to keep
                >> saying it, Jesse Steed had the obligation to just say no.

                Yes, he did.

                Even if it came down to telling Marsh “If this is a job breaker… then on Monday you can look for me over at the Crossfit Gym. I’ll be over there making other people dance with Pukie the Clown if you’re looking for me.”…

                …then that’s what he should have said.

                I think this has been said before as we discuss the evidence that points to this possible “last-ditch-effort plan”… but we have to be careful to remember that even if it IS true… there are TWO different aspects to it…

                1) The STRATEGIC decision making.
                2) The TACTICAL decision making.

                As you just said… given the right amount of time and resources… pushing a dozer line and firing it out is a STANDARD TECHNIQUE. It’s not “crazy town” until it’s actually “crazy town” to even consider it.

                So the STRATEGY itself doesn’t kill anyone.

                But the TACTICAL EXECUTION might.

                There’s no doubt that whatever TACTICAL operation Marsh and GM even THOUGHT they were executing… they blew it. They died.

                As for whether there was some “crazy town” STRATEGY involved which led to the TACTICAL errors… that’s the mystery we’re still trying to solve.

                I believe there WAS… and the full story on that has yet to be told.

                  • Marti Reed says

                    Which is exactly why, as you asked me downstream:

                    “Why do you think Musser’s involvement in this is the reason why it was all gathered together and put in an envelope and sealed and stashed away in a very big locked filing cabinet?”

                    At that point, on that fire, Musser was essentially second in command. And, given that the one first in command was clueless about what was going on, well………….

                    And as soon as SAIT interviewed the Blue Ridge Four and heard way more than an earful that didn’t fit their pre-conceived narrative that nobody did anything wrong on this fire and it was all a great mystery and an impossible-to-deal-with fire that caused the GM Hotshots to get killed, instead of a stupid and extremely dangerous last-minute hail-mary plan co-conceived of and co-implemented by that effectively-first-in-command Paul Musser………………

                    ………….to me it seems pretty obvious.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      No, I don’t think you are missing something, I just wanted to ask instead of guess at what you were thinking.

                    • Bob Powers says

                      Remember the SAIT was charged with not naming names. Due to law suits and there fore not pursuing a possible link to the crew being moved to implement a plan there for do not reference it in any way although there are statements that should have made a investigator highly interested in the information we have uncovered and I am sure they knew it and did not follow up on it as to why the crew moved to close to possible Law Suits.
                      That is if this scenario can be proven as fact there is a ways to go here.

  42. Gary Olson says

    Norb Szczurek said on

    June 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    “I totally agree with Bob – bad plan and too late. However, I have said in earlier chapters that although not “text book “conditions, they wanted to get that emergency dozer line in and have a “shot crew” to fire it ( the Hail Mary pass). Or at least get some additional black to add to the width of the dozer line. What else would they need them for and what did they have to loose? They were going to get their asses kicked, for numerous reasons starting back on the failed initial attack ( wont go there again because it still pisses me off) Shot crews are known for their ability to put fire on the ground under extreme conditions. Again, I am not saying this would have been a “text book” operation but I think they may have been thinking they (Ops, take your pick of which one) had no other options. I have believed for a long time that is what the GMIHC were moving to do – still don’t believe that is a viable reason to do what they did but I believe that is why they left the safe black.

    So, at who’s request? That I don’t know, I do have my suspicions (Willis?). But the bottom line remains – the crew sup is responsible for the safety of his crew. Although Gary has identified some things that may of contributed to the human side of all of this.”

    Someone asked me what I thought about this in an email, but I had missed it so I went back and looked it up and this is not something I had every thought of, but I think this makes a lot of sense and it is now my leading theory as to why they left the black.

    It never made any sense to me for them to leave the black to help with evacuations, since they were on foot, but that was the only thing I could think of, but if you could combine hotshot back firing with a quick dozer line, the plan makes tactical sense to me.

    Now of course as Bob said, too little…too late and obviously extremely risky to go to such extremes to move the GMIHC into place and certainly in hindsight a very, very, bad idea, but at least I can understand why they would think of it and want to try it since it would have been the only thing that could possibly have saved Glen Ilah and the backside of Yarnell.

    • Gary Olson says

      Oh…and one more thing, this is now going in my Yarnell Hill Chapter as my leading theory why they left the safe black unless someone comes up with something better…thanks Norb!

      • Gary Olson says

        Just to be clear, I still view the human factors as critical in the decision making process, but I think the human factors would play into why they (Marsh) would be willing to risk so much to even attempt this plan, but I do think this plan very well may be what they were shooting for.

        • Bob Powers says

          It is very possible and puts weight on Cordes shoulders.
          Cordes could have also confided in Willis thus they could not sit in the black and moved to reengage??? Just some added thoughts.
          .

          • Gary Olson says

            Yes, that’s what I think. And can you imagine what hero’s they would have been to America if the plan would have worked? It probably would have even made it impossible for the inbred bean counters on the Prescott City Council to abolish their jobs and Willis’ and Marsh’s dream that turned into everyone’s worst nightmare.

        • Marti Reed says

          Paul Musser was also involved in this, I firmly believe.

          Ever since I painstakingly figured out (two weeks ago tomorrow) that it was most likely him who dropped Cory Ball off at the Yarnell Fire Department to acquire their ATV to ride into Glen Ilah to tie in with the dozer operator and check out the possibility of putting in the dozer line.

          I still don’t believe Willis had any (overt) involvement in it. At least we still have no evidence of that.

          And, waking up and reading this cold (actually I’m still not really “woke,” just drinking coffee to get there), I find myself thinking, “Why didn’t they just ask Blue Ridge???”

          And remembering that we kinda sorta discussed that downstream a few times. Bob said (and I’m paraphrasing, so if I mis-paraphrase please correct me) that he thought Blue Ridge was still “committed” to firing off the dozer line nearer to the Youth Camp. And that THIS plan was connected to THAT plan.

          I said I disagreed, because, given the timing, by the time Cordes and Musser were starting to implement THIS plan, Blue Ridge had already abandoned THAT plan and was starting to evacuate from the Youth Camp.

          But there still could be a connection.

          I also firmly believe that it was Musser’s involvement in this that is the reason why it was all gathered together and put in an envelope and sealed and stashed away in a very big locked filing cabinet.

          Unfortunately, for the ones who decided to do that, they missed a few crumbs. But it worked for almost two years.

          A few crumbs which we, almost two years later, starting with two dots provided by Joy, were FINALLY able to piece together (after a LOT of attempts over the past two years to do it) with a number of dots provided by Cory Ball into enough of a timeline to figure this out.

          • Marti Reed says

            Sorry for mixing my metaphors on that last paragraph. Totally inelegant of me.

            But you get the picture.

          • Gary Olson says

            Marti, yes, it seems like Norb’s theory could tie in nicely with the theory you have been working on, but I do have one question right now.

            Why do you think Musser’s involvement in this is the reason why it was all gathered together and put in an envelope and sealed and stashed away in a very big locked filing cabinet?

      • Sonny says

        Thanks to Norb and Gary for making that clear–why would they go down into that canyon when the odds were three bullets in a six shooter roulette? That makes sense about a dozer line in progress and they needed that shot crew to do the burn back along the dozer line as we saw on the video of drip torches along Sesame St above the Shrine where it was dirt. This we do know for certain–The dozer had hit ground at Kathy Hunter’s house because it did back into her Dad’s house on the extremity of the North end of Glen Isla. How much dozing was accomplished there is up in the air unless Morin comes forward with the answer. If Morin spills the beans then we will know who actually ordered him in there and that person would have also ordered the GMHS to descend to that expected dozer line. That person might have been plural considering that it might have been hard to convince even Marsh who declared we are in the black so why not send the Blue Ridge there? Sounds like the Blue Ridge already had the fire figured out as it was–a dangerous out of control wildfire that had a storm coming in from Prescott direction that took away any chance of predicting what the wind would do. Credit goes to Blue Ridge for saving not only Donut but also for undoubtedly keeping the whole Blue Ridge crew intact.

        The human factors of breaking or causing people to break every rule in the book for fire fighting has to be addressed– Dr. Ted Putnam will have his good input on this one for sure.

        This covers many of the things I have begun to realize about the situation at hand.

        In simple terms we saw greed, chance for more government funds, opportunity to elevate status among the fire fighting circle, ego trips, faulty thinking, disregard for safety rules, confusion and lack of leadership or leadership gone amok, lazy people to put out a fire from day 1, and a number of things that legitimate Type 1 firefighters, smoke jumpers and knowledgeable fire death investigators will reveal.

        Not it seems to be all about this memorial for 19. Who is the construction company owner that will put it in? Karen Fenn owns the company–perhaps they are going to do it at just cost. It will give them a good name, but why put it here in YARNELL when all those men are buried in PRESC””OTT. They are Prescott residents and I can bet had they been killed in Idaho then we would not see all the ballyhoo about a memorial and their memorial would be where it should be–in PRESCOTT. Several locals will be hurt by a memorial out there and are already bothered by lights, etc.. Thousands are being spent so that a few widows and I think very few will have that place cordoned off to themselves. None of this makes sense considering the fact that these men worked for the US, not just Arizona but in a sense they worked for Prescott City, their home base.

        Now we have a memorial for the 19. What about the many that died since then. That fire took its tool on more than 50 beside the 19 that died. Our Yarnell memorial says that the property where they died should have been set aside for Yarnell and opened up to the public and made into a fire fighting training area so that fire fighters could learn what not to do and how to stay alive and how to disobey orders when your life is going to be compromised for no good reason and because of fallacious thinking or some boss’s ego trip. It will teach the fire fighting profession to start clamping down on hiring of unqualified leaders in the profession as well.

        Now that Yarnell memorial or black wall of wailing will include not only the deaths of 19 fire men who dared or were caused to dare and lost or both, but 50 innocent lives that have been shortened since the fire. Joy and I are now doing a research again on the names of all 50 and if possible the reason for every death. I believe that every compromised person in the Yarnell area is connected to the fire that could have and should have been quenched that Friday it started. If you don’t believe that retardant is deadly go read how 40,000 gallons dumped into the Fall river killed 20,000 fish. I would suspect they got the same treatment we at Yarnell did. Satellite images showed the high concentrations of NH3 in the Yarnell area after the retardant drops of I am told as much as 300,000 gallons. I suspect the fish died from lack of O2 in the water that would have been absorbed by the nitrates in the water. It created a dead zone and perhaps the NH3 killed the fish’s lung tissue the same as it killed lung tissue here in the Yarnell area. Think this is far fetched–how many wildland firefighters have to retire due to smoke inhalation and that is contaminated with fire retardant chemicals to escalate the problem. Why has there been no long time study on these retardants–I rather see Yarnell burn to the ground than see that 50 lives are lost due to chemical contamination.

        I do hope after all something will come of an EPA or WHO investigation on the problem of health issues here. This of course goes against the will and hopes of a multimillion dollar industry in retardant drops and certain circles that benefit from the drops and millions put into them. Maybe those millions would be healthier and better used in building defensible space so that wildland fires can have their way in certain cases–especially manzanita areas where a burn off is really a necessary benefit to the land.

      • Gary Olson says

        Well…the internet say’s, “Norb Szczurek, Retired Division Chief, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District” although that is a very common name in many parts of the country, hee, hee, why, I have 3 Norb Szczureks on my Christmas card list alone.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      would have to decline the mascot name “Smokey” due to 18 U.S. Code § 711 – “Smokey”—

      We can change the way it is spelled though-

      I do not want jail time. soft smiles.

      THE LAW: (((Whoever, except as authorized under rules and regulations issued by the Secretary of Agriculture after consultation with the Association of State Foresters and the Advertising Council, knowingly and for profit manufactures, reproduces, or uses the character “Smokey”, originated by the Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Association of State Foresters and the Advertising Council for use in public information concerning the prevention of forest fires, or any facsimile thereof, or the use of the name “Smokey” shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. )))

      • Joy A. Collura says

        also would have to decline “Bambi” due to Disney copyright and these two (((https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbi_Twins))) only got away with it because they are twins…

        Some now will POP that has never been used that ties into this here Yarnell Hill Fire discussion board…for now keep it simple…”come here little one”

        Whatever name it becomes will become the mascot and a postcard too.

  43. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** DARRELL WILLIS WILL SPEAK PUBLICLY AT CEREMONY IN YARNELL

    Reply to Sonny post on June 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    >> Sonny said…
    >>
    >> The locals are cleaning up the memorial ground across the street
    >> from Yarnell Fire Department,. The nice new white hummer is
    >> cleaned and polished so Chief Ben Palm looks good there.

    The Yarnell Hill Recovery Group has now announced the official ‘plans’ for the second anniversary there in Yarnell.

    There will be TWO events. One this coming Sunday and then another one on Tuesday, June 30 itself.

    Former Prescott Wildland Division Chief Darrell Willis is one of the ‘speakers’ there in Yarnell at the first event this coming Sunday, which is actually the official ‘dedication’ of that other memorial park there inside Yarnell itself at the corner of Shrine Road and Highway 89.

    BOTH events take place at this ‘memorial park’ at Shrine Road and Hwy 89.

    Here’s the press release from the “Yarnell Hill Recovery Group”…

    Second Anniversary of Yarnell Hill Fire
    http://www.arizonahighways.com/?q=blog/recovery-group-mark-second-anniversary-yarnell-hill-fire

    From the Press Release itself…
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Yarnell will commemorate the second anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire with two events, both to be held at the Memorial Park Site at 22556 S. Highway 89, at the corner of Shrine Rd. and State Route 89.

    On Sunday, June 28, the ceremony will begin at 1:00 pm, and will honor the loss of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. The event will include music, and brief statements by local leaders and former Division Chief of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, Darrell Willis. Lew Theokas, the grandfather of Garret Zuppiger one of the fallen Hotshots, will also make brief comments. The second anniversary remembrance event includes a groundbreaking ceremony for the Memorial Park, which was donated to the Yarnell Fire District through the efforts of the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group. Several commemorative gifts to be incorporated into the park will also be presented. The event is expected to last approximately one hour.

    On Tuesday, June 30, the ceremony begins at 4:00 pm. It will focus only on the 19 firefighters and is structured so that those in attendance will participate in the county-wide moment of silence at 4:42 pm.

    The public and media are invited to the Sunday event; the Tuesday ceremony is intended primarily for local residents and those immediately impacted by the fire.
    ——————————————————————————————-

    >> Sonny also said…
    >>
    >> I hear Mr. Palm is running for mayor now

    Yes, Yarnell Fire Chief Ben Palm is running for the title of “Honoray Mayor” of Yarnell, but it’s not what you would think.

    It’s actually just part of a clever fund-raising campaign to benefit individual ’causes’ and the Yarnell Chamber of Commerce.

    People can ‘pretend’ to run for “Honorary Mayor” and try to raise money but they are actually just ‘pledged’ to a CAUSE of their choosing and whatever money they raise… 90 percent goes to their CAUSE of choice and the other 10 percent goes to the Yarnell Chamber of Commerce.

    Chief Ben Palm is “running” on behalf of the Yarnell Hill Memorial Park group and they memorial site they already have planned in Yarnell itself there at the corner of Shrine Road and HIghway 89.

    Chielf Palm has already ‘pledged’ that whatever money he raises during his ‘campaign’ will go towards the memorial to help pay for the landscaping and the flagstone needed to complete the park.

    Even if he WINS the ‘election’… he just gets a ‘badge’ saying he is the “Honorary Mayor”. There are no actual ‘duties’ associated with the ‘honor’.

    • Sonny says

      Joy and I will most likely be there to record Mr. Willis. He you know was a testifier against Joy when they were trying to restrict her human rights of being able to hike and to shut her up as well. What happened to free speech in this country–It is almost as the British did with the Colonists–If you are for the Crown and not freedom then you can use any petty excuse to persecute others. False accusations are accepted in the Prescott court simply by influence of those connected to the cronies.

      Now, we the people know that the Yarnell fire department is best used as an EMT service. Joy wants to add a pumper to the Hummer but I am not sure those fellows would be anxious to use it in case of a fire. Look how that system refused to put out the death fire–and I mean death because it not only includes the 19 but also we just today heard of Don Anderson’s lung related death today making it an even 50 elderly folks dead — That is 69 deaths I attribute to the fire. Yes there may have been as many as 10 that could have died of natural causes and those even could have been escalated by the fire situation. But 50 in a population of approximately a thousand since the fire?

      Yes I think Chief Ben Palm who we know to have great experience in EMT might be doing the right thing making it more oriented toward EMT. They do good work after all there–The workers frequent the Senior Center in Yarnell and are ready to check blood pressure and oxygen levels–something that might save a life after all. But for the firefighting business, especially anything local, a band of well informed citizens able bodied enough to attack a miniscule fire right off makes more sense than a bunch of firemen that can’t make up their minds whether to put out a budding disaster or not. Shit the local men would have been there in a heartbeat–maybe 20 or 30 men if they knew that they were not going to be protected by their local fire fighters.

      This reminds me of Dolan Springs– that fire department never put out a fire in the 8 years I was resident there that I knew of anyway. So I asked the local firre chief there why not? He told me they were trained to contain a fire, not put them out.

      • Joy A. Collura says

        REPLY TO:
        Sonny says
        June 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Joy and I will most likely be there to record Mr. Willis. FOR? I GUESS WE COULD- DID NOT EVEN PHASE ME- DO YOU ALL HERE WANT TO HEAR IT OTHERWISE MAY JUST PASS—

        He you know was a testifier against JoyI DISAGREE IN A SENSE HERE. WILLIS FOUND IT TO BE A PLEASURE TO FINALLY HAVE MET US THE HIKERS FACE TO FACE AND SAID THAT 1-9-15 10:40AM AND I THINK HE WAS SHARING ON THE STAND HEARSAY FROM ANOTHER THAT SEEM TO BE ALLOWED IN THAT PRESCOTT COURT ROOM AND THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT HIS WORDS USED AS TESTIMONY WAS INDEED HEARSAY FROM ANOTHER AND SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ADMISSIBLE AT ALL…THE WHOLE REFLECTING BACK AND LOOKING AT MY PRISTINE BACKGROUND AND THE WAY I WAS BEING PORTRAYED IN THAT COURT ROOM FELT LIKE A MOCK MADE UP SITUATION TO ME TO KIND OF SHAKE ME UP FOR SOME REASON NOT YET FIGURED THAT OUT BUT I FOUND THE TREATMENT ESPECIALLY MY CHARACTER A LEVEL OF ABUSE OF THIS COURT BUT WHO AM I JUST SOME HOUSEWIFE AND DESERT WALKER THAT HAD LAW CLASSES IN HIGH SCHOOL; STREET LAW WAS MY FAVORITE BUT EVEN THEN I NEVER TOOK A SERIOUS INTEREST IN IT BECAUSE IT IS ALL A DEBATE AND TWISTS AND SHADOWS FROM MY PERSEPCTIVE VERSUS PURITY—HORSE SHIT WORLD IN MY VIEW PLUS I CANNOT REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I HEARD “JUSTICE WAS SERVED”… when they were trying to restrict her human rights of being able to hike THAT WAS IN THE PAPERS I WAS SERVED THAT SUNDAY SONNY- THE HEARING RELEASED IT TO STATE LAND TO HANDLE AND THEY DID WITH A MAP AND LETTER THE VERY NEXT DAY—and to shut her up as well.SHUT ME UP FROM WHAT? I AM JUST NOT ALLOWED TO MENTION ONE TOPIC. THE JUDGE LIFTED THE PUBLIC MEETING RESTRICTION THAT WAS IN PAPERS I WAS SERVED- What happened to free speech in this countryTRUE SONNY—TRUE—BECAUSE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE FREE SPEECH OF YCSO SGT ASHBY, KRISTEE LEWIS AND CHIEF BEN PALM AND ERROL EASTWOOD I WOULD OF NEVER SAID ANYTHING ONLINE ON ANY PERSON BUT IT WAS GETTING VERY OLD TO HEAR MISINFORMATION ESPECIALLY FROM PROFESSIONAL AUTHORITY ROLES SO YES I WAS FRUSTRATED AND SHARED IT HERE–It is almost as the British did with the Colonists–If you are for the Crown and not freedom then you can use any petty excuse to persecute others. False accusations are accepted in the Prescott court simply by influence of those connected to the cronies.I DISAGREE HERE. I DO THINK THERE IS A TIGHT KNIT IN THAT SMALL TOWN YET I THINK USING FALSE ACCUSATIONS IS INCORRECT BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW IF YOU HEARD THE HEARING SONNY YET I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THE PERSON DID OR DOES FEEL THAT WAY SO WHAT IS DONE IS DONE AND SIX MONTHS MORE TO GO YET IN MY HUMBLE OPINION—“UNJUST”

        Now, we the people know that the Yarnell fire department is best used as an EMT service.TRUE!

        Joy wants to add a pumper to the Hummer
        NOT TRUE- AS WILLIS SHARED TO ME END OF LAST YEAR THE BEST VEHICLE WOULD BE A 3/4-1 TON PICK-UP WITH SLIDE IN PUMP UNIT THAT IS SELF CONTAINED CARRYING 125 GALLONS OF WATER AND HAS SMALL PUMP WITH HOSE AND BASIC WILDLAND TOOLS TO CONTAIN SMALL FIRES- I WANT THE HUMMER SOLD AND POSTED IT ON BULLETING BOARDS—I HAVE HAD NEUTRAL FROM BUSINESS OWNERS TO WAY POSITIVE FROM THE REST FROM THE FLYERS AND NOT YET ANY NEGATIVES—I EMAILED FLYER TO SOME OF YOU ON HERE— but I am not sure those fellows would be anxious to use it in case of a fire.WELL IT DEPENDS WHERE AND HOW BIG THE FIRE? Look how that system refused to put out the death fire–and I mean death because it not only includes the 19 but also we just today heard of Don Anderson’s lung related death today making it an even 50 elderly folks dead THIS PART IS DISAPPOINTING PART FOR ME BECAUSE I SPENT TOO MANY HOURS GATHERING EVERY NAME AND ONE EVENT AND I NO LONGER HAVE IT BUT THE NAME COUNT WOULD RANGE BETWEEN 40-50 NAMES AND I WILL REDO IT POSSIBLY TO HAVE ACCURATE NUMBER BECAUSE SONNY WANTS TO ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE RETARDANT SO IT WAS NOT SIMPLE OR FAST IT WAS A TIME CONSUMING PROJECT I DID AND SONNY SAID HE COULD JUST GO TO THE OBITS AND SEE BUT I KNEW AND KNOW THIS COMMUNITY SO IT TAKES ME TO DO IT BECAUSE I KNOW WHO MOVED AND THEN DIED OR WHO STAYED AND DIED…— That is 69 deaths I attribute to the fire. Yes there may have been as many as 10 that could have died of natural causes and those even could have been escalated by the fire situation. But 50 in a population of approximately a thousand since the fire?IF YOU ARE SERIOUS SONNY I CAN LET GO OF THE SOUR SPOT ON THIS TOPIC AND HELP HERE BUT I JUST DO NOT WANT A REPEAT WHERE I ENED UP DOING IT THAN ONE EVENT LOSE IT ALL—IF I CAN HAVE A COMMITMENT THERE FROM YOU THAN YES I CAN REDO THIS AREA FOR PROPER UPDATE

        Yes I think Chief Ben Palm who we know to have great experience in EMT might be doing the right thing making it more oriented toward EMT. MY BEEF IS THE HUMMER AND THAT THERE WAS BETTER CANDIDATES AND MORE QUALIFIED RIGHT HERE LOCALLY BUT THEY NABBED A PRESCOTT VALLEY EMT BEN PALM AND JUST PINNED HIM CHIEF AND IF I HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT AFTER WHAT BOB KRAMER TOLD ME I WILL MAKE SURE THE VOTES DO NOT GO TO HIM FOR HONORARY MAYOR BECAUSE I GAVE THE MAN THE OPPORTUNITY TO REMEDY IT AND SIT DOWN WITH ME YET HE DECLINED THAT INVITE—They do good work after all there–The workers frequent the Senior Center in Yarnell and are ready to check blood pressure and oxygen levels–something that might save a life after all. But for the firefighting business, especially anything local, a band of well informed citizens able bodied enough to attack a miniscule fire right off makes more sense than a bunch of firemen that can’t make up their minds whether to put out a budding disaster or not. Shit the local men would have been there in a heartbeat–maybe 20 or 30 men if they knew that they were not going to be protected by their local fire fighters. I THINK YOU CAN BE ARRESTED OR FINED IF YOU DID SONNY IN THIS MODERN WORLD BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE CERTIFIED TO DO THAT—ALL LIABILITY STUFF…I KNOW YOU CAN’T DO IT BUT IF YOU DID YOU WOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE BUT NOONE IS IN THIS YHF AND THAT IS WEIRD…

        This reminds me of Dolan Springs– that fire department never put out a fire in the 8 years I was resident there that I knew of anyway. So I asked the local firre chief there why not? He told me they were trained to contain a fire, not put them out.SAME IN CONGRESS BUT THERE IS ALOT OF THAT I DO UNDERSTAND- SAFETY MATTERS…

        Reply

  44. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** ARIZONA STATE PARKS CAN ONLY BID $304,000 FOR THE DEPLOYMENT SITE LAND

    Since the Governor’s announcement this afternoon… the MSM has picked up on it and the ‘new name’ for the deployment site land is being widely reported.

    MOST of these MSM articles have picked up on the fact that regardless of this ‘announcement’… the Arizona Parks department doesn’t even OWN the land yet… and they are only “hoping” that no one else shows up to outbid them.

    The Prescott Daily Courier has already published their own ‘update’ on this and it includes an interview with Arizona State Parks Executive Director Sue Black.

    As a result of this interview… Sue Black reveals a few important ‘points’.

    1. It WILL be Arizona State Parks representatives doing the actual bidding for the land on the steps of Yavapai County Courthouse at 11:00 AM this upcoming June 30, 2015. That means that somehow the $500,000 that was allocated to an entity known as the “Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board” is already available to them and can be considered “State Parks money”.

    2. Despite the fact that $500,000 was appropriated to acquire the deployment site… Sue Black states that Arizona Parks is ONLY allowed to bid up to $304,000 and no higher. That is the established ‘fair value’ of the land and, apparently, Arizona State Parks is prohibited ( by State Law ) from spending any more than this established ‘fair market value’ no matter what.

    Sue Black goes on to say that the way the bidding scheme is set… the ‘bids’ must come in increments of $10,000 so the ‘next highest bid’ above the established ‘fair market value’ would be the sum of $314,000 dollars.

    So forget about someone needing $500,000 plus 1 dollar to acquire the land themselves.

    It will only take $314,000 to ‘outbid’ Arizona State Parks department on June 30, 2015.

    $314,000 is peanuts.

    There are a LOT of people ( and organizations ) that have that kind of money available to them.

    Here is the Prescott Daily Courier article that just appeared…

    The Prescott Daily Courier
    Yarnell Hill memorial site named ‘Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park’
    Published: 6/25/2015 6:09:00 PM
    http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=146911

    From the article…
    ———————————————————————————–
    Although Parks doesn’t actually own the land yet, Executive Director Sue Black said she was fairly confident that they would win the bid.

    “I don’t think that (outbidding Parks) would be in the best public interest” she said, but if the price is bid up, “we’ll just cross that bridge when we come to it.”

    Black added that, by state law, she can only pay up to the fair market value of the property, which is about $304,000, and because of the bidding scheme, the next one would have to be $314,000.

    “I can’t imagine anyone would bid on it,” she said.
    ———————————————————————————–

    • Bob Powers says

      Another thought on this if the State owns it could they pull the Rabbit out of the HAT — on EMINENT DOMAIN FOR ROAD ACCESS?
      Most States and the Government have that ability to build roads thru Private property which would accomplish that objective as private owners do not.

      Just a thought as to why the committee is willing to let Parks and Recreation purchase the land as a Park. Remove the RED TAPE problem———–

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        That’s a very good point.

        Having the site become an official State Park really is the best thing for all concerned… now and into the future. If handicap access to the site quickly becomes a huge issue then the fact that it is already a State Park offers the most options for getting that figured out quickly and efficiently… even if it means playing hardball with reluctant land owners.

        It also offers the best scenario for all the fair access issues. There could certainly still be reasonable restrctions ( like no alchohol, no shirt no shoes no service basic stuff ) but you’d be hard pressed to run a State Park that only allows access to “the brotherhood” like “Widows, Inc.” was planning.

        Supposedly… ALL would be welcome to visit this State Park… and that’s how it SHOULD be.

        Example: It’s pretty much general knowledge now that the “lock down” which took place on the site was because at least one of the relatives of the deceased basically had a panic attack when it was learned that some psychics and mediums were interested in visiting the site. Even the Bible came out and there was much ado about how “against our beliefs” that would be and the great extents they were willing to go to make sure no one like that could ever possibly be allowed access to what they were calling “That sacred ground”

        I remember the one and only time I visited the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, DC. It was crowded. I was looking for someone’s name on the wall. I found it… and I paid my respects… but right next to me was a group of people focusing on another name and appearing to have some kind of session or ceremony. I couldn’t hear all that was being said because not only would it have been rude to intrude or eavesdrop… it was none of my business. They were there for their own reasons and it had nothing to do with me. The only thing I could hear clearly at one point was the person who seemed to be the leader of the group saying repeatedly… “Speak to us if you can… Speak to us if you can”.

        So was that a medium or a psychic helping some others try to ‘contact’ the departed?

        I don’t know. As I said… none of MY business.

        Did they have as much right to be there as I did and pay their respects, in their own way, to someone (singular) or someone’s (plural) who they may or may not have even known?

        You damn betcha.

        So when the ‘gavel’ falls on the steps of the Yavapai County courthouse just a few days from now and someone shouts…

        “SOLD to xxxxxx for $yyyyyy”

        …I have all my fingers and toes crossed that ‘xxxxxx’ is none other than “Arizona State Parks Department”

        Any other outcome… and things are going to get REALLY WEIRD.

      • Marti Reed says

        Thanks for all of this. I managed to flee town for a couple of days and came back in last night and read this.

        It was so dumbfounding (and DUMB) that I just sat there trying to contemplate it and finally fell asleep trying to do that.

        Sure would be nice if there were the (legally required) meeting minutes somewhere.

  45. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** JUMPING?

    I hope a press release just issued by the Arizona Governor’s office doesn’t turn from a simple act of “Jumping the gun” to a bona-fide “Jumping the SHARK” moment.

    The Arizona Governor’s Office has just announced that the OFFICIAL name of the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial site will be…

    “Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park”

    …but the State of Arizona Parks Department doesn’t even officially OWN the land yet.

    That can’t possibly be even near true until following the upcoming auction of the land at 11:00 AM on June 30, 2013, on the steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse… and the “Yarnell Hill Memorial Board” ends up the ‘winning bidder’ for the land.

    Interestingly enough… this ‘premature’ press release on the part of Arizona Governor Doub Ducey tells us that it will ( supposedly ) be representatives of ‘Arizona Parks’ itself that will be the ones standing on the courthouse steps a few days from now and bidding for the land.

    Not sure how that works since the $500,000 allocated by the Arizona Legislature was given to an entity called “The Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board” and NOT directly to “Arizona State Parks”… but I suppose when it’s nothing but foxes in the henhouse the eggs get passed around pretty freely, so to speak.

    All that means is that if it really is “Arizona State Parks” bidding directly on the land on June 30, 2015… and they ‘win’… then from that moment on the ACCESS to the land is in their ballpark and not sure what control the other entity has ( Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board ).

    What’s also interesting is that despite the ‘optimism’ in this press release… they still felt the need to include the phrase “…following a successful bid”.

    PRESS RELEASE
    From the Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
    June 25, 2015

    http://azgovernor.gov/news/yarnell-hill-memorial-site-officially-named-%E2%80%9Cgranite-mountain-hotshots-memorial-state-park%E2%80%9D

    From the Governor’s Press Release…
    ———————————————————————
    Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Officially Named “Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park”

    June 25, 2015

    PHOENIX – In a historic meeting, the Arizona State Parks Board yesterday named the future site of the Yarnell Hill Memorial. By unanimous vote, the Board adopted “Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park” as the official site name.

    “No words will ever fully convey our gratitude for these 19 heroes — we owe them a debt that can never be repaid,” said Governor Ducey. “But this memorial, named in their honor, will remind us every day of their sacrifice, and of how blessed we are to have brave first responders like them out there protecting us every day. I’m proud we can honor them with this due tribute.”

    “This is a historic moment and Arizona State Parks and the Board are proud to be part of the process,” said Arizona State Parks Board Chairman R.J. Cardin. “We continue to work to make the site a special place that will honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives there.”

    In 2014, House Bill 2624 tasked the Board with purchasing the site and establishing a memorial park. Today, the Board fulfilled an important part of this mission by officially naming the future park. The Board, which is chaired by Arizona State Parks Executive Director Sue Black, is working with elected officials and family members of the 19 wildland firefighters to create a place to pay tribute to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

    House Bill 2624 also set aside $500,000 for the purchase of the State Trust land on which this tragedy occurred. On June 30, 2015, Parks will attend a public auction and bid on this 320-acre parcel. Following a successful bid, Parks will designate the land as a memorial to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who sacrificed their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.
    ———————————————————————

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      Notice that the Governor’s Press Release today mentions that various ‘negotiations’ and ‘meetings’ have taken place between the “Yarnell Hill Memorial Board” and “Arizona Parks”.

      The place where ALL Agendas and Minutes for ANY meetings of the PUBLIC Arizona Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board are supposed to ( by LAW ) appear is here on a website at the Arizona State Parks Server…

      http://azstateparks.com/committees/Yarnell.html

      As required by law… all MINUTES for ALL meetings of that Board are REQUIRED BY LAW to be made PUBLIC within 72 hours of a meeting… even in a DRAFT form that won’t be officially approved until the beginning of the NEXT meeting…whenever that is.

      The MINUTES for the complete LAST TWO meetings of this Arizona PUBLIC board are still totally MISSING from this Arizona State Parks website.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        LMAO.

        Just in case I didn’t type “Required by Law” enough in the paragraph above…

        …did I say that the “Yarnell Hill Memorial Board” is REQUIRED BY LAW to publish the minutes from their meetings within 72 hours of any meeting?

        The last officially ‘published’ minutes for a meeting go all the way back to February 27, 2015.

        NOTHING is there for the TWO other official Board meetings that have gone down since then.( April 10, 2015 and May 29, 2015 ).

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Why do I continually get the feeling that for anyone living in the great state of Arizona… these pesky things everybody keeps calling LAWS are really just… well… sort of ‘guidelines’?

          • Gary Olson says

            That ain’t no shit! Laws aren’t even guidelines for many of the people who live in Arizona and those who represent them, they are just obstacles to figure out how to get around or just ignore.

          • Sonny says

            Guide lines? More like used to control freedoms that the TV soused public agrees to. When did this country get so restricted that you need to buy a land pass to hike across country. The new mind set is restrict freedoms in every direction and when men begin to believe there is a better way than the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then we live in what we are made to believe is a civilized society. My Tee Pee just does not fit within the HOA Weaver Estates where people look like bees in a hive–every house looks alike and too many beers and you might wind up in the wrong bed room. I have talked to people that have done that there. But I am happy that my Tee Pee does not fit in there==do keep your cookie cutter home in that bee hive and out of the desert environment I enjoy.

            We are handing over too much to government–is it because we are lazy to do the things we need to do?

  46. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** THE FIRST VERSION OF THE LAW ALLOCATING MONEY FOR THE MEMORIAL SITE
    ** ALSO SAID THAT A SMALL GROUP OF FAMILY MEMBERS SHOULD GET “FIRST DIBS”
    ** ON BUYING THE LAND.

    Reply to Gary Olson on June 24, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    >> Gary Olson said…
    >>
    >> I am not going back right now at least, to find exactly were the
    >> information came from that “a group” of GMIHC widows want
    >> or did want at one time to buy the deployment site so they could
    >> control who was permitted to visit the deployment site, but I think
    >> it was from articles in the local newspapers.

    Yes.

    It was actually part of the Associated Press News Service’s press release about Arizona House Bill 2624 beiing passed.

    That’s the piece of legislation eventually passed the Senate, too, and was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer. It established the Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board itself and gave them the $500K to buy the land where the deployment happened.

    The Associated Press reported that House Representative Karen Fann ( who represents Prescott ) amended the bill at the last minute and added a provision that some of the ‘widows’ of the deceased should get “first dibs” on buying the land. Those ‘widows’ approached her and ASKED her to put that special treatment clause into the legislation.

    She did. The bill that passed the Arizona House had that in it.

    Karen Fann’s ‘widows get first shot at buying the land’ clause in the original legislation didn’t survive Arizona Senate Committee Review… and the version that the Senate passed changed it to be a “first order of business” vote-style ‘action item’ decision on the part of the newly created Arizona State Yarnell Hill Memorial Board.

    That’s the version that was signed into law.

    The newly formed Yarnell Hill Memorial Board DID take this “should the State buy the land or let the widows have it” issue as a “first order of business”, as required by the legislation itself.

    The vote went against “the widows”.

    The Board voted that the State of Arizona should NOT just “let them have it” and the State should use the $500K allocation to acquire the land itself.

    Following that vote… there was never any “statement” from “the widows” themselves ( or from House Representative Karen Fann ) about this decision and the dashing of their original plans to acquire the property themselves.

    So no one really knows if they had changed their minds by then, or not, or whether the Board’s decision actually just pissed them off and they still have every intention of showing up at the Public Auction just a few days from now to try and outbid the State of Arizona.

    SIDENOTE: It’s actually pretty ODD that Arizona State Representative Karen Fann, who was ALL FOR the ‘widows’ having “first dibs” on the land… is also the one who was helping to set the upper limit of $500K for the appropriation in the legislation itself.

    Could it be that State Representative Karen Fann, in her conversations with “the widows” prior to her amending the legislation, already KNEW what kind of “dollar power” the “widows” had?… and the upper limit of only $500K for Arizona to purchase the land was based on that prior knowledge?

    I guess we’ll find out in just a few days.

    PS: It is still NOT KNOWN who these “widows” actually are who first asked Representative Karen Fann to actually write into the LAW the clause which stated they would get “first dibs” on owning the land.

    Here’s just ONE of the MSM outlets that published the ‘Associated Press” release when HB 2624 passed in the Arizona House…

    WORLDNOW NEWS
    Article Title: Arizona House approves Yarnell Hill memorial site plan
    Posted: Mar 05, 2014 5:34 PM CST
    Updated: Mar 05, 2014 5:34 PM CST
    Posted by Jennifer Jones
    http://apmobile.worldnow.com/story/24897692/house-approves-yarnell-hill-memorial-site-plan

    From the article…
    ——————————————————————————
    PHOENIX (AP) – Associated Press Release

    The Arizona House of Representatives has passed a bill setting aside $500,000 to create a memorial site honoring the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire last year.

    House Bill 2624 passed Wednesday on a 56-2 vote and now goes to the Senate.

    It was amended Monday to give the firefighters’ survivors the chance to buy the site themselves. Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott says the widows approached her about the proposal.
    ——————————————————————————

    • Gary Olson says

      WTKTT,

      Thank you for looking all of that up and explaining it so well, you really are a smart person and you are really good at explaining things, I really do wish you would write a book about this fucking disaster because that will probably be the only one worth reading. Although John Maclean really kicked ass in his other books and didn’t sugar coat what went wrong.

      It’s not as bad as I thought it was, it is really a lot worse, Karen Fann sounds exactly like somebody who I would expect to be representing Prescott, Arizona, Everybody’s Home Town. And I am going to stop writing now, before I go off on another one of my tangents.

      Thank God, who (whoops, I kept writing) so many of those who I view as being on the “other” side of this debate like to invoke, (since I personally don’t think God had anything to do with what happened to the GMIHC good or bad) that somebody in that insane asylum that normally passes for an Arizona State Legislature (Arizona is one of THOSE states the rest of the country so often points to and laughs at) still realizes that this country is a democracy (or at least a republic) and they need to put lipstick on this pig for the masses once in a while and shot that stupid and illegal (in that it no doubt violated state law in several ways) idea down.

      And frankly, if the Widows Inc. do show up with a big chunk of the money given to them by the general public and buy the deployment site to keep the general public away from it, I say good riddance. They can keep their site, and their fantasy about how and why their husbands died for as long as they care to. I don’t need to visit the site to find closure for the Yarnell Hill Fire.

      I am looking for the answers here (and of course I think I have already found most if not all of them, but I still keep picking up tidbits here and there like how overwhelmingly pervasive fundamentalist Christian beliefs were on the GMIHC, as in, With Jesus All Things Are Possible, yeah, including some really bad things and very well may have figured into their decision to do something so fucking stupid…nobody can believe it, since I say, God Helps Them Who Help Themselves) where it will digitally remain for as long as there is an internet. So there!

      I am really embracing this social media and internet thing, after spending a lifetime as one of the helpless masses without a voice since I never could afford to hire a whore of an attorney to speak for me. I think it is great and websites are really cheap and surprisingly easy to build and maintain if you have the hours to put into them, which I do.

  47. sonny says

    Dear Marti,

    I know you are one of the few that want to know the truth.
    You have Joy’s and my invitation to stay at my cabin and take the hike.

    Know that my lungs and heart are not great but I will make it- slowly.
    Also, we will extend it to a few on here.

    • Marti Reed says

      Thank you so much for that, Sonny.

      Really, I have been seriously trying, for a while, to get through all my “local issues” to think about getting there. I need to get physically stronger, myself, and bring my daughter (whose dad lives in Flagstaff) on board to do the driving. Maybe when it gets a bit cooler??

      And I’ve also been trying to, in my brain, figure out how to connect that with a number of hours of conversing with Gary Olson. Which may not be possible.

      With, also a visit to my aging uncle in Phoenix, who we absolutely need to spend some time talking with.

      But, yeah, I have been for a long time, trying to conjure up this visit.

  48. Joy A. Collura says

    Soon when it is in my hands versus “talk”…I cannot wait to show you what I am hearing earlier today…man, if these photos come through in person…you all WILL hug me…pretty tight too.
    And “ahhhh” will be what you will say in relief….I know I feel that way.

    I am smiling huge.

    Thank you Lord…
    clap, clap, clap

    I do not want it to not happen so can’t say too much….I was going to go to the Prescott Memorial but ran into a county employee today and learned my interest should be Yarnell on the 30th so I will not be in Prescott at Jersey Lily’s…

  49. Marti Reed says

    Regarding the evacuation and the jeeps, and thanks, Joy, for the photos.

    Last weekend I was off on a quest to see if I could pin down something the had been whispering into my ear about that “waz yo status” question.

    I was thinking that, given the various (conflicting) narratives around B-33, Todd Abel, and Eric/Granite Mountain, the little question I kept wondering was, is it possible it was Clint Clauson, the Aerial Supervisor Trainee on B-33 who asked it?

    So I tried to find out who he might be. Problem was, I couldn’t find him anywhere. Still haven’t. Starting with in the Resource Orders or the WildCAD logs.

    But, in searching the WildCAD logs for Clint Clauson, I found something very interesting related to the jeeps and the evacuation that I hadn’t caught before. Which is kind of surprising, because we have discussed it before. Just not while looking at the WildCAD logs. Unless I’ve missed something.

    According to the Aircraft Log:

    06/30/2013 13:42:24 From) B-3 / (To) ALH give Yarnell a heads up that they might need evacuate we have trigger points set up but need need so start pre evac notice and we have spotting in the Ease SIDE
    ————————————————–

    I found no response to that in the Aircraft Log. However, when I got over to the regular log I found this:

    06/30/2013 13:40:08 From) B-3 / (To) ALH give Yarnell a heads up that they might need evacuate we have trigger points set up but need need so start pre evac notice and we have spotting in the Ease SIDE
    ————————————————————-

    The following are, of course, interspersed with various other things, which it is kind of a pita to type. Also, some of these should be in total caps, but, unlike Joy, I have no caps lock key so…….:

    13:49:54 PMB / YARFD Notified of preevacuation notification, they want us to call Denny.

    13:50:38 PETE / YAV 911 Notified County 911 of preevac notification for Yarnell being activated. Pre notification of 1 hour trigger point. Hold notificaiton till we get back to Tina, 928-771-3266 per David.

    13:56:48 PMB / ROY Are we at trigger point to make preevac notification to notification? Per Roy Dana will make 4 hour pre alert to entire town of Yarnell. Gave Roy info on messages to Tina at Yav 911 and EMS Denn Fouk.

    14:02:32 ROY / PMB Type 1 Team in brief 7/1 1500 at Model School ICP.

    14:22:15 ROY / PMB Fire is continuing to wobble and flank to N & W, then moves towards Yarnell, helicopters moved for safety. Things going well, evacs going well, roads not wide enough for ff access and pvt egress. Trying to stay ahead of curve, by noon, fire beh from 10-12 chains per hours to 15-20 per hours, fl 15+ feet. Per Pete TY1 team may make it in for 6/29 1800 inbrief. Roy will be sending email with names for O#s of support people. No safety zone adiqt for struct equipment, 8 primary structures will be effected immediately. Impact should be kept to under 100 homes in Yarnell.

    14:36:50 SWCC / PMB Dugger team will meet 7/1 1200. Changed ROSS order to reflect.

    14:40:18 KM / TOM-SWCC Made changes in Type 1 Team order.

    15:20:54 MAC / WR need A/G freq and a starter kit //for what do you need this ordrs for // need for the Type 1 team //ok this is the 1st time this has been mentioned here in dispatch // ok well let me call roy hold on // ok

    15:34:27 MAC / WR talking to Roy and Howard this should have been order at least 2 hours ago // well I talked to dispatch and this is the first time we have heard about that // well someone drop the ball beecause I was told by Howard that he had already order thru dispatch // ok well ill ask expanded

    15:59:42 OPERATIONS / WW Need to evac Mountaineer Trailer Park, all YCSO, Pam calling.

    16:00:41 PMB / YAV Lauren: Notified of mandatory immediate evacuation of Mountaineir Trailer Park.

    16:02:55 WW / OPERATI Call on towers not answer YCSO has been notified

    16:03:37 B-33 / WR will place additional 6 HEAVYs due to Wind shift 600 structures threatenwe have structures on both flanks of the fire and Yarnell is still treaten to the SE and there is a community to the north T Storms and pushing the fire in multiple directions

    16:10:41 PMB / DANA Notified about contract with YAV 911 per Dana, started mandatory evac of Yrnell, about 30 minutes ago, Peeple Valley was notified about 4 hours ajo.

    That’s the end of things having to do with evacuations messages on WildCAD. At least this part of it. Hmm, I think I’ll check to see what else might have been logged before this. (I’m on a stuffed computer so this is SLOOOOOOOW.

    —————————————————-
    06/29/2013

    22:07:49 Russ / WR need YSCO to cll me direct on some evacuation pre planning // copy we willhave then call you

    22:11:57 NORVAL / YCSO Needing to get in contact with someone to set a possible evac plan, no evacs are needed at this time but it needs to be discussed // Let me get your contact information and have someone call you // Norval Tyler 623-44500274 // Will have someone call you back soon

    22:30:08 YCSO / IC Frank Barbaro // updated on fire activity, if it moves to the east its going to go down to Yarnell // What are you thinking on evacs and time wise? // Not tonight but tomorrow and the next day is a possibility the east side is pushing down two to three miles to Muddle Creek 1-2 miles from structures. Time frame is not tonight, would like you to be here on the ground so if it does go that way you are here // Let me contact my sergant and see who we can have down there // My number 928-713-0457 and this is LT Barbaro

    06/30/2013

    00:30:56 IC / ST Significant reduction in fire behavior in past half hour ………Also tied in with Yavapai Co SO for pre plan of reverse 911. East side is still concern but will keep an eye on throughout night and advise -Unsure of total acreage at this time

    06:33:56 GEYER / IC Not a lot of active flame – Southern flank near origin – and east flank west of Yarnell – No north activity – vis smoke west side – .25 mile from origin – 300 acres triggers for evac – any movement north for Peeples Valley 1 miles from structures for Yarnell – Need T-2 orginization – Fly crews on hill off and inbrief – Team can build plan – Structure Protection in place for now – Plan of Action point of contact for dip site.

    11:02:32 CARRIE / IA DISP AA Bar Ranch area is being evacuated // 2 areas for shelters animal located at Hidden Springs Ranch HWY 89 SW East of Hayes Ranch…People and small animals at Yavapai 11 East Sheldon // 1000 hours Type 2 Team Hall Taking over fire.

    12:19:11 1-1 / KM Mobile Creek is possibly being evacuated. Running parallel to the community

    12:27:55 GEYER / KM Communities threatened: Peeple Valley: 400 residences, Yarnell – 700 residences, Model Creek/Double A Bar Ranch 120 residences. 150 people on mandatory evacuations. Mandatory evacuations placed app 1100 on 6/30 for the Model Creek and the Double A Bar Ranch. One hour notification for Yarnell and Peeple Valley Have been encavted which will impact another 1100 residences. Other areas that are downwind of the fire have been avacuated due to smoke issues such as the Hospice Center, 175 residences in Peeples Valley, 359 residences in Yarnell and residences in Model Creek/Double A Bar Ranch. Total of 578 residences are immediately threatened, 20% of homes are secondary or vacation homes. 25 businesses are threatened in Yarnell and preliminary estimates of 2 businesses in Peeples Valley. State HWY 89 threatened, railroad lines w/in 3 miles of the fire to the west. 0.5 miles from Model Creek homes. 1 hour to reach structures. Fir is moving towards HTE northeast and the east. No major roads are considered barriers. The roads within the area are narrow and not passable for equipment responding to the incident and the residences evacuations. Fire activity in the fuels is extreme with heavy chaparral. The area has not experienced a large fire within the past 45 years and there is severe undergrowth. Running and crowning w/in chaparral. 15-20 flame lengths on avg w/30′ flame lengths common. Short to midrange spotting being experienced by ground crews. Moving N and E. Half mile per hour. Increased 700 acres in the last 2 hours.
    —————————————————–

    OK. The next one after that one is the B-3 one.

    So that’s the dispatch communications regarding evacuations on the Yarnell HIll Fire. Interesting to see how this stuff gets communicated about.

    Oh, and by the way, somebody/ies spent all day, hour in and hour out, trying to find and acquire a crash rescue truck and a rehab truck for the Wickenburg Airport. It was only quite late in the afternoon they actually got one. It’s a good thing they, as luck would have it, had no problems at the Wickenburg Airport.

    Now, once I get this thing posted, I can actually look at it.

    Oh, and PS. All typos are either carefully copied by me from the original, or of my own creation.

    • Marti Reed says

      And, now that I’ve typed that, and read it (uncluttered by all the rest of the stuff surrounding it), I still don’t really GET IT.

      What I have “understood” is that (and I’m not looking at the above, just remembering), at least to the extent that it MATTERED, from the whole bunches of things I have “read,” is that the Peeples Valley/Model Creek/Double A Bar Ranch areas got some kind of pre-evac notification Sunday morning. and then the Double A Bar Ranch and Model Creek Road area (where Willis’ crew was working) got an actual evacuation order around 11:00 AM. And I haven’t come across any problems regarding that.

      And then, as I currently remember/understand it, Model Creek got an actual evacuation order soon after that.

      In my imagination, I see “Double A Bar Ranch” and “Model Creek” being, at that time, under more urgent pressure. Which is why, the situation, then, in Model Creek was a bit less URGENT. People were getting packed and getting out, but not RACING.

      On the other hand, regarding Model Creek, Willis’ crew with engines and sprinkler systems and such, was actually doing a lot of what actually gets done with who actually does it, in the realm of “Structure Protection 101.” (That thing we get a bit hung up about sometimes regarding this fire.) They weren’t doing it with a Hotshot Crew. They WERE using a Type 2 Handcrew. And THAT is where Todd Abel was positioned when the Deployment happened. And where the VLAT was laying down retardant. Which, I think, given aerials I’ve seen, actually made a difference.

      As I imagine this in my head, I have NO CLUE how the evacuation “went’ for the folks who were living along Model Creek Road. It could have been kind of intense, but NOTHING like Glen Ilah. But somebody may have a different story.

      During the whole “media visits the fire” thing that I think happened on Wednesday, apparently they visited a house that had been burned down in that Model Creek Road area. I have yet to find out exactly which one on Google Earth it is. I definitely tried. I couldn’t find it on the map I saw of the burned properties in Yarnell. But that map only showed Yarnell and Glenn Ilah. It didn’t even show Double A Bar Ranch (which mostly burned down) much less Model Creek Road much less Peeples Valley.

      OK back to Peeples Valley. I’ve seen quite a few videos and read quite a few stories about Peeples Valley. The general impression I get is that they were gradually getting out, as the fire increasingly appeared to be heading RIGHT TOWARD them, with a VENGEANCE. But I also think some people didn’t leave. They were ready to, but they didn’t.

      And, then, as it turned out, they didn’t even have to. Because before the fire got there, which it was definitely headed to, with a VENGEANCE, it “miraculously” stopped (right while Willis’ crew was setting that back-burn to try to protect it), and stood up and slowly started turning around. Around somewhere before 4 PM. And that was where Willis was still positioned, on that back-burn, when the Deployment happened.

      I have no idea when the inhabitants of the Sickles Road area got an actual evacuation notice. Were they considered part of “Model Creek Road” or a part of “Peeples Valley”? I don’t know. Were they ordered to “Get Out Now” at 11 in the morning? Or later? I don’t know.

      But the first place that fire started heading before 4 PM was straight at Sickles Road. And there was quite a stand taken there. Using Engine Crews and helicopters and SEATS. Big time. Musser had gone there and brought some engines and stuff there. And I think they managed to save everything there.

      And then, also at that time was the evacuation of the Mini-Mart. OK, I’ll hit the wildCAD for that. We have a time for that:

      “15:59:42 OPERATIONS / WW Need to evac Mountaineer Trailer Park, all YCSO, Pam calling.

      16:00:41 PMB / YAV Lauren: Notified of mandatory immediate evacuation of Mountaineir Trailer Park.”

      And, of course we’ve seen many photos of THAT scene!! It was pretty insane.

      But it didn’t burn, “miraculously.” Because the fire was still TURNING.

      And, of course, nobody could have predicted that. With outflows from a thunderstorm coming from the northeast.

      And, so now we finally get to Yarnell, including Glen Ilah.

      And multiple narratives of some version of “We got no warning.” Or “not enough” warning. And I believe that, given the consequences. And I’ve been all along seriously stumped on this.

      Which is why I have read every narrative I could find and watched every video I could find. And, frankly, I come up with………..confusion. Which is why I decided to peruse and publish, today, this WildCAD log, because I thought it might shed some light on this confusing thing.

      • Marti Reed says

        I wrote:

        “And, of course, nobody could have predicted that. With outflows from a thunderstorm coming from the northeast.”

        With tongue in cheek.

        • Marti Reed says

          I mean, seriously, if NOBODY grasped that this fire was ultimately gonna be heading toward the southwest, with outflow boundaries hitting it from a thunderstorm approaching it from the northeast…….

          ………..am I missing something????

      • Joy A. Collura says

        reply to:
        As I imagine this in my head, I have NO CLUE how the evacuation “went’ for the folks who were living along Model Creek Road. It could have been kind of intense, but NOTHING like Glen Ilah. But somebody may have a different story.

        I will look into this…I am meeting to look at some photos from that area soon.

    • Marti Reed says

      OK. What we have regarding Yarnell itself.

      We have a 12:28 PM notice from Geyer saying everything’s going to hell in a handbasket on this fire with “359 residences in Yarnell” “immediately threatened.”

      And then we have this from B-3 (who we know realized, somewhere around 12:30-ish, that this fire was most likely going to reverse itself and head toward Yarnell that afternoon, but didn’t tell anybody that except for Rance Marquez):

      “06/30/2013 13:40:08 (From) B-3 / (To) ALH give Yarnell a heads up that they might need evacuate we have trigger points set up but need need so start pre evac notice and we have spotting in the Ease SIDE”

      OK that’s a “might.” It also includes a “need to start pre-evac.” Did anybody in Yarnell/Glen Ilah actually get any kind of actual pre-evacuation notice in this post 1:40 PM framework?

      And, then, I have to say, I see a bunch of bumbllng around.

      “13:50:38 PETE / YAV 911 Notified County 911 of preevac notification for Yarnell being activated. Pre notification of 1 hour trigger point. Hold notificaiton till we get back to Tina, 928-771-3266 per David.

      13:56:48 PMB / ROY Are we at trigger point to make preevac notification to notification? Per Roy Dana will make 4 hour pre alert to entire town of Yarnell. Gave Roy info on messages to Tina at Yav 911 and EMS Denn Fouk.”

      Did “Dana” actually make that “4 hour pre alert to entire town of Yarnell” anywhere after 2 PM that afternoon? Who got it” What was done with it?

      The only next thing I know is that, somewhere around 3:50 Gary Cordes “called for” an evacuation of Yarnell. I don’t see anything regarding that in the WildCAD. And, to be honest, at this moment, I don’t know who he sent that to.

      Was there any kind of coherent coordinated communication going on between Roy Hall and Dana and Gary Cordes about any of this??????? Or was it just more “dust in the wind?”

      And then, finally, we have:

      “16:10:41 PMB / DANA Notified about contract with YAV 911 per Dana, started mandatory evac of Yrnell, about 30 minutes ago.”

      And so that’s, via the WildCAD record, the record.

      • Marti Reed says

        If I were one of the homeowners of Yarnell, to be quite brutally honest, I would totally give up on trying to hold Arizona Department of Forestry accountable for the loss of my house, even though it’s really obvious they blew the Initial Attack. Because that’s counterbalanced by your blowing of your responsibility for getting serious about creating Defensible Space.

        But I would also grab hold of, by my teeth and my fingernails and everything else I could use (heck, I”ve even used paperclips to hold on to things, and don’t forget pliers and even duck tape – fishing wire is good also) this whole confusion in the record about your pre-evacuation and evacuation notices.

        THIS is where I think you got SCREWED. Big time.

        There is no way in hell you should have been fleeing that fire, with just about nothing with you that you could grab in those last minutes, including just your pajamas and your flip-flops.

        I can’t tell who, exactly, is responsible for this piece of this nightmare. Was it Arizona Department of Forestry? I don’t know. Was it Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office? I don’t know.

        But if I were you, I would never never never never give up on finding out. And holding whoever was responsible accountable. Because, after picking my way through these communications, I’m pretty sure you got screwed.

        In a way that, apparently, mostly nobody else did.

        • Marti Reed says

          They friggin had PLENTY of time and PLENTY of warning and PLENTY of reason to tell you somewhere between (and not later than) about noon and 2 PM:

          “You need to pack up what matters most to you and EVACUATE because this fire is about to head toward you. Big time. And here’s your FOUR hour notice to do that. Which means you have FOUR hours to do that. And I”m sorry to say this but you’ve got to get out. Now.”

          And, as it would turn out, a FOUR hour notice, at that time, wouldn’t have been enough. But, at least it would have been a start. And, from what I can see, I don’t think you even got THAT. Instead you got total chaos after 4 PM. WAY too late.

          Seriously, from what I see, THIS is where your case is.

          • Joy A. Collura says

            I actually notified Congress and some in Yarnell when on the Weavers on 6-30-13 via my cell sending a photo to “prepare” the important items and be alert and cautious and even told retired sheriff, my bible study gal and my family. I did not feel it was TIME but just be prepared was all…

            • Marti Reed says

              Joy, thank you for that.

              Do you have any idea when you did that?

              Of course, it wasn’t YOUR JOB to do that.

              But seriously, given all the narratives about how people who, somehow, found out it was time to evacuate, contacting other people via cellphones to evacuate, this is a typical part of this narrative.

              And I totally understand that part of the problem was that people who no longer had landlines and who didn’t know to put themselves on “the list” were “outside the loop.”

              But still. I really believe “the system” waited WAY too long to take seriously the fact that the weather was turning that fire around and driving it to the southwest.

              Hmmmmmmmm. What POSSIBLY could that POSSIBLY be related to.

              A Plan that included the Granite Mountain Hotshots????

              • Joy A. Collura says

                Joy, thank you for that.

                Do you have any idea when you did that?

                ALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY I UPDATED THEM- LAST ONE WAS 3:33PM AND 5:11PM

                Of course, it wasn’t YOUR JOB to do that.
                IN A SENSE AS THE DESERT WALKER SOME ELDERLY JUST EXPECT IT FROM ME SO MAY NOT BE MY JOB BUT SOME DO EXPECT IT—

                But seriously, given all the narratives about how people who, somehow, found out it was time to evacuate, contacting other people via cellphones to evacuate, this is a typical part of this narrative.

                And I totally understand that part of the problem was that people who no longer had landlines and who didn’t know to put themselves on “the list” were “outside the loop.”
                THAT WHOLE AREA I PLAN TO GO DEEPER STREET BY STREET SO THE WORLD CAN SEE HOW MIXED UP AND CHAOTIC IT WAS THROUGH THE WHOLE COMMUNITY

                But still. I really believe “the system” waited WAY too long to take seriously the fact that the weather was turning that fire around and driving it to the southwest. DIFFERENT PERCEPTIONS ON THIS— SOME WERE FINE WITH IT AND SOME NOT

                Hmmmmmmmm. What POSSIBLY could that POSSIBLY be related to.

                A Plan that included the Granite Mountain Hotshots????

                >????????????????

          • Sonny says

            That evacuation notice should have been in effect before 11 am from where we were watching on the mountain. At about 10:30 am that fire had already begun to blow up big time —had reached the lower areas of the Weaver range where the manzanita was so dense. By 11:30 it was in full blast and had taken over that area that I had Joy time to be 14 minutes. The fireworks were on and moving fast toward Peoples Valley — and as far as Joy and I were concerned–I knew it was time to evacuate our post in case the wind changed. I could feel the change when I topped out and so did Marsh in his radio comments. Shows again as Gary Olsen would say the inept way that whole scenario was handled.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Sonny post on June 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

              >> Sonny said…
              >>
              >> At about 10:30 am that fire had already begun to
              >> blow up big time —had reached the lower areas of
              >> the Weaver range where the manzanita was so dense.

              At 7:00 am on Sunday morning, when Eric Marsh and Todd Abel were standing in the parking lot of the Yarnell Hill Fire Station, looking out a the fire ( as it was at 7:00 AM ) and deciding what “the initial plan” was going to be… the whole IDEA was that GM would very quicky establish and ‘anchor’… and the arriving DOZER would improve those “Jeep Trails” out there running in a SOUTH-TO-NORTH direction at the base of the slope and establish an EAST FLANK.

              In other words… the whole idea at 7:00 AM was to use “south-to-north” Jeep Trails to keep the fire contained to the slopes out there and never “coming down” into the valley itself.

              As you just noted… by 10:30 AM that “Initial Plan” was a joke.

              The fire had already progressed both north AND east… and was already further east of the very Jeep Trails they had thought they were going to use as the EAST FLANK of the fire.

              That’s when the “plan” had to fall back to using east-to-west two-tracks instead… such as the one that ran out to the old-grader from the top of the Sesame Clearing area.

              So even that dozer work on that east-to-west ‘Sesame Trail’ leading out to the old-grader and then on to the ‘explosives’ sign was already just a “fallback” ( backup ) plan.

              The INITIAL PLAN had ALREADY FAILED by 10:30 AM… and yet there were no evacuation notices being given.

              ( NOTE: This is all documented in the ADOSH interviews ).

              >> Sonny also wrote…
              >>
              >> By 11:30 it was in full blast and had taken over that
              >> area that I had Joy time to be 14 minutes. The
              >> fireworks were on and moving fast toward Peoples
              >> Valley — and as far as Joy and I were concerned–I
              >> knew it was time to evacuate our post in case
              >> the wind changed. I could feel the change when I
              >> topped out and so did Marsh in his radio comments.
              >> Shows again as Gary Olsen would say the inept way
              >> that whole scenario was handled.

              By 12:30 PM… ‘Bravo 3’ ( Rusty Warbis and Paul Lenmark ) had arrived over the fire to replace Rory Collins as Air Attack because Collins had to leave to get refueled.

              On their (quote) “first turn around the fire”, Warbis and Lenmark noted the following things…

              1. Whatever Granite Mountain was doing was already pointless. Warbis and Lenmark were so sure GM was already “out of the game” that they said they were sure they must have been just “staging” out there on the ridge and waiting for their next assignment.

              2. The Blue Ridge Hotshots were doing NOTHING but hanging around their Crew Carriers. Warbis and Lenmark said their impression there was that Blue Ridge needed to either ‘engage the fire” or get the hell out of where they were ( the Sesame clearing area ).

              3. Warbis and Lenmark took one look at the same fire behavior you and Joy had been witnessing ( and timed ) and they were then SURE that the fire was GOING to go into Yarnell ( and Glen Ilah ) THAT afternoon… during THAT burn cycle.

              They were so sure of this ( and that GM was “out of the game” and Blue Ridge was worthless ) that they decided to start spending hundreds of thousands of dollars laying a basically worthless line or retardant all the way from the west ridge and over to the eastern foothills near Highway 89.

              And they decided to lay this line of retardant just directly on top of the explosive manzanita out there in “the bowl”.

              So they started doing that just thinking “Well.. SOMEONE has to try and do SOMETHING to protect Yarnell… because the fire is going into that town TODAY”.

              So this is now all happening by 1:00 PM.

              And there will still evacuations in progess.

              It would be another HOUR before even the mysterious pre-evacuation notices would go out.

              Bravo 3 communicated their impressions, their expectations and their plans to (apparently) only one person in fire command…

              Division Z Rance Marquez.

              And then he ( Marquez ) basically just “disappeared” for the rest of the day and passed none of this crucial intel/knowledge coming from Air Attack Bravo 3 on to anyone.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Apologies. BAD Typo up above.

                I left the entire word NO out of a sentence.

                The two sentences above should have read like this…

                “So this is now all happening by 1:00 PM.
                And there were still NO evacuations in progess.”

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Marti Reed post on June 24, 2015 at 6:37 pm

        >> Marti Reed said…
        >>
        >> 13:56:48 PMB / ROY Are we at trigger point to make preevac notification
        >> to notification? Per Roy Dana will make 4 hour pre alert to entire town
        >> of Yarnell. Gave Roy info on messages to Tina at Yav 911 and EMS
        >> Denn Fouk.”
        >>
        >> Did “Dana” actually make that “4 hour pre alert to entire town of Yarnell”
        >> anywhere after 2 PM that afternoon? Who got it” What was done with it?
        >>
        >> The only next thing I know is that, somewhere around 3:50 Gary Cordes “
        >> called for” an evacuation of Yarnell. I don’t see anything regarding that in
        >> the WildCAD. And, to be honest, at this moment, I don’t know who
        >> he sent that to.

        According to Cordes himself… he sent it to OPS1 Todd Abel.

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

        NOTE: At this point in the interview, Dave Larsen is still just going
        over Gay Cordes’ official ‘Unit Log’ with him, line by line, So that’s the first sentence
        below. Dave Larsen is just reading the next line from Cordes’ Unit Log.

        Cordes’ Unit Log says it happened circa 3:50 PM and not 3:50 PM.

        If it happened at 3:40 PM… then it happened just seconds before Blue Ridge Hotshot Brian Frisby was about to ‘accidentally’ come across Brendan McDonough coming down off his Lookout mound.

        Q2 = Dave Larsen, WFA / ADOSH investigator ( Rest in Peace )
        A = SPGS1 Gary Cordes
        ——————————————————————
        1209 Q2: Uh, flanks approximately three, thre 1209 e miles became active with the head
        1210 moving south, southwest. Um, 1530, uh, 1540, Yarnell was actually a trigger
        1211 point met and uh, evacuated as requested.
        1212
        1213 A: Yes.
        1214
        1215 Q2: Is that right?
        1216
        1217 A: Yes.
        1218
        1219 Q2: Okay, your – you were, you were requesting that or?
        1220
        1221 A: I’m the one that made that request, yes.
        1222
        1223 Q2: Who’d you make it to?
        1224
        1225 A: I made it operations.
        1226
        1227 Q2: Okay. Uh, Able?
        1228
        1229 A: Yes.
        ———————————————————————-

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Sorry. Typo above. Meant to say ‘3:40 PM’ in a place where I said ‘3:50 PM’.

          Line above should have been…

          Cordes’ Unit Log says it happened circa 3:40 PM and not 3:50 PM.

  50. Marti Reed says

    Gary Olson saie JUNE 23, 2015 AT 4:08 PM

    “A group of the GMIHC widows want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars the public gave them to buy the deployment site so they can keep the public from going their to visit it or grieve there. Really?”

    Am I missing something? This sent me off on a quest to see if I had missed some news recently (as I’ve been off focused on other things) and I didn’t find anything.

    Apparently I hadn’t. So.

    The widows haven’t been given a dime by the State to purchase the land. The money has been given to State Parks to purchase the land.

    They still may WANT to (along with various other folks we’ve discussed), but, in order to do that, they have to come up with their own money to do it.

    And, yeah, I agree with WTKTT’s take on where Darrell Willis is at with it. I could turn out to be wrong, but I’m, right now. willing to bet my money that, all things considered, the “local” wildland fire-fighter community would rather the land go “public” than “private.”

    Given what has become, for some time, the “Tradition,” regarding these sites, when possible. I think it would be REALLY REALLY BAD OPTICS for the families to stand in the way, much less with support of Prescott Firefighters.

    I mean, what makes the Granite Mountain 19 and more “precious” or “special” (or that land more “sacred”) than any other of the wildland fire-fighters that died on fires, who are honored by both fire-fighters and the public (both for a reason).

    That would be a real slap in the face, I would think.

    (Sure would be nice to be able to see the meeting minutes, though, just sayin’ ……… crickets…………

    But, I wouldn’t put it past one (or more) landowner/s to try to buy it, though. That wouldn’t surprise one teensy tiny bit.

    • Gary Olson says

      Marti,

      I am not going back right now at least, to find exactly were the information came from that “a group” of GMIHC widows want or did want at one time to buy the deployment site so they could control who was permitted to visit the deployment site, but I think it was from articles in the local newspapers.

      And in any case, that is not what you are challenging. What you are challenging is whether I said the widows had been given state money to buy the land. So the issue seems to be of my use of the word public which was in error. I was using the word as in money obtained from the general public in the form money that came from donations and fund raising by the general public. However, I think that if you look at the context in which I used the word, I don’t think there should be any confusion as to what I meant.

      Nevertheless, let me try it again. I believe that if “a group” of GMIHC widows want to buy the deployment site that is scheduled to be auctioned off by the state of Arizona for a minimum of $300,000, but may go as high as $500,000, the money that the widows are or were planning on using must be coming from donations and fund raisers that came from the general public that were therefore private funds that were given to other private individuals (the widows) to compensate them above and beyond what their employers compensation was, which was based on workman’s compensation law.

      Now, if you want to split hairs, I don’t know if “a group” of GMIHC widows may be independently wealthy perhaps, and their husbands were working as hotshots because they liked the work so much? I don’t know if the money they are or were planning on using to buy the land may have come from private people for that purpose, say…Ross Perot? I don’t know if “a group” of widows perhaps had some wealthy relatives die recently and give them an inheritance? Or maybe they are or were planning on using their own money they earned from their own labor or perhaps their husbands labor before they were killed and the money was in savings accounts? Or maybe they are or were planning on using their own implied limited funds (I say limited because if their personal funds weren’t limited, they why did they need millions of dollars in addition to what their state compensation was, maybe that is horribly unfair, maybe they did?) and so therefore they are going to use their own money to buy the land and are planning on using the money form the donations to provide for their themselves and their children? Which in my opinion would be like someone on welfare using public assistance money (food stamps or card) o buy approved items and their “own” money to buy unapproved items at the register at the same time.

      In any case, the argument can certainly be made that it is none of my business what “a group” of GMIHC widows spend “their” money on and that certainly includes hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy the deployment site in order to restrict who gets to visit the site and grieve. However, human nature being what it is, since I donated money to the GMIHC families to help compensate them for their loss, and now that “a group” of widows wants or wanted to buy the deployment site even with money that fell from the sky, specifically for the purpose to control and restrict who gets to visit the site, which would I presume be me, especially since I would not apply to their regulatory body to obtain a valid permit or to be escorted to the site by one of their guides, I am offended. Maybe I shouldn’t be, and that just proves what an asshole I am, but in my defense, I did tell everyone at the very beginning that I was never paid to make friends by my employer and in fact, I was actually paid to be an asshole by you, the general public to go out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take of your problems and risk my life doing it. Maybe that fit into my existing personality and I was already an asshole and therefore it wasn’t much of a leap for me, but maybe I used to be a nice guy and after 32 years of risking my life and my family’s future on a daily basis to take care of your problems on your behalf, I have become a terminal asshole. I don’t know, I’m not complaining, I have very few tangible possessions, but I do have a very fair retirement check that comes on the first of the month, I did my part and now you are doing yours, thank you. I have a number of physical issues as a result of on the job traumatic and environmental condtijons, but onece again, I signed on for the job knowing that was possible. At least I didn’t end up being burned alive as the GMIHC were, and for that I am truly grateful, because that would have been a really bad way to go.

      Now, I have a hard earned reputation of being “that guy” on this thread who will call it like I see it, and so of those calls you are going to like and some of those calls will probably offend you. But like a supervisor once told me after a really bad complaint against me came in, “You can’t please all of the people, all of the time.” And just like the New Mexico BLM State Director once told me in his office, “Gary, you do good work…but you leave to many bodies on the trail.” To which I replied nothing, I didn’t know what to say because I had been only working for the BLM for one year. And like the Arizona BLM State Director once told me, “What are you going to do now Gary…call 60 Minutes.” To which I replied, “No, I know how the game is played.”, because by that time, I had been working for the agency for 18 years.

      Now back to “a group” of GMIHC widows who want or wanted to buy the deployment site in order to restrict who gets to go there to grieve, I think as a minimum, the “optics” as they say, of that decision looks bad and I don’t care what you (not Marti, everyone) think about it. I don’t like it.

      • SR says

        I think AZ already appropriated money to buy the land, and gave it to the quasi-public committee that is deciding details. So it definitely started as public dollars.

        Since it is public land now and will be bought by public money when ownership changes hands, it does seem all the more strange that access is now limited. There is no public safety or public order reason to keep it locked up now.

        They also are buying a large piece of land — closer to a ranch than a ranchette. The AZ legislature seemed fine with buying that much land, and apparently there is talk of buying even more down the road, so fair enough, but it’s striking to me that this isn’t just 2 or 5 or 10 acres for a memorial at the actual site. Seems to imply something more like a true battlefield park.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          One of the “first orders of business” for the newly formed Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board was dictated by the legislation itself.

          In the original House version of the Bill… State Representative Karen Fann ( who represents Prescott ) amended the legislation at the last minute to include a CLAUSE which said that a small group of “widows” of the deceased would get “first dibs” on buying the land.

          That is the version that PASSED in the Arizona House.

          The Arizona Senate took that “widows get first dibs” clause OUT of their version of the Bill… but they didn’t kill the idea. They just made it a “first order of business” for the Memorial Board the bill was forming to DECIDE ( by a vote ) whether the “widows” should get “first dibs” or not.

          That ‘vote’ did, in fact, take place as a “first order of business” on the part of the newly formed Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board.

          The “widows” lost.

          The Board voted that Arizona should buy the land instead.

          There was never any statement from “the widows” about losing that vote AND the dashing of their original plans to acquire the land themselves.

          So will they still how up to bid on the land? Who knows?
          I guess we’ll find out in just a few days.

          AFTER that initial vote that Arizona should buy the land… the next “action item” was to decided HOW MUCH LAND?

          The ORIGINAL proposal was to just buy the EAST half of that 360 acre Section 9 and end up owning basically from the two-track that ran up on the high-ridge ( and where the Descent Point was located ) all the way to the east and right up to the fence defining the west edge of the Boulder Springs Ranch.

          I think that only amounted to about 200 acres.

          Somewhere in the process… that got changed to buying ALL 360 acres, and the ENTIRE “South-half-of-Section 9” in Township 10 north, Range 05 West.

          It appears that the Arizona Land Department didn’t want to end up with some worthless, oblique piece of property sitting west of the memorial site that would still be State Trust Land, following the auction. They must have wanted the Board to either buy ALL 360 acres ( the entire south half of Section 9 )… or nothing at all.

          So I don’t think the SIZE of the purchase ( all 360 acres ) has much to do with anything other than that’s what the Arizona Land Department preferred them to do.

          The Board might have said… “We don’t want all 360 acres” but Arizona Land might have then said “Well… we’re going to auction off ALL 360 acres of the south half of section 9… so if you don’t want some ‘weird neighbor’ sitting next to your memorial site you better bid on all 360 acres”.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Correction for above.

            The SOUTH half of Section 9, Township 10 North, Range 05 West amounts to 320 acres… not 360 as I kept typing in the message above.

            So everywhere it says ‘360 acres’ up above… I should have been typing ‘320 acres’.

      • Marti Reed says

        OK, Gary, I did read you incorrectly. I did translate “public” into “that State money.”

        Which is why I was, like, wait a minute, did I miss something??

        And no I don’t need to split hairs. But I was also, in my own brain, conjuring up something along the lines of, hmmmmmmmm could they be (especially given how that conversation was going) in cahoots with a bunch of Prescott Firefighters to finance this, all things considered, since I wasn’t assuming they could afford to do all by this their very own selves.

        As a matter of fact, that idea had been percolating inside my head all along. I had been, like “Where are they gonna get at least $500 grand to do this?????”

        Actually I hadn’t even THOUGHT about them cashing out a fairly large chunk of all that donation and benefits money (or getting a loan based on it), so now I totally understand what you actually meant when you said “Public.” I was just thinking they would have HAD to find some “benefactors.”

        And you can RANT ALL YOU WANT about that, JUSTIFIABLY.

        Which just underscores what I said about the OPTICS of this whole thing. And I was thinking more of it being “pitched into” by the Prescott Fire Fighters.

        But, I have to say, the OPTICS of the Widows, Inc., “all by themselves.” laying $500,000.01 “in cash” on that table, to pull the rug out from under the State Parks acquisition, is going to go over, in the State of Arizona, equally REALLY REALLY badly, also.

        There’s already a LOT of people ALREADY pissed off about the money. And right now I’m not at all pissed off about the money. I believe they deserve every cent they can get, all things considered.

        But using THAT MONEY to buy their little piece of heaven on that mountain would totally end it for me.

        And I didn’t send any money to “the families.” I didn’t have any to send. So I spent about 20+ hours a week for the past year and a half (part of it while my mother was dying) donating my time to find THE TRUTH.

        Which I think we have come pretty damn close to finding, if I may say so myself. Even if it’s a REALLY Inconvenient Truth. At least for some people.

        Oh, and yeah, I also bought a white “Be Better/Yarnell 19” bracelet, which I have been proudly wearing this whole time. Because I think Julieanne Ashcraft is a totally awesome and majorly inspiring woman.

        • Marti Reed says

          And, now that I think about it, “The Widows Inc” is not just an analogy. They have to be registered as a business in Arizona in order to do this.

          That’s REALLY gonna go over well.

          Im guessing that, if they’re as smart as I think they are, they’ve been figuring out most of these roadblocks, themselves (with help), already.

          Which is why, currently, I’m not thinking they’re gonna Do It.

          And, then I chuckle, LOL! Who knows????????

          I guess all surprises are possible, on this STILL BURNING wildfire. THAT’S been nothing new!!!

        • Gary Olson says

          Well…once again, without looking up the specifics, I think there was more than 12 million dollars awarded to all of the families of the GMIHC by a committee made up of local officials, which I do remember included Tony Sciacca, based on their perceived need.

          Which I take to mean that a single hotshot without dependents family would be awarded much less than a hotshot who had a wife who wasn’t employed or necessarily employable under the conditions and had children would be awarded much more, which certainly could mean that some widows received more that 1 million dollars in addition to their workman’s compensation money that is normally paid out to the families of dead firefighters.

          And of course this brings up one of my favorite pet peeves, to my knowledge there wasn’t a single penny raised for any of the dead federal hotshots from the other disaster fires with hotshot fatalities.

          So yes, if I had more than 1 million dollars in addition to all of the regular workman’s compensation, which in the case of the fulltime firefighters could be equal to their original salary and full benefit package and I had several friends who shared my opinion that access to the deployment site should be restricted, I would think about buying the land as well.

          Especially if somebody with deep pockets might be backing the effort with even more money. But yes, that would certainly be wrong in my opinion.

          • Gary Olson says

            I will also further opine, based on my personal experience regarding workman’s compensation since I actually had to choose between taking a medical disability retirement at age 30 due to damage to my lungs and larynx from smoke inhalation or a different job which in my case and as a result of the wisdom of USFS management, was to clean out outhouses and pick up trash in campgrounds.

            Now…I signed the document accepting the position of cleaning outhouses from being an elite best of the best hotshot superintendent because not only did I want to keep working for the USFS…but there are several other problems with workman’s comp working for the federal government, which I am pretty sure would be the same problems with it working for any other governmental body.

            1. I believed they would find a way to disqualify me after a few years so I didn’t trust them. Now of course, this wouldn’t be a problem for the spouses or children of the GMIHC but it was for me.

            2. Workman’s comp is based on your BASE salary and does not include in the case of a wildland firefighter, overtime, hazard pay, night time differential, Sunday differential or holiday pay, which can come close to doubling some people’s salary.

            3. Workman’s compensation does not account for future pay raises due to increased duties and responsibilities. For example I would have retired on the base salary of a GS-7, but by sticking with it and getting lucky I ended up retiring at the equivalent of a GS-15. I’m sure that many of those who died fighting wildfires, not just the GMIHC, had similar or much greater potential to do well with their lives.

            And in any case, I am pretty sure everyone who got money for their loved ones deaths, or will get money in the future would trade that money in a heartbeat to have their loved ones back, but that is not the point, I just don’t think any of them should be talking about restricting access to the deployment site based on their personal opinions of who is eligible to go there to grieve or simply visit to see what the lay of the land was or for any purpose (legal) important to them.

            Although I do want to say there is nothing wrong with a job cleaning outhouses, somebody has to do it, I just wasn’t ready after being told how special I was for so many years for the reality of what the USFS management really thought of me.

            I also want to point out since this is my soapbox, that the first thing the USFS thought of to do with me was to FIRE ME and it was only after I researched the famous FSM (Forest Service Manual) that was the Bible that everybody lived by, and proved they couldn’t do what they wanted to do and filed a grievance, that I was offered the shit house cleaning job. So…just in case anybody thinks working for he government is a walk in the park, it’s not.

            Bottom line, it is perfectly reasonable to think that Jesse Steed or even one of the diggers on the crew would have been capable of retiring as the Chief of the Prescott Fire Department if the Prescott Fire Department hadn’t killed them. Sorry, it’s just my opinion.

        • sonny says

          Yes, Marti. Thank you for reading it right. Well, Brent Yadon asked us

          “What piece of information will be the “closure” information that you hikers would be satisfied with and move on?”

          That indeed was a good question.

          Now, I ask what bit of information would prove to me that my son was not murdered?

          I have always felt that the police did a cursory investigation as we have seen in this investigation.

          So my closure will be when I know what actually happened that destroyed nineteen men’s lives.

          I ask you all on here the same question Brent asked me and Joy.

          Had I not rubbed shoulders with these men and actually saw what was occurring that day than I might be like so many that say they got their money and why bother.

          But I watched Dr. Ted Putnam working for so many years and expending so much of his own time and money to solve the riddle of why thirteen men died than I am inspired not to give up why or trying to understand nineteen men perished in a box canyon.

          We know already that there has been a cover up just by who came to us publicly and privately.

          The photo of the number nineteen above my left shoulder on Christmas night above their point of departure from this world ought to convince anyone that this is not a game.
          Lives that were lost including almost fifty from our communities amount to sixty eight lives. That in itself is the reason that we all should do everything to look for additional information and details and accounts of every life that was involved that weekend including Paul Morin.

          Now, Dr. Ted Putnam did not have closure even after 50 years of the loss of 13 at Mann Gulch nor shall we give up after only two years of attempting to uncover the real reasons these men died and the forty nine since then.

          Note, I am not after money nor do we expect any. I do not give a shit about fame. I lost a son. This is very serious business to me.

          Amen.

        • SR says

          I’m still not sure where the “Widows Inc.” talk is coming from?

          There are multiple memorial efforts — at least one for each of Yarnell and Prescott.

          For the burnover site itself, there’s talk of the appropriated money from the state being only for land, and therefore a nonprofit arm of the memorial commission needing to raise funds for access, etc. once those details are decided. It is likely that in AZ the ability to make private, deductible charitable donations to this type of effort is facilitated by some stature or the other, so they may not even need a separate charitable entity and may be able to use the state to look after any (hopefully segregated) charitable donation funds.

          Earlier in the process, there was some vague talk about families buying the land directly, but I am not that confident that we’ve gone from talk to discrete plans. Particularly so when the state ponied up as much as it did. If we were to do so, it would certainly be with a nonprofit.

          I am often wrong and ready to be corrected. I do believe that the public should have access to the site, without permit, even now, and that they should in the future.

          My gut is that the commission goes for some sort of open-but restricted access, maybe with a finite number of permits per day. I wouldn’t agree with this, and do ask what harm that would guard against, but it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as the current approach of preventing access in a way that isn’t grounded (imo) in the law at all.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            SR…

            See the following new parent comment above…

            It details where this information about “the widows” trying to acquire the land for themselves first came from… and where it was first published by the Associated Press.

            The “widows” approached State Representative Karen Fann ( who represents Prescott ) and ASKED her to write a CLAUSE into the legislation itself giving THEM “first dibs” on the land…

            http://www.investigativemedia.com/yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xv/#comment-301026

            As for the term “Widows, Inc.”… I believe that’s just shorthand reference for the reality that in order for ANYONE to be a “successful bidder” on any Arizona State Trust land being put up for auction… you have to be “licensed to do business in the State of Arizona”.

            It is not absolutely KNOWN that anyone other than the State of Arizona’s Yarnell Memorial Board has any intentions of showing up on the steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse just a few days from now, at 11:00 AM on June 30, 2013, to BID on the land….

            But it is also not absolutely KNOWN that someone ( or multiple someones ) will NOT.

            I guess a few seconds after the first bid is made… and whether that is followed by total silence… will be the first moment when we know for sure.

            But when we finally hear the words…

            “Going once. Going twice. Going three times”

            ( LONG PAUSE )

            “SOLD… to XXXXXXXXX for $yyyyyy”.

            Whoever XXXXXXXXXX is has just 72 hours to get themselves “licensed to do business in the State of Arizona” if they have NOT already done so prior to the auction.

            If they don’t… then their bid is VOIDED and ownership either defaults to next highest bidder or ( possibly ) another auction has take place.

            So if XXXXXXXXXX happens to be some loose conglomeration of family members of the deceased… they can’t all just march up to the payment table and all start throwing their individual CASHIER’S CHECKS ( required by law, CASH is no good ) onto the table saying “Here’s mine… here’s mine… here’s mine, etc.”.

            They will have HAD to have formed either a for-profit or not-for-profit entity and be duly registered to “do business” in Arizona.

            So that’s where the “Widows’ Inc.” phrase comes from.

            It’s just referencing that legal requirement.

            Even if there are 8 persons involved… and 7 of them think they can just hand money to the EIGHTH one and have THEM “do their bidding” ( pun intended… which the IRS would have a problem with but that’s another story )… that ONE person is still required to be “Widow, Inc.” or some such registered DBA ( Doing Business As ) entity.

            I really hope when the gavel falls on Sunday, June 30, 2013,
            the XXXXXXXXXX above is “The Arizona State Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board”.

            Any other XXXXXXXXXX than that… and things area going to get really weird.

  51. Joy A. COllura says

    I have been in and out the past few months of Yarnell. I noticed people who normally come up to say “Good Morning”…I mean go out of their way and day to even greet me to now put their heads down or turn them away when they see me. I know I did not do anything to this person but I did learn recently on last December 2014 event with Chief Ben Palm and fire meeting that I can confirm that Bob K. did state in his assessment this new chief after the YHF does not like Joy A. Collura so it could be small town rubbish rumors flying and they don’t want to greet me because they may be tempted to open up on topic …MUCH LIKE the deputy from YCSO who chooses to ignore some loved ones of the GMHS that knew them since the GMHS was young so I guess I cannot take it personal just people doing what they gotta do.
    I did get seven people last night tell me to show up for taco Tuesday at the legion and they will see if they can gather the photos for me to view…Sonny said why the glum face today Joy? I reckon because people I care for and like do not see the importance of this all…even Roberta Era is backing out of one of her suits so she can just move forward in life. The general attitude from some is the answers are coming out too slow but my reply has never changed…I tell them if I have not or this site or Dr. Ted Putnam seen their photos or heard their account—folks not making a movie or book but just want to gather documented information to properly assess the fire if we have not heard the homeowners accounts than how can one move forward because they may not even know it but they may have the definite piece to this puzzle. Than I am sad because people perceive me as I heard in January 2015 as being obsessed by the fire and that is not accurate. I was the eyewitness at the fire and when I got into evacuation shelter and learned nineteen not one or two but nineteen human beings died and than later learned it was the very men we pass by & spoke to…and ALL those homes lost and ALL the people affected by the fire. it just did not add up because that fire was tight towards Peeples Valley and Congress but very little on Yarnell except that someone this week may of been Bob Powers said they line and the mystery men away from helispot area was for gear or something and that was the first made sense to me out of this all because it hovered so low; fanning the 4 tiny bushes into high flames due to the air hitting it. Marti, you are right I will not be walking away from this fire and its aftermath and always be open to discuss it even if you do not agree with me or not—I want to publicly apologize to all that feel my wanting to continue to piece the puzzle affects you and your life but you also have to remember when you begin to feel such way…I was on top of the Weavers at the fire and so it is not just a local in town trying to cause a problem…I am trying to be a part in remedying the problem by speaking up like so many others should be doing. Is anyone on here going to the second anniversary next week? I am aiming to go and just have to make sure I am allowed in case another is present—what are the rules on it—I think it is okay because its a public event…I think it is so many feet or something….six months and a week left of it…Every time I am in Prescott I look everywhere when entering…I look forward to the day I do not have to…I know the organizing part if happening right now to hike some folks of various disabilities even ones wheelchair bound and not to make a point but because they want to go and no one will guide them to the legal way to go and I now have the state detailed map that we can show them and they are awaiting their state land permits first. They cannot see any of the area they men died but there is a great section you can view alot. They deserve that opportunity and very thankful we will take the time out and patience to do this for them. Why not. We hiked everyone else who asked so why deny a person…

    • Joy A. COllura says

      Marti, you are right I will not be walking away from this fire and its aftermath and always be open to discuss it even if you do not agree with me or not

      correction…in a sense..the first part was mean to you:
      Marti, you are right I will not be walking away from this fire and its aftermath and always be open to discuss it

      this part was meant for everyone:
      even if you do not agree with me or not

    • Gary Olson says

      I don’t know if this will help you or not, but sometimes misery loves company. Because of my outspoken participation on this thread and views expressed here and in John Dougherty’s articles I lost my book editor (who lives in Prescott) my mechanic (who is a Christian conservative and I suspect is good friends with Willis and knows the other Bible Thumpers on the crew) and several “friends” and acquaintances in the wildland firefighter community and in the Prescott area. I have also lost my Emeritus Status within said community. So…good luck in that small town.

      This has really hurt me. I don’t need any more friends than the ones I still have, nor do I need a longer Christmas card list, but finding a new book editor I can work with is going to be hard and losing my mechanic last year was a real bitch. All of you probably know how hard it is to find a good (and honest) mechanic.

      If I had it to do all over again…I would.

        • Gary Olson says

          I should have added, “because my Jeeps are old and I break them a lot and don’t even know how to add window washer fluid by myself.”

          • Gary Olson says

            and I should have added, “And all of that happened last year way before things got toxic. I’m tellin’ ya, those people in Prescott and the wildland firefighting community in general really love the original narrative and they have absolutely ZERO interest in hearing the truth or anything different. No, they can’t handle the truth, and they hate anybody who tells it and their philosophy is to kill the messenger and that will solve the problem.

            Which is just one more reason I am so pissed off by now and blowing the whistle on what was really happened is now not only the right thing to do, but I am actually starting to enjoy it.

            Oh and as long as I’m still pissing people off, I want to tell you one more thing that has been really bothering me for some time.

            A group of the GMIHC widows want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars the public gave them to buy the deployment site so they can keep the public from going their to visit it or grieve there. Really?

            The world as asked to grieve for the GMIHC and we did, and now their memory belongs to all of us…sorry about that, but you can’t have it both ways.

            After the Loop Fire, the Battlement Creek Fire and the South Canyon Fires, the widows of the federal hotshots who died spent all of their time worrying how they were going to raise their kids and support themselves on the fair but modest amount Uncle Sam gave them, which would have been the equivalent to what the GMIHC widows and families got from their employers as part of workman’s comp, and before all of the fund raisers, donations, and lawsuits etc. So…I’m just sayin’, WTF?

          • Joy A. Collura says

            you need Sonny for a mechanic. We have been in tight non functional spots and he somehow just figures it out…he knows vehicles..

            • Gary Olson says

              I suspect Sonny knows a lot of things about life in general and how to get around the block and find his way home again.

        • Joy A. Collura says

          crack my ass up. smiley face.

          I too would do it again…and lose the same people’s friendships or more that I do not know of yet if it means I am doing the right thing

          and let me let sonny reply now,,,

          handing him laptop

          ,,,’sonny:

          The job isn’t done yet.

        • Joy A. Collura says

          crack my ass up. smiley face.

          I too would do it again…and lose the same people’s friendships or more that I do not know of yet if it means I am doing the right thing

          and let me let sonny reply now,,,

          handing him laptop

          ,,,’sonny:

          The job isn’t done yet.

      • SR says

        The desire for a wholly-private memorial at the burnover site is quite striking. Even the treatment of the site for the last two years has been striking.

        Battlefield monuments tend to have public access and are almost always respected, as are most graveyards It is quite….different, to take the view that the public can’t be trusted with the site. The types of security concerns that might make sense to me aren’t present here (yes, Jewish graves might face a risk of being defaced in some Muslim countries, etc. but obviously that’s not the case, here, either in terms of where we are as a country or in terms of the religious faiths of the deceased).

        I think it’s important to be very respectful of the fact that everyone grieves in their own way. But, the fact that there is this idea that the site should be treated in a very singular and shut-off way does make me wonder what the drivers are behind that idea. If lots of graves had previously been defaced recently in the area, then maybe I could get it, but no mention of anything like that has ever been made. A simple security camera could address any petty vandalism that might happen once every 5 years. Beyond that, what needs to be kept from the public?

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          I think all of this consternation about “who should be allowed to visit the place where they died” has been just a continual manifestation of this “us against them” brotherhood bullshit.

          I think even this small group of widows who State representative Karen Fann made sure had the ‘option’ to buy the land when she first even proposed the current memorial legislation have always hinted that should the get ownership of the site… only firefighters would be allowed to visit there.

          We are the only only ones who understand US.
          We are the only ones who should ever investigate our accidents.
          We are the only ones who know how to honor our dead.

          Even Mike Dudley, one of the current “Fire Gods” and a very high ranking USFS official said, at the end of his presentation to Utah firefighters on June 20, 2014 ( just before the first anniversary )…

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

          So that’s how even a USFS “Fire God” signed off on his speech.

          “Only WE understand US”.

          It’s like the public is “the enemy” and just the ones who are always too stupid to clear brush away from their houses so we owe then neither the truth nor any consideration.

          Just give us all the money we want… and go away.

          It’s truly weird.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Darrell Willis is/was firmly ensconced in the TRIAD and has that “triple whammy” membership going on.

            He is/was a “card carrying” member of all of the following…

            1) The FF “brotherhood”.
            2) The evangelical style christianity thing going on in that area.
            3) The Prescott “good old boy” network.

            If anyone would have his own justifications in his own head for “locking down” that deployment site so that only the “brotherhood” or the “faithful” should be the ones who are ever be able to “walk the hallowed ground”… you would think it would be Darrell Willis.

            But that is NOT the case.

            To his credit, Darrell Willis has always been the one who has been consistently reminding Amanda Marsh and everyone else on that State sponsored Yarnell Memorial Site Board that no matter what attempts are made to “lock down” that site… people who don’t have the right “membership cards” will still be finding ways to visit the site on a consistent basis.

            And he is RIGHT.

            Darrell Willis knows that the WORLD was asked to mourn these men… and the WORLD will be finding ways to visit the place they died no matter how insular and “closed off” the “brotherhood” would like it to be.

          • Gary Olson says

            You didn’t ask me, but I will give you my opinion anyway, and I believe I have said this very thing in the past here on this thread but it was in a different context.

            As goes the USFS, so goes all other wildland firefighting agencies. They set the tone for the entire culture and lead the way in most if not all aspects. And as you have seen from the GMIHC roster, their influence extends into the other agencies because so many people go their start with the USFS, mostly because they hire so many more people than other agencies do.

            Now here is the “problem.” The USFS looks the U.S. military look like a progressive, free thinking, innovative, culture that is open to new ideas and trying new ways of doing things just for the hell of it. The USFS is still operating like its the 1940’s to the mid 50’s. And what’s more, they like it that way and don’t see any need to change. I really loved working for that agency. With the USFS…tradition is everything.

            • Gary Olson says

              that should be “The USFS MAKES the U.S. military look like a progressive, free thinking, innovative, culture that is open to new ideas and trying new ways of doing things just for the hell of it. The USFS is still operating like its the 1940’s to the mid 50’s. And what’s more, they like it that way and don’t see any need to change. I really loved working for that agency. With the USFS…tradition is everything.

          • sonny says

            I would like to know the names of the widows who are desiring this place to be private. Joy got an email that until the Memorial Park is organized Debra wants it for the loved ones and firefighters but is not against it being public later on but Amanda Marsh has made it crystal clear her intentions and who are these widows?

            Who else?

        • Sonny says

          SR is 100 per cent correct and not only should the half acre or less site be available to all but that canyon and trail the men took should be used as a training ground for rookie fire fighters. I have talked to plenty on this issue and all agree that it would be quite a learning experience. It definitely would teach men what not to do and the whys of the mistakes made that day. That is a place that indeed would impress upon the minds of a new man considering the situation at hand. Yes, considering that those men belonged to the nation much as a soldier at war does, to restrict that area to a few private individuals is like fencing the Vietnam Memorial wall to only a few.

          So why not restrict all of Yarnell — do you consider the 49 citizens of less value than the 19 seeing that they could not defend themselves against the onslaught of a bumbled fire action that destroyed lives and homes?

          Here it is even more ridiculous since the local fire chief has to question you and determine if they will accompany you up there. To top it off there are no legal signs restricting the area so no one really knows what is restricted. There needs to be no trespassing signs every 50 feet to be legal–but then some are above the law and regulate without doing it properly.

          There are boulders to either side–maybe like a football field in size where there was no vegetation burned since there is none or negligible amount among the boulders. They certainly had the option to go to either the north or south area and I believe they would have survived. I would be glad to volunteer to be in those boulders if another wild fire or prescribed burn were to occur. I know I would survive there though I might want a small oxygen container since my lungs have been badly compromised since the drop of what one says was a drop of 300,000 gallons of retardant that contaminated the area with NH3. We do know too many have died from that drop–especially old people since the fire. Another one besides Brent Yadon — his neighbor Chaz has now just this week been diagnosed with COPD It is well known that a young man can loose a lung and do pretty well But older people who have already compromised lungs are pushed over the brink in many cases– and in others they suffer compromised health issues. Lack of oxygen due to lung tissue destroyed causes plenty of other health problems in the body. The heart and brain especially need sufficient oxygen. But do we hear about this or are the fire fighters informed of the real dangers. Do keep your older folks away from ammonia solutions–the same chemical compounds as used in the slurry. Do know the orange retardant used next Yarnell has never had a study as to long or short term effects on health. They think it is inert.

          As an underground miner we sometimes used silk covered glass capsules which we would burst with our fingers then smell to cure “powder” headaches. Dynamite has plenty of nitroglycerine and in the smoke from a blast as well. It is a terrible headache to bear so the ammonia cures the headache. But they don’t tell you it also destroys lung cells which never regenerate. Again you can loose a lung and some and still function but not as a marathon runner or bike racer. Eventually you will find yourself having problems even to walk across a football field.

          The heart pills they gave me are nitroglycerine–but then how do you wind up with a heart with so much dead tissue? That I know in my case is due to bad lungs from years of mining and from Joy and I doing so many hikes here and living near the retardant in Yarnell. Well I learned all this off line just within the past year or so since the fire simply because I was researching due to lung problems both Joy and I are suffering. Joy is a young 44, I am an old 71–Happy birthday Joy on July 1. But it would be happier without the lung problems and knowing about the 49 that have died since the fire along with the young men that were led to their deaths. Do the math, Yarnell is skewed way off the chart considering there are only 650 living in Yarnell.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Another great post, Sonny. Thank you.

            Yes… a “Retardant Effects” study should definitely be done… either by Arizona Forestry or USDA. Preferably BOTH ( together with EPA ).

  52. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to ‘Retired with 38′ post on June 21, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    >> ‘Retired with 38′ said…
    >>
    >> WTKTT,
    >>
    >> Thinking back to 2001, I am pretty sure that PFD representative introduced himself
    >> as the Chief of PFD – so that would have been Willis. But again what really struck
    >> me was the hell bent commitment to gain type 1 status – they hadn’t even
    >> completed their first season as a fuels crew and he was already talking IHC. Just
    >> seems odd to me.

    2001 is just after the City of Prescott got tied into those new ‘National Fire Plan’ (Federal) grants and had been designated as a ‘Beta’ site for the new national level FIREWISE program.

    That where the money to create the Fuels Crew came from in the first place… but Willis knew they wouldn’t be able to depend on that kind of grant stream forever.

    But the way Darrell Willis himself tells it… it was ONLY after they had successfully transformed the Fuels Crew into a Type 2 IA crew… and proved they could make money with it… that they decided to go for the “big bucks” and the ability to charge the crew out at the Type 1 IHC Hotshot paygrade.

    So according to Willis’ testimony to ADOSH… no one was thinking about the Type 1 IHC status until AFTER they had ( in Willis’ words ) “proved the business model”.

    Your recollection changes that testimony and puts the thought of making the “big bucks” into Willis’ head much earlier… when he was still just PFD Chief and right after the initial grant Federal grant monies started showing up.

    From Darell Willis’ FIRST ( of two ) ADOSH interviews on August 19, 2015…
    —————————————————————————————–
    1694 A: And so Eric came to work for us a full-time employee and we talked about it
    1695 and we got to the Type 2 IA level, uh, and we were able to prove the business
    1696 model worked. We could make a little money, we weren’t gouging people.
    1697 Under the National contract for, uh – we were charging less than the National
    1698 Type 2 IA crews. We said, “Well, gosh, we got – we got full-time employees,
    1699 we got this, we’ve got equipment. Why don’t we go to the next step?”
    1700
    1701 Q1: Mm-hm.
    1702
    1703 A: And that’s when we decided to t – take it to the Type 1 status. We had the full
    1704 time employees, we – we met everything and so we did a – a year of, uh,
    1705 training as a training crew in 2007. Had three s- different superintendents go
    1706 along with us on, uh…
    1707
    1708 Q1: Who – who were those?
    1709
    1710 A: Jeff Andrew was one. Uh, he’s with Prescott.
    1711
    1712 Q1: Uh-huh.
    1713
    1714 A: Um, I’m trying to think who the other guy was. There was two others, and I
    1715 can’t remember the other two.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    I still find it less than credible that the Prescott Wildland Division Chief can’t even remember the NAMES of 2 of the 3 persons who ‘signed off’ on his Type 2 IA Crew being qualified to be a Type 1 IHC Hotshot Crew.

    One of them was a ‘local’ ( Jeff Andrews ) who, even though he was USFS, he still worked with the Prescott National Forest and was allowed to be one of their three ‘evaluators’.

    We still have no idea who the other two people were who said this crew was eligible for Type 1 IHC status and that the man who had been running this Type 2 crew ( Eric Marsh ) was in any way qualified to ‘grandfather in’ to the new job of Type 1 IHC Superintendent.

    • Retired with 38 says

      WTKTT,

      It seems to me that the original sign off for IHC status should /would be available either at PFD or at NIFC. Not saying that Willis should not remember (because my guess is he knows exactly how the process worked), but the documentation should be out there. With that, the quals of Eric Marsh should also be available from his personnel file from the time he was hired until the tragic day in June of 2013.

      • Retired with 38 says

        In addition, I would be very interested to hear/see what the actual process consisted of and what field activities were involved. Did someone with higher qualifications “shadow” the crew prior to the official sign off? Or did somebody know somebody and get the certification based on “paper quals” only?

        • Retired with 38 says

          WTKTT,

          Okay, I just re-read your post – it sounds like they did have people “shadowing” the crew to prove they were worthy of IHC status. However, my question still remains (in slightly different framing), were those people all local and part of the “boys”? We know one of them was from the local forest.

  53. Joy A. Collura says

    WWTKTT and Marti- check emails…new photos will be coming to you two to do your magic and or not but as we get them…we send them to you…all the ones we sent tonight…owner is Brent Yadon- a quadriplegic disabled veteran man states he was threatened with jail by a person in black jeep with golden emblem; a person in an authority role. Not the only person who said that but wanted to remain anonymous. Also Brent is having lung respiratory problems since the fire—a common thing we hear around here even from the healthiest of folks including ourselves. Enjoy the pictures and we have more coming…the new flyers posted have worked INDEED…YEAH!!!!

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Joy A. Collura post on June 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      >> Joy A. Collura wrote…
      >>
      >> WWTKTT and Marti- check emails…new photos will be coming

      Thank you, Joy.

      >> Joy A. Collura also said…
      >>
      >> owner is Brent Yadon- a quadriplegic disabled veteran man states he
      >> was threatened with jail by a person in black jeep with golden emblem;
      >> a person in an authority role.

      SPGS1 Gary Cordes himself, in his ADOSH interview, spoke about these “Jeep Squads’
      that were pressed into service to run around giving pre-evacuation.notices.

      Actually… Cordes called them “Jeep Posses”, but didn’t know WHO they were.

      Cordes says he was as surprised as anyone to see them since he wasn’t aware of any pre-evacuation order having been issued by IC Roy Hall, or OPS Todd Able or Paul Musser, or even by himself.

      The timeframe when Cordes says he started seeing these “Jeep Squads” was in the 1400 ( 2:00 PM ) range.

      From Gary Cordes’ ADOSH interview…
      ———————————————————————–
      1162 Q2: Okay. Right. Okay. Alright. Uh, okay. Um, and we covered all that
      1163 frequency stuff. Uh, 1400 uh, where were you at, Yabahi County Sheriff’s
      1164 Office…
      1165
      1166 A: I was…
      1167
      1168 Q2: …(unintelligible) pre-evacuation notice?
      1169
      1170 A: Right. As I was comin’ out on the north side of Yarnell, um, from, from
      1171 Shrine, um, I saw some SO volunteers, the, the, their jeep posse, uh,
      1172 contacting people. I asked them what they were doing. They said they were
      1173 pre-evacuating and then I called uh, operations and confirmed that with them,
      1174 ‘cause I had no, no notice of any evacuation occurring and, and um, and it was
      1175 all, it was pre-evac, uh, four hour pre-evacuation notice.
      1176
      1177 Q2: Um, fire at that time was still uh, moving uh, column was going to the north?
      1178
      1179 A: To the north towards um, uh, Peeples Valley.
      1180
      1181 Q2: Peeples Valley?
      1182
      1183 A: Yeah.
      1184
      1185 Q2: So you saw that and the fire was uh, doing, uh moving away from it, did they
      1186 state, did you talk to ‘em at all, I mean, did they state why they were doing a
      1187 pre-evacuation?
      1188
      1189 A: They were just told, they were told to do it. These are – these – this is a jeep
      1190 posse, so they’re not the ones making the decisions, so my guess is uh, YCSO
      1191 uh, somebody up in a higher level decided it was time to evacuate and, and
      1192 that was fine. I just wasn’t trying to push everybody out of town that early
      1193 unless we, you know, ‘cause everything was moving away from town, so um,
      1194 and we had a, we had a um, anything closer than a mile or, or mile, mile and a
      1195 half out was kind of our trigger point to, to evacuate town.
      1196
      1197 Q2: Right. Okay. Um, that was what I was (unintelligible) they’re, they’re doing
      1198 this at two o’clock, you’re like what, what do they know that no one else
      1199 seems to know.
      1200
      1201 A: Yeah, I think it was because the activity was picking up in the afternoon, so
      1202 you know, people start getting a little more excited.
      ———————————————————————–

      • Bob Powers says

        Dose that some how tell you Gary was Clueless. Trigger points only a mile from town.
        Predicted thunderstorms and erratic winds on a uncontrolled fire. Sounds like the Sheriffs department was a little ahead of the Fire compared to the Fire overhead.
        Another example that this type 2 team was way out of their element.

        Again they were not even thinking about the Fire Fighters out there either.

        As I said way down I do not think the loaned for the possible blow up that occurred and thought the fire was going to keep moving North .when South and East were wide open fields of brush with Structure that had no protection from the Fire.
        NO DEFENCIABLE SPACE Better to be Safe than Sorry. EVACUATE

        The weather forecast should have triggered a massive exit by Fire Fighters. Yet it was as if no one cared or believed that the winds were going to change. They just kept going with a plan that was doomed that morning.

        WTKTT — I will add here that you have talked a lot about BR doing nothing but sitting around. The Supervisors of this crew decided in the beginning as I would have that the Overhead on this fire were off the reservation and they shifted into protection mode for there crew Keep your heads up stay out of trouble and be ready to move at a moments notice. Their inactivity was intentional not just waiting for an assignment.

        • SR says

          Yes. A certain level of uncertainty as to situational awareness is natural, and certainly none of the lack of cognitive awareness of the weather forecast, the development of actual weather in line with that forecast, and what that meant for firefighters and civilians was intentional. Nor was it imo a critical element behind what happened with GM . But, more than a little examination of how the idea that the fire would keep moving north (without regard to actual forecast and actual weather) got generated and transmitted between people would be very helpful. What’s again so odd is not only was this, all things considered, not an exceptional fire nor a fire that behaved differently than weather and conditions would suggest, but also local law enforcement saw the need for an evacuation well before those on the fire did. And the weather guy saw the expected fire behavior well before they did, too.

        • Sonny says

          That trigger point Bob mentions of a mile would only gives them 5 minutes to evacuate the town if that fiTre moved as Willis indicated —11 mph. Better not be on the commode of that is all they allow for evacuation time. That fire was a trigger the minute it got into that dense brush and took off — It was at a true trigger an emergency response the minute it started.

          Now I can only think this is after all a money game–allowing an emergency fire to build to extreme proportions so the big money players enter the game—playing off an inexperienced fire fighting team as a Type 1 when they barely would make a Type 2 considering their ages, lack of actual experience and a leader that did could barely qualify as a Hot Shot himself. Neat that your neighbor can pass on his job to you–called a good neighbor policy when you do not have the qualities. I suppose you can wing it in being a Hot Shot until you get someone killed and people look at your credentials. In mining you can’t–you have to be able to pull a round or your butt is out quickly. Maybe Bob or Gary will inform us on whether the Fire Fighter Hot Shot can pull the wool over the eyes of enough people to get inducted into the Hall of Fame status or say become a Type 1 while not even a Type 2. I suppose you would at least have to be familiar with the jargon and rub shoulders in the right places–again something a miner or logger could never get away with.

  54. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** STILL NO UPDATES TO ALJ HEARING FILE

    Just thought I would point out that we are coming up on a full MONTH since there have been any updates to the “Arizona Forestry vs. ADOSH” ALJ Hearing File.

    The online page where any/all filings in the case are supposed to appear on timely basis is here…

    https://sites.google.com/site/yarnellhillinformation/home/yarnellhillaljhearingfile

    The original text for this page told the public that the page would be updated with new documents filed in the case no later than the close of business every Friday.

    Since the last ( and THIRD ) cancellation of Brendan McDonough’s scheduled deposition, someone made a concerted effort to REMOVE that text and replace it with something that now just says the page will he updated ‘periodically’.

    There is NO DOUBT that (probably) MANY new documents have been filed since May 28 ( the last time the page updated ) and the third cancellation of McDonough’s under-oath deposition.

    It really appears that on or around that cancellation… and with the granting of another 30 day extension in the ‘wrongful death’ lawsuits… someone seems to have told someone “Stop updating that public page like you’ve been doing”.

    Whoever doesn’t want that public page to update can’t get away with that forever.
    It is required by LAW that it be updated in as timely a fashion as possible.

    So we still have no idea what’s been going on in the legal proceedings since the sudden ( and THIRD ) cancellation of Brendan McDonough’s inevitable under-oath deposition.

    Everything is still just ‘back-drafting” at the moment.

    i get the feeling that right on or about the second anniversary… any number of things are going to POP and there will be all kinds of ‘announcements’.

    We shall see.

    • Marti Reed says

      And I have to say, regarding that second anniversary……

      …..which you say “any number of things are going to POP”………………………….

      ……………..I am finding it really really really WEIRD that I have not (and I’ve been watching for this) seen ANYTHING announcing ANYTHING happening in Prescott regarding this anniversary.

      Other than the auction of the State Trust Land on the steps of the Yavapai County Court House. That is IT.

      The ONLY thing I have seen is an honoring of it in Yarnell on the 29th.

      By this time last year, there were plans posted on the internet WAY before now. And articles were starting to bubble up.

      Not only is the silence deafening regarding the derailment of Brendan’s deposition, and what is going on regarding the “mediation,” but it’s also deafening regarding this second anniversary.

      It all seems like somebody doesn’t want any of this to even happen.

      And I’m really mystified by that.

      “We Will Never Forget,” indeed.

      • Joy A. Collura says

        Marti-
        last year at the end of May 2014 the hikers were getting calls from reporters and journalists to do a first anniversary thing but we were in Nevada…
        so you are right and heavily the second week in June the calls came in and I know because that is the week I left NV….

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Marti Reed post on June 20, 2015 at 11:08 pm

        >> Marti said…
        >>
        >> I am finding it really really really WEIRD that I have not
        >> (and I’ve been watching for this) seen ANYTHING announcing
        >> ANYTHING happening in Prescott regarding this anniversary.
        >>
        >> Other than the auction of the State Trust Land on the steps
        >> of the Yavapai County Court House. That is IT.

        They ( City of Prescott ) apparently DO plan on holding a commemoration ceremony just like they did last year… and right there on those same exact Courthouse steps where the land auction is going to be held that very
        morning at 11:00 AM.

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> By this time last year, there were plans posted on the internet
        >> WAY before now. And articles were starting to bubble up.

        That’s true. Articles were ‘popping’ almost all that month leading up to the anniversary… but this year pretty much nothing at all.

        I guess the FIRST anniversary was the ‘big deal’… and now it’s just old news?

        >> Marti also said…
        >>
        >> Not only is the silence deafening regarding the derailment of
        >> Brendan’s deposition, and what is going on regarding the
        >> “mediation,” but it’s also deafening regarding this second anniversary.
        >>
        >> It all seems like somebody doesn’t want any of this to even happen.
        >>
        >> And I’m really mystified by that.
        >>
        >> “We Will Never Forget,” indeed.

        I hear ya.

        But just about 72 hours ago at least the following showed up on the ‘Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots’ public Facebook page…

        https://www.facebook.com/PrescottGraniteMountainHotshots

        ——————————————————
        On June 30, 2015, the City of Prescott will commemorate the Granite Mountain Hotshots, 19 members of which were tragically lost on June 30, 2013. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the event on the north steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse. The ceremony will begin with the Posting of Colors by an interagency Honor Guard of firefighters at 4:35 p.m. There will be a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., the official time of death of the crewmembers, followed by the ringing of the Courthouse bell 19 times. Flags at all city and county facilities will be flown at half-staff. – City of Prescott (Official)
        ———————————————————–

        There is no mention as to whether the families are going to ‘sequester’ themselves from the public and media ( like they did last year ) and have their own ‘private’ memorial ceremony over in the cemetery where those 19 bronze markers are.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Followup…

          That ‘press release’ from ?? Prescott PR folks ?? says the following…

          “There will be a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., the official time of death of the crewmembers”

          I’m not sure where they are getting that statement.

          None of the official investigations ever established, for sure and certain, the ‘time of death’ for ANY of the Granite Mountain crewmembers.

          It is sort of ‘accepted’ that the burnover at the deployment site happened somewhere in the 4:42 to 4:44 timerange… but there is also Panebaker Air Study Video/Audio capture that has pilot Kevin in the DC10 VLAT saying he has just heard a transmission from Marsh as late as 4:48 PM.

          So I don’t know what ‘official’ source the Prescott press release is basing its ‘official time of death’ on.

          I don’t even think the autopsy reports ever established any official time of death, either… but there’s only a few people who have ever actually SEEN those autopsy and toxicology reports… so who knows.

          • Marti Reed says

            Copy. Thank you.

            Still…………………

            Including what Joy said.

            Compared to a year ago…………crickets.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Yes… unless the flood gates are going to suddenly open, or something.

              We shall see.

              The SECOND anniversary of something like this always an important one. That’s when you get to see what is likely to become an always-done annual tradition… instead of all the ( sometimes overdone ) stuff you see on a FIRST anniversary.

              I’m just hoping more people who know things will feel it’s finally OK to talk about what they saw, heard or did that weekend in June, 2013.

              I really am hoping for ‘installment 2’ of the story from Cory Moser.

              Last year he told us the 30-40 FFs who spent the night near the deployment site stayed UP all night and then they all made some kind of ‘pact’ to never talk about what they saw, heard or did.

              Like they were all Masons and one of those super-secret Masonry rituals got performed or something.

              Anyway… I’m holding out hope for ‘installment 2’ of the story from Moser and he will at least give a hint WHY they felt the need to make this ‘pact’ amongst themselves to “keep their mouths shut”.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            >> On June 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm, WantsToKnowTheTruth said…
            >>
            >>.
            >> That ‘press release’ from ?? Prescott PR folks ?? says
            >> the following…
            >>
            >> “There will be a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., the official
            >> time of death of the crewmembers”
            >>
            >> I’m not sure where they are getting that statement.

            Followup…

            In an article reporting on today’s second anniversary memorial service in Prescott, Chuck Tidey told a reporter that the reason the bell is rung at precisely 4:42 is because that is, in fact, the ‘time of death’ listed on the death certificates for all 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

            I didn’t know that… but that certainly answers the question about how 4:42 has become to be commonly assumed to be the exact ‘time of death’.

            KTAR
            Article Title: Two years later: Arizona, nation remember
            19 fallen Yarnell hotshots
            Published: Jun 30, 2015 – 12:17 pm
            http://ktar.com/22/1846198/Two-years-later-Arizona-nation-remember-19-fallen-Yarnell-hotshots

            From the article…
            —————————————————
            Yarnell has a remembrance ceremony planned for 4 p.m. At 4:42, they plan to have a moment of silence to honor the hotshots.

            “That’s when the death certificates indicated that they had died,” Chuck Tidey with the Yarnell-Peeples Valley Chamber of Commerce said.
            —————————————————

      • Sonny says

        The locals are cleaning up the memorial ground across the street from Yarnell Fire Department,. The nice new white hummer is cleaned and polished so Chief Ben Palm looks good there. The Forest Service ought to also donate a water tank to tie on behind with a small pumper so he can put out a small brush fire or lightening strike like we had on Friday of June 28, 2013.. I think the thing has new tires now and with the 4×4 o