Please Begin Yarnell Hill Fire Chapter XXVI Here

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Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter II supplement, Chapter III, Chapter IV, Chapter V, Chapter VI, Chapter VII, Chapter VIII , Chapter IX,  Chapter X, Chapter XI, Chapter XII , Chapter XIII, Chapter XIV,  Chapter XV,  Chapter XVI, Chapter XVII, Chapter XVIII, Chapter XIX, Chapter XX, Chapter XXI, Chapter XXII, Chapter XXIII, Chapter XXIV and Chapter XXV.

© Copyright 2018 John Dougherty, All rights Reserved. Written For: Investigative MEDIA

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  1. Robert the Second says

    This is a reminder to readers and posters and visitors alike that this website is the “Yarnell Hill Fire” link which should reveal a lot of Yarnell Hill Fire subject matter. It does accomplish that and it also has a lot (most) of posts about wildland fires in general.

    Remember to visit Joy A. Collura’s ( yarnellhillfirerevelations.com) website and in particular, her most recent (ONGOING) post titled: “Love Is Freedom … So Is Telling The Truth. Are Y O U Ready?
    September 1, 2018 | Arizona Desert Walker Joy A. Collura and contributing other(s)

    She has steadfastly been pursuing Public Records Requests for information on the June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire. Her most recent journey .on this will reveal the Public records morass that she is wading through.

    ( https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/single-post/2018/08/29/Love-Is-Freedom-Yet-So-Is-Telling-The-Truth-Are-You-Ready )

    The posted Crew Time Reports (CTRs) and Fire Time reports (FTRs) are interesting and reveal the typical posting of one’s fire time while on the firelines to “SHOW” a meal period rather than actually take one. SHOWING a Meal Period and not actually taking one and then adding time on at the end of one’s shift is considered FRAUD.

    Here is Cornell University Law School posting regarding Compensable Meal Periods at 29 CFR 785.19a.

    § 785.19 Meal.

    (a)Bona fide meal periods. Bona fide meal periods are not worktime. Bona fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These are rest periods. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is long enough for a bona fide meal period. A shorter period may be long enough under special conditions. The employee is not relieved if he is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at his desk or a factory worker who is required to be at his machine is working while eating. (Culkin v. Glenn L. Martin, Nebraska Co., 97 F. Supp. 661 (D. Neb. 1951), aff’d 197 F. 2d 981 (C.A. 8, 1952), cert. denied 344 U.S. 888 (1952); Thompson v. Stock & Sons, Inc., 93 F. Supp. 213 (E.D. Mich 1950), aff’d 194 F. 2d 493 (C.A. 6, 1952); Biggs v. Joshua Hendy Corp., 183 F. 2d 515 (C. A. 9, 1950), 187 F. 2d 447 (C.A. 9, 1951); Walling v. Dunbar Transfer & Storage Co., 3 W.H. Cases 284; 7 Labor Cases para. 61.565 (W.D. Tenn. 1943); Lofton v. Seneca Coal and Coke Co., 2 W.H. Cases 669; 6 Labor Cases para. 61,271 (N.D. Okla. 1942); aff’d 136 F. 2d 359 (C.A. 10, 1943); cert. denied 320 U.S. 772 (1943); Mitchell v. Tampa Cigar Co., 36 Labor Cases para. 65, 198, 14 W.H. Cases 38 (S.D. Fla. 1959); Douglass v. Hurwitz Co., 145 F. Supp. 29, 13 W.H. Cases (E.D. Pa. 1956))

    (b)Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise completely freed from duties during the meal period.

    Highlighting this section:”The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. … The employee is not relieved if he is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating..” Once again, SHOWING a Meal Period and not actually taking one and then adding time on at the end of one’s shift is considered FRAUD.

    So then, when is a WF or FF on the firelines ever completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating a meal? NEVER !!! Because they are REQUIRED to perform the duty of LCES and much more.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      I want to read your comment RTS but I just am staring at the screen

      I have tried to fix glitches on my page for days now

      it is running nutty…it just says RELOAD and I lose all I was doing…

      I feel Blessed yet sad…this weekend I should be with my other brother celebrating his Birthday yet I am really pleased to have someone take me to my long time friend’s Memorial at Old Tucson and I will forever cherish this gesture because I miss him dearly.

      Please never forget the old people…my long time knowing friend Jack N. Young died last Wednesday even though the media has it Thursday…it was a long health journey…my pal he was one of a kind and God sure leads the ONE OF A KINDS my way, ey.

      He at one time was the stunt guy for Clark Gable and John Wayne…I do miss him. I almost wanted to cave in on the blog but in recent times Jack told me to KEEP THE FAITH and get the TRUTHS out there.

      He really believed in me that I could always carry on and persevere no matter the challenges and there has been some lately. I had to even make my insurance guy aware if something happens to me or my surroundings out of the norm—I told him where they should look first

      …if I can just clean my page up and “catch up” it is about to get more serious this Season…over at my blog but I sure miss reading here…aka “skimming” 😉

          • Joy A. Collura says

            oh how I miss him.

            I know we are just to be so happy he lived a full life yet it’s that full life I miss…

            I am use to getting so many incoming communications to zip.

            I know one of you asked me recently: “who authorized the burn? Was Tony aware? Was it possible to authorize plans on the fire before physically arriving on the fire? (by phone for example)

            Good inquiries and I hope as the data keeps unfolding on my blog you gain some answers there.

            After I get the muster to remember all of us have our last breathe some day and spend time with Jack’s family this week then I will keep the Faith and work on the posts so that more data is shown so you all can properly assess the YH Fire in the purest form it should have been shown from the get go if only the investigator PIO knew how important it was to be transparent from the get go because truth always has its way to come around even if you felt “keep quiet” or turn in your stuff because it belongs to the Government would help you from showing it all that happened. If anyone wants to answer the questions above for someone- please feel free as I seem to just stare at the computer screen lately…

            I miss you Jack.

            When Sonny scurried on to new dusty trails as the wind blew he recently received news that his cancer is back so please keep the ol’ fella in your prayers. The location of it needs immediate attention. He sure went through a hell of alot of surgeries and heart attacks. He said his oxygen and breathing have him plum tuckered at times. He appreciates everyone here. He has tried to write here yet I think the captcha part is but a confusion.

            Life is precious.

  2. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** CALFIRE ‘GREEN SHEET’ REPORT ON THE DEATH OF UTAH
    ** FIREFIGHTER MATTHEW BURCHETT BECAUSE OF A RETARDANT DROP.

    CALFIRE has now published their secondary ‘Green Sheet’ report about the death of Utah firefighter Matthew Burchett on August 13, 2018,while he was working the northwest corner of the Mendocino Fire Complex.

    It is available at the following page ( along with the original ‘Blue Sheet’ report )…

    Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center ( Hosted by the U.S. National Park Service )…
    Page Title: Ranch Fire Tree Strike Fatality
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=cdfc0a5a-885b-45c7-81e0-0e09479a5cad

    A direct link to the new ‘Green Sheet’ PDF file itself is as follows…
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=33d22e82-69a8-2c58-9fc6-008e88ab6f0e&forceDialog=0

    The original ‘Blue Sheet’ report on this incident from CALFIRE was only saying that the VLAT retardant drop ( from a 747-400 aircraft ) MIGHT have been the cause of the tree that fell on Burchett and caused his fatal injuries. It was leaving the possibility ( absurd as it seems ) that the tree that killed him *might* have just fallen on him right at the same time the retardant drop happened.

    The new ‘Green Sheet’ report puts that ‘Blue Sheet’ bullshit to rest, and absolutely VERIFIES that Matthew Burchett was killed as a DIRECT result of a retardant drop gone bad.

    So CALFIRE gets points for finally having the backbone to admit that is what really happened… but other than that… this ‘Green Sheet’ report is basically a joke and leaves many, many questions unanswered.

    The new ‘Green Sheet’ report has SOME ‘better detail’ than the original ‘Blue Sheet’ report… but not much.

    It now says that the retardant drop that killed Burchett took place at 5:25 PM… but it was the FOURTH retardant drop ( from the same 747-400 VLAT airplane and crew ) in that same location that afternoon.

    And even though it was the FOURTH drop in the SAME area… CALFIRE now wants us to believe that the ASM and the crew on the VLAT still had ‘no idea’ that there was a large ‘hill’ in the drop zone and this ignorance is what led to the drop being too low and then blasting the tree out of the ground and right onto Burchett and the 3 other injured firefighters who did NOT die in the same incident.

    Other ‘weirdness’ about this report ( just off the top of my head )…

    1. Initial reports from witnesses following the incident seemed to indicate that Burchett and some other FFs were struck by the retardant-drop uprooted trees while they were sitting in a vehicle… and that the adjoining forces who first arrived to help had to find a way to ‘extricate’ Burchett from the vehicle before they could administer medical treatment. The new report says absolutely nothing about that and indicates that all four firefighters who were struck by the debris from the botched retardant drop were just ‘standiing around’ in that clearing and possibly playing ‘tourist’ and taking photos and videos of the inbound drop itself.

    The final paragraph of the report talks about how it is now acknowledged that many FFs on the line just love to take photos and videos of the VLAT drops ( because everybody LOVES them some VLAT videos )… but that this is not a safe thing to do.

    The report does NOT say that Matthew Burchett and the other 3 FFs were playing tourist and taking ‘videos’ of the drop that was about to kill/injure them… but it is absolutely IMPLIED that that is what really happened that afternoon.

    And I will bet a fin to a sawbuck that if that IS the case ( that they were all standing there taking photos and videos of the ‘cool’ VLAT drop(s) )… then those photos and videos have been CONFISCATED by CALFIRE and will never see the light of day, just like the Yarnell Fire SAIT confiscated all the photos and videos taken by the Peeples Valley firefighters on June 30, 2013 and never released them even after valid, legal Arizona Open Records requests for them.

    2. The report says basically NOTHING about what happened after the drop, or how LONG it took to get Burchett air-lifted out of the area.

    According to all other testimony and media reports… Matthew Burchett did not die right away. He ( supposedly ) was still alive when he finally arrived at the Ukiah Valley Medical facility and ‘succumbed to his injuries’ some ( still-unkown ) time after that.

    The report says…

    NOTE: The report ( of course ) never mentions ‘Matthew Burchett’ by name. It only refers to him at ‘TFL2’…

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    The force of the retardant drop uprooted an 87-foot tall Douglas Fir with a 15-inch diameter at breast height (DBH). It fell on TFL2 and caused fatal injuries.

    INJURIES/DAMAGES
    1. TFL2 suffered fatal crushing injuries.

    ———————————————————————————————————–

    It is only in the ‘INJURIES/DAMAGES’ section of the report where it says that the fatal injuries were CRUSH injuries.

    But nowhere in the report does it include any mention of any work that might have needed to be done to extricate Matthew Burchett from ‘underneath’ anything, or how much TIME that might have taken.

    The only thing the report says about what took place AFTER the incident is covered with just two short sentences…

    ———————————————————————————————————-
    Within seconds after the accident, an Incident Within an Incident (IWI) was declared. Injured personnel were treated by Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers assigned to resources on the division and then transported to the hospital for further treatment.
    ———————————————————————————————————

    But a local TV station was monitoring/recording the radio traffic that afternoon and they origijnally reported about some of what was ‘heard’ over the radio following the incident ( which the CALFIRE ‘Green Sheet’ report now fails to mention ).

    ( Continued next ‘Reply’ due to ‘2 link limit’ in a single posting )…

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Before I post a link to that article which reports what was heard over the radio following Matthew Burchett’s fatal injuries… I forgot to include up above something that the CALFIRE ‘Green Sheet’ report didn’t.

      The GPS coordinates of exactly where Matthew Burchett received his fatal injuries.

      ** EXACT LOCATION OF THE MATTHEW BURCHETT TREE STRIKE

      Latitude: 39.357788
      Longitude: -123.056492
      Altitude: 3,020 ft. MSL ( Mean Sea Level )

      Just click the following and a ‘RED Balloon’ will appear on a Google Maps Satellite image showing exactly where Burchett was struck by the botched retardant-drop tree strike…

      https://www.google.com/maps/place/39%C2%B021'28.0%22N+123%C2%B003'23.4%22W/@39.357788,-123.0570527,192m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d39.357788!4d-123.056492

      NOTE: From the Green Sheet report…
      —————————————————————————————————-
      DIVS C requested the next drop be “snugged up” closer to the dozer line. The ASM acknowledged the request and advised a closer drop would cause retardant to land on the dozer line. DIVS C acknowledged this information. The ASM made a “show me” run for the VLAT over the intended path for the retardant drop with the VLAT observing. The ASM requested a coverage level six retardant drop and a minimum drop altitude at 3,200 feet mean sea level (MSL).
      ——————————————————————————————————

      Notice that the ‘Green Sheet’ report says the ‘fatal’ retardant drop run was requested to be at a minimum drop altitude of 3,200 feet mean sea level ( MSL ).

      The actual GROUND LEVEL spot where Matthew Burchett was struck ( not including the height of any trees ) was at 3,020 MSL.

      That only 180 feet lower than the actual ‘requested’ minimum drop altitude, as per the report.

      ** THE ‘DIVS C’ WHO CALLED FOR THE ‘CLOSE DROP’ AND ALSO FAILED
      ** TO MAKE SURE ALL FIREFIGHTERS WERE CLEAR OF THE DROP LOCATION

      According to the actual IAP ( Incident Action Plan ) for the Mendocino Fire Complex during that August 13, 2018 Operational Period… this ‘DIV C’ person ( For Branch ‘i” ) was actually either someone named G. Prater *OR* his assigned ‘DIVS Trainee’ by the name of J. Waters.

      The CALFIRE ‘Green Sheet’ report does NOT say whether the ‘DIVS C’ they keep referring to was Prater himself… or his ‘Trainee’ J. Waters.

      From the August 13, 2018 IAP itself,. posted PUBLICLY on the NIFC’s FTP Server…

      https://ftp.nifc.gov/public/incident_specific_data/calif_n/!CALFIRE/2018_Incidents/CA-MEU-008674_Mendocino_Complex/IAP/20180813/08-13-2018%20Run_OPTIMIZED.pdf

      —————————————————————————————————–
      CALFIRE
      Incident Action Plan ( IAP )
      Mendocino Complex Fire
      Operational Period: 8/13/2018 0700 TO 8/14/2018 0700

      7. Operation Section

      Chief: Mike Inman / Billy Steers
      Deputy: Nick Casci / Scott Lucas (T)
      Night Ops: Bill Lopez / Chad Cook

      Air Operations Branch Director: Rob Sonsteng / Mike Deacon ( Trainee )
      Air Support Group Supervisor: Brad Idol
      Helibase Manager: Byron Vance

      BRANCH I

      Director(s): P. Tolosano / R. Sonsteng (T) / B. Weiser ( Deputy )

      Division / Group C: G. Prater / J. Waters (T) / S. Santos (N) / N. Balent (T)(N)

      Division / Group D: Beverly Gardiner / Leigh Hender
      Division / Group E: Justin Pinson / Robert Gore
      Division / Group F: G. Neely / M. Fullagar / A. Hickman (T)
      Division / Group Structure Group: Shannon Banks
      Division / Group Road Group: Jeromy Cox

      ( snip )
      —————————————————————————————————–

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      As for this non-informative blurb in the CALFIRE ‘Green Sheet’ report…

      ———————————————————————————————————-
      Within seconds after the accident, an Incident Within an Incident (IWI) was declared. Injured personnel were treated by Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers assigned to resources on the division and then transported to the hospital for further treatment.
      ———————————————————————————————————

      …check out the following article.

      Reporters for the nearby ‘Lake County News’ were actually LISTENING to the RADIO TRAFFIC that took place once the botched retardant drop happened.

      They were following the requests for ‘medevac’ following the incident, and what medical attention Burchett was already receiving ‘on the ground’ at the incident site… until the radio feed was suddenly CUT OFF.

      NOTE: The Article also has additional information that has NOT been included in CALFIRE’s ‘Green Sheet’ report including an ICS incident map showing ‘Branch 1, Division C’ where the accident really happened…

      Lake County News
      Article Title: Cal Fire report says low retardant drop led to incident that killed firefighter on Mendocino Complex
      Published: Saturday, 15 September 2018 03:12 PM
      By: Elizabeth Larson
      http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php/news/57837-cal-fire-report-says-low-retardant-drop-led-to-incident-that-killed-firefighter-on-mendocino-complex

      From that article…
      —————————————————————————————————–
      ( PHOTO: MAP OF MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE )
      PHOTO CAPTION: The Mendocino Complex as mapped on the morning of Monday, August 13, 2018. Map courtesy of Cal Fire.

      LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A Cal Fire report released Friday said the veteran Utah firefighter who died in August on the Mendocino Complex was killed by a tree that fell as the result of a low altitude retardant drop.

      Draper City Fire Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett, 42, died on the evening of Aug. 13 from injuries he sustained when he was hit by the falling tree on the Ranch fire portion of the Mendocino Complex, as Lake County News has reported.

      The Cal Fire “green sheet” report issued Friday is published in its entirety below.

      The report said that on the northwestern flank of the Ranch fire, aerial retardant drops were used to reinforce the dozer line Burchett, who was leading a Utah multi-agency task force, and a strike team of type four engines from Kings County were assigned to the Ranch fire’s Branch I, Division C on the Mendocino County side of the fire in the Middle Mountain Range, approximately 500 yards north of Irishman’s Flat at an elevation of 3,000 feet.

      During the retardant drops, Burchett was struck by an uprooted 87-foot-tall Douglas Fir tree. He was flown to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he died a short time later.

      Three other firefighters also were injured at the same time when they were hit by parts of another tree. They included two fire captains from a multiagency Utah group, one who suffered major injuries after being struck by a broken tree top and another who sustained moderate injuries – as did a fire apparatus engineer from Kings County – when hit by falling tree debris resulting from the retardant drop.

      The air tanker that made the drop that led to the falling trees was a Boeing 747-400 configured as a very large air tanker, or VLAT, with a retardant capacity of 19,200 gallons, the report said.

      On the morning of the incident, the Mendocino Complex was 344,890 acres with 68-percent containment, which at that point broke down to 295,970 acres and 59-percent containment on the Ranch fire and 48,920 acres and 93-percent containment on the River fire, which was fully contained at that acreage the day after Burchett died.

      Since Burchett’s death the complex has grown another 100,000 acres and continues to burn. On Friday it remained at 98-percent containment at a total of 459,123 acres. The Ranch fire remains the only active portion of the complex at 410,203 acres.

      ( PHOTO: REPRODUCTION OF AN ‘OPS’ MAP FROM THE MENDOCONO COMPLEX FIRE THAT WAS NOT INCLUDED IN ‘GREEN SHEET’ REPORT )
      PHOTO CAPTION: The accident that claimed Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett’s life occurred on Branch 1, Division C of the Mendocino

      Complex’s Ranch fire portion, a short distance from Irishmans Flat near Drop Point (DP) 19 below the center of the image. Map courtesy of Cal Fire.

      Report describes sequence of events

      The report explained that, “due to unprecedented fire activity throughout the state,” on July 29 large resource orders were placed seeking assistance from areas including out of state. The Kings County strike team arrived July 30 and the Utah multi-agency task force arrived on Aug. 2.

      The report said that on Monday, Aug. 13, the Utah multi-agency task force, with Burchett as leader, and the Kings County strike team were assigned to Branch I, Division C of the Ranch fire, located just west of the Mendocino-Lake County line.

      At 7 a.m. that day, Burchett attended the operational briefing at the Mendocino Incident Base for the Ranch fire in Ukiah. The report said he and one of the fire captains who would later be injured along with him participated in the division breakout with the division supervisor and trainee at the Ranch Fire Incident Base.

      “During the breakout, the Division C Line Safety Officer shared with all breakout attendees the hazards associated with airtanker retardant drops while working on the line,” the report said.

      At 9 a.m., the report said the Utah multi-agency task force staged at Drop Point 19, located just northwest of Irishmans Flat. While staged, Burchett conducted a tailgate safety briefing and discussed the task force’s line assignment before the task force members moved to their work location along Division C, a short distance to the north.

      ( PHOTO: DIAGRAM OF THE ‘CHANGE IN ELEVATION’ DURING DROP FROM THE CALFIRE ‘GREEN SHEET’ REPORT )
      PHOTO CAPTION: The elevation change of the retardant drop site on Monday, August 13, 2018, on the Ranch fire of the Mendocino Complex in

      Mendocino County, Calif., that resulted in the death of Draper City Fire Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett. Image from the Cal Fire “green sheet” report.

      The report said the task force’s assignment was to reinforce dozer line and place a hose lay to hold a firing operation. Aircraft firefighting operations began on Division C at approximately 1 p.m. when the inversion layer lifted.

      “Aircraft were requested to drop retardant adjacent to the dozer line as a reinforcement to hold the line,” the report said, explaining that coordination efforts were in place between Division C, Air Attack and the Aerial Supervision Module.

      At 3:40 p.m., it was announced on the Division C tactical frequency that air tankers would be working the area, with a subsequent message broadcast to “clear the area out.” Only one strike team leader acknowledged hearing the broadcast, the report said.

      The report said that at 4:02 p.m, 4:23 p.m. and 4:44 p.m. retardant drops were made in the Division C area by large air tankers. The last of those three drops took place approximately 300 feet to the west of the accident site and “landed further outside the dozer line than desired.”

      The request was made for the next drop to be “‘snugged up’ closer to the dozer line,” the report said, adding that the Aerial Supervision Module “acknowledged the request and advised a closer drop would cause retardant to land on the dozer line.”

      The Aerial Supervision Module “made a ‘show me’ run for the VLAT over the intended path for the retardant drop with the VLAT observing,” the report stated.

      The report’s sequence of events explained that the Aerial Supervision Module “requested a coverage level six retardant drop and a minimum drop altitude at 3,200 feet mean sea level.”

      At 5:25 p.m., the Aerial Supervision Module proceeded on a final approach over the drop path, identifying the drop path to the VLAT by use of a smoke trail, the report said.

      “The VLAT initiated the retardant drop as identified by the smoke trail. Obscured by heavy vegetation and unknown to the VLAT pilot, a rise in elevation occurred along the flight path. This rise in elevation resulted in the retardant drop only being approximately 100 feet above the treetops at the accident site,” the narrative explained.

      The report said the force of the retardant drop uprooted an 87-foot tall Douglas Fir with a 15 inch diameter at breast height, which fell on Burchett, mortally injuring him.

      The drop also sheared an 89-foot tall, 18-inch diameter Douglas Fir 29 feet above the base, the debris from which hit one of the fire captains, who suffered broken ribs, deep muscle contusions and ligament damage to extremities. That falling tree also resulted in the second fire captain suffering scratches and abrasions, and the Kings County firefighter sustained deep muscle contusions and ligament damage, according to the report.

      ( PHOTO: AERIAL VIEW OF ACCIDENT SITE FROM CALFIRE ‘GREEN SHEET’ REPORT )
      PHOTO CAPTION: The aerial view of the accident site in Mendocino County, Calif., where Draper City Fire Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett was mortally injured on Monday, August 13, 2018, while fighting the Ranch fire on the Mendocino Complex. Image from the Cal Fire “green sheet” report.

      “Within seconds after the accident, an Incident Within an Incident (IWI) was declared. Injured personnel were treated by Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers assigned to resources on the division and then transported to the hospital for further treatment,” the report said.

      Just before 5:30 p.m. that day, radio traffic Lake County News monitored on the Mendocino Complex included a report of a man hit by a tree on the dozer line with a need for immediate assistance and an IWI declared.

      A few minutes later, radio reports from the accident scene said a medivac may be needed out of Drop Point 19, with a followup report shortly afterward stating that said they had an unconscious patient and were doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him. A medivac unit was then directed to respond to Drop Point 15, about six miles southwest of Lake Pillsbury, to transport him.

      Minutes later, the major incident radio feed for the Mendocino Complex was CUT OFF and would remain offline.

      Officials later reported that Burchett was airlifted to Ukiah Valley Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

      At Burchett’s funeral the following week in Utah, when his fellow firefighters carried his gear in his funeral procession, it was stained bright red with retardant.

      The report lists a number of safety issues for review, including, “Aerial drops are inherently hazardous and caution should be used when working in areas with aircraft operations,” adding that supervisors must ensure all fire line personnel are notified and acknowledge impending aerial drops, that drop paths must be cleared when personnel are working under a tree canopy and that fire personnel need to always maintain situational awareness.

      Under “incidental issues/lessons learned,” the report also noted…

      “Fireline personnel have used their cell phones to video the aerial retardant drops. The focus on recording the retardant drops on video may distract firefighters. This activity may impair their ability to recognize the hazards and take appropriate evasive action possibly reducing or eliminating injuries.”
      —————————————————————————————————

      So… is the report trying to say that Matthew Burchett and his crew WERE ‘taking photos and videos’ of the inbound VLAT drops at the time they were injured… or not?

      It remains unclear and is just one of the ‘questions’ that still needs to be answered.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Good to hear from you, calvin… and I know you know the drill.

          These ‘official’ investigation reports just always seem to raise even more questions than they answer.

          This one is no different.

          We now learn that Matthew Burchett was fatally injured by the FOURTH retardant drop by the SAME 747-400 with the SAME flight-deck crew using the SAME Air Support Module in the SAME AREA where they were assigned to be working.

          According to the ‘Green Sheet’ report… even the retardant drop just prior to the one that was going to go bad took place just 300 feet ( that’s 300 FEET, not YARDS ) west of the dozer line where Burchett and his crew were working.

          That’s already almost ‘too close for comfort’… but even that wasn’t good enough for ‘DIVS C’.

          SIDENOTE: The report still doesn’t say whether it was the ACTUAL ( fully qualified ) DIVS ‘C’ G. Prater who had the radio at that time and was directing the drops, or whether it was his assigned ‘DIVS Trainee’ J. Waters.

          ‘DIVS C’ then asked for ANOTHER drop even CLOSER to the dozer line.

          Even the ASM said that was gonna put retardant ON the dozer line… and this ‘DIVS C’ said he didn’t care and wanted the ‘snugged up’ FOURTH drop, anyway.

          But now we know that regardless of the fact that this ‘DIVS C’ was not making SURE his resources were well out of harm’s way… it is not credible to think ( after THREE drops already ) that Task Force 2 Leader Matthew Burchett and the crew that he was responsible for were NOT aware of the inbound retarrdant operations on that dozer line.

          But there they stayed, NOT taking sufficient cover.

          Why?

          One of the only explanations really is that they were DECIDING to stay there so they could get some ‘cool videos’ of the retardant drops.

          Why else would they ( as the report indicates ) all have just been ‘standing there’ in that clearing where they were going to get blasted?

          Why even mention this as one of the incidental ‘Lessons to Learn’ in the last paragraph of the report unless the CALFIRE investigators actually had evidence that that is what they were doing at that time?

          You don’t get to see one of mankind’s largest flying objects pass right over you every day of the week. The urge to capture the moment in photos and videos is almost irresistible for some firefighters. We saw that in Yarnell itself. When the first VLAT of the day to arrive in Yarnell made those retardant drops at the direction of SPGS2 Darrell Willis near the ‘Double Bar A Ranch’… the ASM module ( Warbis and Lenmark ) would later testify they were ALREADY concerned that Willis and his crews were about to be ‘entrapped’ because their only escape route ( Hays Ranch Road ) was about to be ‘cut off’.

          But there they stood… not evacuating… and nothing would do that everyone whip out their smartphones and film the ‘really COOL!’ VLAT drop(s).

          Cory Moser’s videos supplied to the SAIT actually show one of those moments… when they were ALL standing there ‘filming the VLAT’ and seemed totally unconcerned that their escape route was about to be compromised.

          Cory Moser’s video is basically a video showing Darrell Willis shooting HIS video of the other TWO firefighters also shooting THEIR videos of the one VLAT drop close to the ranch.

          Cory Moser’s video of that moment was the only one that ever surfaced, even though HIS video shows Willis shooting HIS own video and the other 2 FFs shooting their own, separate, videos of the same ( close ) VLAT drop.

          So I would still bet money that these 4 FFs standing in that clearing just 500 yards north of ‘Irishman’s Flat’ at the Mendocino Complex Fire were doing the same thing we see SPGS2 Willis and HIS crew doing at the Yarnell Fire.

          ‘Gotta get me some cool VLAT video!’

          I believe it’s possible the CALFIRE investigators HAVE those photos/videos and they were ‘informing’ some of the details now mentioned in the ‘Green Sheet’ report.

          I believe it’s also highly likely that Matthew Burchett filmed his own death… and they have that video as well.

          Even if they don’t ( have those videos )… that last paragraph of this now-released ‘Green Sheet’ report should be a much STRONGER WARNING to ALL line-duty firefighters about NOT going for the ‘cool VLAT videos’ and just getting the fuck out of the way whenever there’s an inbound retardant drop.

          The life you save will be your own.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            Here is a link to Cory Moser’s photos/videos folder in the 2013 Yarnell public evidence Dropbox…

            https://www.dropbox.com/sh/02ue6bnjp6nazkm/AAD-qJ9WVyByR8aRsDPFb8Aza/Photos%20and%20Video/Corey%20Moser%20Photos?dl=0&subfolder_nav_tracking=1

            His THREE videos of VLATs there at the ‘Double Bar A’ ranch are…

            IMG_0402.mp4 ( 12:03:40 PM ) First VLAT passover
            IMG_0403.mp4 ( 12:05:46 PM ) ‘Show Me’ passover with ASM
            IMG_0404.mp4 ( 12:08:38 PM ) Drop pass with ASM

            The THIRD Moser video ( IMG_0404.mp4 ) is the one that shows that EVERYONE has now stopped what they are doing ( including SPGS2 Darrell Willis himself ) and they ALL now have their smartphones out to film the actual VLAT drop.

            The VLAT ‘banks’ over their position and while no retardant actually falls on them… it was CLOSE. Probably within the same ‘300 foot’ distance as that THIRD drop at the Mendocino Complex… right before the ‘DIVS C’ there asked for that fatal FOURTH drop to be even CLOSER to Burchett and the other 3 FFs.

            When the ADOSH investigators eventually interviewed the ‘Bravo 3’ ASM module ( Rusty Warbis and Paul Lenmark ) that was guiding those initial VLAT drops at Yarnell ( seen in Cory Moser’s videos ), they specifically asked Warbis and Lenmark if Willis and Moser and the other FFs down there at the Double Bar-A ranch seemed to (quote) “know what they were doing” ( endquote ) and if they were fully aware of the fire behavior very near them.

            Here is what Warbis and Lenmark had to say in response…

            —————————————————————————–
            A: They were a little oblivious to the fire around them.

            ( There were ) two heads ( of fire ) that are running down, and, ah one of those heads, um, appeared appeared to threaten the ingress and egress of those people ( Darrell Willis, Corey Moser, etc. ) that were working those structures ( The Double Bar-A Ranch ).

            They seemed to be a little oblivious to, um, where they were and, um and I told them that if ya – you better have a good spot to be that you’re willing to ride this out.

            Q: You think they shoulda left before they left?

            A: I had that sense. I was very concerned, um, that they did NOT have a good sense of what was coming or how fast the fire was coming in.

            Q: Yeah, gotcha.

            A: They had terrain features too that were – that egress got cut off. It was a one way egress, and if that fire would’ve got too far out there…
            —————————————————————————–

            So even though ASM ‘Bravo 3’ WARNED Willis and Moser they might be about to become ‘trapped’ at that Double Bar-A Ranch… they did nothing… and still felt the need to stay there and not miss the opportunity to ‘film’ the upcoming ‘cool VLAT drops’.

            I believe Cory Moser’s Yarnell VLAT videos are relevant to what happened to Matthew Burchett and his crew… because if any photos or videos DO exist from August 13, 2018, at that location, I believe they are going to look a LOT like Moser’s Yarnell video(s).

            People filming people filming people who are ALL filming an inbound VLAT drop…

            …until it all goes horribly wrong.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        **
        ** WHY DID THE MEDEVAC FOR BURCHETT TAKE PLACE AT DROP-POINT 15
        ** INSTEAD OF THE MUCH-CLOSER DROP-POINT 19?

        More about what did ( or didn’t? ) happen immediately following the Matthew Burchett tree strike due to a retardant-drop-gone-bad.

        If you look at the OPERATIONS map for August 13, 2018 that the ‘Lake County News’ has published at the top of this article…

        Lake County News
        Article Title: Cal Fire report says low retardant drop led to incident that killed firefighter on Mendocino Complex
        Published: Saturday, 15 September 2018 03:12 PM
        By: Elizabeth Larson
        http://www.lakeconews.com/index.php/news/57837-cal-fire-report-says-low-retardant-drop-led-to-incident-that-killed-firefighter-on-mendocino-complex

        …it shows the ‘Drop Points’ that were mentioned over the radio immediately following the Burchett tree strike.

        The Lake County News reporters were LISTENING to that ( live ) radio traffic and they report hearing all of the following…

        ——————————————————————————-
        Just before 5:30 p.m. that day, radio traffic Lake County News monitored on the Mendocino Complex included a report of a man hit by a tree on the dozer line with a need for immediate assistance and an IWI declared.

        A few minutes later, radio reports from the accident scene said a medivac may be needed out of Drop Point 19, with a followup report shortly afterward stating that said they had an unconscious patient and were doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him.

        A medivac unit was then directed to respond to Drop Point 15, about six miles southwest of Lake Pillsbury, to transport him.

        Minutes later, the major incident radio feed for the Mendocino Complex was CUT OFF and would remain offline.

        Officials later reported that Burchett was airlifted to Ukiah Valley Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

        At Burchett’s funeral the following week in Utah, when his fellow firefighters carried his gear in his funeral procession, it was stained bright red with retardant.
        ——————————————————————————-

        They report hearing TWO ‘Drop Points’ being discussed on the radio.

        Drop point 19
        This was RIGHT NEXT to where Burchett and his crew were working when the accident took place.

        Drop point 15
        This was NOT near Burchett and his crew.
        It was about 3.5 miles to the southeast ( as the bird flies ), in the McCreary Glade just below Garrett Mountain… but the only way to get there from the accident site was via a long, winding two-track road called ‘Mid Mountain Road’ which would have required a 4.96 mile ( call it 5 mile ) rough journey.

        So the radio traffic was initially requesting a potential medevac at Drop point 19, right next to where the accident took place, but then the request got CHANGED to having the medevac take place MUCH farther away, at Drop Point 15.

        Why?

        How was Burchett ‘transported’ those 5 miles over that rough two-track down to ‘Drop Point 15’ for the medevac?

        How LONG did that ‘journey’ take?

        Was CPR being maintained for that entire ‘journey’ down to ‘Drop Point 15’?

        The CALFIRE ‘Green Sheet’ report mentions NONE of this.

        • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

          Drop Points are not designated for helicopter landings or evacs.. Only helispots fill that bill. It is likely that DP 15 DID have enough space for evac but DP 19 didn’t.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            According to CALFIRE’s own OPS map, DP 19 was located on the. north side of a huge, flat clearing called “Irishmans Flat”. Plenty of room for a chopper.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            ** DROP POINT LOCATIONS

            According to the official OPS map that was in use on the Mendocino Complex Fire on August 13, 2018 ( the day Matthew Burchett was fatally injured in ‘Division C’ ), the ‘Drop Points’ that were involved at one point or the other in the post-accident medevac operation are as follows…

            DP19
            Large, flat, cleared area in the northwest corner of a land feature known as “Irishmans Flat” 800 yards ( via two-track road ) south of the accident site.

            Decimal Latitude: 39.348970
            Decimal Longitude: -123.059692

            Click the following link and a ‘Google Maps’ satellite image will appear with a ‘RED Balloon’ marking the exact location of DP19…

            https://www.google.com/maps/place/39%C2%B020'56.3%22N+123%C2%B003'34.9%22W/@39.3487543,-123.0604097,461m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d39.34897!4d-123.059692

            DP15
            Large, flat, cleared area in south part of the land feature known as “McCreary Glade”. 5 miles ( via two-track road ) southeast of the accident site.

            Decimal Latitude: 39.313265
            Decimal Longitude: -123.015715

            Click the following link and a ‘Google Maps’ satellite image will appear with a ‘RED Balloon’ marking the exact location of DP15…

            https://www.google.com/maps/place/39%C2%B018'47.8%22N+123%C2%B000'56.6%22W/@39.3156862,-123.0187206,1647m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d39.313265!4d-123.015715

            According to radio traffic overheard immediatelly following the accident, a ‘medevac’ was first requested at the ( closer ) DP15 location, but was then CHANGED to the DP19 location much farther away.

            The CALFIRE “Green Sheet” makes NO mention of either drop point, or why the closer location was NOT used for the medevac.

            The DP19 “Irishmans Flat” clearing is shown ( and labeled as such ) on the topographic map on PDF page 6 of the CALFIRE “Green Sheet” report.

            The DP15 “McCreary Glade” location, where the medevac supposedly ( eventually ) took place, is NOT shown.

            ALL OPS symbols and location indicators ( including the DP19 and DP15 locations ) have been REMOVED from the topographic map included in CALFIRE’s ‘Green Sheet’ report.

            I wonder WHY?

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Correction…

              I transposed ‘DP15’ and ‘DP19’ in one paragraph above.

              DP19 was the site closer to the accident location.

              That paragraph above SHOULD have read like this…

              “According to radio traffic overheard immediatelly following the accident, a ‘medevac’ was first requested at the ( closer ) DP19 location, but was then CHANGED to the DP15 location much farther away.”

              • Woodsman says

                Run roh…….a regular person can read through our bs….don’t you just hate that? I don’t. It’s long overdue. Keep hitting the ten ring, wtktt. Haha!

  3. Robert the Second says

    ANOTHER Dozer Operator was killed in CA, this time in a vehicle accident on his way to (en route) the North Fire on the Tahoe NF in northern CA on Tuesday. WTF is going on over there?

    Dozer Operator Killed on Way to CA Blaze

    A bulldozer operator hired to assist containment efforts on the North Fire died Tuesday in a crash near Blue Canyon on his way to the incident. by Michael McGough; September 12, 2018; The Sacramento Bee.

    Sept. 12 — A private contractor hired to assist containment efforts on the North Fire died in a car crash on his way to the incident, Tahoe National Forest said in a news release.

    Tony Flores, a 37-year-old employee of Kent Siller Trucking who had worked for the company over 20 years, was a bulldozer operator assigned to the 1,120-acre wildfire burning at Tahoe National Forest, according to the news release.

    Flores died in a collision on westbound Interstate 80 near Blue Canyon shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, while he was driving to an incident command post at Blue Canyon Airport, Tahoe National Forest officials said.

    Flores was a lifelong resident of Yuba City, the news release said, the same city where Kent Siller Trucking is based. It is about 65 miles between Yuba City and Blue Canyon Airport.

    He is survived by a wife of 18 years and four children ages 9 through 16, the news release said.

    More than 260 fire personnel are currently assigned to the North Fire, which stood at 1,120 acres and 85 percent containment, the U.S. Forest Service reported Tuesday night.

    Bulldozers are frequently used in containment efforts for large and fast-spreading wildfires in California.

    “This has been an extremely tough fire season for our firefighters both physically and emotionally,” Northern California Interagency Incident Team 1 Commander Curtis Coots said in a statement Tuesday night.

    Neil Siller of Kent Siller Trucking told U.S. Forest Service officials that Flores had an “outstanding work ethic,” according to the news release.

    The California Highway Patrol and Placer County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate the cause of the fatal accident.

    The North Fire sparked last Monday, and quickly prompted the evacuation and closure of at least six campgrounds and surrounding areas, as well as the closure of two I-80 offramps near Emigrant Gap.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post on September 9, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      >> RTS said…
      >>
      >> Another Watch Out #19 – Death From Above tragedy from a wildfire in 2013.
      >> And we are just now hearing about it ?

      It wasn’t kept a ‘secret’.

      It was, in fact, widely reported at the time it happened by the Associated Press and other Mainstream Media outlets.

      I remember reading about it when it happened, but before the report(s) came out.

      >> RTS also said…
      >>
      >> Pretty heartrending article of a preventable hazard tree fatality and near
      >> miss from the same tree on a wildfire in Oregon
      >>
      >> https://www.opb.org/news/article/wildfire-firefighter-death-oregon-risk-forest-management/

      Vary good article. Thank you for sharing.

      Funny thing about the article, though, is that one moment it says the the ‘U.S. Forest Service’ declined to comment or be interviewed for the article… and then the next moment it is including ‘comments about the article’ from officials at the ‘U.S. Forest Service’.

      And not just any ‘officials at the U.S. Forest Service.

      One of the comments included is from the current CHIEF of the entire friggn’ agency., Victoria Christansen herself.

      From the article…
      ———————————————————————————————-
      The Forest Service says too many wildland firefighters are exposed to hazards on the fire line and that it must change its ways.
      ———————————————————————————————-

      And then… this IMPORTANT comment from the current CHIEF of ‘U.S. Forestry’…

      ———————————————————————————————-
      “You can get me all riled up here,” said Vicki Christiansen, interim chief of the U.S. Forest Service. “To have to go to one more funeral of one of our own who was taking action when what they were doing had low probability of making any difference, that’s what we call unnecessary exposure. And I’ll say that’s unnecessary loss of life.”
      ———————————————————————————————

      Victoria became the CHIEF of U.S. Forestry earlier this year after Tony Tooke resigned because of allegations against him of sexual misconduct…

      Wildfire Today
      Article Title: Vicki Christiansen selected interim Forest Service Chief
      Published: 10:25 a.m. MST March 9, 2018
      https://wildfiretoday.com/2018/03/09/vicki-christiansen-selected-interim-forest-service-chief/

      From that article…
      ————————————————————————————————–
      Amid reports of widespread sexual harassment and misconduct within the Forest Service, and especially among firefighters, a woman will now lead the agency. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has selected Victoria (Vicki) Christiansen to be the interim Chief of the Forest Service. She replaces Tony Tooke who suddenly resigned March 7 after allegations of sexual misconduct were aired on the PBS program NewsHour.
      —————————————————————————————————

      ** SIDESTORY

      There is actually a strange connection here between the FLA investigation into John Hammack’s death in Oregon, on August 1, 2013, and the SAIT investigation into the deaths of the Granite Mountain Hotshots just a month before that, on June 30, 2013.

      One of the official FLA ( Facilitated Learning Analysis ) investigation team members for the John Hammack fatality was ( drumroll, please )…

      Steve Holdsambeck.

      At that time ( August of 2013 ), Holdsambeck was the top-level Firefighter Safety Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service – Intermountain Region.

      Holdsambeck was never officially a member of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire SAIT… but emails obtained by InvestigativeMEDIA prove that Holdsambeck was being ‘CC’ed by Yarnell SAIT leader Mike Dudley on all the critical aspects of the Yarnell SAIT investigation, and there were many email responses from Holdsambeck back to Dudley ‘advising’ Dudley on how to proceed with the Yarnell Hill investigation.

      So it’s worth noting that at the SAME TIME Holdsambeck was officially investigating the death of John Hammack, he was ALSO acting as a go-to ‘consultant’ for Mike Dudley, Jim Karels and others on the Arizona Forestry contracted Yarnell Hill Fire SAIT investigation.

      Steve Holdsambeck was the first person Mike Dudley consulted with when Dudley received the emails from other Hotshot Superintendents saying they could prove that Eric Marsh had been exhibiting poor and/or risky decision making out in the field for some time prior to the Yarnell tragedy.

      Steve Holdsambeck is the one who emailed Mike Dudley back and advised him…

      “Obviously you need to be CAREFUL how you respond to this”.

      Holdsambeck then went on to give Mike Dudley TWO different ‘options’ for how to respond to this incoming information about Eric Marsh’s pre-Yarnell fireline behavior but BOTH of those ‘options’ were REDACTED from the email and ‘U.S. Forestry’ claimed it was because of the ‘Deliberative Process Privilege’ FOIA exemption.

      Here is just one of those exchanges between Mike Dudley and Steve Holdsambeck…

      NOTE: This email from Steve Holdsambeck to Mike Dudley was sent on August 5, 2013, just 4 days after John Hammack was killed and while Holdsambeck was now officially investigating John Hammack’s death…

      Location in original FOIA-992 PDF images-only document: PDF page 668
      ===============================================================================================
      From: Holdsambeck, Steve -FS
      Sent: 5 Aug 2013 17:01:35 +0000 ( 11:01 AM )
      To: Dudley, Mike -FS
      Cc: Draeger, Randy -FS;Wilson, Richa -FS; Tom Zimmerman
      Subject: Re: Jerry Payne?

      Obviously you need to be careful how you respond to this.
      My advice would be somewhere between these two options:

      ( (b)(5), Deliberative Process Privilege )
      ( THE REST OF THE BODY OF THIS EMAIL HAS BEEN REDACTED )
      ( ABOUT 6 OR 7 LINES OF TEXT TOTAL HAVE BEEN REDACTED )

      iPad mail
      Steve Holdsambeck
      Firefighter Safety Program Manager
      U.S. Forest Service – Intermountain Region
      324 25th St – Suite 4060
      Ogden, UT 84401 cell: xxx.xxx.7258

      ( Attachment )
      ( Original “Look who dropped me a note” email from Mike Dudley with )
      ( Type 1 IHC Hotshot Superintendent David Provencio’s original email is )
      ( included here in this email response from Steve Holdsambeck back )
      ( to Mike Dudley )

      ==============================================================================================

      Obviously one of Steve Holdsambeck’s ( redacted ) ‘recommendations’ to Mike Dudley regarding the incoming evidence of prior ‘risky’ fireline decisions by Eric Marsh was something along the lines of…

      “Don’t even go there.”

      Because they ( Mike Dudley, Jim Karels and the rest of the SAIT ) didn’t.

      They just ignored the ‘evidence’ they were receiving and did NOT follow-up on any of it.

      They didn’t even forward the evidence that WAS already supplied to the SAIT to their own SAIT ‘Human Factors’ Lead Investigator… Brad Mayhew.

      • Robert the Second says

        WTKTT,

        Thank you for posting this and commenting on the article. The deceit and manipulation of the truth never cease and the same players keep reappearing.

  4. Robert the Second says

    Definitely check out this newly released (August 31, 2018) video clip titled “Only the braves real life yarnell hill” by LLOYD PRIME.

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JEDk_5UEVc )

    This was taken at/around the same time as the alleged “Helmet Cam” video by PNF Hubbard when you hear the A/G radio conversations between AA and OPS Abel but none of the PNF WFs ….

    HOWEVER, this one has some very significant additional visual information in it.

    It reveals a lot more active fire behavior in the background in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor when he zooms in several times.

    It reveals TWO red Municipal Fire Type 6 Engines exiting (at about 3:15 and 4:00) after the Peeples Valley FD Water Tender. followed by the BRHS buggy “B” as a Prescott FD pickup with camper shell attempts to enter against the oncoming traffic coming out.

    Hopefully, someone like WTKTT will be able to identify one or both of these Type 6 Municipal Fire Department Type 6 Engines as they pass by the one taking the video.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post on September 1, 2018 at 9:49 am

      >> RTS said…
      >>
      >> Definitely check out this newly released (August 31, 2018) video
      >> clip titled “Only the braves real life yarnell hill” by LLOYD PRIME.
      >> ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JEDk_5UEVc )

      Thank you for the link to the new video.

      I think it’s worth noting that even now, 5 years out, people are still compelled to take a look at the REAL evidence instead of just believing the bullshit that the ‘Only The Brave’ movie slings.

      Thus the TITLE of this person’s new video: “Only the braves REAL LIFE yarnell hill”.

      It proves that the incident really has risen to the level of ‘Historic National Tragedy’ and that people really are STILL interested in the TRUTH about what is ( so far, anyway ) the greatest tactical blunder in the history of wildland firefighting.

      That being said… it’s also worth noting that there is NOTHING NEW about this recently posted YouTube video.

      It is nothing more than a compliation of 4 ( FOUR ) existing videos taken in Yarnell on June 30, 2013, by Prescott National Forest employee Aaron Hulburd.

      YouTube Video Title: “Only the braves real life yarnell hill”
      Published: August 31, 2018
      Published By YouTube User: Lloyd Prime
      Background Song: Final Moments
      Artist: Joseph Trapanese
      Licensed to YouTube by: UMG (on behalf of Varese); ASCAP, and 1 Music Rights Societies
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JEDk_5UEVc

      Video clips contained in this (new) YouTube composite video…

      * +0:00 through +2:26
      Aaron Hulburd’s M2U00261 video.
      It was taken while OPS1 Todd Abel was on his second recon flight around the Yarnell Hill Fire aboard Helicopter ‘Ranger 58’. That recon flight left the ground at exactly 2:00 PM and lasted for 30 minutes, landing at 2:30 PM. The ‘clip’ from Hulburd’s M2U00261 video used in this new YouTube video actually begins at the +25 second mark in the original Hulburd video ( and is missing those first 25 seconds of video/audio in the original ). The rest of Hulburd’s original M2U00261 video is then included in full, with nothing else ‘missing’.

      * +2:27 through +2:54
      Aaron Hulburd’s M2U00262 video.
      Shot from the Shrine of St. Joseph parking lot at the end of the paved part of Shrine Road.

      * +2:54 through +3:22
      Aaron Hulburd’s M2U00263 video.
      Shows vehicles exiting from the Shrine Road Youth Camp area.

      * +3:24 through the end of the video at +4:31
      Aaron Hulburd’s M2U00264 video.
      Shows Paul musser on foot at the Shrine parking lot, Tony Sciacca leaving the area in his white-with-red-stripes PNF pickup with camper back, and then more vehicles emerging from the Shrine Road Youth Camp area.

      ** NOTE: THE ACTUAL START TIME FOR AARON HULBURD’S M2U00264 VIDEO…

      At the very end of Hulburd’s M2U00264 video… we see and hear Blue Ridge Superintendent Brian Frisby and Blue Ridge Captain Trueheart Brown pull up to the St. Joseph Shrine parking lot in their Polaris Ranger UTV.

      According to the Blue Ridge GPS tracking data… the exact time of that arrival at that spot was 1637 ( 4:37 PM )… just 2 minutes before Jesse Steed’s first MAYDAY was going to hit the radio.

      The M2U0064 video is 3 minutes and 37 seconds long.

      So that makes the actual START time for Aaron Hulburd’s M2U0064 video right around 1633.23 ( 4:33.23 PM ) ( 1637 minus 3:37 ).

      >> RTS also said…
      >>
      >> This was taken at/around the same time as the alleged “Helmet Cam” video
      >> by PNF Hubbard when you hear the A/G radio conversations between AA and
      >> OPS Abel but none of the PNF WFs ….

      Yes. It was taken ‘around the same time’ as Aaron Hulburd shot his other videos… because the video clips ARE the same ones shot by Aaron Hulburd himself.

      >> RTS also said…
      >>
      >> HOWEVER, this one has some very significant additional visual
      >> information in it.
      >>
      >> It reveals a lot more active fire behavior in the background in
      >> the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor when he zooms in several times.

      Nope.

      It reveals no more ‘additional visual information’ than what has been there since these Aaron Hulburd videos were first made public.

      >> RTS also said…
      >>
      >> It reveals TWO red Municipal Fire Type 6 Engines exiting (at about 3:15 and 4:00)
      >> after the Peeples Valley FD Water Tender.

      Your times are not right. The time for these original Aaron Hulburd ‘vehicles exiting the Shrine area’ video clips are later than that and can be verified using Blue Ridge GPS tracking information.

      The actual START time for Aaron Hulburd’s M2U0064 video ( which is the last video clip in this new YouTube composite video ) was right around 1633.23 ( 4:33.23 PM ).

      >> RTS also said…
      >>
      >> followed by the BRHS buggy “B” as a Prescott FD pickup with camper
      >> shell attempts to enter against the oncoming traffic coming out.

      That ‘Prescott FD pickup with camper shell’ was being driven by Safety Officer Tony Sciacca that day. We see him leave his parking spot at the St. Joseph Shrine and drive WEST a little bit over to where Jason Clawson is standing at the end of the paved part of Shrine Road. He stops there. Jason Clawson walks up to the side of Sciacca’s vehicle and ( supposedly ) speaks with him. Other headlights are now coming out, and the first engine ( Central Yavapai Engine E-59 ) appears to stop and speak with Sciacca in his pickup. The engine continues east, and then Sciacca turns his pickup around and exits the area, heading EAST on Shrine Road back to Highway 89.

      >> RTS also said…
      >>
      >> Hopefully, someone like WTKTT will be able to identify
      >> one or both of these Type 6 Municipal Fire Department Type 6
      >> Engines as they pass by the one taking the video.

      The ‘one taking the video’ was Aaron Hulburd himself.

      Again… these are HIS ACTUAL VIDEOS in this ( new ) composite YouTube clip.

      As for which ‘engines’ those are… that was determined long ago.

      Central Yavapai Engine E-59
      License Plate on front says “CEY P59”
      License Plate on rear ( as seen in other photos of same engine ) says “G-682DV”

      Sun City West Fire Engine
      Says “Brush 103” on the side.

      • Robert the Second says

        WTKTT,

        Thank you for the enlightenment. This video was NEW to me and hopefully, to many others as well.

        What software are you using to read the details on the license plates and door panels?

  5. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** CAL FIRE NOW ADMITS MATTHEW BURCHETT WAS KILLED
    ** AS A RESULT OF A VLAT RETARDANT DROP

    Sometime late yesterday, CAL FIRE finally admitted that Draper City Fire Fighter Matthew Burchett was actually killed as a result of debris from a VLAT drop.

    Here is the page that now contains CAL FIRE’s “Blue Sheet” describing the incident…

    Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
    Ranch Fire Tree Strike Fatality (2018)
    Incident Date: 8/13/2018
    State: California
    Incident Type: ( No entry )
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=cdfc0a5a-885b-45c7-81e0-0e09479a5cad

    The newly published “Blue Sheet” is this file, on that page…

    “Blue Sheet-18-CA-MEU-008674 Mendocino Complex Fatality.pd” – Uploaded – 08-18-2018

    NOTE: This ‘Blue Sheet’ only appeared in public yesterday, August 18, 2018, but the date on the ‘Blue Sheet’ itself has been ‘back dated’ to August 13, 2018, 5 days ago and the day Burchett actually died.

    CAL FIRE “Blue Sheets” are required ( by law ) to be produced within 12 hours of an incident and the just-released “Blue Sheet” itself even SAYS that in its first paragraph.

    But this “Blue Sheet” took 5 ( FIVE ) days before it finally appeared.

    Here is what is contained in the now-published “Blue Sheet”…

    —————————————————————————————
    Preliminary Summary Report of Serious or Near Serious
    CAL FIRE Injuries, Illnesses and Accidents

    BLUE SHEET

    Preliminary Summary Report of Serious or Near Serious
    CAL FIRE Injuries, Illnesses and Accidents

    This Preliminary Summary Report is intended as an aid in accident prevention, and to provide factual information from the first 12 hours of the accident review. To that end, it is published and distributed within a short time frame. Information contained within may be subject to revision as further investigation is conducted, and other reports and/or documents are received.

    Firefighter Injuries and Fatality
    August 13, 2018
    Mendocino Complex-Ranch Fire
    18-CA-MEU-008674
    18-CA-MEU-009504
    California Northern Region

    SUMMARY

    On August 13, 2018 at approximately 5:25 PM, a Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) completed a retardant drop along Division ‘C’ of the Mendocino Complex Fire in Mendocino County, California. Following the drop, three firefighters suffered minor injuries and one firefighter suffered fatal injuries after being struck by falling tree debris.

    RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

    Fire Line personnel must remain clear from areas being impacted by aircraft retardant/water drops with overhead hazards.
    —————————————————————————————

    Ah… okay… so it was Matthew Burchett’s OWN FAULT he was killed by a VLAT DROP.

    Gee… thanks, CAL FIRE. I feel so much better about it now.

    Let’s see the DETAILS, fellas.

    According to California law… since you wasted 5 days just putting out the “Blue Sheet”… you now only have 48 more hours to put out the detailed “Green Sheet”.

    BTW: Matthew Burchett’s funeral is TOMORROW, back in Draper City, Utah.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      The news is also now appearing on Twitter feeds…

      https://twitter.com/ai6yrham/status/1031209928852004865

      ————————————————————————————————
      AI6YR @ai6yrham
      AI6YR Retweeted Wildfire Today
      Burchett fatality on #RanchFire was a result of being too close to VLAT drop on #MendocinoComplexFire, per CALFIRE.

      ————————————————————————————————

      Wildfire Today ( Bill Gabbert’s Twitter feed )…

      https://twitter.com/wildfiretoday/status/1031172593674579968

      ————————————————————————————————–
      Wildfire Today @wildfiretoday
      6:34 AM – 19 Aug 2018

      CAL FIRE: On 8/13/2018 a Very Large Air Tanker dropped retardant on the Mendocino Complex Fire in Calif. Following the drop, 3 firefighters suffered minor injuries and 1, Batt. Chief Matthew Burchett, was killed after being struck by falling tree debris.
      —————————————————————————————————–

      NOTE: Bill Gabbert posted a Tweet about the new information this morning, but there is no official update to his regular ‘Wildfire Today’ site yet.

      • Robert the Second says

        Bringing this up out of the weeds. I posted this on August 17th

        Here are some of the details from those on the same fire where the Draper FF was killed and the others were injured, the Mendocino Complex.

        It was “shift change” when the day shift comes off the line and the night shift comes on to the line to work. Their Divison was planning for a Firing Operation which included air support to pretreat the firelines with retardent using the way-too-expensive and way-too-dangerous VLATs (Very Large Air tankers).

        They were in a heavy fuel type of large trees, needing a heavy coverage level.

        Air Attack (AA) called the Divison Supervisor (DIVS) to warn him/her about the incoming VLAT drops. DIVS asked for ten minutes to warn everyone, then called AA and gave them the “all cleared to drop” message.

        The Engines (including Draper FD) and a nearby Hot Shot Crew were now supposedly clear of the planned VLAT drop zone(s), which have to be quite a distance due to the huge quantity of retardent onboard and the length of their drops.

        On the drops, they noticed that the VLAT was coming in very low, at about 300′ to 400′ Above Ground Level (AGL). On the second drop that eventually hit them, they noticed that the VLAT was much lower than the previous drops.

        The drop extended for about one-half to three-quarters of a mile. This second drop uprooted a large tree that then hit the Draper FD Engine with several FFs sitting inside, including Matthew Burchett.

        The Draper Engine FFs called a MAYDAY saying FFs were injured. The uninjured Draper Engine FFs provided immediate medical care as they could. Neighboring Resources went to the scene and some had to use extrication equipment to get to Burchett and some of the injured FFs.

        The “Official Word” about this was that it was a “random accident” and not a tree strike or damage from a retardant drop.

        The supervisory overhead held a debriefing and told all the WF’s and FFs involved that they were not allowed to talk about the incident and would require them to “sign a waiver on non-disclosure.”

        Most, if not all the those involved in the incident refused to sign the non-dislosure waiver. Obviously, the IM/Overhead were pissed.

        Many of those WFs and FFs involved said it was pretty f**Ked up and they were gonna need/want some Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) to deal with all of this.

        Several of them were demobbed and sent back to their home units and told to take three days off instead of the usual two days off.

        In light of the inordinate number of recent WFs and FFs deaths in CA in the past few weeks, the word is that the WFs and FFs on the firelines are very distrustful of CDF in particular AND of the supervisory direction they are receiving regarding tactical fireline assignments, especially with the unprecedented, extreme fire behavior witnessed and experienced on the fatal Carr Fire near Redding, CA.

        In other words, there will be a lot more independent or at least semi-independent actions occurring or there will be a lot of time not engaging or just hanging out in safe areas and Safety Zones.

        A lot of FFs and WFs are asking the question: WTF is going on? Signs of the times or what?

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          >> On August 20, 2018 at 8:52 am, Robert the Second ( RTS ) wrote…
          >>
          >> Bringing this up out of the weeds. I posted this on August 17th

          Yes. I did see that ( below ). Posted a full day before CAL FIRE owned up to how Matthew Burchett really died.

          Thank you for those details, most of which are still ‘missing’ from anything CAL FIRE has released.

          >> On August 17, 2018 at 11:56 am, Robert the Second ( RTS ) said…
          >>
          >> The supervisory overhead held a debriefing and told all
          >> the WF’s and FFs involved that they were not allowed to talk
          >> about the incident and would require them
          >> to “sign a waiver on non-disclosure.”

          That is actually straight out of CAL FIRE’s IIPP ( Injury and Illness Prevention Program ) SART ( Special Accident Review Team ) playbook… which is sitting at the following PUBLIC URL on CAL FIRE’s website…

          CAL FIRE’S ACTUAL ‘SERIOUS ACCIDENT REVIEW TEAM’ ( SART ) PROCEDURE MANUAL…
          http://calfireweb.fire.ca.gov/library/handbooks/1700/SARTProcedureManual.pdf

          From that CAL FIRE SART ‘playbook’…
          ——————————————————————————-
          On PDF page 9 ( SART INCIDENT COMMANDER RESPONSIBILITIES )…

          In confidence, gather the names and contact information of participants and witnesses and obtain witness written statements and photographs. Inform the witness of the confidential nature of the SART process.

          – Establish a preliminary witness list of individuals involved in, or who may have information pertaining to, the accident.
          – Remind witnesses and involved persons not to discuss the incident amongst themselves or with the media.
          – Witnesses and involved persons may contact one family member with their status and location, but they are not to discuss the incident details.

          On PDF page 12 ( SART TEAM LEADER RESPONSIBILITIES )…

          – Ensure all team members understand the purpose of a SART and regard all gathered information as confidential.
          Have each team member and WITNESS read and sign the SART Confidentiality Agreement

          On PDF page 15 ( SART LEAD INVESTIGATOR RESPONSIBILITIES )…

          The SART Lead Investigator is a CAL FIRE Peace Officer responsible for scene security, evidence collection and coordinating/conducting interviews of witnesses. The Lead Investigator works directly for the Team Leader.

          Responsibilities

          – Gather all facts and conduct interview in confidence.
          – Ensure all witnesses are informed of the purpose of a SART and affirm the confidential nature of the SART process.
          Have each witness read and sign the SART Confidentiality Agreement.
          – Conduct all witness interviews in plain clothes.

          ——————————————————————————-

          NOTE: While most of the Policies and Forms and Handbooks for CAL FIRE’s own ‘Injury and Illness Prevention Program’ ( IIPP ) are ( as they should be ) all PUBLIC documents, including the above ‘SART Procedures Manual’ itself… the mysterious “SART Confidentiality Agreement” form mentioned over and over again in the SART ‘playbook’ is NOT a public document.

          There is no place on the CAL FIRE documents server where this ‘SART Confidentiality Agreement’ can be downloaded without some kind of special ‘log in’.

          It’s contents remain a ‘secret’, even from Calfornia taxpayers.

          Also notice this part up above, which ( apparently ) gives CAL FIRE SART investigators permission to treat witnesses ( and any other ‘involved persons’ ) as if they are ‘under arrest’, or something, and limit their contact with the outside world…

          You are ( apparently ) “only allowed one phone call”… just like you are “under arrest”, or something… and even then… if you start to say something about the incident they don’t want you saying they will rip the phone out of your hands like you are being held hostage in some third-world country…

          ——————————————————————————
          Witnesses and involved persons may contact one family member with their status and location, but they are not to discuss the incident details
          ——————————————————————————

          >> RTS also said…
          >>
          >> Many of those WFs and FFs involved said it was pretty f**Ked
          >> up and they were gonna need/want some Critical Incident
          >> Stress Management (CISM) to deal with all of this.

          Hang on to your hat…

          The CAL FIRE ‘SART Procedures Manual’ actually ALLOWS the CAL FIRE investigators to WITHHOLD CISM help from employees who need it until CAL FIRE gets what THEY want out of them.

          Notice that the CAL FIRE SART ‘playbook’ specifically says that NO ‘Critical Incident Stress Management’ ( CISM ) debriefings and/or defusings shall take place BEFORE the ‘involved personnel’ have been questioned by CAL FIRE investigators… and it also says CAL FIRE can withhold CISM debriefings for up to 72 hours, regardless of how critical it might be to the health of the employees involved.

          Way to care about the health and well-being of your employees ( not ).

          From PDF page 5 of the official CAL FIRE ‘SART Procedures Manual’…
          —————————————————————————–
          CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS MANAGEMENT (CISM)

          No Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) shall take place until a consultation has occurred between the Lead Investigator and the CISM Team Leader. The CISM Team Leader shall identify areas of critical need and discuss with the SART Team Leader and Lead Investigator as expeditiously as possible.

          No group discussion.

          CISM can be conducted on an individual basis if necessary versus a group basis. Group debriefings prior to being interviewed can compromise the witness information.

          CISM debriefings/defusing should not take place prior to the involved personnel being questioned by the Investigators without permission from the Team Leader. CISM policy says debriefing can be withheld for up to 72 hours (Handbook 1865).
          —————————————————————————–

          The above excerpt from CAL FIRE’s own ‘SART Procedures Manual’ is not only ALLOWING, but basically REQUIRING the investigators to actually WITHHOLD MEDICAL TREAMENT ( CISM ) from employees involved in an accident in one of CAL FIRE’s workplaces.

          Not good.

          >> RTS also said…
          >>
          >> Most, if not all the those involved in the incident refused
          >> to sign the non-dislosure waiver.

          Good for them.

          I’d love to see CAL FIRE try and put some firefighters I know in a room, tell them they are only allowed one phone call ( and what they are allowed to say even during that one call ), and then withhold CISM from them while they keep shoving documents under their noses telling them they MUST sign them.

          Some firefighters I know would make them EAT the documents.

          • Woodsman says

            F. U. C. K. C. A. L. F. I. R. E

            For any of you firefighters out that aren’t aware of your rights, simply ask the SART rep if you are being detained. If the answer is no, walk away. Call whomever (& however many)the fuck you want to let them know you’re OK. Seek competent legal counsel if necessary.

            Most I know, well…they would regret the strongarm approach. Way to add to the trauma, you dumbasses.

            My pending retirement decision is getting easier each day.

            • Gary Olson says

              Well…as a shade tree lawyer I just have to weigh in on this one. Law enforcement officers are allowed to “detain” someone for “brief and cursory” questioning when “reasonable” suspicion exists that a crime was committed, but falls short of “probable cause” and that person being questioned may have been involved in the commission of said crime or be a witness.

              Under those circumstances, that person isn’t free to leave, but neither are they under arrest. And what is “reasonable” will depend on the circumstances surrounding the contact, time and distance for example are two variables that may make a detention of a few hours reasonable, or may make a detention of more than a few minutes unreasonable.

              But the bottom line for me, is that there is one predicate fact must be present for any of that to even start to happen. The person who is responsible for making any detention much less an arrest, have statutory “police powers” that include the authority to place someone “in custody” because they have “arrest authority.”

              I mean…our Founding Father’s put that one right up there as Number Four (4) on their biggest bitches about King George and the Redcoats while they made sure that kind of thing doesn’t happen in our Republic, and if it does, those who engage in it can be charged with crimes like “false imprisonment” and “kidnapping” with serious civil and criminal penalties.

              I seriously doubt any of the CALFIRE investigators even have police powers since they are without doubt following the lead of the USFS and by doing so they are keeping trained criminal investigators as far away from those types of investigations as they can to make it easier to predetermine the outcome they want and then go looking for select facts to support their position, as RTS always writes.

              So…the correct question to ask anyone who ever tells you something like is being alleged here is, “Am I free to leave” or “Am I under arrest.”

              And as far as being put into a room and told you have to talk to investigators much less sign any documents, please see Number Five (5) on the biggest bitch list aptly named, the “Constitutional Amendments .”

              This whole thing just sounds plain crazy to me and it looks like CALFIRE is playing word games while they bluff their way in trying to achieve their goals, by writing things like “should” in their regulations, but it is so easy for the official on the scene to editorialize that and twist it into something like, “you have to.”

              All I can say, is that if that ever happens to you, start writing down names, times, exact quotes, and identifying others who are present and may be witnesses to their unconstitutional and criminal acts.

              Unfortunately for CALFIRE employees, they are probably in more danger of these, dare I say it, “Gestapo Tactics”, because of their “conditions of employment” as so many were threatened with after the Yarnell Hill Fire.

              And FYI. I haven’t gone away on my next big adventure…yet. I have just been waiting for the serious discussions about WF deaths and serious injuries to die down before I publish my “Last Chapter” (chapter of what, I still can’t say) and catch up on my backlog of comments.

              In the meantime, OMGosh…it looks like I owe not only Joy, but the entire nation of Serbia an apology. That whole 6.5 Grendel thing might be the way to go after all? It’s sure getting a lot of buzz.

                • Gary Olson says

                  Oh…and I didn’t make it clear that the buzz is coming from our military. Apparently the new Russian body armor can stop the .556 from our family of what has been nicknamed The Black Rifle.

                  And on top of that, some think the M16 and it’s variations have a fatal flaw from their inception becuase they the gases from the exploding round to cycle the bolt so now they want one that is piston driven.

                  I give up. I am just going to sit it out while everybody else gets it figured out, but I do still think they should hire Joy..

                  And technically, I don’t owe the apology to the entire nation of Serbia, just their military because they have been leading the way on a bigger, heavier, more powerful and lethal intermediate caliber, drumroll please…the 6.5 Grendel!

                  I’m glad we had this little chat. Thank you.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to Gary Olson post on September 1, 2018 at 3:11 pm

                >> Gary Olson said…
                >>
                >> The person who is responsible for making
                >> any detention much less an arrest,
                >> ( must ) have statutory “police powers” that
                >> include the authority to place someone
                >> “in custody” because they have “arrest authority.”
                >>
                >> I seriously doubt any of the CALFIRE investigators
                >> even have police powers

                In CALFIRE’s own “Special Accident Review Team” ( SART ) ‘Playbook’… there are sections that establish the minimum qualifications for each ‘member of the team’.

                As it turns out… there actually is ONE person ( and ONLY one person ) who is REQUIRED to be a certified “Peace Officer” and have valid, up-to-date POST ( Peace Officer Training and Standards ) certification.

                And that ONE person is ( drumroll, please ), the SART “Lead Investigator”.

                ** CALFIRE’S ACTUAL ‘SERIOUS ACCIDENT
                ** REVIEW TEAM’ ( SART ) PROCEDURE MANUAL…

                http://calfireweb.fire.ca.gov/library/handbooks/1700/SARTProcedureManual.pdf

                From PDF page 15 of that CALFIRE SART ‘Playbook’…
                ———————————————————-
                LEAD INVESTIGATOR

                The SART Lead Investigator is a CAL FIRE Peace Officer responsible for scene security, evidence collection and coordinating/conducting interviews of witnesses. The Lead Investigator works directly for the Team Leader. Due to the amount of writing, the majority of the Draft

                The Confidential SART Final Review Report will be written by the Lead Investigator.

                * Qualifications

                – POST certified Peace Officer. ( POST stands for “Peace Officer Standards and Training” )
                – A minimum of two years’ experience as a Peace Officer.
                – Battalion Chief or above.
                – Participation in at least two SART assignments as an Investigator (assistant).
                – Participation in at least one SART assignment as a Lead Investigator (trainee).
                – Certification from a CAL FIRE SART workshop.

                * Responsibilities

                – Gather all facts and conduct interview in confidence.
                – Ensure all witnesses are informed of the purpose of a SART and affirm the confidential nature of the SART process.
                – Have each witness read and sign the SART Confidentiality Agreement.
                – Conduct all witness interviews in plain clothes.
                – Determine jurisdiction of incident and any allied agency involvement.
                – Overall photos including aerial if possible
                – Ensure SART-71 is utilized for all witness statements.
                – Establish number, condition and location of victim(s).
                – Establish number and location of witnesses.
                – Determine number of Investigators and level of expertise required
                – Determine any specialized equipment needs
                – Establish site security protocol
                – Develop a Site Entry Plan jointly with the Safety Representative for team safety

                – Supervise and/or conduct investigative activities
                – Interviews
                – Fire investigation in area
                – Scene processing and proper documentation
                – Evidence collection, security and management – Chain of custody

                – Liaison with cooperating allied agencies (Sheriff’s Department, Coroner’s Office, CHP, NWCG, Federal Cooperators, MTDC, Etc.)
                – Supervise the writing of the Sequence of Events.
                – Memorialize sequence of events, findings, causal factors, and contributory factors.
                – Take custody of all documentation and evidence at conclusion of assignment.
                – Log evidence into secure location.

                —————————————————————

                CALFIRE actually runs its OWN California-certified “Peace Officer Training Program”.

                The way it basically works ( according to CALFIRE’s own POST certification process ) is that CALFIRE sends you out to a community college or some other place to get the absolute BASIC ‘POST’ training first… like which end of the gun the bullet comes out of and why you can’t ‘arrest’ your mother-in-law when you get your badge just because she is ‘annoying’ you.

                Once you have taken those basic-basic POST classes… you move on to CALFIRE’s own ‘CDF POST Academy’ where the “Peacer Officer” training gets into how to conduct arson investigations… which is the PRIMARY reason for CALFIRE running its OWN ‘POST’ Academy ( internally ).

                So the SART ‘Playbook’ does, in fact, go out its way to make sure their ‘Lead Investigator’ has a ‘badge’ hidden in his pocket…

                …but that ‘Lead Investigator’ is the ONLY one on the entire SART team that the ‘Playbook’ says is required to have “Peace Officer” certification.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Correction for above.

                  Should have been ‘non-gender specific’…

                  “So the SART ‘Playbook’ does, in fact, go out of its way to make sure their ‘Lead Investigator’ has a ‘badge’ hidden in his/her pocket.”

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Hmmmmmmm, I’m not quite sure what to think about that? My initial reaction is that is a good thing? And therefore they are ahead of the USFS and other federal agencies in how they conduct wildfire investigations?

                    But I guess it is like so many things and depends on the specifics and variables?

                    The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center does (or did) offer a Wildland Fire Investigators Course (which I took in mid 1980’s) that is two weeks long and does even start their own arson wildfire on FLETC grounds in connection with the BATF&E explosisive training to investigate because FLETC was build on the thousands of acres that was a Naval Air Station during WWII.

                    But I am not aware of any requirements the USFS or other federal agencies have that requires that training for anyone on their SAIT’s?

                    And simply getting that training does not grant anyone “police powers” unless you complete either the “Police Training Program” or “Criminal Investigators Training Program” (or both of them like I did) and are employed by a federal agency who has statutory police powers and can administer the oath of office to that person and of course give them a badge and a gun to go with it.

                    I’m not quite sure what all of that means, except it sounds like.a CALFIRE has the power to enforce an “investigative detention” and subsequently arrest a suspect and take then into custody, which is a good thing? I guess?

                    There is no doubt in my mind however, that CALFIRE is a BIG DOG or in keeping with my primate family analogies…they are a big gorilla?

                    Maybe not an 800 pound Mountain Siverback Mountain Gorilla like the USFS, but a gorilla nevertheless…at least in the Great State of California.

                    Yep…I have thought about it some more, CALFIRE is light years ahead of how the USFS and other federal agencies conduct wildland fire investigations.

                    Here is a curious fact for you to analyze that I have never been able to make any sense out of. In 1994, I was working as a Suoervisory Criminal Investigator, (which was my official job description) as the Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge (which was my working title) for the BLM Arizona State Office when the South Canyon Fire killed 9 Prineville Hotshots, two helitack, and three smokejumpers on Storm King Mountain in Colorado.

                    I was a certified Wildland Fire Investigator and I has successfully conducted several arson fires by then and I had even arrested suspects and had given several of those responsible really big bills to pay for the fires they had started including corporations, the Boy Scouts Of America and the Mormon Church.

                    The powers that be selected Les Rosenkrace, who was my BLM State Director at the time to be the team leader for that SAIT and he picked the rest of his team.

                    But that time in my career I had had a lot of law enforcement training which included the Arizona POST academy training before I had become a deputy sheriff. and a tremendous amount of experience in both conducting investigations, interviews and writing reports.

                    Les was a great state director and a good man and he ended his career as the Director of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, in part because he had come up through the ranks as a highly respected former BLM smokejumper.

                    I actually thought at the time he should have taken me with him, and I really thought he might for a while. But he didn’t include me, or any one else who was trained to conduct investigations, interview witnesses, interrogate suspects or conduct a Wildland Fire Investigation.

                    I thought that was not only a mistake and an oversight, but a very odd thing to do. And I still do once I saw them do the very same thing on disaster fire after disaster fire culminating with how they handled the investigation of the Yarnell Hill Fire.

                    I won’t say the federal system of conducting disaster fire investigations is broken, because I don’t think something can break…that was never working in the first place.

                    I know for a fact that I really bother the powers that be because I am here freely expressing my professional opinions on this thread. The powers that be rely on dismissing and discrediting their critics, no matter how right those critics are. It is so easy to dismiss someone like WTKTT, no matter how right he is.

                    But I really don’t think they can dismiss me, I floated to the top of their turd bowl. They made me and then they kept promoting me, promoting me and promoting me some more and awarding me Quality Step Increase after Quality Step Increase (4 in total) and each one of them could be worth as much as a couple hundred grand over my life time earnings and maybe even more since they followed me into retirement and I still seem to be pretty damn healthy if you take away my on the job injuries, which make me a little bit infirm, but I dont think they are going to kill me any time soon.

                    How can they possibly discredit or disavow me? I am them. They created me in their image. That is why I keep banging away at my street creds on this thread.

                    I don’t do it to brag (well maybe I do a little bit), I do it to give legitimacy to our group. If I agree with WTKTT, he is able to piggy back off my street creds and that makes him credible when I voice for him. And I know that really gives them a pain in their asses, because they are asses..

                    Of course the same thing is true for Fred, Bob and everyone else here who are subject matter experts and stands behind their real name and verifiable street creds..

                    All of us are them, not just some loony group of conspiracy nut jobs. Hahahahahaha MOFOES! YOU LOSE!

                    • Gary Olson says

                      That should have been “vouch” for WTKTT, and there are a few other auto correct mistakes, but you will probably still be able to get the gist of what I was trying to say.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Whoops,

                      I don’t want anyone to interpret anything I wrote as an endorsement in any way of anything CALFIRE is doing by taking WF personnel into a room and pressuring them in any way by use of cohersion, intimidation, misuse of cleverly written policies, lying and especially doing anything under color of law because one of those sorry people has a badge in his back pocket.

                      The whole thing sounds OUTRAGEOUS by withholding or the threat of withholding what is really medical treatment through the threat of using the carrot and the club in an attempt to take advantage of people in traumatic circumstances.

                      I would suggest that even CALFIRE Personnel take the time they need to gather their thoughts, decompress, and process what they either saw, heard or participated in before trying to give a statement to investigators. Don’t refuse to cooperate, decline to cooperate right at that moment, tell them you may want to consult with an attorney, because you might depending on what happened and what your role was in it and whether President you have legal or civil exposure.

                      What they are doing in a trick to take advantage of you when you are most vulnerable and easy to manipulate.

                      So…I am no longer using vulgar words to describe how I feel, so defer to The Woodsman…FUCKCALFIRE

                    • Gary Olson says

                      I know from past experiences, you will both do and say things when you are on an adrenaline high that won’t be in your best interests.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Oh…and one more thing. I am not suggesting that you should refuse to cooperate with the investigation, but I am suggesting that when you are under the influence of an adrenaline high, you may not be capable of providing information that is either accurate or has a factual basis.

                      You may be saying or doing things based on emotions or what you thought you saw or did instead of reality. It is very common for police officers to believe they fired two or three rounds when in fact they emptied a 16 round magazine (extrapolate the relevance of that anology to your own situation).

                      And that is because under extreme stress, your body goes into a fight or flight mode as your blood pressure goes through the roof, your body severely restricts blood to your extremities in order to provide maximum pressure to your vital organs which means you will experience tunnel vision, auditory exclusion and a serious lack of fine motor skills in addition to a whole bunch of other physiological changes.

                      And it takes a while to come down off that high and for your body and mind to stabilize. And you should take the time you need to do that before you start talking to anybody about anything.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Matthew Burchett’s funeral began at 11:00 AM this morning, at the Maverick Center Auditorium in West Valley City, Utah.

            DURING the service is when the Associated Press ( Utah office ) broke a National News story about CAL FIRE’s ‘Blue Sheet’ report and their admission that Burchett died from debris related to a retardant drop.

            The story has been going ‘viral’ all afternoon, and most MSM reports about Burchett’s memorial service have been referencing the AP News story as well.

            This evening… it is now hitting the top-level MSM publications, such as the Washington Post…

            The Washington Post
            Article Title: APNewsBreak: Utah firefighter died after plane made drop
            Published ( By the WP Post): August 20 at 8:46 PM
            Original articlez; By Don Thompson and Lindsay Whitehurst of the Associated Press.
            Original AP publication: 1:00 PM, August 20, 2018
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/apnewsbreak-utah-firefighter-died-after-plane-made-drop/2018/08/20/a6dab7e8-a4db-11e8-ad6f-080770dcddc2_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ebc38891df94

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post
          on August 21, 2018 at 7:37 pm

          >> RTS said…
          >>
          >> WTKTT, thanks for looking into and posting the details
          >> on the CDF feculence

          In that section above from the CAL FIRE SART ( Serious Accident Review Team ) Procedures Manual where it is basically REQUIRING the SART investigators to WITHHOLD medical treatment ( CISM ) from employees until the SART has been able to ‘interview’ them… they are claiming the SART investigators are allowed to withhold that CISM support for up to 72 hours.

          That ‘claim’ in the SART ‘playbook’ is based on a reference to another CAL FIRE ‘Handbook’.

          The ‘Handbook 1865’ that is being referenced in the CAL FIRE SART Procedures Manual is CAL FIRE’s own ‘Critical Incident Stress Management’ Procedures Handbook ( Number 1865 ).

          It is sitting at the following PUBLIC URL on CAL FIRE’s public ‘Handbooks’ page…

          CAL FIRE Handbook 1865 – Critcial Incident Stress Management
          http://calfireweb.fire.ca.gov/library/handbooks/1800/1865.pdf

          It actually says that a ‘CISM Debriefing’ can be withheld for up to 10 days ( and not just 72 hours ) following an incident.

          There is also a discrepancy regarding ‘defusing’ versus ‘debriefing’.

          CAL FIRE’s own CISM Hanbook says a ‘defusing’ SHOULD take place within 8 hours following an incident, but CAL FIRE’s SART Handbook says they SART investigators are ALSO allowed to PREVENT a CISM ‘defusing’ from happening until after they have gotten the interviews they want out of the involved employees.

          On PDF page 5 of CAL FIRE’s own CISM Handbook…
          ———————————————————————————–
          CISM DEFUSING EXPECTATIONS 1865.6.1.1

          The rules for CISM DEFUSING will include, at a minimum, the following:

          A CISM DEFUSING should be conducted immediately after the critical incident, and the ideal period of time is within 8 hours of the critical incident, as well as on the same day.

          If it is not possible to hold the CISM DEFUSING within these guidelines, a defusing may occur using the same timeline as a CISD ( Critical Incident Stress DEBRIEFING ), ( which is anywhere from 1 to 10 days following an incident ).
          ———————————————————————————

          But CAL FIRE’s SART Investigation Procedures Manual still says the following about BOTH CISM ‘defusings’ AND ‘debriefings’…

          ————————————————————————————
          CISM debriefings/defusing should NOT take place prior to the involved personnel being questioned by the Investigators.
          ————————————————————————————-

  6. joy a collura says

    Funny how much data on Wildland Fires is not shown to the public and how many I have learned are told to keep quiet.

    Ok, NOT FUNNY!

    It is wrong.

    I wonder about the tree incident death recently if my “gut feeling” is right on…I wonder if the private contractor will tell the truth…or if this will become YH Fire all over again.

    Hope not. Let’s grab them by the balls early versus waiting five years. Here we go FOIAs and public records…Thank you to Elizabeth Nowicki for teaching me the regular citizens can do this versus just media and lawyers and such…it will take the citizens to show the truths since some are having to sign papers on the line they won’t talk…but maybe it is time that FFs are not signing off…maybe changes are in the works.

    I am growing so weary of the lack of truth being shown on errors made.

    LESSONS LEARNED and SAFETY MATTERS!

    They put so many in positions that SHOULD NOT be in that position—

    Man, if you want to share your story on the tree incident on my page
    h t t p s :/ /w w w .yarnellhillfirerevelations.c o m/blog

    or come here too but please do not allow it to remain “quiet”…please….We need “positive changes” through “public awareness”

    Cathy says it right…”…Court room should never be used as a forum. Same with politicians until you write out all you know. Gives you a clear equation. [I encourage Y O U to be the voice true-to-soul…] empowering people like your self to peacefully reclaim their voice true-to-soul. I’m confident it will be of enormous benefit to you! Peace and freedom, Cathy”

    Please listen to this lady above who faced a very horrific story yet today she is healed by telling her story to the world…that is where it begins…

    TELL YOUR STORY even if you come to me or someone “anonymous”- I will fact check your data and I can push the facts forward if that helps you heal…it is time…there is NO coincidences… The time is here.

    Not being transparent… that is destroying the Fire Industry. People are bailing before their retirement. It is unfair. What do they think is going to happen by telling the truth? Just tell it. No more “CRAP” reports.

    • joy a collura says

      Burchett family and loved ones and friends and fellow firefighter-

      Please do the FOIAS and public records on this fire. It is important to learn the truth versus what is being glazed and also spread the word for prayer that the private contractor tells the truth.

      Amen.

  7. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** CARR FIRE FATALITIES – GREEN SHEET REPORT

    The official CAL FIRE “Green Sheet” report on the Carr Fire entrapments and fatalities was uploaded to the National Park Service’s “Wildland Fire Lessons Learned” website yesterday.

    It is FILLED with DETAIL regarding the deaths of 82 year old bulldozer operator Don Ray Smith, 37 year old Redding City Fire Department Inspector Jeremy Stoke, the 3 Marin County ‘hybrid’ firefighters who were burned, and the THREE OTHER private dozer operators who were also almost killed.

    Here is the ‘page’ at the WFLLC site where the newly published Carr Fire “Green Sheet” is available for reading/download…

    The Wildland Fire Lessons Learnedd Center ( hosted by the National Park Service )
    Carr Fire Entrapment Fatalities (2018)
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=1b6e6ede-cd02-4e1e-8a97-cde4bb765b8a

    And here is direct link to the PDF “Green Sheet” document itself…

    CAL FIRE
    Informational Summary Report of Serious or Near Serious Injuries, Illnesses and Accidents
    GREEN SHEET
    Burn Over Fatalities July 26, 2018
    Carr Incident
    18-CA-SHU-007808
    18-CA-SHU-007962
    California Northern Regio
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=a5f0fff2-4435-ee4b-1676-c5e066a313e7&forceDialog=0

    CAL FIRE doesn’t include any NAMES in the report ( as usual ).

    – Don Ray Smith is only identified in the report as ‘Dozer 1’.

    – Jeremy Stoke is only identified in the report as ‘FPI1’ ( Fire Prevention Inspector 1 ).

    – The 3 Marin County ‘hybrid’ firefighters who were burned are identified collectively as ‘ENG1’ ( Engine 1 ), and individually as FAE1, FF1 and FF2.

    – The 3 OTHER private dozer operators who we only now learn also almost lost their lives in this same ‘burnover’ incident are only identified in the report as ‘Dozer 2’, ‘Dozer 3’ and ‘Dozer 4’.

    CAL FIRE doesn’t mention Don Ray Smith’s name, or his age… but all the associated reporting about this “Green Sheet” document are still mis-reporting Smith’s age as 81 years old.

    He was even older than that. He was actually 82 years old ( and change ).

    Dozer operator Don Ray Smith was born June 3, 1936.

    That made him 82 years, 1 month and 11 days old on July 26, 2018, the day he died at the Carr Fire.

    As the report indicates… dozer operator Don Ray Smith should NOT have even been on the assignment he was working when he was killed. TWO other dozers had already worked the same ‘line’ earlier in the day and they BOTH indicated that the terrain was too steep to complete that assignment and it was a ‘non-viable’ option. The person who sent Smith out the same dozer line ( and to his eventual death there ) didn’t even know that, and sent Smith out there anyway.

    This total breakdown in communications led to Smith’s eventual death.

    From PDF page 15 of the report…

    Notice all the ‘NOT’s in this list…

    ————————————————————————————————————
    INJURIES/DAMAGES

    1. FPI1 suffered fatal traumatic injuries when entrapped in a fire tornado while engaged in community protection operations.

    2. Dozer 1 operator suffered fatal thermal injuries. The operator’s fire shelter was ( NOT used and ) located behind the dozer’s seat and the fire curtains were NOT deployed.

    3. Dozer 3 operator suffered from smoke inhalation and glass in his eyes. Dozer 3 operator did NOT have eye protection.

    4. Dozer 4 operator suffered burns to his hands, neck and back. Dozer 4 operator was NOT wearing gloves.

    5. FAE1 received minor burns to his hands. FF1 and FF2 received minor burns to their faces.
    FAE1 was NOT wearing gloves.
    FF1’s shroud was NOT down.
    FF2 had his shroud down but NOT secured.

    ————————————————————————————————————

  8. Robert the Second says

    This is about the massive fire whirl, which was more like a firenado, on the deadly CA Carr Fire from JD’s NY Times article about “Fierce and Unpredictable” extreme fire behavior.

    “In the wild, these fire whirls are unpredictable and dangerous. An exceptionally powerful whirl in late July during California’s unrelenting Carr Fire whipped winds up to 143 miles per hour, roaring and spinning for 90 minutes and scooping up ash, debris and flames. It uprooted trees, stripped the bark off them, and downed power lines. The whirl, sometimes nicknamed a “firenado,” was so large it was picked up on Doppler radar.”

    This quote is about the Eagle Fire or Eagle Lake Fire on the NV / CA border with severe downslope winds and these inattentive idiots let this massive fire whirl basically sneak up on them.

    A USA Today article titled: “California ‘fire tornado’ had 143 mph winds, possibly state’s strongest twister ever” ( https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2018/08/03/fire-tornado-california-carr-fire-143-mph-winds/897835002/ ) Impressive, massive Carr Fire, firewhirl in he short “Craig Padilla” video clip within the article.

    “The devastating fire tornado that spun up during the Carr Fire last week had 143 mph winds, according to a preliminary report from the National Weather Service Thursday. This is equal to an EF-3 tornado on the five-level Enhanced Fujita Scale.

    “Dan Keeton, the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said the fact that the weather service was able to see the rotation of the 35,000-foot-tall plume on its radar — well over 100 miles south of Redding — was significant.

    “‘I’ve never seen anything like that in my career,” said Keeton, who has been with the weather service since 1985″

    The 11 photos of the fire whirls aftermath are quite revealing with downed and uprooted trees, power lines, and damaged homes.

    “It spun up between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. PT on July 26. Preliminary reports include the collapse of high tension power line towers, uprooted trees, and the complete removal of tree bark.

    “Craig Clements, the director of San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Research Laboratory, told BuzzFeed that the vortex of fire may have been the strongest ever recorded. “This is historic in the U.S.,” he said. ‘This might be the strongest fire-induced tornado-like circulation ever recorded..”

    The “Matthew Cappucci” inset has some radar images indicating the rotation of this extreme weather event as well as the short seven-second video clip from “BuzzFeed Storm.”

  9. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** REST IN PEACE – MATTHEW BURCHETT ( 42 YEARS OLD )

    The 2018 California fires have claimed yet another firefighter’s life.

    This time it’s Matthew Burchett, a BC ( Battalion Chief ) from the Draper City Fire Department, in Idaho.

    He was a ‘hybrid’ wildland firefighter who was assigned to the Mendocino Complex Fire along with 4
    others from his City Fire Department.

    No details yet, other than the fact that he did not die out on the line.

    He was injured, and then died in the hospital.

    Another tree strike?

    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Article Title: A Draper firefighter is killed battling a huge blaze in California.
    He’s the first Utah firefighter to die in a wildfire since 2006.
    Published: 3 hours ago. Updated 14 minutes ago. By: Scott D. Pierce
    https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/08/14/utah-firefighter-killed/

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      * Correction…

      Typo up above. Draper City is in Utah, not Idaho.

      * Update…

      Looks like it really may have been another tree-strike death.

      ABC Channel 4 in Utah mentioned the fatality on their evening news program, and a video clip of that is at the top of the following webpage…

      ABC Channel 4, Utah
      Article Title: Draper firefighter dies battling California wildfires
      https://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/draper-firefighter-dies-battling-california-wildfires/1366920517

      From the video clip of the news broadcast…
      ——————————————————————————————————
      At +3:19 in the video clip, Draper City Mayor Troy Walker said ( to the camera )…

      “Advanced life support care was given immediately by crews on site, and within 40 minutes, Matt was airlifted by medevac helicopter to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries.”

      At +4:20 in the video clip, field reporter Marcos Oritz says…

      “As for the cause of death… unconfirmed reports from California say that a tree struck Burchett as he was fighting the fire.”
      ——————————————————————————————————

      • Woodsman says

        So….5 municipal firefighters were sent to fight a wildland fire in Cali & 1 was killed while 3 were injured in a tree strike? That’s an 80% failure rate just with one sample.

        • Robert the Second says

          Woodsman,

          Here are some of the details from those on the same fire where the Draper FF was killed and the others were injured, the Mendocino Complex.

          It was “shift change” when the day shift comes off the line and the night shift comes on to the line to work. Their Divison was planning for a Firing Operation which included air support to pretreat the firelines with retardent using the way-too-expensive and way-too-dangerous VLATs (Very Large Air tankers).

          They were in a heavy fuel type of large trees, needing a heavy coverage level.

          Air Attack (AA) called the Divison Supervisor (DIVS) to warn him/her about the incoming VLAT drops. DIVS asked for ten minutes to warn everyone, then called AA and gave them the “all cleared to drop” message.

          The Engines (including Draper FD) and a nearby Hot Shot Crew were now supposedly clear of the planned VLAT drop zone(s), which have to be quite a distance due to the huge quantity of retardent onboard and the length of their drops.

          On the drops, they noticed that the VLAT was coming in very low, at about 300′ to 400′ Above Ground Level (AGL). On the second drop that eventually hit them, they noticed that the VLAT was much lower than the previous drops.

          The drop extended for about one-half to three-quarters of a mile. This second drop uprooted a large tree that then hit the Draper FD Engine with several FFs sitting inside, including Matthew Burchett.

          The Draper Engine FFs called a MAYDAY saying FFs were injured. The uninjured Draper Engine FFs provided immediate medical care as they could. Neighboring Resources went to the scene and some had to use extrication equipment to get to Burchett and some of the injured FFs.

          The “Official Word” about this was that it was a “random accident” and not a tree strike or damage from a retardant drop.

          The supervisory overhead held a debriefing and told all the WF’s and FFs involved that they were not allowed to talk about the incident and would require them to “sign a waiver on non-disclosure.”

          Most, if not all the those involved in the incident refused to sign the non-dislosure waiver. Obviously, the IM/Overhead were pissed.

          Many of those WFs and FFs involved said it was pretty f**Ked up and they were gonna need/want some Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) to deal with all of this.

          Several of them were demobbed and sent back to their home units and told to take three days off instead of the usual two days off.

          In light of the inordinate number of recent WFs and FFs deaths in CA in the past few weeks, the word is that the WFs and FFs on the firelines are very distrustful of CDF in particular AND of the supervisory direction they are receiving regarding tactical fireline assignments, especially with the unprecedented, extreme fire behavior witnessed and experienced on the fatal Carr Fire near Redding, CA.

          In other words, there will be a lot more independent or at least semi-independent actions occurring or there will be a lot of time not engaging or just hanging out in safe areas and Safety Zones.

          A lot of FFs and WFs are asking the question: WTF is going on? Signs of the times or what?

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      ** CAL FIRE CONFIRMS A TREE STRIKE KILLED BURCHETT

      CAL FIRE is now CONFIRMING that it was a tree strike that killed Draper City firefighter Matthew Burchett.

      CAL FIRE is now also saying that THREE OTHER firefighters were INJURED in the same event that killed Burchett.

      The Press Democrat
      Article Title: Firefighter who died battling Mendocino Complex fires mourned by Utah town
      https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8634595-181/firefighter-who-died-battling-mendocino

      —————————————————————————————————-
      Burchett was battling flames downstream of Lake Pillsbury’s Scott Dam when he was hit by a falling tree, Cal Fire Division Chief Todd Derum said.

      Three others from Kings County were injured in the incident, he said.

      Burchett and the Utah crew were working alongside firefighters from Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties, who rushed to give him medical aid after he was injured.

      Burchett leaves behind a wife and a young son.
      —————————————————————————————————–

    • Woodsman says

      Sigh..,..

      #1. RIP Battalion Chief Burchett. I pray for your family to have strength and healing following your tragic death.

      #2. You never heard of, read, or considered my open letter to battalion chiefs across the land. I’ve been doing this awhile and I’m more than just an overworked ahole. Being correct has never meant anything to me. Saving firefighters families from the devastation of losing their loved ones by speaking the truth, does. Please, you muni-moonlighters, you must reconsider delving into the wildland realm.

      #3. Never take an assignment to Cali if you can help it….unless you live there. In that case, move.

      That is all.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Woodsman post on August 15, 2018 at 11:01 am

        >> Woodsman said…
        >>
        >> #3. Never take an assignment to Cali if you can help
        >> it….unless you live there. In that case, move.

        It’s a wonder, at this point, that the official geographic designator on the dispatch requests for Calfornia isn’t simply TKZ.

        As in… “The Kill Zone”

      • Robert the Second says

        Woodsman,

        It is indeed unprecedented and quite disturbing that so many FFsand WFs are being killed in such a close timeframe in the same state in just a few weeks. This falls in line with our discussion on WF deaths are inevitable and can only be reduced in numbers..

        The fact that it is the CDF is NOT surprising and should be a major Watch Out to anyone and everyone that decides to accept a wildland fire assignment in CA, and especially if they accept the actual tactical assignment that is offered to them.

        Remember that nobody forces anyone to take an assignment, they don’t put a gun to your head. You always have a choice but once you take it, then you “accept the risk” as the attorneys like to say. You own it

        • Robert the Second says

          The report does not assess blame, but it does offer cautions for the future — such as fleeing fire tornadoes upon sight.

          Amazing jewels of wisdom from an Agency that has had six WF/FF deaths in about 4 weeks in the same state

        • Woodsman says

          You claim the deaths are inevitable, not me. I will not accept that. This is not combat. The probability of death on a wildfire is higher than it should be for many reasons I have pointed out. I refuse to accept the inevitability of fire line deaths & will continue to offer up my opinions as to the problems at hand along with potential solutions.

        • Woodsman says

          “It is indeed unprecedented and quite disturbing that so many FFsand WFs are being killed in such a close timeframe in the same state in just a few weeks. This falls in line with our discussion on WF deaths are inevitable and can only be reduced in numbers..”

          I’m telling you, man…I know shit. I’m a freaking savant.

          • Woodsman says

            Well, I screwed that up. I meant to quote this:

            “It is indeed unprecedented and quite disturbing that so many FFsand WFs are being killed in such a close timeframe in the same state in just a few weeks.”

            …just like I told everyone a couple of weeks ago…don’t go to a CDF incident…

  10. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** REST IN PEACE – ANDREW BRAKE ( CAL FIRE )

    >> On August 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm, Woodsman wrote…
    >>
    >> Thank you for expanding on this theme. Sleep deprivation. It’s important.

    Yep… and ( unfortunately ) that point has just been tragically proved… AGAIN.

    Andrew Brake was 40. He was a Heavy Eguipment Mechanic permanently employed by CAL FIRE.

    Single car accident at the now-infamous Carr Fire.

    Family members have been told he fell asleep at the wheel.

    His vehicle drifted off the road ( at a curve ), struck a tree, and burst into flames.

    Two young daughters ( as usual ).

    Fire Rescue Magazine
    Article Title: Third firefighter killed responding to Carr fire
    Andrew Brake, 40, was killed after falling asleep at the wheel on his way to the fire lines
    Published: Today, August 10, 2018, at 10:29 AM
    By: Michael Cabanatuan and Peter Fimrite of the San Francisco Chronicle
    https://www.firerescue1.com/firefighter-death/articles/388884018-Third-firefighter-killed-responding-to-Carr-fire/

    From that article…
    ———————————————————————————————————
    REDDING, Calif. — The death toll in what was already the most lethal year for firefighters in California since 2008 increased to five. Thursday, when a heavy equipment mechanic was killed after falling asleep at the wheel on his way to the fire lines near Redding, a family member told The Chronicle.

    Andrew Brake, 40, of Chico died in a single-car crash on his way to work on the Carr Fire, which had already claimed the lives of two firefighters and five other people, including a woman and her two great-grandchildren, and a PG&E lineman, who died trying to restore power to the area.

    Brake was a six-year veteran of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, working out of the Butte unit in Oroville. The crash occurred about 7:30 a.m. on Highway 99 south of Los Molinos in Tehama County, officials and relatives said.

    His mother, Teresa Brake of Chico, said he had been working almost nonstop fighting fires since May and was obviously tired at the time of the accident.

    “I’ve had nightmares about him having something like this happen,” she said, adding that they barely had time to text one another after his exhausting days at work.

    Cal Fire would not say how many hours Andrew Brake had been working in the days leading up to his death, but fire experts have expressed concern about worker fatigue as fires have relentlessly burned across the state this summer. California had 18 active conflagrations Thursday.
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    • Woodsman says

      Check your times. I’ve read reports the vehicle accident occurred at 12:17 A.M. That’s like close to MIDNIGHT, you know…….

      • Woodsman says

        According to California Highway Patrol officer Ken Reineman, the crash occurred at 12:17 A.M.

        https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article216377810.html

        So, why the mixup in times? I sure hope no one is trying to coverup something. Do you hear that sound? That grinding noise is the sound of a mechanics timesheets going through the shredder. Now, maybe I’m not playing nice here, but as an investigator the very first action I would take is to pull the timesheets.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Woodsman post on August 11, 2018 at 2:16 am

        >> Woodsman said…
        >>
        >> Check your times. I’ve read reports the vehicle accident occurred
        >> at 12:17 A.M. That’s like close to MIDNIGHT, you know…….

        Yes. Initial reports put the ‘accident’ at 12:17 AM ( Coming OFF shift? )

        Subsequent articles put the time at 7:30 AM ( Going ON shift? )

        Huge difference.

        So which is it?

        FWIW… U.S. Fire Administration’s official website and press release about the accident puts the accident time at 12:19 AM ( not 12:17 AM or 7:30 AM ).

        https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/fatalityData/detail?fatalityId=4774

        ‘FireFighterCloseCalls’ online eZine is reporting that he was driving a ‘Cal Fire support vehicle’ and not his own personal vehicle… and that Brake’s death IS being treated as a LODD ( Line Of Duty Death ).

        THIS article actually has a clear picture of the crashed ‘Cal Fire support vehicle’, still crumpled against the tree but after the fire was put out…

        https://krcrtv.com/news/tehama-county/one-dead-after-fire-support-vehicle-crash

        That article also puts the ‘crash time’ at around 12:30 AM… and based on the fact that the photo shows the crash in the PITCH DARK… it is highly unlikely that the crash didn’t happen until 7:30 AM the next morning.

        But I still can’t find any evidence there is any official ‘agency’ investigation being fired up on this one.

        If there is no ‘Special Accident Investigation’ and/or some CRaP inquiry, then the only real information about the fatal accident will simply remain in the police reports.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Correction…

          I said ( up above )…

          ——————————————————————————–
          THIS article actually has a clear picture of the crashed ‘Cal Fire support vehicle’, still crumpled against the tree but after the fire was put out…

          https://krcrtv.com/news/tehama-county/one-dead-after-fire-support-vehicle-crash

          That article also puts the ‘crash time’ at around 12:30 AM… and based on the fact that the photo shows the crash in the PITCH DARK… it is highly unlikely that the crash didn’t happen until 7:30 AM the next morning.
          ——————————————————————————-

          There’s a typo in there.

          The article above says the crash happened around 12:20 AM, not 12:30 AM.

  11. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** 72-HOUR REPORT ON THE DEATH OF ARROWHEAD HOTSHOT CAPTAIN BRIAN HUGHES

    The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center ( WFLLC ) has now published their ‘Ferguson_Fire_72_Hour_Report’ document regarding the death of Arrowhead Hotshot Captain Brian Huges on the Ferguson Fire.

    The report is now available here…

    Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
    Page Title: Ferguson Fire Hit by Tree Fatality (2018)
    ​State: California
    Incident Date: 07/29/2018
    Incident Type: Hit by Tree
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=0e62740f-f5f4-4539-a422-24e42961871b

    The report appears to confirm that Captain Brian Hughes wasn’t just struck by a falling tree as he was simply walking along… but that the incident took place WHILE the Arrowhead Hotshots were actively engaged in ‘hazard tree removal’ operations.

    It still doesn’t say whether it was Hughes himself trying to cut down the tree that struck him, or whether it was someone else on the crew.

    It does also confirm that more than an HOUR passed between the time Brian Hughes was hit by the tree and he was eventually ‘flown off the mountain’., and that he was possibly still alive at that time.

    Brian Hughes was ‘pronounced’ dead on his way TO the hospital.

    The report does not mention ANY of the NAMES of ANY of the people who have been assigned to investigate this fatality. Only their ‘titles’.

    It’s pretty short… so here is a TEXT copy of the entire thing…

    ———————————————————————————————————
    National Park Service
    U.S. Department of the Interior
    Serious Accident Investigation Team

    72-Hour Expanded Report

    Date: August 1, 2018
    To: National Park Service Division Chief, Fire and Aviation Management
    From: Hughes Fatality Serious Accident Investigation Team Leader
    Subject: 72-Hour Expanded Report

    This report contains additional information beyond the 24-Hour Report.

    Name of Fatality Victim(s): Brian Hughes
    Number and Type of Injuries: 0

    Narrative: On July 29th, 2018 the NPS Arrowhead Interagency Hotshot Crew was engaged in fire suppression operations on the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park. At approximately 9:24 a.m., Hotshot Captain Brian Hughes was struck by a tree and fatally injured during hazard tree removal.

    Emergency medical personnel and other staff assigned to the division responded to the scene quickly. Hughes was flown off the mountain at 10:32 a.m. by a helicopter equipped with advanced life support. While en route to Mariposa Airport, Hughes was pronounced dead.

    An Interagency Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) was convened July 31st. The team in briefed with USDA Forest Service (USFS) and National Park Service (NPS) personnel at 8:00 a.m. on August 1, 2018.

    Interviews with the crew and pertinent staff are being conducted by the SAIT. The interviews are being jointly conducted by both NPS and USFS in accordance with Departmental Manual 486 Chapter 7 and NPS Reference Manual 50B, Occupational Safety and Health Program and Reference Manual 18, Wildland Fire Management.

    cc:
    Deputy Regional Director, PWR
    Wildland Fire Branch Chief, FMPC
    Wildland Fire Operations Program Leader, FMPC
    Division Chief, Office of Risk Management, WASO
    ———————————————————————————————————

    • Robert the Second says

      WTKTT,

      I talked with a WF that shared some details about that Ferguson Incident that contradict the 72-hour Report. He says that the fatality occurred while going direct attack on a slopover and NOT doing hazard tree mitigation for a planned burnout operation.

      Hughes was the one that cut the 40″ diameter tree and he evidently cut through his holding wood, so then there is no control of the tree to either stay on the stump or for him to complete his cut. Hughes then ran along his originally planned escape route rather than look up and watch where the tree was headed first and then plan his escape route accordingly.

      So much for the accuracy and transparency of these wildland fire Agencies’ reports. It fits the first establish the conclusion and then find the “facts” to support the predetermined pattern conclusion.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post on
        August 10, 2018 at 7:08 am

        >> RTS said…
        >>
        >> I talked with a WF that shared some details about that Ferguson
        >> Incident that contradict the 72-hour Report. He says that the
        >> fatality occurred while going direct attack on a slopover and
        >> NOT doing hazard tree mitigation for a planned burnout operation.

        Thank you for that update.

        Why am I not surprised that they ( CALFIRE, National Park Service, etc. ) can’t even get their stories straight.

        >> RTS also said…
        >>
        >> Hughes was the one that cut the 40″ diameter tree

        Since when are Assistant Superintendents ( Captains ) of IHC crews supposed to the ones doing the actual cutting out there in the field?

        >> and he evidently cut through his holding wood, so then there is
        >> no control of the tree to either stay on the stump or for
        >> him to complete his cut.

        Yup. That’s why you NEVER do that.

        >> Hughes then ran along his originally planned escape route
        >> rather than look up and watch where the tree was headed first
        >> and then plan his escape route accordingly.

        Too many similarities to Justin Beebe’s death on the Strawberry Fire, almost 2 years ago to the day. Beebe took his eyes off the ‘snag’ he was cutting, turned his back on it, and it killed him dead on August 13, 2016.

        I really have to say it…

        Who in the hell TEACHES these guys/gals how to cut down trees?

        Some crazed Woody Woodpecker with 2 six-packs onboard?

        • Bob Powers says

          Your Question— Some times on large trees there may not be a qualified faller.
          The Superintendent may be the only one for a nasty tree/or actually certified.
          Most fallers for large trees take severial years to get experience.
          Need more info. Wedges used, any spotters, was the tree a challenge fall.
          Did he put the undercut on the wrong side??????

  12. Bob Powers says

    Just saw on my face book fire page that Chris Mackenzie’s Dad Mike Passed away from Cancer.

    Rest in Peace Mike Mackenzie. Worked for Cal Fire.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Thank you for that, Bob.

      Yes. Rest in Peace, Mike Mackenzie… and thank you.

      If it were not for Mike Mackenzie realizing that there were important photos and videos from June 30, 2013 sitting on his son’s Canon digital camera… that crucial evidence would probably have never seen the light of day.

      Christopher Mackenzie’s still-functioning CANON digital camera DISAPPEARED from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office ( along with a number of other things such as Eric Marsh’s cellphone ) and was never officially entered into the YCSO evidence chain.

      It was only when someone ( from Chino Vally FD? ) mailed the camera to Christopher’s father Mike, and HE discovered the important evidence still on it… that those crucial photos and videos ended up on a CD that Mike Mackenzie himself handed BACK to Darrell Willis at Christopher’s funeral service.

      Willis then did, in fact, ultimately DELIVER that crucial evidence BACK to the SAIT investigation.

      But even then… the SAIT never mentioned any of this evidence… and it still took Arizona Open Records requests from local media to discover that this evidence from Christopher’s camera even existed.

      InvestigativeMEDIA
      Article Title: Key evidence in Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy never provided to official investigators
      Published: December 16, 2015 – By John Dougherty
      http://www.investigativemedia.com/key-evidence-in-yarnell-hill-fire-tragedy-never-provided-to-official-investigators/

      From that article…
      —————————————————————————————————
      Key evidence that could explain why the Granite Mountain Hotshots moved from a safe location into a treacherous box canyon where 19 men died on June 30, 2013 was in the possession of the Office of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner but was not provided to the state-contracted investigation into the tragedy, autopsy records recently obtained by InvestigativeMEDIA show.

      A cell phone belonging to Granite Mountain superintendent Eric Marsh and a functioning camera belonging to hotshot Christopher MacKenzie were with the men’s bodies when they arrived at the medical examiner’s office on July 1, 2013 but were not listed as evidence that was later collected by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, autopsy records for Marsh and MacKenzie show.

      The YCSO was in charge of gathering all evidence from the medical examiner and later turning it over to the Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) which was contracted by the Arizona Forestry Division to conduct the formal investigation into the Yarnell Hill Fire disaster, according to the autopsy reports and the YCSO report.

      The YCSO has no record of Marsh’s cell phone or MacKenzie’s camera among the evidence collected from the medical examiner, according to a YCSO police report. Marsh’s cell phone and MacKenzie’s camera ended up with family members outside the formal chain-0f-custody.

      MacKenzie’s camera included video clips of a crucial discussion between Marsh and Granite Mountain Captain Jesse Steed that suggests a disagreement over tactics before the crew left the “black”, burned-over area.

      Marsh’s cell phone and McKenzie’s still working camera — although not a cell phone but clearly important because of the photos and videos of the fire — were not included in the evidence collected by the YCSO.

      Dr. Philip Keen, the former chief medical examiner for Yavapai and Maricopa counties, said Monday law enforcement determines what personal items accompanying bodies should be collected for evidence and what should be released to funeral homes, which then provide the personal belongings to relatives.

      “If they (personal property) were released to the same deputies, then there is something fishy here,” Keen said. Keen worked as the Yavapai County chief medical examiner for 29 years and also served as the Maricopa County chief medical examiner for 14 years.

      YCSO Lieutenant Boelts told InvestigativeMEDIA that YCSO Deputy Nelson picked up all the personal belongings of the firefighters and turned them over to the Prescott Fire Department.

      The YCSO police report, however, states that McDermott and Lieutenant Boelts gave the firefighters’ personal items and the spreadsheet listing the items to Rob Zazueta of Chino Valley Fire Department on July 4, 2013.

      Arizona Forestry Division spokesman Bill Boyd said Monday that the division doesn’t know why the evidence wasn’t forwarded to YCSO and subsequently to the investigation team and how that may have impacted the investigation.

      “You’re going to have to talk to them (the Serious Accident Investigation Team),” Boyd said.

      Autopsy records for MacKenzie show a cell phone and a Canon camera were present in the body bag that contained MacKenzie’s remains. The autopsy report notes that the Canon S1400IS camera was still “working”.

      The autopsy report, prepared by Dr. Christopher K. Poulos, does not include the camera or the cellphone under the heading “EVIDENCE”. Instead, Dr. Poulos states the evidence “includes a flame retardant pouch, one boot, one helmet, pants with belt, two gloves and a yellow long sleeve shirt size large.”

      The YCSO report, however, includes MacKenzie’s cellphone as evidence. But the more important Canon camera that includes the two videos of conversations between Marsh and Steed is not included in YCSO evidence.

      MacKenzie’s Canon camera was sent to his father, Mike MacKenzie, sometime before July 13, according to a Sept. 28, 2013 story in the Courier. Mike MacKenzie was surprised to discover it was still functioning, the paper reported.

      Mike MacKenzie reportedly made a copy of the photographs and videos and provided them to Prescott Wildlands Division Chief Darrell Willis on July 13 during his son’s funeral services, according to the Prescott Courier. Willis supervised the Granite Mountain crew. Willis, who has since retired, said he gave a CD with the photos and videos to the SAIT.

      The photos and videos do not appear in the formal, 122-page Serious Accident Investigation Report (SAIR) that was released to the families and public on Sept. 28, 2013. Instead, they are among thousands of pages of supporting documents to the SAIR that were released to the media in December 2013.

      The SAIR does not mention the two videos that suggest there was a disagreement between Marsh and Steed. The two nine-second videos were taken about 4 p.m. on June 30. Steed appears in the video talking to Marsh, who is in another location. Eleven of the hotshots appear in the video.
      —————————————————————————————————-

  13. Robert the Second says

    More and more articles are showing up online with home videos and such of the intense fire behavior on the Redding, CA Carr Fire that resulted in a massive fire whirl killing a FF

    “A Wildfire In California Caused A Fire Whirl So Strong It Looked Like A Tornado On Radar” ( https://www.forbes.com/sites/dennismersereau/2018/07/28/a-wildfire-in-california-caused-a-fire-whirl-so-strong-it-looked-like-a-tornado-on-radar/#e7ab9491fbdf )

    This timelapse video that shows the #CarrFire approaching #Redding, California. http://nbcbay.com/P6XvyXh [Video: Cody Markhart] is pretty amazing

    • Robert the Second says

      There has been some credible information from those on the Carr Fire that several of these FFs were on “rescue missions” to retrieve as many private citizens as possible.

      One FF said he was on his third trip and drove through and/or was caught up in the fire whirl that BLEW THE VEHICLE WINDOWS OUT (WTF) and STRIPPED THE PAINT FROM THE VEHICLE and he made it out safely.

      This FF that made it safely out stated that the FF that perished was right behind him, and did NOT make it out. The second FF’s vehicle was then uplifted into the updraft of the intensifying fire whirl and tumbled the vehicle through the air about numerous times.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Why do you think these details surrounding the death of Redding City Fire Deaprtment inspector Jeremy Stoke are being ‘withheld’ from the press?

        If true… it’s a story that NEEDS to be told.

  14. Woodsman says

    I need to say something. In light of the absurd numbers of firefighter deaths so far this year. Apparently, under the current system they are “inevitable” but I will take the firm position to my grave that they are 100% AVOIDABLE! You hear me? AVOIDABLE!!!!!!!!!! The arrogance of man is incomprehensible.

    Give me an everloving break! No heavy equipment bosses? You don’t realize a dozer operator has plunged to his death until the next day? An 82 year old contract dozer operator? Smokejumpers “doin’ their thang.” It’s people. People are killing people through incompetence. Calfire: you suck. Your elitist attitude is deadly. My next orders will come through in a few days & if they say Cali, I’m turning them down.

    What the everloving Frick has happened to the wildfire world? None of this should happen. None. Not only have we learned nothing, we’ve made it worse by hiding the truth…on purpose. Is this some kind of population control master plan I don’t know about?

    That is all.

    Woodsman

    • Robert the Second says

      Woodsman,

      I totally agree and always have. Wildland firefighting deaths are 100% AVOIDABLE if you follow the basic WF Rules. AVOIDABLE!!!!!!!!!!

      These guys were NOT safely fighting. fire aggressively.

      They were instead fighting fire aggressively and unsafely at night without proper supervisory oversight (i.e. Dozer Boss or HEQM)

      That is a design for disaster as they say

      It is a wise decision to turn down all CA CDF fire assignments

    • Woodsman says

      Question for anyone willing to answer for me: Why does Calfire (California dept of Forestry) continuously operate in violation of one of our most basic safety rules – the 2:1 work/rest ratio by working personnel in 24 hour shifts? Riddle me that…

      What’s the death toll up to now that they believe they know better? California may be the cradle of wildfire but in many ways I believe it’s been one Charlie Foxtrot of a broken cradle from the beginning.

      I’ll wait for the factual reports to roll in on these fires which I’m sure will be nothing but forthright, honest, and chock full of lessons learned. I’m sure of it.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Woodsman post on August 1, 2018 at 6:48 pm

        >> Woodsman asked…
        >>
        >> Question for anyone willing to answer for me: Why does Calfire (California
        >> dept of Forestry) continuously operate in violation of one of our most
        >> basic safety rules – the 2:1 work/rest ratio by working personnel in
        >> 24 hour shifts? Riddle me that…

        I’ll take a guess.

        I would say it probably has something to do with the fact that CALFire now relies primarily on ‘hybrids’ to help fight all these wildfires.

        That means they are ‘normally’ structure FFs, and they are ‘normally’ used to working the standard three 24-hour shifts a week… with 24 hours off in-between shifts.

        But CALFire itself acknowledges ( publicly ) how dangerous this can be.

        From one of CALFire’s own public ‘Facebook’ pages…

        https://www.facebook.com/CALFIRE4896/posts/1092795197434157

        —————————————————————————————-
        CAL FIRE 48/96
        Message posted on September 7, 2016

        After being awake for 18-19 hours, impairment on a simple reaction time test was comparable with impairment observed at a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%.

        After being awake for 24 hours, impairment on a simple reaction time test was comparable with impairment observed at a blood alcohol concentration of roughly 0.10%.

        Read the latest articles posted on calfire4896.com under Studies: Fire Engineering
        ——————————————————————————————

        The three firefighters who were burned at the Carr Fire were all ‘hybrids’ from Marin County, California… and they were supposedly at the tail end of another 24-hour shift when they were burned.

        Corey Iverson, the FF who was burned to death last year at the Thomas fire, was also at the end of a 24-hour shift when HE was killed.

        • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

          State and local fire agencies in California who participate in fighting in-state wildfires get paid “portal to portal”, meaning every hour from the moment they leave their home stations, to the moment they return, 24/7.

          The 24 hour on/ 24 hour off shifts likely provide some of the justification for the “portal to portal pay”, but I don’t see exactly how. It may well be that they are worried that any change in their schedule could result in the loss of “portal to portal” pay, which tends to result in a tremendous advocacy to keep the status quo.

          Many firefighters from outside of California see “portal to portal” as a bit of a scam, (example: getting paid for actually working 24 hours, then, having the next day off, while getting paid 24 hours overtime for that day off, and repeat, day after day after day). I have watched debates regarding this issue in other forums and the Cal. firefighters get absolutely livid when anyone suggests that this pay system might somehow be a bit hinky.

          They also have in their contacts that they are to stay in motels wherever possible, which sometimes results in extensive travel times to get to and fro.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Followup…

          The same ‘CAL FIRE 48/96’ Facebook page has also posted numerous articles about the debate between using a 12 hour work shift versus a 24 hour one.

          For example… ‘CAL FIRE 48/96’ posted a link to THIS ‘Firehouse’ article…

          FIREHOUSE
          Article Title: Work Schedules – 24 versus 12
          Published: April 1, 2016
          https://www.firehouse.com/careers-education/article/12156027/work-schedules-24-vs-12

          From the article…
          ———————————————————————————-
          The nature of public safety establishes a need to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To accomplish this, many fire departments utilize a 24-hour shift. Other fire departments as well as other public safety organizations, such as police, 9-1-1 communications and those in the medical community, have the same requirement to provide services 24 hours a day but few, if any, utilize a 24-hour shift.

          On the organizational side, a significant downside of the 24-hour shift is the fact that staffing levels cannot be adjusted according to the workload. In other words, there is no way to adjust the number of personnel on duty to correlate with the typical call volume experienced throughout a 24-hour period.

          Another significant downside that should be considered is fatigue. Some agencies that run a large number of structure fires are not able to use 24-hour shifts because of the amount of fatigue placed on the employees.
          ——————————————————————————–

          So… if an ‘agency’ is a very busy one… they have already discovered that they cannot expect their firefighters to be ACTUALLY suited-up and ACTIVELY FIGHTING FIRE for their ENTIRE 24 hour shift, and so many of these ‘busy’ agencies/stations have moved to a 12 hour shift.

          Enter ‘hybrid firefighters’ ( Structure FFs being called out to fight wildland fires ).

          THEY are being asked to actually be ‘working’ for their entire 24-hour shift(s) out on the fireline even though management on the structural side acknowledges that is a LOT ( too much? ) to expect of any FF.

          I also would bet money that most of these guys/gals who are used to 24 hour shifts back the fire station ( with downtime ) are NOT in good enough shape to be ACTUALLY ( actively ) suited-up and working for a full 24 hour shift.

          At the end of any given 24-hour shift out on the fireline… these ‘hybrids’ who are used to station-based work shifts must be absolutely, totally EXHAUSTED.

          By the way…

          Firefighter Cory Iverson, who was killed last December on the Thomas Fire in California, had just completed his 25th hour of his current work shift when he became entrapped.

          He and his engine crew were asked to STAY ‘on-shift’ to protect that avocado orchard when a flare-up emerged at the END of their current 24-hour work shift.

          The following ‘timeline’ is based on information in the CALFire ‘Green Sheet’ report regarding the death of Cory Iverson…

          ———————————————————————————–
          December 13, 2017

          08:30 AM – Cory Iverson and STEN1 arrive for a new 24-hour shift at Division X on the Thomas Fire.

          10:00 AM – Cory Iverson and STEN1 are at-work on their ‘mop up’ assignment on Division X.

          The assignment for the day was to mopup a slop-over on a ridge to the southwest of the avocado orchard that occurred on the prior shift. STEN1 worked this section of Division X the entire day of December 13, 2017. Cory Iverson and STEN1 stayed working overnight in that location near the avocado orchard.

          December 14, 2017

          8:00 AM – Cory Iverson and STEN1 are now at the 23 and 1/2 hour mark in their current 24-hour shift. A flare-up takes place on the fireline above the avocado grove, and Cory Iverson and STEN1 are told to stay on-shift to try and take care of it.

          8:14 AM – DZ1 and DZ2 began constructing direct dozer line from the water tanks to the upper corner of the avocado orchard at the mid-slope road.

          8:40 AM – DZ1 and DZ2 completed the dozer line. Cory Iverson and the other STEN1 FFs begin a hoselay on the dozer line.

          Cory Iverson and STEN1 are now 10 minutes into their 25th straight hour on their current work shift.

          9:00 AM – Spot fires are now appearing along the new dozer line.

          9:15 AM – Cory Iverson leaves the dozer line ( alone ) and wades downslope into the unburned fuel to try and take care of a spot fire.

          9:25 AM – The spot fire flares up and cuts Iverson off from the dozer line.

          9:27 AM – FC1 declared, on the assigned tactical frequency, “We have a firefighter trapped.”

          9:30 AM – Cory Iverson is last seen running downslope and desperately trying to escape the fire.

          10:05 AM – FC1, notified STL1 that he had located Iverson, who was deceased, with no shelter deployment.
          ———————————————————————————–

          So at the moment he was last seen desperately running downslope and trying to escape the fire ( at 9:30 AM )… Cory Iverson had just completed his 25th straight hour on his current work shift, after having been told to STAY on-shift to try and protect that avocado orchard.

          This fact was not mentioned anywhere in the CALFire report, or highlighted in any way in their own ‘Safety Considerations Related to this Incident’ report section.

          See CALFire’s own ‘stats’ above about how being awake for 24 hours can impair your judgement and be akin to ‘drunk driving’ impairment levels.

          • Robert the Second says

            “Bulldozer slipped 3 times before firefighter’s fatal plunge near Yosemite”
            Aug. 3, 2018, by Lizzie Johnson

            “The report notes that, in the future, fire supervisors need to maintain communication with crew members, plans should have “tactical value,” and working alone should be “an anomaly, not the rule,” suggesting that officials failed to check in with Varney and didn’t establish a clear and safe mission.”

            We already have the long-established Ten Standard Fire Orders for this one, (i.e. Number 7, Maintain prompt communications with …”)

            “Investigations into the deaths of the three other firefighters are ongoing, but together they have called into question how local and state agencies keep firefighters safe as resources are increasingly stretched thin by bigger and more explosive conflagrations.”

            Stretched thin also implies lack of rest and sleep time

            “The Carr Fire killed Redding Fire Department inspector Jeremy Stoke, 37, whose cause of death has not been released, …”

            No shit!?

            “’We are always looking for the common denominators in why there are fatalities on these incidents,’ said Cal Fire spokesman Jonathan Cox. ‘That’s why our department evaluates how and why an incident happened, and if there are changes we need to make as a department’.”

            Once again, we already have the long-established Ten Standard Fire Orders, the Eighteen Watch Out Situations, LCES, the Common Denominators, etc. for this one,

            And then on the sleep issue: “Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker review – how more sleep can save your life.” by neuroscientist Matthew Walker.

            https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/21/why-we-sleep-by-matthew-walker-review

            Within the first few pages of this book, it states that less than six to seven hours of sleep per night results in our immune system completely shutting down.

            “… low level exhaustion becomes their accepted norm, or baseline. Individuals fail to recognise how their perennial state of sleep deficiency has come to compromise their mental aptitude and physical vitality, including the slow accumulation of ill health. A link between the former and the latter is rarely made in their mind.”

            It was interesting to note that several of these wildland fire fatalities occurred during the 25th hour or later

          • Robert the Second says

            Woodsman,

            Off the sleep topic here but research paper about HROs, strictly aircraft carrier incidents, relevant to the overall discussions.

            JJ Halpern (1989) Cognitive factors influencing decision making in a highly reliable organization. Industrial Crisis Quarterly 3 (1989) 143-158 Elsevier Science Publishers B. V., Amsterdam — Printed in The Netherlands.

            “Despite screening and training, humans remain fallible. They are particularly fallible when they are under pressure, as is the case in many situations in highly reliable organizations. Therefore, organizations must try to compensate for human failures. While rules and standard operating procedures can create error, they must, ironically, be trusted to prevent failure. Organizations can be developed which take into account human fallibility.”

            A good paper worth reading

  15. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** UPDATE ON THE CARR FIRE FIREFIGHTER DEATHS

    Still not a lot of detail emerging about the two firefighter deaths on the Carr fire… but the San Francisco media continues to do its job and try and find out more about the circumstances surrounding these public work place fatalities.

    The following ‘SF Mercury News’ article has, at least, a little more information.

    1. It is now being reported that the dozer operator was 82 years old, not just 81.

    2. CALFire is now admitting that the 82-year-old dozer operator WAS working as a CALFire contractor when he died, but they are also denying any responsibility for his eligibility for fireline work. The actual CALFire contract was with ‘Robert Dominikus General Engineering’, and it looks like CALFire is getting ready to throw THEM ‘under the bus’.

    The Mercury News – Serving the San Francisco Bay Area
    Article Title: Battling blazes, grief for fallen colleagues
    Published: Monday, July 31, 2018
    By: Marisa Kendall, Matthias Gafni and Julia Prodis Sulek
    https://www.pressreader.com/usa/the-mercury-news/20180731/281513636960283

    Quotes from the article…

    Re: Jeremy Stoke

    ———————————————————————————————————
    At the Carr fire, Jeremy Stoke, 37, a fire inspector with the Redding Fire Department, was killed. In a grim reminder of firefighters’ work ethic, Stoke’s funeral is being postponed until his colleagues, still battling the blaze, can attend.

    Stoke was out in his truck checking access roads, doing evacuations, making sure firefighters were all right, Redding deputy Fire Chief Cullen Kreider said Monday ( July 31, 2018 ).

    “We were all out on the fire line that night and when that happened early that morning we were just in disbelief,” he said. “We’re still trying to fight the fire and at the same time grieve for our brother, so it’s been really tough.”

    Stoke was a “great guy, very outgoing, a big guy, boisterous and always up for a good time,” he said. The night he died, “He was out there with us just trying to protect the community”.
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    Re: Don Ray Smith

    ———————————————————————————————————-
    Don Smith, an 82-year-old bulldozer operator and private Contractor from Pollock Pines, also was killed in the Carr fire, when he was overrun Friday ( July 28, 2018 ) by the flames east of Whiskeytown Lake. His age raised concerns about whether any other health issues could have been contributing factors.

    “Most people aren’t out there operating dozers and fighting fire at that age,” said Cliff Allen, president of Cal Fire Local 2881, the union that represents Cal Fire employees, “so it’s pretty unusual.”

    A coroner is investigating the death of Smith, a contractor with Robert Dominikus General Engineering, to determine if other factors were involved.

    Sixty firefighters died on duty last year, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s annual report. Of those, more than half of firefighters over age 40 succumbed to heart attacks or other cardiac events. The rate for firefighters age 60 and over was 2.5 times the average.

    Cal Fire spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said Monday ( July 31, 2018 ) there is no mandatory retirement age for contractors and no physical tests they must perform. It’s up to each contractor to ensure their employee’s fitness, she said.
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      ** REDDING FIRE INSPECTOR JEREMY STOKE KILLED BY A CAR?

      Station KQED in San Francisco is reporting that a spokesman for California OSHA has told THEM that Cal/OSHA was originally told by an ‘Agency Official’ that Redding City Fire Department Inspector Jeremy Stokes was killed because of a ( quote ) “fatal VEHICLE ACCIDENT on a public road” ( unquote ).

      If that is true… I’m not sure why CALFire and/or the City of Redding have ( apparently ) been trying to keep that a ‘secret’ for days now.

      KQED – PBS – San Francisco
      Article Title: Redding Fire Kills Two, Burns at Least 500 Structures, and Is ‘Not Close to Being Done’
      https://www.kqed.org/news/11683111/wildfire-races-to-outskirts-of-redding-firefighter-dozer-driver-killed

      From that article…
      —————————————————————————————————–
      Early ( last ) Friday, Cal Fire confirmed that Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke of the Redding Fire Department had also been killed.

      A Cal/OSHA spokesman said his agency was told he was killed because of a fatal vehicle accident on a public road.
      —————————————————————————————————–

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Actually… there’s nothing even in the KQED report to indicate he was ‘killed by a car’ ( as in… hit on the side of the road, or something ).

        If the report is true… I suppose it’s possible that ‘fatal vehicle accident’ means it might have simply been just a ‘single vehicle accident’ involving only Stoke and HIS ‘vehicle’.

        Regardless… it’s still ‘odd’ that CALFire and/or the City of Redding have ( apparently ) been trying to keep his cause of death a ‘secret’ since it happened and refusing to release any information themselves about it being a ‘vehicle accident’.

  16. John says

    This Brandon Varney death really has some disturbing details in the Green Report. Pitch black working conditions in a 42,000 lb vehicle……very treacherous “trail” that couldn’t support a Prius. Just looking at the photo showing the fall site looking down is enough to give me the frights. Unbelievable he was out there working that night. Such a shame and positively negligent from his superiors.

  17. Bob Powers says

    Redding Fire was hit with Sundowner winds. They come from the Coast over the mountain range and increase down into the valleys. mostly late at night. Some Pictures in Redding showed wind and heat produced vortexes in and near the town.

    • Robert the Second says

      Bob,

      “While fierce winds that have driven many of the state’s biggest blazes — such as Santa Barbara’s sundowners and Northern California’s diablos — were not a key factor in Redding, other ingredients that fuel big fires were abundant.”

      The true “Sundowner” winds are only in the Santa Barbara, CA area s far as I know.

      “Redding was scorched by a fire so strong it created its own weather system” article has a couple good smoke whirl video clips as well.

      http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-california-wildfire-year-20180728-story.html

      The article vide from the 22- to 26-second mark and the ABC 1o Twitter? one is good

      ABC10 Verified account @ABC10 “No, this is not a tornado. The Carr Fire in Shasta County created this rotation updraft. #CarrFire #California”

      And then all the blah-blah-blah posts as well.

      • Robert the Second says

        Bob,

        An IMET wrote me that the Carr Fire was NOT influenced by “Sundowner” winds in the traditional sense.

        He said that the Carr Fire was definitely influenced by downslope gap winds enhanced by wildfire heat. It’s basically tied to the temperature differential from Redding to Eureka, CA.

        The same or similar to what happened on the Grindstone Fire, so I will need research that fire now.

        “Sundowners” are related to temperature difference as well. landscape differential heating.

        • Bob Powers says

          Sundowner winds are in Northern Cal. from San Francesco to Eureka. not classed as Sundowners in Santa Barbara. The Grindstone was the Canyon the Rattle snake fire started in..

          • Robert the Second says

            The Grindstone Fire was another name for the 1953 Rattlesnake Fire on the Mendocino NF in CA.

            Here is a Wikipedia article about the 1953 Rattlesnake Fire, one of two set by an arsonist. It was also known as the Grindstone Fire because it started in/near Grindstone Canyon.

            The Wikipedia article also refers to the 1953 Task Force that initiated the Standard Fire Orders: “As a consequence of the fire, there were major changes to wildland fire training, firefighting safety standards, and overall awareness of how weather affects fire behavior. The 1953 Rattlesnake Fire was one of the incidents that culminated in the 1957 Report to the Chief (the Report of the Task Force to Recommend Action to Reduce the Chances of Men Being Killed by Burning While Fighting Fire), …”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rattlesnake_Fire

          • Robert the Second says

            A Sundowner wind is a warming, downslope wind that occasionally occurs along the south coast of Santa Barbara County. It can occur at anytime of year, or at anytime of day. But Sundowners are most prevalent in the late spring and early summer with their greatest frequency during the late afternoon and early nighttime hours, thus the reference to the sun going down.

            These warming winds occur as a strong north-south pressure gradient develops between the central coast of California and the Los Angeles Basin. This pressure gradient, at times aided by strong winds aloft, cause gusty north winds to blow over the Santa Ynez mountain range that descends to the coast and beaches. This katabatic wind warms and dries out the air as it descends the mountains and displaces the usually cool, moist air at the coast. When the wind is funneled through the passes and coastal canyons it can cause wind gusts of tropical storm of hurricane force. Two cities, Goleta and Montecito, are places where the strongest winds can usually be found.

            Large temperature rises occurs as these winds develop. In fact, Sundowners are responsible for the hottest weather in the city of Santa Barbara. The all time record high of 109 occurred on June 27, 1990 during a Sundowner event.

            Firefighters are always on guard when a Sundowner is forecast. The combination of strong winds and very dry, hot air can cause a small fire to become a monster in a short period of time. In fact, the Paint fire on June 27, 1990 burned 5,000 acres in just three hours destroying 427 homes.

            https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/clark/sundowner-winds/3289

            • Bob Powers says

              Southern Cal the Devil winds come off the deserts with a four corner high. They are the hot winds Northern Cal the winds come off the coast drop off the coastal range into the Valley’s they start a colder wind dropping into a heated basin. They are communally referred too as sundowners/ Santa Anna’s devil winds Coastal winds They all very in speed and cause large fire to do crazy things..

  18. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** ‘GREEN SHEET’ REPORT ON THE JULY 14, 2018 DEATH OF
    ** DOZER OPERATOR BRADEN VARNEY

    The ‘Green Sheet’ report ( with detail and photographs ) regarding the recent death
    of dozer operator Braden Varney on the Ferguson fire has now been released.

    The incident page ( and published reports ) at the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center ( WFLLC )…

    Ferguson Fire Dozer Rollover Fatality (2018)
    Incident Date: 7/14/2018
    State: California
    Incident Type: Heavy Equipment Accident
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=702d261c-47ca-4703-9456-138418f960d6

    Direct download link for the latest ( detailed ) ‘Green Sheet’ report…

    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=31654f2a-faaa-3e1c-c76b-d13a05e1d161&forceDialog=0

    Among a number of ‘disturbing’ things about how Braden Varney died is the information
    ( along with photographs ) now presented in this report that before the soil gave way
    underneath his dozer and it rolled down 250 feet ( down a 75 degree slope ) into a ravine…
    the same thing had ALMOST happened to him THREE TIMES that same evening… on the same trail…
    and he still kept pressing forward ( in the dark )… until the FOURTH TIME it happened… and
    he then died.

    The report is calling these ‘near misses’ ( before the final, fatal descent )… and they are all clearly indicated on the accompanying graphs, charts and photographs.

    This ‘Green Sheet’ report actually contains a lengthy ‘laundry list’ of ‘safety concerns’ and ‘violations’
    identified with regards to this recent fatality.

    • Robert the Second says

      I think that the nighttime inversion with heavy smoke and the carbon monoxide within it got to him on the other side of the long switchback while doing his assignment.

      The assignment itself was absurd and it also showed that the supervisory communication and oversight was lacking completely because they didn’t even know he was missing until AA found him the next morning. That’s way f**ked up!

      • Robert the Second says

        WTKTT,

        And thank you for posting that for me. I have never been able to successfully post any of the WLFLLC links on IM.

      • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

        RTS said:

        “….supervisory communication and oversight was lacking completely…..”

        And, not to mention the lack of a dozer boss, who could have at the very least, possibly help prevent the accident, or else sounded the alarm after it happened.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Lack of supervision and/or dozer ‘boss’ could end up being one of the major contributing factors in the death of dozer operator Don Ray King on the Carr Fire as well.

            See an update on that just posted above…

            http://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxvi-here/#comment-474828

            1. It is now being reported that Carr Fire dozer operator Don Ray King was 82 years old, not just 81.

            2. CALFire is now admitting that the 82-year-old dozer operator WAS working as a CALFire contractor when he died, but they are also denying any responsibility for his eligibility for fireline work. The actual CALFire contract was with ‘Robert Dominikus General Engineering’, and it looks like CALFire is getting ready to throw THEM ‘under the bus’.

  19. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** CAPTAIN OF THE ARROWHEAD HOTSHOTS KILLED ON FERGUSON FIRE
    **
    ** TREE STRIKE

    Rest in peace, Brian Hughes.

    The Los Angeles Times
    Article Title: Arrowhead hotshot killed in Ferguson fire, raising death toll in wildfires across the state to 8
    Published: Jul 29, 2018 at 6:55 PM – By Alene Tchekmedyian
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ferguson-fire-death-20180729-story.html#

    From the article…
    ———————————————————————————————————
    ( Photo of Brian Hughes, Captain of the Arrowhead Hotshots )

    A firefighter was killed Sunday morning battling the massive Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park, marking the second firefighting death in Mariposa County and the eighth fire-related death as more than a dozen wildfires rage across the state.

    Brian Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, was killed when he was struck by a tree while working with his crew to set a back fire — a tactic designed to limit a fire’s spread — on the east side of the fire, according to the National Park Service. He was treated at the scene but died before he could be taken to a hospital. He was 33.
    ———————————————————————————————————

  20. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** ANOTHER DOZER OPERATOR KILLED

    CNN
    Fast-growing Northern California wildfire moves into Redding; 1 killed ( 3 injured )
    By: Ralph Ellis, Nicole Chavez and Cheri Mossburg, CNN
    Published: 9:03 AM ET, Fri July 27, 2018
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/27/us/california-carr-fire/index.html

    From that article…
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Residents of the Northern California city of Redding fled their homes Friday morning as towering flames from an out-of-control wildfire swept into the western city limits and destroyed residences, authorities reported.

    A private hire bulldozer operator died Thursday while battling the fire, but no more details have been released.

    The operator, who has not been identified, is the state’s second fire-related death in recent weeks. Braden Varney, 36, a heavy fire equipment operator, was killed last weekend while batting another blaze near Yosemite National Park.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      Another firefighter has been killed on the same fire ( The Carr fire ) just hours after the dozer operator died.

      This time it’s a City of Redding Fire Department employee named Jeremy Stoke.

      CALFire still hasn’t released the name of the deceased contract-dozer operator.

      ABC News
      Union IDs firefighter killed by California blaze
      Published: Jul 27, 2018, 4:26 PM ET ( Credit: Associated Press )
      https://abcnews.go.com/Travel/wireStory/latest-california-wildfire-forces-evacuations-56864185

      From the article…
      —————————————————————————————————–
      The City of Redding, California, firefighter killed by a massive blaze in Northern California has been identified as Jeremy Stoke.

      The Redding firefighters union says Stoke was a fire inspector but released no other information.

      He was the second victim of the blaze that started Monday in Shasta County.

      Crews on Thursday found the body of a bulldozer operator who was hired privately to clear vegetation in the blaze’s path.

      Officials said the fire burned over the operator as he worked to try to contain the blaze.
      ————————————————————————————————–

      Three other firefighters on this same ( Carr ) fire have been injured and treated in-hospital for burns after being caught in a ‘heat blast’ while doing structure protection.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        The three injured ( burned ) firefighters have now been identified as…

        Scott Pederson, 37, an engineer, and firefighters Tyler Barnes, 34, and Brian Cardoza, 26.

        • Robert the Second says

          Thanks for posting these.

          Initial reports from an experienced WF is that this FFs death Fire and the other’s burnovers and ‘heat blast’ on the Carr Fire were the results of “an intense firewhirl. Potentially the strongest I’ve heard of as far as wind damage.”

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            CALFire is being pretty tight-lipped this time about both of the firefighter fatalities AND the 3 firefighters burned at the Carr Fire.

            They still haven’t even released the name of the deceased dozer operator, and will only say they are working on the next-of-kin notification(s).

            That doesn’t normally take 3 or 4 days.

            Maybe the next-of-kin notifications HAVE taken place… and the family members simply do no WANT their loved one’s name released publicly.

            Contrary to popular belief… not all families WANT all the media attention and/or all the flag-waving at such a tragic time.

            The three firefighters injured on the Carr fire were all from the Marin County Fire Department. Marin County is just north of San Franciso.

            Despite the lack of information from CALFire… the following San Francisco station did their jobs and contacted Marin County Fire Department directly and got their own ‘details’ about the injured firefighters.

            No mention of a ‘firewhirl’. Just a blast of heat from a stand of pine trees that caught fire next to the house they were trying to save.

            KPIX – CBS 5 – San Francisco / Marin County
            Article Title: Three Marin Firefighters Injured Battling Carr Fire
            Published: July 27, 2018 at 5:00 pm
            Filed Under:Carr Fire, Firefighters, Marin County
            https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/07/27/three-marin-firefighters-injured-battling-carr-fire/

            The injured Marin County firefighters were protecting a home in Shasta, California when the incident took place.

            They posted a photo to the Marin County public Facebook page just an hour before the incident. The Unit ID on the back of their engine reads “1568 MRN”.

            They were members of an 18 person ‘strike team’ from Marin County, California, that had been dispatched to the Carr Fire.

            That ‘strike team’ had been fighting fires in Northern Calfornia for 8 days straight, and the 3 person Engine team that suffered the injuries were on the tail end of a 24-hour shift when they were burned.

            Quote from Brett McTigue, spokesman for the Marin County Fire Department…

            —————————————————————————
            “There was a sudden wind shift, where the firefront was coming from one direction and changed… uh… that caught some pine trees that were adjacent to the property… uhm… and that just blasted the three firefighters with a severe amount of heat.”
            —————————————————————————

            The three firefighters were forced to take shelter inside their own engine.

            They were treated ( by ) their fire engine, but had to be taken to the hospital by another fire engine because the area was too dangerous for an ambulance.

            The article above also has some quotes from the Marin County Fire Department Chief.

            ————————————————————————
            Marin County firefighter Scott Pederson was leading the three man strike team.

            “The men were fighting the deadly Carr fire last night, trying to save a house, when all three were injured by a sudden blast of heat,” said Jason Weber, the Marin County Fire Department Chief.

            Weber also said that the injured firefighters weren’t necessarily injured by flames alone. “These are probably thermal burns, not direct flame impingement, but they have the same effect,” said Weber.
            ————————————————————————

            ** RE: City of Redding firefighter Jeremy Stokes

            CALFire still hasn’t released any more details about the circumstances surrounding the death of the Redding City Fire Department Fire Inspector ( Jeremy Stokes )… but a Redding resident named ‘Tracie Huff’ has been posting the following to various public Facebook pages.

            According to her conversation with the wife of another Redding City Fire Department employee ( who was working with Stokes when he died? )… it appears that Stokes was not fighting the fire directly when he was killed… but was assisting with ‘evacuations’…

            ————————————————————————-
            Tracie Huff

            I live here ( in Redding ).

            I was at the market this morning and spoke with an unknown stranger who just seemed like she needed a hug. As we talked she relayed to me that her husband was with Jeremy ( Stokes ) the night they were evacuating folks. I cried with her, hugged her and told her I would pray for her and her husband, and that I was sorry she was facing this loss.
            —————————————————————————-

            • Robert the Second says

              WKTT,

              I found this CBS News article titled: ” CBS/AP July 28, 2018, 11:57 PM
              California wildfire kills 2 children, great-grandmother”

              CBS/AP July 28, 2018, 11:57 PM

              https://www.cbsnews.com/news/carr-fire-redding-fire-evacuation-shasta-county-california-wildfire-destroys-homes-latest-updates-news/

              “Two firefighters were killed in the blaze, including a bulldozer operator who was helping clear vegetation in the wildfire’s path. He was identified Saturday as Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines.”

              A contract FF dozer operator that is/was 81 years old is somewhat of an anomaly for sure.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Yes…

                The dozer operator who was killed last Thursday at the Carr Fire has, in fact, now been identified.

                The information was not released by CALFire. It came from the Shasta County Sheriff’s office.

                Here’s another link with even more detail ( including where his body was found )…

                The ( Redding ) Record Searchlight
                Bulldozer operator who died in Carr Fire identified as Pollock Pines resident
                https://www.redding.com/story/news/2018/07/27/redding-fire-takes-human-toll-deaths-injuries/852651002/

                From the article…
                —————————————————————-
                Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines was identified by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office as the man who died while operating a bulldozer during the Carr Fire.

                The Deputy Coroner Investigator said Smith was overtaken by the fire and his body was found in the area of Benson Drive and Rock Creek Road. Smith was found dead by emergency personnel.

                His next of kin have been notified and a postmortem exam will be scheduled, deputies said.
                —————————————————————–

                The intersection of Benson Drive and Rock Creek Road is exactly here…

                Decimal Latitude: 40.61471105892359
                Decimal Longitude: -122.49166679421234

                If you click the following link, a ‘RED Balloon’ will appear on a Google Map showing this exact location just to the west of Redding, California…

                https://www.google.com/maps/place/40%C2%B036'53.0%22N+122%C2%B029'30.0%22W/@40.614711,-122.5089944,6467m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d40.6147111!4d-122.4916668

                Notice that the location where the dozer operator’s body was found is actually just a few hundred yards north of the outskirts of the town of ‘Shasta’… which is where the 3 Marin County Firefighters were working to protect a home when they all received their burn injuries.

                81 years old? Seriously?

                CALFire “Call when needed” dozer operators have to be re certified every year in order to legally fulfill contracts for CALFire… and the ‘physical task level’ requirement for dozer operators is listed in the certification forms as ‘Arduous’.. Not sure if a ‘pack test’ is required… but ability to work 16-24 hours shifts is.

                I am ‘assuming’ ( always risky? ) the investigation is going to look close and see if this 81 year old man should ( or should not? ) have been in the CALFire EERA Dozer Rotation list.

                EERA is CALFire’s ‘Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement’ which must be ‘in place’ ( and re-certified every year ) for all “call when needed” dozer operators.

              • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                Several media sources identified (correctly?) that the dozer operator was “privately hired”. I took that to mean then, and still believe, that the operator was hired independently by a private property owner to work on private land. as opposed to an agency hire. That would certainly fit with the facts that have been revealed so far.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Good point… but most of the articles since Thursday have been listing him as one of the ( two ) “firefighter deaths”… and the article I just linked to above specifically says that dozer was “under contract with CALFire”.

                  Obviously more details will be coming out.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Here is that article again, and the parts where it says the 81 year old dozer operator was/is considered a ‘firefighter’, at the Carr Fire, and was under contract with CALFire…

                  https://www.redding.com/story/news/2018/07/27/redding-fire-takes-human-toll-deaths-injuries/852651002/

                  Quotes from the article…
                  ———————————————————-
                  While dozens of homes and other buildings have been destroyed by the Carr Fire, the blaze has also taken a human toll, killing two firefighters and injuring at least three others.

                  Redding Fire Department inspector Jeremy Stoke was killed while battling the Carr Fire on Thursday night. It wasn’t clear, though, what led to Stoke’s death.

                  A bulldozer operator, who worked for a private company under contract with Cal Fire, was also killed.
                  ———————————————————–

                  SIDENOTE: Even CNN is now reporting that the Redding Fire Department inspector Jeremy Stokes was killed while he was assiting with evacuations. This is now according to the Redding Firefighter’s Union, and it confirms that citizen Facebook post up above.

                  • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                    If that article is correct, there is no way that dozer operator was red carded.

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      Yep. There could be hell to pay over this.

                      Makes you wonder what ELSE is ‘going on’ right now out in California.

                      Is CALFire so desperate, at the moment, that they’re taking anyone who knows which end of the hose the water comes out of. and/or which end of the tool goes in the dirt?

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Yes… fascinating article that came out just before the latest anniversary.

      Some of the most interesting ‘tidbits’ ( finally ) coming out…

      1. Despite all the hullabaloo about the Boulder Springs Ranch being all ‘fireproofed’ and ‘firewised’ and it being touted as such a good example of that… turns out Lee and DJ Helm never even gave that a thought when they ‘cleared’ their property. They just wanted a low maintenance area and ( as quoted in the article ), Lee Helm just wanted clear space to “store my junk”.

      2. Despite all the designation ( by SPGS1 Gary Cordes and others ) as a ‘bombproof safety zone’ for firefighters… Lee and DJ Helm confirm that probably the only reason THEY survived was because they were in their house, stuffing wet towels under doors to keep the smoke out. If Granite Mountain had actually made it there, they probably would have had to ‘deploy’, anyway, if they couldn’t make it into one of the structures. Their animals all survived, but Lee Helm confirms that the barn itself ‘filled with smoke’.

      3. Lee and DJ Helm now CONFIRM that it was 11:00 PM on SATURDAY NIGHT when they first received a knock on their door and were asked ( by former Yarnell Fire Chief Pete Andersen and others ) if they could use the BSR as a ‘Safety Zone for firefighters’ and set up an orange ‘pumpkin’ on their property. The time of 11:00 PM Saturday means that SPGS1 Gary Cordes wasn’t even in Yarnell yet. He may have ‘just’ arrived’… but there’s no evidence he was with Chief Andersen when he and the others knocked on the Helms’ door. So the decision to even designate the BSR as a ‘Safety Zone’ was made by Russ Shumate and others… on HIS shift… and NOT by Gary Cordes during his Sunday morning briefing with Eric Marsh.

      4. Despite all the attempts by Mke Dudley, Jim Karels, and the rest of the SAI team to ‘hide’ the fact that Prescott National Forest employee Jason Clawson ( along with Aaron Hulburd and KC ‘Bucky’ Yowell ) were even THERE in Yarnell on Sunday, June 30, 2013… Lee Helm comes right out and NAMES ‘Jason Clawson’ as the firefighter who first walked onto her proiperty from the deployment site and told of the GM deaths. The text of the article doesn’t use Jason Clawson name… but in the video interview… Lee Helm flat out says “A firefighter walked up behind me ( and informed me of the deaths ) and that was Jason Clawson”.

      5. Lee and DJ Helm confirm that after the fatalities… one of the ‘officials’ who came out to the BSR ( Incident within an Incident commander Todd Abel? ) came right up to them and said… (quote) “This is a big deal… and we don’t want ANYONE TO KNOW ABOUT IT”. (unquote).

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Correction for last post.

        It was actually DJ ( Diane ) Helm ( Lee Helms’ wife ) who ‘named’ Prescott National Forest employee Jason Clawson in her on-camera interview for the article referenced above..

        Same for the part above about them being told not to say anything to anyone.

        Actual quote ( from the article )…
        ——————————————————————————————
        The property filled with law enforcement vehicles, fire officials and recovery workers. Authorities posted guards so that only authorized personnel could get in. One official admonished them to keep quiet about the firefighters’ deaths. Diane recalls he said something to the effect of, “This is a big deal. We don’t want anybody to know about it. Don’t say anything to anybody.”
        ——————————————————————————————

        SIDENOTE: Before the bodies of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were even actually found, some 2 hours after they died, the press was already fully aware they were ‘missing’ just from listening to ( public ) radio traffic.

        Ditto for the moment they were confirmed dead. That ‘announcement’ ( from Jason Clawson himself out at the deployment site ) was over publicly monitored radio channels. Because of that… the news of their deaths was spreading before OPS1 Todd Abel was even told where the Boulder Springs Ranch was, or how to get out there.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      On July 21, 2018 at 11:58 am, Bob Powers said…

      >> We have never had a season in wild land fire that had no FATALITIES.

      Regardless… I still believe a ‘fatality free’ fire season is attainable, and it should remain the ‘target goal’ of the industry at all times.

      There are lots of ‘dangerous’ professions.

      Most of them do NOT just ACCEPT that there will be yearly/seasonal fatalities.

      >> They are all preventable but they still occur. .

      I see the ‘glimmer of hope’ in your statement.

      “ALL preventable”.

      • Bob Powers says

        There is nor has there ever been a Acceptable Accident or Acceptable Fatality.

        Human Nature Physically and mentally dictates accidents.

        An old industrial safety Primed was developed many years ago. I can not remember the numbers that went with it. But starting from the bottom it went like this.

        Hazardous occupation incident Safety Failure.

        xxx exposures– near miss accidents EQUALS

        XXX Accidents– Minor injuries

        XX of those are serious or require medical attention

        X of those are critical injuries– Hospital and rehab

        ONE of those will be fatal.

        All accidents are preventable The fire service trains in accident prevention continually. That has never changed.

        Do to a mix of human factors the possibility of a critical injury or fatality is inevitable.

        A hazardous occupation increases the exposure to accidents and fatality’s.
        From Factory Jobs to Law Enforcement to Equipment operators to Fire fighters.
        One misjudgment one Mistake, one failure to follow established safety rules will provide the exposure to the accident Minor to Fatality.

        Humans are NOT PERFICT. They are NOT Robots. They make poor decisions for many reasons. Increase the exposure and you increase the probability of a Critical accident or a fatality.

        No Body accepts a fatality. Inevitable is a statement not an acceptance. A training point in accident prevention. Humans make decisions that affect their safety both good and bad. A hazardous occupation increases the exposure and will always have accidents, injuries and yes Fatalities. Being aware of the dangers will hopefully increase safety and accident awareness.

        Human Factors are always there I have had stiches, twisted ankles and close calls. I also had my father die because he failed to post a lookout and had no communications with the main fire. I have had severial friends and co workers killed on fires who failed to pay attention to the safety rules for many human reasons.

        . ..

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Bob Powers post on July 23, 2018 at 10:00 am

          >> Bob Powers said…
          >>
          >> Being aware of the dangers will hopefully increase
          >> safety and accident awareness.

          Exactly.

          And ( as you said)… the keyword is ‘awareness’.

          In order for the people who are still alive to know why others are now DEAD… ‘awareness’ must come from KNOWLEDGE

          That’s why it is always SO important to know WHAT REALLY HAPPENED ( as much as is humanly possible ).

          That’s where the ‘awareness of danger’ comes from… and the possibility of preventing that particular kind of accident from happening AGAIN.

          To ‘cover anything up’ and/or not make the best effort possible to provide full ‘awareness’ does a disservice to everyone… dead AND ( still ) alive.

          • Bob Powers says

            Cant argue with that as those are my sentiment’s.

            How ever in discussing human factors and inevitable Fatalities we are not accepting reality to believe that Fatalities will and do occur as do injuries..

            We as a Fire Fighter have Many types of exposures per year with Thousands of Fire Employees on every FIRE. How ever The Accident rate as well as the Fatality rate are small.

            My point is that Wild land Fire Fighters as a Whole are well trained in Safety. There are no acceptable losses. In WILD LAND FIRE.

            Based on 100 years of fighting Wildland Fire every year there are Fatalities. The Odds say a FATALITY is inevitable yearly.

            If a Fire Fighter is on a fire and dose not believe that there are a hundred ways to die on the Fire then they need to find a desk job.

            Each and every TEN STANDARD ORDER is a lesson being told to every Fire Fighter from those who died from not following the ORDERS..
            OVER AND OVER AGAIN. INEVITABLE — NO DOUBHT IN MY MIND. .

  21. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** REST IN PEACE – BRADEN VARNEY

    Another WF death this morning.

    This time on the Ferguson Fire west of Yosemite National Park ( California ).

    No real details yet, but it ‘looks’ like it was another dozer rollover.

    Wildfire Today has already carried an article about it, and while there is only 1 PUBLIC comment left so far… it’s an interesting one.

    It’s from John Moore, former Captain with the famous “El Cariso Hotshots”…

    http://wildfiretoday.com/2018/07/14/firefighter-fatality-on-the-ferguson-fire-west-of-yosemite-national-park-in-california/

    ——————————————————————————————————–
    On July 14, 2018 at 8:42 pm, John Moore said…

    Fire Fighter deaths are to often and becoming a new norm,
    Something is terribly wrong with our safety programs and needs to be corrected.

    John H. Moore
    Capt. Crew 1 El Cariso Hotshots 1966

    ———————————————————————————————————

    “Something is terribly wrong with our safety programs and needs to be corrected.”

    Perhaps Captain Moore also just read the recently released Coordinated Response ( Accident ) Protocol ( CRaP ) “Facilitated Learning Analysis” ( FLA ) document regarding the 3 Logan Hotshot Crew near-fatalities on the 2018 Horse Park Fire.

    You know… the one that now says it’s perfectly fine for you to just run with your fire shelter and not worry about even having any GLOVES with you?

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      The Associated Press has it now…

      The Associated Press
      Article Title: Firefighter killed in wildfire near Yosemite National Park
      Published: Saturday, June 14, 2018 – By AP Reporter Michael Balsamo
      https://www.apnews.com/fa17b8c0d05f4be5b381ae02c58e5fa6/Firefighter-killed-in-wildfire-near-Yosemite-National-Park

      Looks like it really was is a confirmed YADR ( Yet Another Dozer Rollover ).

      He was working “throughout the night”.

      Why is it always “He leaves behind a wife and two small children”.

      Seems like that’s something that really *ought* to be looked at by the statistical analysis geeks… and ( perhaps ) some ‘industry wide’ WARNING issued..

      Once you fall into that ‘category’… it seems like your odds of not coming home go up astronomically.

      • Robert the Second says

        From those within the CDF and on the fire itself, it was a lack of Dozer Bosses and/or heavy Equipment Bosses as they are often referred to today. Several said, they recently worked with the young man.

        Several Units are said to merely provide a qualified FFT1 to fill the position, so hopefully, that doesn’t become some kind of standard. A mere FFT1 is NOT a Dozer Boss unless trained and qualified to perform in that position.

        And then there is the accountability issue, allegedly, it was Air Attack that discovered it had occurred the NEXT day! Are you f**king kidding me?

        This will be interesting to see what their “investigation” comes up with.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          They only ( finally ) recovered his body a few hours ago.

          SFGATE
          Body of firefighter killed near Yosemite is retrieved from steep ravine near Yosemite
          Published: 2:34 pm PDT, Monday, July 16, 2018
          https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Body-of-firefighter-killed-near-Yosemite-is-13079817.php

          From that article…
          ————————————————————————————–
          MARIPOSA, Mariposa County — Crews on Monday extracted the body of a firefighter from a steep ravine that his bulldozer had rolled into days ago as he fought a wildfire west of Yosemite.

          The body of 36-year-old Braden Varney, a 10-year-veteran with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, remained in a mesh of mangled metal for three days in a site near El Portal that was too remote for bulldozers and too precarious to allow an immediate extraction.

          On Monday, Cal Fire said it recovered the body with assistance from California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5

          Varney is survived by his wife, 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
          ———————————————————————————–

          If the area is now being described as (quote) “too remote for bulldozers” (unquote)…. then what in the hell was Varney doing even working that area in the first place… with HIS bulldozer?

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Followup…

            All of the current ( and going back to Friday night ) IAPs and OPS maps and Incident Documents for this Ferguson fire are, of course, just sitting in plain view ( as usual ) on the PUBLIC NIFC FTP Server.

            The Ferguson Fire Folder on that PUBLIC NIFC FTP site is here…

            https://ftp.nifc.gov/public/incident_specific_data/calif_s/!2018_Incidents/CA-SNF-000745_Ferguson/

            On the OPS map for today ( July 16, 2018 ), there is a curious ‘Grey Box’ without a label there at the north end of Darrah Road, after it passes through Jerseydale.

            Jerseydale was the ‘community’ that was at threat on Friday night, after the fire broke out, and when Braden Varney was assigned to the fire.

            A few hours ago… CALFIRE published a MAP showing the ‘route’ that Braden Varney’s now-recovered body was to take off the fire and to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office at 921 Oakdale Road in Modesto, CA.

            That map was published here…

            http://www.kmjnow.com/2018/07/16/procession-being-held-300-pm-today-for-body-of-cal-fires-braden-varney-to-stanislaus-county-coroners-office/

            The map route BEGINS way out on the north end of Darrah Road, north of Jerseydale.

            That is probably the same route Varney took TO work that night, and that ‘grey box’ on the OPS briefing map is probably where the body retrieval operation had been taking place all weekend.

            There is, in fact, an incredibly steep RAVINE right there where that ‘Grey Box’ has been drawn on the OPERATIONS map.

            • Robert the Second says

              WTKTT

              Most dozer incidents seem to occur at night. And a lot of them occur with CDF.

              As a safety Officer, I recall three on a northern CA fire where CDF WFs arrogance, (in)competence, and inexperience resulted in three separate incidents within a week.

              One the first two, the DIVS basically pressured the contract dozer operators (DZOP) WITHOUT a Dozer Boss or Heavy Equipment Boss, into performing their hazardous downhill fireline construction assignments. The DZOPs both scouted their proposed assignment in very rocky terrain and declined the assignment with alternative options suggested to the DIVS.

              Both were threatened with demob by their DIVS if they did not perform the assignments. And both ended up performing them unsuccessfully, taking wild, basically uncontrolled, rides down through the rocky chutes and damaging hydraulic lines. Thankfully, they were both uninjured.

              BOTH DZOPs had to build “roads” in order o get out of their holes. One DZOP was able to limp his way out after replacing some hydraulic lines.

              The third one was kinda bizarre. We heard this CDF female. TRAINEE DOZB / HEQB talking to two DZOBs on TAC giving him repeated specific directions on turning left or right and how far. Come to find out, she was giving the DZOPs GPS compass directions down the ridgetop instead of general leader’s intent to stay on top of the ridgetop. They came to a steep drop-off decision point and one DZOP said ‘no way’ and the other one with a cavalier attitude bailed off for a wild ride.

              The one that bailed got crossways on several green trees he had knocked down and rapidly slid downhill and slammed into a bunch of rocks, severely damaging his hydraulic lines.

              The fire behavior increased and she called for helicopter bucket drops to keep the fire from threatening the dozer and DOZB. When that was unsuccessful, she ordered a nearby HS Crew in the same Division to assist.

              Long story short, they all saved the day, however, it took them SEVERAL days to get new parts ordered and installed and build a “road” down into the disabled dozer.

              Several Safety Officers, DOZBs, HEQMs, and DOZOPs asked me if “they” were going to have an AAR on the issue. II asked the IMT Safety Officer about it and he told me he had interviewd her and the matter was settled and if we wanted to have an AAR on the incident to go ahead. He refused to assit in the AAR even though he had the interview notes, etc.

              I filed a SAFENET on thethree incidents and was told that because I was not “directly involved” in these dozer incidents that I was not allowed to post a SAFENET and so they would not post it nationally.

              Nobody else filed a SAFENET on the incidents, so then, none ppf them ever happened because there ws no written documentation on them.

              Case closed. Nothing to see here. Move along now

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Geezus.

                Ya know… it’s a wonder they aren’t hauling bodies off just about every single large wildfire, if that’s the way things are done.

                This ties right into what Mr. Bob Powers just chimed in about.

                ‘Awareness’ is the key to safety and accident prevention.

                If people are not generally being made AWARE of situations that cause ( or even almost cause ) serious death and injury… then there is every chance the same things will just keep happening over and over.

                It is almost as if the wildland firefighting industry would RATHER have serious accidents just keep happening over and over… rather than hold anyone accountable for their behavior in/on any fireline workplace.

                As one ( of many ) people who are actually PAYING for all this… that is unacceptable.

                • Woodsman says

                  Unacceptable is right. It would scare the daylights out of ( those with functional brain cells) many, many people if everyone on every fire knew the actual factual qualifications of every person on the fires today.

                  A lot of this comes from ignorance. You end up working with people you can’t possibly vett properly. There’s LIES & fraudulent quals all over the place. That’s why I’ve learned to watch the fuck out…you just don’t know the history of people working in these positions.

                  Unfortunately, from what I’ve experienced, it’s not getting better either. I can just about promise you there all multiple HEQB out there today that can’t run the equipment they’re supervising and therefore have not one iota of a clue of it’s capabilities. It’s freaking maddening.

                  Task book signers & AD rate chasers…screw you, pieces of shit.

                  That felt better. Thanks.

                  • Woodsman says

                    And unless & until major sweeping change across the board occurs in accountability of qualifications occurs….I suppose I’ll have to agree with those who maintain wildfire fatalities are inevitable. I however reserve my opinion that these fatalities are absolutely avoidable.

                    • wildfire65 says

                      This all pertains pretty well to my struggles in getting instructors for my little merry band of thugs in training…. The contractor association I affiliate with to card requires slightly higher standards than NWCG for instructors. In looking locally I have yet to find anyone who can produce the required records (5 years of documented instructing) and find it very difficult to find anyone who has taken M-410 (or equivalent). Or if someone does in fact have the experience/records required, getting the records out of the agency they previously (or currently) still work for is like pulling teeth or flat out impossible.
                      The reason I haven’t quit this seemingly foolish project of mine, is having come from the now known as “hybrid” side of things, I have first hand experience with fudged quals and complete incompetence on the part of supposed “qualified” people. At one time, IQS was run locally and internally – not connected to ROSS in any way… With the advent of state forestries making IQCS available to fire departments, all those quals that were entered when “we need an engine boss now!” so that a volunteer engine could go out under a wet rate and make more MONEY are now directly available in ROSS.
                      Oh joy.

                      So my theory with my little crew was to hire qualified instructors, adapt the S130/190 into an outdoor/hands-on class (which requires someone passionate about this stuff) instead of death by powerpoint, and teach real, old school, safety and values. Not standing around in a classroom spewing bullshit war stories of the bullshit instructor that never happened. We allow none of this online 130/190 shit (which NWCG is directly responsible for along with their damn structural CROSSWALK). The other half of this, is forming an outside-of-my-organization quals committee (apart from the contractor association as well) to review quals and classes as we go. I haven’t started that yet, as I haven’t been able to hold a single fucking class yet.
                      Because I don’t hold the views of the local contingent of bullshit artists at every level around here, I’m on my own with this, currently working this crew in the private woods to put away money to pay the fee along with travel for these apparently non-existant instructors.

                      The only way I see out of the current situation is to train a small army of youth this way and eventually release them into the wilds of agencies to make those sweeping changes in culture.

                      My big dream is being hampered by the apparent lack of anyone with the proper quals and the appropriate give-a-shit to help me mentor these guys. The only things keeping me going is the enthusiasm of these problem kids, my own normally problem causing, jackass level stubborn-ness, and the complete shock and anger over the handling of Yarnell (along with the fatalities since).

                      This board has been a good source of knowledge for me for the last several years, and as a former alchoholic/dope addict, gives me that old “hold my beer, watch this” type of confidence to create something out of absolutely nothing while being actively fought the whole way.
                      So if you all know of any rebels willing to get their hands dirty, I could use a hand….

                    • wildfire65 says

                      I’m having a hell of a time trying to post this…

                      This all pertains pretty well to my struggles in getting instructors for my little merry band of thugs in training…. The contractor association I affiliate with to card requires slightly higher standards than NWCG for instructors. In looking locally I have yet to find anyone who can produce the required records (5 years of documented instructing) and find it very difficult to find anyone who has taken M-410 (or equivalent). Or if someone does in fact have the experience/records required, getting the records out of the agency they previously (or currently) still work for is like pulling teeth or flat out impossible.
                      The reason I haven’t quit this seemingly foolish project of mine, is having come from the now known as “hybrid” side of things, I have first hand experience with fudged quals and complete incompetence on the part of supposed “qualified” people. At one time, IQS was run locally and internally – not connected to ROSS in any way… With the advent of state forestries making IQCS available to fire departments, all those quals that were entered when “we need an engine boss now!” so that a volunteer engine could go out under a wet rate and make more MONEY are now directly available in ROSS.
                      Oh joy.

                      So my theory with my little crew was to hire qualified instructors, adapt the S130/190 into an outdoor/hands-on class (which requires someone passionate about this stuff) instead of death by powerpoint, and teach real, old school, safety and values. Not standing around in a classroom spewing bullshit war stories of the bullshit instructor that never happened. We allow none of this online 130/190 shit (which NWCG is directly responsible for along with their damn structural CROSSWALK). The other half of this, is forming an outside-of-my-organization quals committee (apart from the contractor association as well) to review quals and classes as we go. I haven’t started that yet, as I haven’t been able to hold a single fucking class yet.
                      Because I don’t hold the views of the local contingent of bullshit artists at every level around here, I’m on my own with this, currently working this crew in the private woods to put away money to pay the fee along with travel for these apparently non-existant instructors.

                      The only way I see out of the current situation is to train a small army of youth this way and eventually release them into the wilds of agencies to make those sweeping changes in culture. Maybe it works….maybe it doesn’t.

                      My big dream is being hampered by the apparent lack of anyone with the proper quals and the appropriate give-a-shit to help me mentor these guys. The only things keeping me going is the enthusiasm of these problem kids, my own normally problem causing, jackass level stubborn-ness, and the complete shock and anger over the handling of Yarnell (along with the fatalities since).

                      This board has been a good source of knowledge for me for the last several years, and as a former alchoholic/dope addict, gives me that old “hold my beer, watch this” type of confidence to create something out of absolutely nothing while being actively fought the whole way.

                      So if you all know of any rebellious souls willing to get, I could use a hand….

                  • Robert the Second says

                    And that is why we came up with Watch Out #19 – DEATH FROM ABOVE during the 1985 fire season and it begins with Overhead

                    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                      >> Watch Out #19 – DEATH FROM ABOVE
                      >> during the 1985 fire season and it
                      >> begins with Overhead

                      I’ve never been into numerology… but the fact that DEATH FROM ABOVE is actually “Watch Out number 19 ( NINETEEN )“. is… well… nothing short of something in-between ‘ironic’ and just plain ‘eerie’.

  22. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** NEW CONFERENCE PAPER ABOUT THE 2013 YARNELL HILL FIRE

    A new ‘Conference Paper’ about the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire has just recently been ‘published’ ( on June 24, 2018 ) by ‘SpringerLink’ and is now availalbe at the following URL…

    International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics
    AHFE 2018: Advances in Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance pp 231-243
    Conference Paper Title: It Could Not Be Seen Because It Could Not Be Believed on June 30, 2013
    Authors Fred J. Schoeffler and Lance Honda
    First Online: 24 June 2018
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-94391-6_22

    Conference paper ABSTRACT…
    —————————————————————————————-
    Nineteen Prescott Fire Department, Granite Mountain Hot Shot (GMHS) wildland firefighters (WF) perished in Arizona in June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, an inexplicable wildland fire disaster. In complex wildland fires, sudden, dynamic changes in human factors and fire conditions can occur, thus mistakes can be unfortunately fatal. Individual and organizational faults regarding the predictable, puzzling, human failures that will result in future WF deaths are addressed. The GMHS were individually, then collectively fixated with abandoning their Safety Zone to reengage, committing themselves at the worst possible time, to relocate to another Safety Zone – a form of collective tunnel vision. Our goal is to provoke meaningful discussion toward improved wildland firefighter safety with practical solutions derived from a long-established wildland firefighter expertise/performance in a fatality-prone profession. Wildfire fatalities are unavoidable, hence these proposals, applied to ongoing training, can significantly contribute to other well-thought-out and validated measures to reduce them.
    —————————————————————————————-

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Me neither.

        These are civil service jobs.

        There should be no such thing as “acceptable losses”.

        • Robert the Second says

          Woodsman and WTKTT,

          The empirical data and the research in Human Factors in all fields of hazardous work supports the finding that “fatalities are unavoidable” and therefore, they can only be lessened or reduced.

          Civil service jobs have nothing to do with it. And this also has nothing to do with “acceptable losses.’

          Wildland firefighting has been deemed to be an “inherently dangerous job.”

          I stand by my claim and will further research for others supporting the same claim.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Sorry. I’m not picking up what you are putting down.

            There are lots of ‘inherently dangerous’ jobs.

            That doesn’t mean you ever have to DIE doing them.

            I believe there CAN come a day ( hopefully soon ) when at least 1 fire season passes and no one has to rent a Toyota Center for a memorial service.

            At least ( despite any ‘statistical analysis’ )… that should ALWAYS be the GOAL.

            Call me crazy… but I am one of those who also still holds out hope that one day… ( maybe even for just ONE day? )… everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car will follow ALL the “rules of the road” and pay FULL attention to what they are actually DOING… and nobody dies ( that day ).

            Join the military… and you ( and the ones that love you ) can/should always be READY for you to come home in a body bag/coffin..

            Take a civil service job… and you SHOULD be able to expect to always come home to your family… for your entire career.

            • Robert the Second says

              WTKTT,

              You posted this earlier “Why is it always “He leaves behind a wife and two small children”.

              “Seems like that’s something that really *ought* to be looked at by the statistical analysis geeks… and ( perhaps ) some ‘industry wide’ WARNING issued..

              “Once you fall into that ‘category’… it seems like your odds of not coming home go up astronomically”

              This basically implies that wildland fire fatalities are inevitable .

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Nope.

                When your ‘odds go up astronomically’… that still doesn’t mean anything is going to happen.

                It just means you should probably pay even MORE attention than usual ( because statistics are telling you you should ).

                  • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                    From Dudley’s page at the “Federal Pay” website…

                    https://www.federalpay.org/employees/forest-service/dudley-michael

                    “Michael Dudley is a GS-15 under the general schedule payscale and is among the highest-paid ten percent of employees in the Forest Service.

                    According to this link on that same ‘Federal Pay’ website…

                    Pay rates for “Forestry Personnel”…
                    https://www.federalpay.org/employees/occupations/forestry/2004

                    The maximum ( possible ) pay for a GS-15 employee ( at the maximum ‘Step’ level of 10 ) is $136,659 a year.

                    That means Dudley actually ‘blew past’ what is supposed to be the highest possible pay for a ‘GS-15 Step-10’ employee 9 ( NINE ) YEARS AGO, back in 2009, when he jumped from $133,156 up to $141,564.

                    And it was still onward and upward from there ( but still as just a GS-15 ).

                    At his current salary of $155,073 per year… but with his ‘paygrade’ still being listed as just ‘GS-15’ ( Step 10 is assumed, doesn’t say )… that puts him $18,414 dollars ( per year ) ABOVE what is supposed to be the maximum pay for his paygrade.

                    WTF?

                    Dudley is unable ( or unwilling ) to move up to ‘ES’ level?

                    • Bob Powers says

                      Human Factors are responsible for Fatalities.
                      Human error, Fatigue, Lack of awareness. Got away with it before push the envelope.
                      No amount of training in safety can guarantee that humans will be 100% accident free.
                      Yes there is always a small % of Fatality on every Wild Land Fire. Not just the fire but the hazards that surround the fire or are inside the fire line. It is a Hazardous Occupation. Drop your guard and you are in trouble. We have never had a season in wild land fire that had no FATALITIES. They are all preventable but they still occur. .

                    • Robert the Second says

                      Yes, they are. Human Factors either keeps us out of trouble or gets us deeper into it.

                      So then, I think you also believe that wildland fire fatalities are both inevitable and preventable if one knows and follows the basic WF Rules.

          • Woodsman says

            “I stand by my claim and will further and will further research for others supporting the same claim.”

            Be careful, friend, as that is one definition of bias right there.

            “Not able to be prevented or avoided…”
            “Not preventable.”

            Your position quite frankly shocks me. It shocks me because I’m of the understanding that you have spent a majority of your career (& retirement) bucking the conventional wisdom concerning wildfire safety and accident/fatality prevention, not to mention calling out the obviously fraudulent official reports of such.

            My opinion is be very careful of your claim as the very premise can inadvertently lead to a higher death toll & serious injury occurrence in the wildfire workplace because this mindset helps make it more acceptable in general.

            I’m firmly in your camp as to the belief that words matter. Unavoidable? No way.

            • Woodsman says

              Wait…you’re testing me, right? Oh, man! You GOT me!!! Can’t believe I fell for it. Kudos, man.

            • Robert the Second says

              Woodsman and WTKTT,

              First off, I apologize to you Woodsman for screwing up your moniker in our paper acknowledgments. I spelled it “Woosdman..” Please forgive me.

              I still stand by my claim. I know I read about the “unavoidable” claim somewhere in the Human Factors literature or else I would not have posted it. I’ll keep looking.

              I’m not buying the “very premise can inadvertently lead to a higher death toll & serious injury occurrence in the wildfire workplace because this mindset helps make it more acceptable in general” assertion.

              The POTENTIAL is always there and that should keep WFs on their guard to abide by the WF Rules lest they become a statistic. Those WFs that do follow them are fine. I challenge all of you – name me even one fire where the WFS abided by all the WF Rules and ended up burned over, entrapped, deployed a fire shelter, or died.

              In the meantime, I came across this link for “Psychology preceding avoidable accidents and catastrophes.” Good stuff for starters.

              It all boils down to human factors and human failures. That is the common link and it will be forever. IF all WFs would just follow the Basic WF Rules consistently like those that do and have successful outcomes, THEN, and only then, will we have the safety world that you envision.

              “Killing Canadians (II): The International Politics of the Accident” deals with “friendly fire” incidents, however, good insight on the inevitability of fatalities.

              “Briefly, in examining recent “accident literature” Snook finds two opposing camps. On one hand, proponents of “normal accident” theory stress the inevitability of accidents within highly complex organizations an conclude that high-risk technologies are perhaps not worth the risk after all. On the other hand, “high reliability” theorists study unusually successful organizations in the hopes of finding better management techniques. BOTH SIDES ADMIT THE INEVITABILITY, but “one sees the cup as half empty, while the other sees it as half full” (pp. 8-9) (EMPHASIS ADDED)

              Here’s the “‘Practical Drift’: Why people don’t always follow procedure and can Relationship Based Safety help?” article link.

              Scott Snook notes in Friendly Fire (p. 217) “that ‘near misses’ are not likely to be reported and if they are, ‘I am still doubtful that
              the right lessons would have been learned, that appropriate action would have been taken.’”

              Snook cautions to be aware of the fact that we are dealing with humans who are prone to pride and loyalty as well as error.

              “Our tendency to blame individuals for perverse outcomes of complex incidents continues to be perhaps the most consistent findings across all accident investigations I have reviewed.” While acknowledging that individuals do make mistakes, in Normal Accidents these tend to be the final link in a long chain of events where removing any one link would likely have produced a very different outcome.” (Snook, p. 205)

              It all boils down to HUMAN FACTORS

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Here is a link to a paper at the infamous ‘Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center’ ( WFLLC ) that directly relates to this discussion.

                They did their own ‘survey’ about whether or not there is such a thing as ‘acceptable losses’ ( of life ) in these civil service fire jobs.

                RTS asked me to post this link when he had trouble doing so.

                The ‘paper’ shows dichotomy of opinion that exists even within the WF industry itself on this topic.

                Some of the comments show that some people in the industry can NEVER be convinced that they are NOT actually in the ‘military’… and that they are supposed to always behave as such.

                Others show that many out there ‘working’ on firelines are very much aware these ARE just ‘civil service’ jobs… and the payscale and benefits do NOT require them to DIE while in the workplace.

                https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=27a74181-0ae4-1432-7516-5aa62da204a7&forceDialog=0

                • Robert the Second says

                  Absolutely, I believe wildfire fatalities are avoidable, however, I also believe they are.inevitable.

                  I am a realist, not a fatalist

                  • Woodsman says

                    Thank you, RTS. Would you & Lance please edit your paper that is presented to people at conferences in order to reflect your true opinions that wildfire fatalities are avoidable? Keep up the good fight, friend!

                    • Robert the Second says

                      Woodsman,

                      It’s too late to edit our paper. It’s already published.

                      As I said here several times, wildland fire fatalities are both avoidable, when you abide by the WF Rules and unavoidable when you do not. It’s already included in the paper as it was in the first one.

                      As I said above, “because of the confounded, always present Human Factors element,” they are unavoidable.

                      It looks like we are gonna have to agree to disagree or you’re gonna have to let it go.

                    • Woodsman says

                      “wildland fire fatalities are both avoidable, when you abide by the WF Rules and unavoidable when you do not”

                      Now that I can agree with. So, in essence………………………………………..avoidable!

                      Come on, man. You know how much I relish parsing this out! Can’t take that away from me, brother!!! Haha Carry on, friend.

                    • Robert the Second says

                      Woodsman,

                      You posted: “wildland fire fatalities are both avoidable, when you abide by the WF Rules and unavoidable when you do not”

                      “Now that I can agree with. So, in essence………………………………………..avoidable!”

                      Exactly, avoidable AND unavoidable depending on which path you follow performing your inherently dangerous profession.

                      Explain why you have such a difficult time accepting the unavoidable angle of it.

                    • Woodsman says

                      Because you’re saying it’s either/or based on behavior. Therefore I believe that fatalities on wildfires are avoidable because people’s behavior is chosen. Otherwise, the “new thinking” on investigative reports (CRP/FLA) is correct. They are implying people are not accountable for their behavior. I believe they are & should be.

                    • Woodsman says

                      …and when we talk about behavior, there is an entire topic of discussion: coerced, learned, voluntary, etc. Human behavior is a vast field of study in and of itself.

                      Inevitability is another topic all together. Here you are (I believe) referring to chance or probability of certain outcomes. Your common reference to a pattern of poor decisions with good outcomes is really speaking the notion of “maturity of chance.” M of C means the higher the number of attempts the higher likelihood of a certain outcome whether positive or negative. Maturity of chance is not a valid statistical model in such things as rolling dice. You can roll it 10,000 times & your chances of an outcome of any single # is still 1/6 each time you roll (attempt).

                      (“Lies, damn lies & statistics.” I have studied statistics beyond what was required for my education because I find it interesting)

                      But…firefighter behavior does not fall under the invalid notion of maturity of chance (the more times I play the lottery, I’m bound to hit it big! Ummm…..no.) I do believe the more times you escape negative consequences out of bad decisions, your probability of an eventual negative outcome increases over time. (complacency). Here is where your term “inevitability” comes into focus.

                    • Robert the Second says

                      Woodsman,

                      Yes, I agree that fatalities on wildfires are avoidable because WFs (NOT people’s) behavior is chosen. The “new AGE thinking” on investigative reports (CRaP/FLA) is correct only to those that accept and ascribe to that bullshit. Yes again. “They” are implying that people are not accountable for their behavior and I too believe that they are and they should be.

                      Trust me Brother. I know full well that when we talk about behavior, there is an entire topic of discussion regarding whether it is coerced, learned, voluntary, etc. Human behavior is a vast field of study in and of itself.

                      Inevitability is another topic altogether. I am NOT referring to chance or probability of certain outcomes. My references to a pattern of poor decisions with good outcomes are NOT speaking about the notion of “maturity of chance.” What I am talking about has NOTHING to do with Maturity of Chance which means the higher the number of attempts, the higher the likelihood of a certain outcome, whether positive or negative.

                      I’m not talking about rolling some dice and making tactical maneuvers based on chance. I’m talking about making calculated tactical decisions based on the WF Rules and Guidelines – remember? The 10 & 18 and LCES!

                      I am in the process of studying statistics to the point of what is required for my education and I certainly do find it interesting as well.

                      I completely agree that WF behavior does not fall under the invalid notion of maturity of chance (the more times I play the lottery, I’m bound to hit it big!

                      I absolutely do NOT believe the more times you escape negative consequences from bad decisions, your probability of an eventual negative outcome increases over time. Your use of the term complacency is entirely misplaced. Complacency has nothing to do with it unless you are truly slacking, truly complacent. And that’s NOT begging the question with circular reasoning Buckwheat.

                      It’s then that “The” term (NOT my term) “inevitability” comes into focus when those NON-High Reliability Organization trained WFs let their guard down and forget all their basic, tried-and-true WF Rules and entrapment avoidance training.

                      So saith RTS by cut and pasting Wood’s post

            • Robert the Second says

              Woodsman,

              This was from a July 13, 2018, Firehouse magazine article titled “4 ways to reduce firefighter injuries and prevent fatalities”

              https://www.firerescue1.com/firefighter-safety/articles/386872018-4-ways-to-reduce-firefighter-injuries-and-prevent-fatalities/

              The Risk and rescue section was interesting even though it deals with strictly municipal and structural FFs.

              “Fire service organizations in other countries have developed clear ethical and moral principles of risk and rescue. Examples include the principle that all lives have equal value, so trading the life of a firefighter for the life of a civilian provides no benefit. Another is the principle of “do no harm.” In other words, fire suppression operations should not make things worse, which is exactly what happens when a firefighter is lost or trapped in a fire. When this happens, the focus of the operation shifts from saving civilian lives and property to saving the firefighter.”

              “In addition, the concept of moral duty has been more clearly developed, giving firefighters a better sense of how much risk is acceptable in different circumstances. The U.S. fire service must make it clear that we do not expect firefighters to save lives at all cost, including the cost of their own life. No life is worth a building or its contents, yet firefighters continue to die when responding to fires in abandoned buildings or in buildings where the occupants are clearly out and safe. A building and its contents can be replaced. The life of a firefighter cannot.”

              How about we apply that same logic to the WFs and the Hybrids as well?

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to Robert the Second (RTS) post
                on July 19, 2018 at 2:12 pm

                >> RTS said…
                >>
                >> ( Excerpts from Firehouse magazine article )
                >>
                >> How about we apply that same logic to the
                >> WFs and the Hybrids as well?

                Yea. How about it?

                For starters… how about including that kind of common sense in ALL Accident Reports?

                Instead… all that appears is the following ‘dance-around-the-subject; kind of bullshit…

                From the recently released official ‘Facilitated Learning Analaysis’ (FLA) document concerning the 2018 Horse Park Fire entrapment(s) and the 3 near fatalities on the Logan Hotshot Crew…

                On PDF page 26 ( of 56 pages )…

                —————————————————————-
                6. A Bias for Action

                This excerpt is taken directly from “Leading in the Wildland Fire Service”, our guiding doctrine related to leadership:

                On the Horse Park Fire, a bias for action was on display on multiple fronts.

                As the situation deteriorated, decisions were made and acted on with a collective purpose of survival and care.

                Bias for Action

                Leaders in the wildland fire service are not only empowered but also duty-bound to act on a situation that is within our power to affect, even without direction from above.

                This empowerment is not intended to encourage freelancing. In a high-risk environment freelancing is a dangerous and unpredictable element, causing more harm than good.

                Ultimately, leaders are always accountable for their actions.

                A bias for action acknowledges wildfire as an environment where events do not always go according to plan. At times during an incident, one person may be the only one in a position to see what needs to be done and to make it happen. Time may not permit informing the chain of command before an opportunity is lost.

                In these time-critical situations, fire leaders use judgment, act within the intent of their leaders, work in unison with others, develop and communicate a plan, and then inform leaders of actions as soon as safely possible.

                On a chaotic and rapidly developing wildfire, one person taking the initiative can make all the difference in seizing and taking advantage of an opportunity. Being hesitant, risk-averse, or indecisive can expose firefighters to greater long-term risks and translate into a waste of time, opportunity, energy, and money.
                —————————————————————

                So ( according to cubicle pilot Ivan Pupulidy? )… firefighters are DUTY BOUND to NOT be RISK AVERSE?

                Sounds like the official stamped-and-sealed endorsement of the infamous “Risk a lot, Save a lot” approach that someone was spoon-feeding Brendan McDonough, before the whole rest of his crew perished doing that very thing.

                Also gotta love this part…

                —————————————————————-
                In these time-critical situations, fire leaders use judgment, act within the intent of their leaders, work in unison with others, develop and communicate a plan, and then inform leaders of actions as soon as safely possible.
                ————————————————————-

                Is that a fact?

                So why ( to this day ) is it still a ‘mystery’ exactly WHY Eric Marsh insisted on bringing his Division A resources ( The Granite Mountain Hotshots ) out of the safe black, and have them embark on a risky move at the height of the burn cycle ( with no lookouts ) through a fuel-filled blind box canyon?

                “Use ( good ) judgement”?
                “Act within the intent of their leaders”?
                “Work in unison with others”?
                “Develop and COMMUNICATE a plan”?
                “Inform leaders of actions”?

                How about… TOTAL FAIL.

                ———————————————————
                “In a high-risk environment, freelancing is a dangerous and unpredictable element, causing more harm than good.
                ———————————————————–

                Yup. You can sure say THAT again.

                Actually… you can say that again… NINETEEN TIMES.

                ———————————————————–
                Ultimately, leaders are always accountable for their actions.
                ———————————————————–

                Unless, of course, you happen to be in Arizona when you took your ‘actions’ ( or lack thereof ).

                Then it’s more like “Nothing to see here. Move along”.

  23. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** HORSE PARK FIRE ENTRAPMENT – ‘FACILITATED LEARNING ANALYSIS’ IS OUT.

    It’s just been added to this WFLLC page for the 2018 Horse Park Fire near-fatalities…

    Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center ( Owned and operated by: The U.S. National Park Service )
    Horse Park Fire Entrapment (2018)
    https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=76bb3659-8026-4151-9dce-8b492a36b264

    But go ahead and pop the popcorn!

    This time there’s a MOVIE as well!

    Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center – Home Page
    Article Title: When You Have to Run
    Published: July 11, 2018 – By Travis Dotson
    https://wildfirelessons.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/when-you-have-to-run/

    The ‘movie’ is simply the investigators taking their own little drone out to the incident site… and then ‘flying’ the routes that the Logan Supt. took ‘runniing’ down the road… and the route the lookout took when running away as well.

    Overlaid on the drone footage are people ‘speaking’ the in-their-words narrative from the report in overly dramatic fashion. It is not known if the voices used in the video are the actual people involved.

    I’m still reading it but there’s already an answer to one of the questions I had.

    The Logan Hotshots actually did NOT have ‘2 UTVs’ with them that day.

    The 2 UTV’s seen in the video footage ( and the one used to rescue the Logan Supt. from the “gates of hell” ) were both BORROWED from the Engine crews that were there.

    So Kudos to THOSE guys for bringing those UTVs.

    Otherwise… the Logan Hotshot Supt. would probably have died.

    ( Gee… funny… just today the discussion below was about what happens if you don’t bring an ATV or UTV to a fire with you )

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Still reading the Horsepark FLA… and there is a LOT of WTF going on here ( including the 1 hour and 40 minutes ‘missing’ from the official ‘timeline’ )… but got to love THIS bullshit…

      On PDF page 32 ( of 56 pages )…

      ** TAKE YOUR FIRE SHELTER… BUT DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANY GLOVES.

      This little GEM has cubicle-pilot Ivan Pupulidy written all over it…

      ————————————————————————————————-
      What do you take with you when ditching your pack?

      Ever since South Canyon we have been preaching the importance of leaving gear behind to move faster when faced with emergency escape from fire.

      It seems this message has gotten through pretty well because there are plenty of recent instances of firefighters “ditching their packs.”

      Now we have the question: “What should you take with you?”

      Just like any situation, it depends.

      But “it depends” is harder to train for.

      One perspective would be, if you are at the point of ditching your pack and running with your shelter, focus on survival and only take your shelter.

      Many firefighters are trained to take their radio, tool, water, and gloves along with their shelter.

      That ends up being an awkward armful of stuff to run with
      —————————————————————————————————

  24. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    Reply to Gary Olson post on July 11, 2018 at 8:47 am

    >> Gary Olson said…
    >>
    >> And if I remember right, the FIRE had already bought
    >> the GMIHC a new ATV that was just waiting to be picked
    >> up at the dealership because they hadn’t bothered to do so yet.
    >>
    >> And that is why I think Marsh didn’t care, he was like a
    >> mountain goat, especially after his mountain biking vacation,
    >> he was chomping at the bit to get back to work.
    >>
    >> “All I need is a management code” are the magic words.
    >> And the code is like a credit card number, expiration date,

    Willis was asked directly by the ADOSH investigators about this Granite Mountain ATV incident.

    Willis didn’t know all the details… but he was SURE that the incident was eventually designated an ‘accident’ at that Halstead fire… and so Eric Marsh DID get an ‘S Number’ to use for FREE replacement of that GM ATV.

    But then Willis doesn’t say anything ( to ADOSH, anyway ) about what happened after that, or why GM did not already have a new ATV before they went to the Yarnell Fire.

    Granite Mountain had their ATV burned up during the 2012 fire season, the year prior to their deaths. The incident happened on the 2012 Halstead Fire ( on the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho ) where GM worked from August 22, 2012 through September 6, 2012.

    So in one sense… it had ONLY been 10 months since they burned their ATV up.
    In another sense… it had been a FULL 10 months since they burned their ATV up.

    Does processing an ‘S Number’ replacement requisition and replacing a piece of equipment really take longer than it takes to have a baby?

    I would tend to agree with you that deep-down… Eric Marsh probably didn’t ‘believe’ that true-blue Hotshots ever needed ATVs or UTVs, and that having one simply ‘cramped his old-school mountain goat style’… but according to Darrell Willis… the ‘S Number’ from the Halstead fire WAS used, and they ( presumably with Marsh’s consent ) DID order another FREE ATV.

    But Willis’ story is not that it was sitting at the dealership and that Marsh was neglecting to pick it up. Willis maintains that it didn’t even arrive in Prescott until AFTER the Yarnell tragedy.

    At least, that is what Willis told investigative reporter John Dougherty…

    The Phoenix New Times
    Article Title: Families of the Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots Are Not Getting the Answers They Need
    Author: John Dougherty
    Published: September 3, 2014 – 9:23am
    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/families-of-the-fallen-granite-mountain-hotshots-are-not-getting-the-answers-they-need-6649625

    Willis is quoted in that article regarding the ATV being ‘replaced’…
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Granite Mountain ordered a new all-terrain vehicle after the 2012 fire season, but it didn’t arrive until after the Yarnell Hill Fire, Chief Willis says. The ATV now sits ( as of today, September 3, 2014 ) unused inside Granite Mountain’s crew station in downtown Prescott.
    ————————————————————————————————————

    From Darrell Willis’s second ( of two ) ADOSH interviews on 10/10/2013…

    Q4 = Dave Larsen, ADOSH/WFA investigator ( Rest In Peace ).
    A = Darrell Willis, SPGS2 at the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire
    ———————————————————————————————————
    1126 Q4: Well, did you hear about – about burning up a, uh, ATV?
    1127
    1128 A: Yep, I did, on the Halstead Fire.
    1129
    1130 Q4: What was that story?
    1131
    1132 A: Halstead Fire.
    1133
    1134 Q4: Okay, could you tell me what you – what you know about that?
    1135
    1136 A: Yeah, I – I’m gonna just defer a little bit ‘cause I don’t know many details.
    1137 But I know they got it stuck while they were hauling some fuel doing a
    1138 burnout. I know that it was investigated by the safety officer. And I know
    1139 that the team determined that it was an accident and that they would provide
    1140 us with an S number for replacement. And I think if there’s any fault, uh,
    1141 negligence or anything like that, they’ll never, uh, give us an S number for
    1142 something like that.
    1143
    1144 Q4: Right.
    1145
    1146 A: I don’t remember the details. It was all filed through the State.

    ———————————————————————————————————-

    SIDENOTE: As if there weren’t enough ‘ironic’ things about the Yarnell tragedy, I still believe that if they had simply had their ATV with them in Yarnell on June 30, 2013 things may have turned out differently ( and for the BETTER ).

    Think about it.

    If GM had taken an ATV with them up to where they were working… then the following events would have probably been totally different…

    1. Instead of relying on the Blue Ridge Hotshots to schlep Brendan down to the lookout mound ( because Blue Ridge had the good sense to bring their UTV that day ), they probably would have either had someone from the GM crew do that, or they would have just let Brendan take the ATV down to the mound himself.

    2. Same in reverse. When it came time to ‘go get Brendan’ ( because he was in a dangerous place with no transportation ), GM probably would have either used their own ATV to go get him or ( if Brendan had taken the ATV down there with him ) he would have just driven back up to the anchor point himself on the GM ATV.

    So now there Brendan would be… reunited with the crew back up at that final ‘rest spot’, instead of having been ‘schlepped’ back EAST to Yarnell and hanging out with the Blue Ridge Hotshots.

    But does that now mean that Brendan would be dead along with the rest of them?

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    I would lean toward ‘not’… and here is why…

    If GM had simply had their ATV with them up on that ridge… I believe it WOULD have influenced their late-afternoon decision making.

    They MAY have decided that ( because they didn’t want to leave it up there and possibly get famous for burning up ANOTHER ATV just 10 months after the other one ) the best thing to do was to just STAY up there, let the firestorm pass, and then just walk/drive the ATV and everyone else back down the way they came up.

    And they would ALL still be alive.

    If… instead… they decided to leave the ATV in the safe black and still make the risky move towards Yarnell ( not likely but still possible )… then there probably would have been 20 bodies at the deployment site instead of 19, and Brendan McDonough would, in fact, also be DEAD.

    So in a way… the fact that GM did NOT have their ATV with them that day might be one of the only reasons Brendan McDonough is still alive.

    BTW: The actual Arizona Forestry contracted “Special Accident Investigation Team” themselves were the ones who pointed out that Granite Mountain’s lack of mobility ( sic: ATV or UTV ) in Yarnell probably played a role in their deaths.

    Without actually saying it was a ‘causal factor’ ( because, of course, nothing ever ’causes’ anything, right? )… the SAIR itself pointed out how their lack of mobility might have contributed to their deaths…

    On PDF page 59 of the original SAIR document…
    ———————————————————————————————————
    Wildland firefighters often discuss the need to have multiple safety zones; many firefighters also identify multiple escape routes to the same safety zone, if they exist, although this can require extensive scouting. In hindsight, we know that the Granite Mountain IHC might have arrived at the Boulder Springs Ranch if they had stayed on the two-track road, although it is unclear whether the crew knew that, or how long it might have taken to get there. This highlights another problem posed by limited mobility: because the Granite Mountain IHC was on foot, their ability to scout potential escape routes was limited.
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    “This highlights another problem posed by limited mobility: because the Granite Mountain IHC was ON FOOT (only), their ability to scout potential escape routes was limited.”

    Despite the SAIR always saying “no one did anything wrong… move along”… this quote in the SAIR has always sounded for all the world as if they were TRYING to actually say…

    “If they had only had their damn ATV with them, maybe none of this would have happened”.

    • Woodsman says

      Willis chose to ‘defer’. Slimy fuck…oh wait, I’m supposed to be understanding: nutless piece of shit. Doggone it! This isn’t working at all. Carry on…

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Willis said…”I don’t remember the details. It was all filed through the State”

        Yea, right.

        He’s a Prescott-city-trained-penny-pinching-grant-writing-former-Fire-Chief-now-Wildland-Division-Chief-paper-pusher… and his little (expensive) pet Hotshot program just burned up thousands of dollars worth of vehicle… and Willis wants ADOSH investigator Dave Larsen ( Rest In Peace ) to believe he “doesn’t know the details” about getting it replaced and EXACTLY where that money was going to come from and/or whether or not anyone had actually filed the paperwork and had the ball rolling?

        He was LYING to investigator Dave Larsen.

    • Gary Olson says

      Based on my experience of using a lot of management codes to replace equipment it can take as few…as a few minutes. The USFS have TEAMS of purchasing experts whose job it is to get WF the things they need to do the job. I never…ever saw WF have a legitimate need that couldn’t and wouldn’t be met by procurement personnel. The PFD had even looser rules to the point I don’t think they had ant rules…just a few guideline. So…they didn’t have a replacement ATV because they just didn’t care enough to get one any faster.

      And besides that, I think I remember one being available from Yarnell Hill FD. I also know where there were dozens of them that were available and just waiting for a resource order from a small army of people like I used to be whose job it was to get WF whatever they needed…period, all over the area all around them that were owned by both the USFS and BLM.

      When it comes to fighting fire….the USFS Is a CAN DO organization filled with CAN DO and highly motivated people, as are most other WF organizations.

      • Gary Olson says

        In fact, I believe they could have had a replacement ATV before they left the fire, much less the state, where theirs was burned up. Getting replacement equipment is NOT based on whether you were stupid when you destroyed it…it is based on whether you had one in the first place that was destroyed. How and why it was destroyed are SUPERVISION, MANAGEMENT and TRAINING issues.

        No procurement team is going to start down the road of trying to determine whether you are a good employee who is worth any further investment by your agency in you, they just buy you things you lost.

        Unless you are building a new Ranger Station just because the old one you had was too small to meet your needs. And that Ranger didn’t get stopped while he was building it…he was disciplined after it was FINISHED!

  25. Gary Olson says

    HEY EVERYONE…LISTEN UP! I have some GREAT news, I thought of a GREAT name for the Crystal Ball 🔮 those WF Mystics use to look into the future to see disasters coming so those disasters could even be AVOIDED ie WF learned how to LISTEN 👂 to the Mystics! We could call those Crystal Balls 🔮…Doppler Radar! What do you think?

    Nahhh,…who wants to listen to them? That would take a lot if the excitement and challenge out of the job and we wouldn’t have as many dead heroes to celebrate 🎊.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doppler_radar

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      The Granite Mountain Hotshots had at least 12 ( count em’, TWELVE ) handheld radios out there with them that day. McDonough had one with him all day, got rescued with it, and then there were at least 11 recovered from the deployment site.

      12 sophisticated ( and expensive ) portable hand-held radios for a crew of 20?

      Any way you cut it… that’s a LOT of radios.

      And yet… they died.

      There were at least 7 ( count ’em, SEVEN ) ‘smartphones’ out there with that crew that day ( not counting Brendan McDonough’s ).

      They had full cellular signal strength out on the Weaver Mountains where they were working all day.

      They sat there at that ‘last rest spot’ for a full 1/4 hour USING their ‘smartphones’ and doing nothing but playing tourist, taking photos and sending social media messages.

      They could have easily checked ANY online weather/doppler radar service during that time.

      The outflow winds coming from Prescott that day were actually APPEARING ( in real time ) on the late afternoon doppler radar of that area available from any number of sources.

      And yet… they died.

      It’s also been demonstrated that in less than 15 seconds, any one of them could have called up a ‘Google Map’ of the area and SEEN ( clearly ) that ‘alternate escape route’ that followed an existing trail south and all the way to the Boulder Springs Ranch ( no fuel-filled box canyon traversal required ).

      And yet… they died.

      From all the way back in California… Joe Woyjeck knew more about exactly where his son Kevin Woyjeck was working outside Yarnell on the afternoon of June 30, 2013 ( and how FAR outside of town that really was ) than even Yarnell OPS2 Paul Musser did when he called GM at 3:42 PM and asked them to “come to town”. Musser was clueless about where they REALLY were and thought they had been right outside of Yarnell, working with Blue Ridge on the dozer line.

      Both Joe and Kevin had the Mobile app “Find My Friends” installed on their smartphones.

      On June 30, 2013 Joe Woyjeck was playing with his dog in the front yard of his Southern California home. He clicked on his smartphone to see where his son Kevin might be working that day and an icon representing his son popped up on a Google map, right out there at that ‘anchor point’ outside of Yarnell.

      Too bad OPS2 Paul Musser ( and all the others in fire command at Yarnell ) couldn’t do that.

      I guess what I am trying to point out is that even despite all the ‘technology’ they DID have with them out there that day… none of that does any good if you don’t USE it.

      They could have, additionally, ACTUALLY had a ‘Crystal Ball’ yelling ‘stay where you are!’ at them… and Eric Marsh would have probably still been trying to convince Jesse Steed to ‘give in’ and make the risky move out of the black.

      And ( apparently ), Jesse Steed would have still ‘given in’ and done exactly that.

      It’s gonna take more than ‘Crystal Balls’ to prevent THAT kind uber-blunder from ever happening again.

      BTW: Pretty STRONG emoji game you have going there in that last post. I think you have been hanging around with too many millennials, at this point.

      • Gary Olson says

        Yes…I just discovered that I can post emojis by using my tablet. I don’t know why I never picked up on that before? But I am excited about the prospects of this brave new world.

        Speaking of a brave new world, thanks for really nailing down what I was trying to say…the amount of technology that was available to them was far beyond where my head was at…staggering.

        I know Fred and I strongly disagreed about using GPS units like the military does on individual troops in battle zones, but with the “find my friends” option, it sounds like it would be really simple, and really cheap since everyone already has smart phones 📱, even I have now gone to one. So…I don’t get it?

        The Google Maps thing wasn’t something I understood when we started on this project five years ago…I get it now. That download was a no brain 🧠 er.

        Stunning, staggering, shocking, unbelievable, the sheer level of incompetence and arrogance mixed with “I just don’t care 🤷‍♂️ EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE is…disappointing.

        I think you might also have discovered one really big reason the GMIHC weren’t cost nuetral. They had wayyyyy more radios than I think is normal. Now…of course normal in my day was 3 radios and I do expect that number to be up…but up that far?

        And of course, that is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Willis very well could have been spending money 💰 like drunken sailor on all kinds of equipment and gear that was in excess of what was resonable. I do know their salaries were far in excess of what the federal crews were making.

        .

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Well…. unless Willis was building himself a new swimming pool out at his ‘ranch’… there couldn’t have been that much extra money hanging around.

          They should have replaced the ATV they had the minute they burned it up.

          If GM simply HAD an ATV or UTV with them that day in Yarnell… everything *might* have been different just for the simple fact that they certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be nicknamed the ‘ATV Destroyers’ if they had burned up ANOTHER one.

          If their ATV had been up there with them…they very well might have stayed right where they were just to make sure the ‘new’ ATV/UTV didn’t burn up on them.

          I wish they had ( stayed up there ).

          SIDENOTE: All that being said… just having the ATV/UTVs is no guarantee of anything. We just saw that the Logan Hotshots had TWO UTV’s with them at the Horse Park Fire… and they still almost killed 3 of their crew.

          But at least one ( the supe himself ) would have likely died if one of those TWO Logan UTV’s hadn’t gone ‘into the gates of hell’ to get him because he couldn’t run as fast as the other crewmate.

          DOUBLE SIDENOTE: Which still begs the question… if the Logan Hotshots had ANY ‘scouting’ to do… why in the hell didn’t they just use 1 of their 2 ( count em’, TWO ) UTV’s to do down that narrow dirt road in that canyon? No… they use a 4-wheel drive equipment laden Ford pickup that the driver was too stupid to have even ‘locked the hubs’ on so he could USE the frickin’ 4WD just in case… oh, I don’t know, like maybe you get the damn thing stuck trying to turn it around and the 4WD might actually prevent you from DYING?

          Maybe the ‘report’ will tell us why the 2 ( count em’, TWO ) Logan Hotshot UTV’s were still hanging around at that staging area when the guy got his Non-functional 4WD truck stuck up in the canyon.

          And maybe the report will also tell us why there hasn’t ALREADY been an industry-wide SAFETY BULLETIN to the effect of…

          ATTENTION: If you have 4WD capability, make sure it is ready to be USED before you drive your ass into an initial attack in a burning canyon. The life you save might be your own ( and anyone else in the vehicle WITH you ).

          • Woodsman says

            Yeah…maybe the report will say all that. Ha! No frikken way, man. It’ll talk about how dynamic & inherently dangerous the job is for one or two lines…the next 37 pages will be devoted to blameless sense making. Think the SMJs will make it in there?

            Remember my stance: until each & every possibility is proven impossible with factual evidence, anything is possible. (up to & including that fire going sideways catching Logan “off guard” due to rogue actions by notoriously rogue members of the wildfire community.)

            I’m not ready to bust Logan wide-open yet. Maybe I’ll never have reason to do it. I still give them 100% praise for having the presence of mind to drop shit & hauling ass outta there!

          • Gary Olson says

            Well…I’m working on winding up and hurling more spaghetti at the wall to finish up…well, technically speaking, I am now behind two such rants, one that is theoretically a response to W and to finish the other one to Diane, although I am now answering a question Diane didn’t even ask. But…but as for Dubya,, I have a whole finance rant floating around in strands in old Gary’s head right now that is really getting down into the weeds that probably won’t interest anyone in the end. It would interest you…HAL 9000, but since you base so much of what you are interested in on facts, and I don’t have any of those pertain to fire financial matters or just about anything else, but that hasn’t stopped me before.

            • Gary Olson says

              For example (stipulating all of my usual caveats);

              Fire finance is more of an art than it is a science. It used to be all art and no science back in the day, which means it was SOP to steal the candy store blind whenever you had a fire within your administrative area.

              It is now much more of a science than an art where going to federal prison is at least theoretically possible, so it isn’t done much anymore.

              But…here is the one point I want to quickly make just in case I don’t ever get around to my MOAP on the fire finance and Grand Theft.

              The reason the GMIHC didn’t have a replacement ATV is because they didn’t care. I would say they were too lazy to order one, but I don’t think it was being lazy, I think Marsh just liked to run up and down those slopes because he was in really good shape and he had an “old school” streak in him.

              So…here is the bottom line, since their machine was destroyed on a fire where it had been legitimately used and had a purpose. Therefore, the people who were responsible for the fire owed them a new one…no questions asked.

              All they had to do is order it and pick it up anytime they wanted and it wouldn’t (didn’t) cost them a single penney out of their budget.

              I got involved in a lot of things during my career, large scale industrial theft to benefit the home unit during fires was one of them.

              • Gary Olson says

                And that isn’t even considering the fact that the Logan Hotshots should have had those hubs on their chase truck locked so no one could STEAL them. 😂

          • Gary Olson says

            In other words, every fire from the smallest to the biggest becomes it’s own readily identifiable, easily trackable, and traceable administrative entity.

            The FIRE pays for itself, and all costs associated with it from ignition to tree planting and erosion control with its own separate and distinct management code that can and does span multiple fiscal years.

            Fire operations and dispatch centers where I worked for four years do a lot of things other than send resources to and from fires, while managing on going fire operations within their own area of responsibility. That is one reason the job is so damn BORING!

            And for all practical intents and purposes, those administrative management codes are bottomless pits of money. Especially those set up by the 800 pound mountain gorilla the US Congress has given the lead to when it comes to wildfire management in this country because just like Arby’s has the MEATS…the USFS has the BUDGET..

            And what they don’t have, they get from Congress in supplemental appropriations. That is what Shawn’s Legarza’s day time job is…testifying before congressional sub committees for appropriations.

            That is why in her mind, the end of getting there justified the means and whether or not the Battlement Creek Fire Staff Ride is accurate, just isn’t important to her. I just happen to disagree with her assessment, but she thinks I am wrong because I can’t see the BIG PICTURE from her unimpeded 10,000 foot macro view from the top. Shawn’s doesn’t really manage anything, Shawna funds the Regional, Forest and District Offices where they do manage things…i.e., people, equipment…resources.

            Managers don’t like to do it, because if you are an agency that isn’t directly sponsored by an outfit who can print their own money like the US Congress ,, you have to rob from Peter to pay Paul.

            That is how wildland fire investigators like I once was, can track the costs associated with a given fire so they know how much the bill is when and if they find the responsible party for causing the fire.

            So…bottom line, the GMIHC didn’t have to come up with their own money to buy a new ATV. The first one, yes…but when it gets burned up on a fire…no. The “FIRE” would and did…buy them a new one.

            The problem comes…FYI, when the local manager builds a new Ranger Station by charging it off to a FIRE like the Jemez District Ranger did when I was on the Santa Fe. That earned him a few years in the Hall Of Shame at the Regional Office, but I think he ended up running the whole show because in the end, they probably admired his creativity, resourcefulness and can do spirit!

          • Gary Olson says

            In other words, every fire from the smallest to the biggest becomes it’s own readily identifiable, easily trackable, and traceable administrative entity.

            The FIRE pays for itself, and all costs associated with it from ignition to tree planting and erosion control with its own separate and distinct management code that can and does span multiple fiscal years.

            Fire operations and dispatch centers where I worked for four years do a lot of things other than send resources to and from fires, while managing on going fire operations within their own area of responsibility. That is one reason the job is so damn BORING!

            And for all practical intents and purposes, those administrative management codes are bottomless pits of money. Especially those set up by the 800 pound mountain gorilla the US Congress has given the lead to when it comes to wildfire management in this country because just like Arby’s has the MEATS…the USFS has the BUDGET..

            And what they don’t have, they get from Congress in supplemental appropriations. That is what Shawn’s Legarza’s day time job is…testifying before congressional sub committees for appropriations.

            That is why in her mind, the end of getting there justified the means and whether or not the Battlement Creek Fire Staff Ride is accurate, just isn’t important to her. I just happen to disagree with her assessment, but she thinks I am wrong because I can’t see the BIG PICTURE from her unimpeded 10,000 foot macro view from the top. Shawn’s doesn’t really manage anything, Shawna funds the Regional, Forest and District Offices where they do manage things…i.e., people, equipment…resources.

            Managers don’t like to do it, because if you are an agency that isn’t directly sponsored by an outfit who can print their own money like the US Congress ,, you have to rob from Peter to pay Paul.

            That is how wildland fire investigators like I once was, can track the costs associated with a given fire so they know how much the bill is when and if they find the responsible party for causing the fire.

            So…bottom line, the GMIHC didn’t have to come up with their own money to buy a new ATV. The first one, yes…but when it gets burned up on a fire…no. The “FIRE” would and did…buy them a new one.

            The problem comes…FYI, when the local manager builds a new Ranger Station by charging it off to a FIRE like the Jemez District Ranger did when I was on the Santa Fe. That earned him a few years in the Hall Of Shame at the Regional Office, but I think he ended up running the whole show because in the end, they probably admired his creativity, resourcefulness and can do spirit!

            • Gary Olson says

              And if I remember right, the FIRE had already bought the GMIHC a new ATV that was just waiting to be picked up at the dealership because they hadn’t bothered to do so yet.

              And that is why I think Marcpsh didn’t care, he was l8ke a mountain goat, especially after his mountain biking vacation, he was chomping at the bit to get back to work.

              “All I need is a management code” are the magic words. And the code is like a credit card number, expiration date,

            • Gary Olson says

              And I misspoke, nobody in FIRE agencies really manage anything except for those people (managers) who are closest to the ground.

              Everyone else at all of the levels above that…just divide up the money and push it down to where the work is after siphoning money off for their pet projects and decide how big the slush funds should be.

              The USFS etc, are very bottom up organizations where the real power is at the ground level. That is also why, just in case you are interested, why hotshot crews still weren’t carrying fire shelters in 1976 even after the chief if the USFS ordered them to be carried in 1966. The ground level bosses didn’t think they were worth the money or they worked very well…so they just ignored the Chief. It happened all of the time and probably still does.

              Nobody really cared what the chief said, their job was and probably still is just to justify budgets to Congress, get the money, divide it up, push it down, be cheerleaders and other than that, shut the hell up and mind their own damn business.

              • Robert the Second says

                Gary,

                The GMHS burned up their ATV on the 2012 Halstead Fire on the Salmon-Challis NF after being told NUMEROUS times by fireline AND fellow HS Supts. that due to the radical fire behaior we were experiencing, direct attack was no longer a safe option. They were told this NUMEROUS times and their standard reply was: “We’re Granite Mountain and we thi k we can pull it off. Increasing fire behavior, spotting, and torching and the GMHS getting their ATV jacked up resulted in them abandoning it. It burned up and there is/was a photo of it on their discontinued Crew video.

                McDonough would kater try to discount this fact because they knew it was having mechanical issues and that’s why it happened.

                That speaks vokumes to the alleged GMHS habitual habitcof unsafe actions and their Steady Drift into Failure.

                Bad decisions with good outcomes will eventually burn you over time unless you correct those bad habits. But you have to admit that you have them first, something they were reluctant to do

                • Gary Olson says

                  Funny you should post this now, I have been trying to figure out what their major malfunction was now that I have vowed not to use any profanity in my book so my grandkids can read it.

                  The “unintended consequences” (which is one of the effects I have been studying today) of not using any profanity…is I lose a very large percentage of my vocabulary.

                  But…forget my old theory I have dusted off, which I made up by connecting two effects that sounded good, but were technically incorrect. So…drop “cascading or cascade.”

                  Domino effect might still be good I think, but there are so many of them?

                  For example, “causality, chain reaction, snowball effect, self fulfilling prophecy, (which I really like for Marsh) for want of a nail, the camel’s nose, etc.”

                  The following one reminds me of yours,

                  “The terms virtuous circle and vicious circle (also referred to as virtuous cycle and vicious cycle) refer to complex chains of events that reinforce themselves through a feedback loop.[1] A virtuous circle has favorable results, while a vicious circle has detrimental results.

                  Both circles are complex chains of events with no tendency toward equilibrium (social, economic, ecological, etc.) – at least in the short run. Both systems of events have feedback loops in which each iteration of the cycle reinforces the previous one (positive feedback). These cycles will continue in the direction of their momentum until an external factor intervenes and breaks the cycle.”

                  I am definitely sticking to the Chaos theory” to describe how all fires are run for the first 36 to 48 hours and the YHF was certainly no exception to that rule.

                  Chaos was running that fire and Chaos was never relieved of command until it was way to late.

                  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

                  My other solution is to just start using profanity again to describe what happened to our crew on the YHF and why it happened. I got that down to a science…more or less.

                  And to everyone…I am NOT being OCD or Anal Retentive about how to describe what happened that day and why. If those who know won’t tell me, I am going to try Wikipedia.

                • Gary Olson says

                  Funny you should post this now, I have been trying to figure out what their major malfunction was now that I have vowed not to use any profanity in my book so my grandkids can read it. The “unintended consequences” (which is one of the effects I have been studying today) of not using any profanity…is I lose a very large percentage of my vocabulary.

                  But…forget my old theory I gphave dusted off which I made up by connecting two effects that sounded good, but were technically incorrect. So…drop “cascading or cascade.”

                  Domino effect might still be good I think, but there are so many of them?

                  For example, “causality, chain reaction, snowball effect, self fulfilling prophecy, (which I really like for Marsh) for want of a nail, the camel’s nose, Arnold’s cat,

                  The following one reminds me of yours, “The terms virtuous circle and vicious circle (also referred to as virtuous cycle and vicious cycle) refer to complex chains of events that reinforce themselves through a feedback loop.[1] A virtuous circle has favorable results, while a vicious circle has detrimental results.

                  Both circles are complex chains of events with no tendency toward equilibrium (social, economic, ecological, etc.) – at least in the short run. Both systems of events have feedback loops in which each iteration of the cycle reinforces the previous one (positive feedback). These cycles will continue in the direction of their momentum until an external factor intervenes and breaks the cycle.”

                  • Gary Olson says

                    I am definitely sticking to the Chaos theory” to describe how all fires are run for the first 36 to 48 hours and the YHF was certainly no exception to that rule.

                    Chaos was running that fire and Chaos was never relieved of command until it was way to late.

                    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

                    My other solution is to just start using profanity again to describe what happened to our crew on the YHF and why it happened. I got that down to a science…more or less.

                    And to everyone…I am NOT being OCD or Anal Retentive about how to describe what happened that day and why. If those who know won’t tell me, I am going to try Wikipedia.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      And I forgot to mention my leading contender as an effect that dominated what the crew led by Steel did, and why thet ended up where they did.

                      “The Slippery Slope Effect.”

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post
                  on July 11, 2018 at 2:11 pm

                  >> RTS said…
                  >>
                  >> The GMHS burned up their ATV on the
                  >> 2012 Halstead Fire on the Salmon-Challis
                  >> NF after being told NUMEROUS times by
                  >> fireline AND fellow HS Supts. that due to
                  >> the radical fire behavior we were experiencing,
                  >> direct attack was no longer a safe option.
                  >>
                  >> They were told this NUMEROUS times and
                  >> their standard reply was: “We’re Granite
                  >> Mountain and we think we can pull it off”.
                  >>
                  >> Increasing fire behavior, spotting, and torching
                  >> and the GMHS getting their ATV jacked up
                  >> resulted in them abandoning it.
                  >>
                  >> It burned up…
                  >>
                  >> McDonough would later try to discount this
                  >> fact because they knew it was having
                  >> mechanical issues and that’s why it happened.
                  >>
                  >> That speaks volumes to the alleged GMHS
                  >> habitual habit of unsafe actions and their
                  >> Steady Drift into Failure.
                  >>
                  >> Bad decisions with good outcomes will
                  >> eventually burn you over time unless you
                  >> correct those bad habits. But you have
                  >> to admit that you have them first, something
                  >> they were reluctant to do

                  This sounds more like just good ‘ol plain-vanilla ‘BAD decision with BAD outcome’.

                  And THOSE will ‘burn you over time’ ( excuse the word choice ) as well.

                  It’s an often overlooked/ignored fact… but despite its “nobody did anything wrong… move along” accident investigation philosophy… the official SAIR itself basically said ( in writing ) that Granite Mountain’s “lack of mobility” ( sic: Hadn’t replaced their ATV yet ) in Yarnell WAS a contributing factor in their deaths.

                  See another ( longer ) post ( and the actual SAIR quotes ) about this up above…

                  http://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxvi-here/#comment-474728

          • Gary Olson says

            And if I remember right, the FIRE had already bought the GMIHC a new ATV that was just waiting to be picked up at the dealership because they hadn’t bothered to do so yet.

            And that is why I think Marsh didn’t care, he was like a mountain goat, especially after his mountain biking vacation, he was chomping at the bit to get back to work and run up and down mountains.

            “All I need is a management code” are the magic words. And the code is like “a name as it appears on the card, credit card number, expiration date, CVV code and billing address”,all rolled into one.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Lookout = Backup Radio = GOOD

              Especially when ( according to the Horse Park 72-Hour blurb ) you…

              1. Realize you are in danger
              2. Run away ( downhill ) from the fire.
              3. Realize you are STILL in danger
              4. Drop your pack… thinking about burning out and deploying… and only NOW do you finally think to make a radio call and discover ( quote from the report ) “The antenna had, at some point, become detached from the radio”.

              Something is still very wrong with THAT ‘picture’… as painted by the 72-hour Horse Park report.

    • Gary Olson says

      Random Thought zFor The Day,

      Well…I made it home after spending a great week or so with my grandkids. I didn’t feel well on my way home and I kept driving into on coming traffic, off the road, and into the wrong lanes so many times it started to scare me so I checked in to a nice motel in Albany, Oregon for a couple of days and slept. The only thing worse than retirement, would be going to work. I pray all of you WF out there do the right thing enough times to get where I am at…God Bless America!

      My latest exchange with WTKTT has motivated me to dust off yet another one of my Golden Olden theories about the YHF and why the crew died. It is staggering to me just how many things everyone who was running that train wreck, especially the crew, had to do wrong in sequence and at justbtgevright time in order to die.

      My old theory was called “The Cascading Domino Effect.” And a truly stunning list of things had to be done sequentially , in just the wrong way, in order to achieve the end result, but if only ONE (1) thing would have been done differently that would have resulted in only ONE (1) domino being out of place, no one would have died.

      How did that happen? The odds of those random events all falling into place at just the wrong time, in just the wrong way, in just the right sequence is staggering, billions and billions to one? One theory I will never accept or advance for that disaster is…Intelligent Design.

        • Gary Olson says

          I just meant I won’t ever blame or credit God for what happened, no matter how astronomical the odds are of all of those dominoes falling in just the right sequence, at just the right time (within a less than 15 minute window).and in just the right way.

          As far as the things you mentioned…yes I agree. In fact someone should write a book and tell the truth about the fire.

          Of course it would have to be someone who doesn’t care about making money because very few books will be sold and the movie has already been done, someone who is immune to lawsuits because they don’t have anything except a monthly pension check that is protected by federal law and someone who has a long history of calling balls and strikes like he sees them, and finally…someone who has already done the hard part….naming the book, “Rise of the Hybrid Firefighters.” If I find that person, I will blog about it here.

        • says

          How likely is it that a wealthy landowner in Glen Ilah area appealed to Marsh as well as forestry and state officials to protect their property on the afternoon of June 30,2013? In spite of the danger Marsh may have thought the crew could accomplish this task and was willing to pull out all the stops to prove that his crew was invaluable to the Prescott area.

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            Reply to Diane Lomas post on
            July 12, 2018 at 12:23 pm

            >> Diane Lomas asked…
            >>
            >> How likely is it that a wealthy landowner in Glen Ilah
            >> area appealed to Marsh as well as forestry and state
            >> officials to protect their property on the afternoon
            >> of June 30,2013?

            There is still no real evidence anything like that ever took place at the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.

            However… it still remains curious that following Darrel Willis’ initial evaluation ( on Saturday night, as SPGS2 ) of the NORTH side of the fire ( the Peeples Valley, Model Creek Road area ), he was of the opinion that the ‘Double Bar A’ Ranch out at the end of Hays Ranch Road was ‘not defensible’…

            …but the very next morning he is out there with Engine Crews making a massive effort to protect the place. That was even where the first ( very expensive ) VLAT retardant drops took place in Yarnell right around NOON on Sunday.

            None of that worked.

            Just as Darrell Willis had predicted on Saturday night… those ranch dwellings were NOT ‘defensible’ and the place burned to the ground anyway on Sunday afternoon, despite that massive morning effort to ‘defend’ it.

            It’s never been clear who ( or what ) changed Willis’ mind on that between Saturday night and Sunday morning, or who may have just TOLD him to devote all those resources ( and money ) to trying to defend a place he had already decided was ‘not defensible’.

            But even that was up there on the NORTH end of the fire.

            There is still no evidence that any particular ‘land owner’ or ‘property owner’ was trying to ‘pull strings’ or ‘influence’ the operations down on the SOUTH side of the fire where the Hotshots all died.

            I am not saying it didn’t happen.

            At this point… and with so much that is still not known… just about anything remains possible, I suppose.

            I am just pointing out that there is still ( even now ) no real ‘evidence’ anything like that took place.

            >> Diane Lomas also said…
            >>
            >> In spite of the danger Marsh may have thought the crew could
            >> accomplish this task and was willing to pull out all the stops
            >> to prove that his crew was invaluable to the Prescott area.

            That is still much more likely than your first question above… but the ‘task’ you are talking about would have been more just a generic “Let’s go be HEROES!” approach.

            There probably still hasn’t been near enough discussion about how much PRESSURE Eric Marsh was constantly under ( most of it coming directly from his boss, Darrell Willis, but a lot of it coming from Marsh himself ) to keep that Granite Mountain Hotshot program ‘viable’ and not end up on the Prescott City Council’s penny-pinching chopping block.

            It’s even in writing in Marsh’s own personnel file.

            Darrell Willis was telling Marsh ( in writing ) how important it was for Granite Mountain to ‘stay successful’ and Willis even told Marsh ( in writing ) it was now “up to them” to save the program from the penny pinchers in Prescott City management.

  26. Robert the Second says

  27. Robert the Second says

    Here’s a WTF June 30, 2014, YouTube video about the GMHS (“Team of 12 had sacred task of recovering bodies of fallen hotshots” ABC 15 News Arizona) that you will hopefully find very disturbing. The one speaking is Prescott Fire Captain from 1994 to 2015 J.P. Vicente (he is erroneously referred to as a Fire Chief in the video) He makes a bizarre statement beginning at 2:23 to 2:32.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXYc0f_MIlQ

    “They’re all heroes. And they did what they loved doing. AND THEY WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN IN A HEARTBEAT. I’M TELLING YOU RIGHT NOW. THEY WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING.”

    Are you f**king kidding me!? They would do it all over again in a heartbeat and would not change a thing!

    WTF. Isn’t that the definition of insanity, doing the same things over and over expecting a different outcome.

    • Gary Olson says

      Well…that poor man has some even poorer coping skills. I rarely read comments on things like this, but I am EXTRA bored tonight…so I did. I was actually quite surprised how many insightful and very accurate comments there were. I don’t know if that link will work or not, but if not…it comes from Michelle about 3/4 of the way down. She is very succinct and used only one word, which I really liked. Her response….”Hardly.”

      I think the whole “wouldn’t change a thing’ has emanated right from the core group of PFD deniers led by Willis from the very first moments of this disaster. If they admit anything needed to be changed…they open the door to things were done wrong….obviously. And those very bad people would rather risk WF lives in the future than admit past mistakes.

      There is another comment closer to the top I also really liked from someone, whose name I have already forgotten clearly knew Eric Marsh quite well and said words it the effect that Eric finally got what he wanted, which was a little to succinct for me. I would like to know more about what he knows.

      So my point is this…the cascade is cracking and starting to break down. In a few more decades…men like former Prescott Hotshot Crew Boss from back in my day, Tony Sciacca will quit being such a lyin’ little bitch whore (non gender specific) and man up and start living up to his current gig, which is something about being a WF Safety Officer…hahahahahaha…fuck you Tony! You little man bitch.

      Gee…sometimes I don’t know what to say about my own coping skills?

      https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCTqSY6Lk-_bmdGQOB6WSAww

  28. Gary Olson says

    W,

    Damn man…for a non federal 462 nuckle dragger type you have some wicked writing skills.

    Oh…and one more thing. The guy who did the pole dance strip down to his tight red bikini underwear in Mexico, he had a 1950’s military haircut, he was built like a Russian power lifter who stood about 6’5” and weighed about 240 with very broad shoulders with a smaller waist because you know…he was still kinda fat.

    But that man could dance! It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I felt guilty for watching and yet I couldn’t force myself to avert my eyes because it was so fascinating, and mesmerizing to watch. And yet…the entire experience made me feel so guilty…and dirty at the same time. There were several hundred Mexicans in the packed house and they went crazy with cheers and applause, I think he started working there part time on his days off after that

    And FYI, my very limited experiences in Mexico are dated to the mid 1980’s through the 1990’s when there were rules down there and having the charred and decapitated bodies of Americanos hanging from overpasses would have been bad for business. You couldn’t pull me across that border today unless you had a team of wild horses and that includes to places like even Rocky Point and Cancun.

    • Gary Olson says

      RTS,

      And yes, I realize that none of that has much to do with the Yarnell Hill Fire, so please allow me to recap for you.

      1. It is a bad idea to make a granite memorial for the GMIHC based on their fictitious love for some stupid trash tree that doesn’t even make good firewood unless you have a really good screen because it will burn your house down with you in it after you go to bed because it pops embers so bad.

      2. The entire concept is based on the false narrative generated by stupid people talking to other stupid people through other stupid people about a stupid false legend generated by other stupid people and ONE (1) stupid gag photo the crew took with a stupid tree because they really hoped it would go up like a Roman Candle in spite of their best efforts during the Doce Fire.

      3. For example, just because we took ONE (1) stupid photo with orange traffic cones on our heads doesn’t mean that if we would have killed ourselves a few days later we would have wanted to been memorialized in granite for all time and eternity by a memorial with stupid orange traffic cones on our heads because the photo was a gag photo, just like their assignment to protect that stupid tree was a joke!

      And I am glad WTKTT knew the truth about that stupid incident. In addition, if that guy would have been killed on that drug op, I didn’t originally think he would have wanted to be memorialized in granite wearing red bikini underwear doing a pole dance. And then I decided that is EXACTLY how that guy would have wanted to be remembered, so that was a bad example.

      4. In any case, all hotshot crews should carefully consider what gag photos they want to have taken in the future because stupid people like those who live in and around Prescott might decide just because you took ONE (1) stupid gag photo with ONE (1) suicide victim on your way to a fire on the Tonto…that might be the best way to remember and celebrate your entire body of work as a hotshot crew on a memorial. So heads up, have strict control over the release of gag photos…or don’t take them in the first place.

      Please stop the madness now, so I don’t have to look at that stupid FUCKIN’ Alligator Juniper tree carved in marble just in case I ever go back to Everybody’s Home Town and take a stroll around the courthouse, which just happens to be y home town for real since I am a product of the Miller Valley Grade School through Yavapai Junior College with an AA degree before I laundered it through NAU for a BS degree.

      And I deeply regret to inform all of you stupid fuckin’ people from Prescott and the surrounding countryside I am a true “Son Of Prescott.” Don’t hate me because I am you. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo).

      • Gary Olson says

        Whoops, I forgot to include my greatest claim to fame. I got my start in life as an entry level Wildland Firefighter at 19 with the PRESCOTT NATIONAL FOREST, Walnut Creek Ranger District at both Camp Wood and the Walnut Creek Work Centers.. That was some old school starting entry level living the right way back in the day..no indoor plumbing in the middle of no where.

        Say…did I ever mention my grandfather was a Wildland Firefighter on the A Bar S National Forest in the White Mountains and he was killed by bad dynamite while building another logging road for the USFS? It took him three days to die at the White River Clinic on the Apache Indian Reservation and they say he hung over the end of the bed by six inches because he was 6’6”” tall. Yes…well it’s been a while. I have some serious USFS WF street creds few people can beat…except for Bob.

        • Gary Olson says

          Oh…and one more thing. My son has a Masters Degee in Forestry from NAU and he now works as a silviculturist for the USFS. Now THAT my best friends and confidants…is some serious cycle of life stuff…right?

          • Gary Olson says

            Don’t hold it against my son though. He doesn’t speak to me and even hates me because I was such a terrible father!

            It turns out raising kids like they were FNG’s on a hotshot crew wasn’t either the best short term parental tactic or best long term strategy. Go figure?

            I will tell you one thing for sure though, they all knew how to stand up, water up, saddle up, tool up, line up, shut the fuck up, listen up and then hump up the mountain…of that you can rest assured!

            • Gary Olson says

              That’s okay though, I am visiting my grandkids right now. Two of them think I’m a swell guy because I have a pocket full of money, a vehicle, a drivers license and I know how to order lots of toys from on line stores.

              I will post photos of me holding my two week old granddaughter on my website when I get back home.

    • Woodsman says

      Thanks, Ol’ G.

      I was always aware that Dr. Putnam was “the man” when it comes to wildfire accident investigation, I just never knew that he was “THEE MAN!” In honor of his gift to us in fire line safety knowledge and in particular the concept of human factors, I’ve decided to devote the rest of my mediocre career to speaking up about all areas in which we should improve how we do business.

      In the spirit of my personal and professional miniature one-knuckle-dragger safety crusade, I’d like to know if you (Gary) or any other experienced wildland firefighters would like to “go there” with me? I’ve alluded to something over the years which I believe should be talked about. If you are game then I have a question for you. You game?

      • Gary Olson says

        Yes…I don’t have your gift for writing or speaking and I am often too colorful in my writing style for most people, but I do know that Dr. Putnam is and always has been my inspiration and hero in all things pertaining to wildland firefighting safety and I do think he is on to something everyone thought everything was already known about the Mann Gulch Fire of 1949 because of the book “Young Men and Fire”, but that of course is the difference between, “talking the talk…and walking the walk” i.e., Putnam versus MacLean and with all of that being said, I will do anything I can to stop or even delay the next Yarnell Hill Fire type disaster because one thing we know for sure, it’s not a question of if…it’s a question of when.

        • Woodsman says

          Have you ever witnessed or heard a firsthand account of wildland fire personnel taking an action or inaction which common sense would dictate a wildfire would grow in size or become less controllable because of the action or inaction? If so, in your opinion, how common an issue (if you believe it happens or has happened) is this phenomenon & what were the factors that influenced this behavior?

          I have been on a fire where our crew just about begged line supervision to allow us to keep working a little longer because of serious threats to the control line had we abandoned it for the evening…& were unsuccessful in convincing them. (went BIG after that) I have been on fires where our nighttime work was lost by the day shift like clockwork. (I realize weather conditions are a major factor here too but I’m not an idiot). I’ve witnessed IMTs bragging that our fire is now priority in the country. I’m not sure whether they were happy because it would open up more available resources or if there was another reason to boast? It seemed like the teams were competing with one another.

          If you read Dr. P’s paper, there is a very, very concerning statement of account in there dealing with what I’m talking about. Maybe someone can quote it here?

          I have many topics to discuss but after reading that from someone with very high integry, I just cannot get this one out of my head.

          I want to know what Gary, RTS, Bob, & anyone else has to say about it. This is a topic where the rubber meets the road in terms of honesty & integrity.

          By the way, how do you old timers remember the names of all the fires you’ve been on? I remember where I’ve been & what I’ve done by not all the names. Just me?

          In closing, if the subject I’ve broached is real & you know it, who’s going to do the right thing & admit it?

          Thanks in advance.

          • Gary Olson says

            Well…it was pretty darn easy back in the day for us. The USFS had a form we filled out. It was called something like, “Individual Fire Record” and it had a column for the name of the fire, where it was, what your position on the fire was, dates you were on the fire, and how big the fire was.

            The only thing that was/is a little fuzzy for me is knowing where on the spectrum of a class A. B, C, D, E, F and G? the fire that you were on…fell within the size parameters. I haven’t looked at one in years, but I do have all of mine and I can tell you every fire I was ever on and the basic information about it

            I think Class A was less than 1/4 acre, whereas a G was like…Over 200,000 acres. I will pull out my folder marked…Fire records and get back to you on this one unless someone else has theirs handy? And I guess beyond a certain point, it really doesn’t matter how big the fire is? All that mattered to me was my piece of the fire line.

            Part of my Number 2’s job was to fill those out for everyone after every fire. And somebody else filled mine out before I was crew boss. I know it was my assistant’s job to fill them out because those forms fell into the duties and responsibilities of his position description because they were related to, and actually fell intim“paperwork” and therefore was squarely in the “No Fun” category…hence it was part of his job.

            I liked to hold myself in reserve for some of the bigger picture jobs after we got home from every fire…I kind of took on the macro 10,000 foot view, which primarily consisted of me hanging out in the kitchen and bullshitting with our crew cook. He was hilarious and could do a stand up comedy routine at the drop of a hat….or frying pan, or whatever.

            And after I pretty much had that under control…I just wandered around bullshitting with everyone else until all of the chores to get ready for the next big one were done and it was time to play volleyball.

            During my years as crew boss, our cook was named Jack. Jack had been drafted and after basic training he got his orders from the Army…Infantry Grunt with his next Duty Station somewhere in the Republic Of Vietnam.

            Jack thought that was a good time to alert the Pentagon that he was a classically trained chef and had graduated with honors from the Le Cordon Bleu School and International Institute. As a result, he was promptly redirected to the Pentagon and spent his war years serving Danish on silver trays to the Joint Chiefs Of Staff. And that…is a no shit story.

            Jack was a wage grade employee and made a lot of money compared to me. He went on every fire he could with us to fill out the crew and then he really made some big money. I think he was a Wage Grade 11 or 12.

            Anyway…that man could really cook! I mean…he really was a really great chef! I saved his life one day after we got back from a fire while I was beginning my usual chores by catching up on the compound and district gossip while I had been gone.

            Jack was cooking some land stew for the crew to have a special lunch. Normally…we made our own lunches from everything the Assistant Cook put out while Jack was cooking everyone’s cooked to order breakfast, but on our Camp Days (Sunday) and after returning victorious from yet another campaign fire victory…Veni Vedi Vici, Jack liked to cook something special as a hot lunch for the boys.

            Anyway…Jack was sampling the lamb stew and he started choking and drooling all over the floor while grasping at his throat. I said, “Damn Jack…you’re making me sick to my stomach” so I went outside so I didn’t have to watch whatever Jack was doing. It honestly never occurred to me he was choking to death on a lamb bone that was lodged in his throat.

            Anyway…Jack staggered down the steps to the kitchen after me and by that time his face was turning black. They hadn’t taught the Heimlich Maneuver at that point that I knew of, so I didn’t know what to do so I panicked and started pounding on his back…and a little lamb bone popped out of his mouth.

            Well…we were both pretty shook up and Jack sat there and swore he was going to go on a diet, never eat junk food again (Jack was the informal squad boss of our Pod Squad, plus he was really short) and turn his life around.

            About that time my Number 2 walked up so I had to recount the story about what a hero I was to him in great detail. About the time I finished Jack came back down the steps stuffing a Twinkie in his mouth! Jack looked at me and said, “When you get bucked off the horse….you have to get right back up in the saddle again.”

            That man could make us laugh and that gift was invaluable in the middle of long, cold night shifts staggering around like zombies moping up acres and acres and acres of black, hour after hour after hour after hour from 1800 hours until 0600 or 0700 or 0800, or usually later because there were delays with the relief crews somewhere, always delays, night after long cold night shivering and fighting to stay awake while falling asleep standing up.

            You could never carry enough clothes to stay warm on the fire line…everything was about trying to strike just the right balance between needed line gear to survive and pack weight, but never getting it right. Unless you were SWFF liked Fred and I talked about years ago. Stuff a sack lunch or rat in your fire shirt and an industrial garbage bag in your pocket to use aponcho. strap two flimsy canvas covers with two cheap flimsy plastic quart canteens on your fire shelter belt and call it good.

            Those are some tough crews who never complained. They also never picked up any of their trash after they ate lunch, but they never complained and there isn’t any Veni Vidi Vici for them…ever, all they get are the mop up shifts I described above.

            I already told the story of our first crew cook (Bob) before I was crew boss. Vietnam combat vet who would hurl frying pans in a blinding rage against the wall whenever the omelette he was cooking wasn’t going exactly right while screaming obscenities at the world. That is what woke us up in the barracks every morning. Bob never made us laugh on fires because he was always…cranky. But..he was one hell of a good cook and a good hand when we needed him to fill out the crew to go off forest. Bob couldn’t come close to Jack in cooking skills, but then again, he didn’t graduate with honors from Le Cordon Bleu.

            Now this…this was Bob!

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMQx5WwVg2g

            As far as the other stuff went, that was above my pay grade. Like we have talked about before, I think the hotshot crew boss changed and became more complex after I left the fire line in 1984, with the standardization and professionalization of hotshot crews.

            I never worked on fires above the crew boss job on fires like Eric Marsh did on the YHF. And I never saw my crew bosses before me do it either. And I never saw my contemporaries do it. I’m not saying it wasn’t done, I’m just saying I never saw it done. We were ordered as crew bosses with our crews and that was the position we filled.

            There was NONE of this bare bones skeleton fire team ordering and then strip overhead from crews to fill in the gaps they deliberately created. The USFS didn’t fight fire that way, which is deliberately creating a management crisis and shortage. And that in turn led to the deaths on the YHF as I explained to JD the very first time he ever interviewed me.

            Making Eric Marsh Division Aloha rather than ordering up either a full fire team or a skeleton fire team and then ordering up needed overhead…they saved money for each and every position they deliberately shorted.

            That REMOVED AND NEGATED the built in institutional check and balance to insure the hotshot crew boss isn’t Division Alpha and in a position to givie direct orders to his assistant crew boss, who has stepped up, but in reality…is still the Number 2 who is taking orders not from John Q. Fuck You, but is taking orders from his BOSS back home, not some jerk off he doesn’t know, or care if he knows and will never see again or care if he ever sees again.

            That is fire management by CANNIBALIZATION, and INCEST rather than following established protocols and “best practices.”

            Anyway…I was never in a position to have the kind of experiences you are referring to, those things were above my pay grade.

            My exchanges all went like the example below except for the one time it went different on the Scott Fire of 1983 on the Coronado, and if anybody has forgotten that one, I would love to repeat it…again and again.

            Me: What do you want us to do?

            Sector Boss: You are the hotshot crew boss, this is the first fire I have been able to get out on this year and I couldn’t make it out on any last year or the year before that because I am the timber staff, or range staff, or recreation staff, or landscape architect, or civil engineer back home and I have just been to busy.

            Me: I think we should cut fire line and burn it out, or cut fire line and backfire it, or cut fireline and burn it out and backfire it until we stop the fire and then we should start moping it up until enough SWFF crews get here to replace us.

            Sector Boss: Sounds good. Call me on the radio if you need anything…bye!

            • Gary Olson says

              There are several auto correct mistakes like “use as a poncho” and Alpha…not Aloha, but you will probably get the gist of what I was trying to say, but here kept the Readers Digest Version in case you don’t have time to read my entire post.

              USFS…fight fire GOOD!,

              State of Arizona…fight fire BAD!

              • Gary Olson says

                Now this…this was Jack’s signature song he would bust into somewhere on the slope in the black, just as the sun was strarting to come up.

                And no matter how miserable you were, how cold you were, how hard you were shivering, or how much of a zombie like state you were in…when Jack busted out in his deep baritone with, “I couldn’t sleep at all last night!”

                You knew you had survived one (1) more hellish freezing cold night shift mopping up black as far as you eyes could see!

                https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3uEPDEJbJu0&t=0s&list=PLzNPiMa-b0cHlZAEXYMa7_yHrgr1WI_nV&index=2

            • Woodsman says

              You guys had your own chef? No wonder you miss those days!

              Back to my primary question which unfortunately I made unclear due to multiple topics in 1 post.

              Did you ever witness firefighter(s) deliberately making sure the fire “went big?”

              • Gary Olson says

                Well..I did understand exactly what your question is, but apparently I didn’t answer it very well, so let me try again.

                I was a hammer…all wildfires were nails…I pounded all nails until they were flush. And then I countersunk them.

                That is who I was….that is what I did…that is who the people I worked with were and what they did.

                Nobody ever asks a hammer if the hammer thinks the nail should be pounded on only a little bit.

                The hammer doesn’t think like that. The hammer doesn’t think at all. The hammer pounds the nail. Nobody ever asks the hammer what it thinks and the hammer doesn’t care nobody ever asks it what it thinks. A hammer doesn’t exist to think…it exists to pound nails.

                Everyone who knows or has seen a hammer pound a nail, would never put their hand between the hammer and the nail.

                I was a hammer. I pounded nails. Wildfires were my nails. I pounded them…period.

                That is how I was trained. I didn’t know there were options. I liked pounding nails. It gave me a sense of purpose and of belonging to something bigger and better than myself…a higher purpose if you will.

                IF anyone would have ever ask me or even suggested we let s fire get “bigger” for any reason…that person would have looked like a nail and I would have pounded them flush. And then I would have countersunk them so no one would have ever known they even existed.

                There is right and there is wrong in this world. Doing things like that are…wrong. And everyone who has ever known me would have been afraid to ask me that question. I don’t believe I ever knew anyone who didn’t think like I did about wildfires.

                But then again…I was a hammer, nobody really cared what the hammer thought, not even the hammer.

                With the professionalization of hotshot crews they created a whole different bag of hammers. They were smart hammers, air hammers, pneumatic hammers, people cared what they thought and ask them. Maybe some of them were asked about things like that.

                They took active roles not only in executing operations, but in planning them. In those scenarios there are options, choices, variations, alternatives…I guess? I don’t really know much about it.

                I was a hammer…a big carpenters hammer to be more specific.

              • Gary Olson says

                Well..I did understand exactly what your question is, but apparently I didn’t answer it very well, so let me try again.

                I was a hammer…all wildfires were nails…I pounded all nails until they were flush. And then I countersunk them.

                That is who I was….that is what I did…that is who the people I worked with were and what they did.

                Nobody ever asks a hammer if the hammer thinks the nail should be pounded on only a little bit.

                The hammer doesn’t think like that. The hammer doesn’t think at all. The hammer pounds the nail. Nobody ever asks the hammer what it thinks and the hammer doesn’t care nobody ever asks it what it thinks. A hammer doesn’t exist to think…it exists to pound nails.

                Everyone who knows or has seen a hammer pound a nail, would never put their hand between the hammer and the nail.

                I was a hammer. I pounded nails. Wildfires were my nails. I pounded them…period.

                That is how I was trained. I didn’t know there were options. I liked pounding nails. It gave me a sense of purpose and of belonging to something bigger and better than myself…a higher purpose if you will.

                IF anyone would have ever ask me or even suggested we let s fire get “bigger” for any reason…that person would have looked like a nail and I would have pounded them flush. And then I would have countersunk them so no one would have ever known they even existed.

                There is right and there is wrong in this world. Doing things like that are…wrong. And everyone who has ever known me would have been afraid to ask me that question. I don’t believe I ever knew anyone who didn’t think like I did about wildfires.

                But then again…I was a hammer, nobody really cared what the hammer thought, not even the hammer.

                With the professionalization of hotshot crews they created a whole different bag of hammers. They were smart hammers, air hammers, pneumatic hammers, people cared what they thought and ask them. Maybe some of them were asked about things like that.

                They took active roles not only in executing operations, but in planning them. In those scenarios there are options, choices, variations, alternatives…I guess? I don’t really know much about it.

                I was a hammer…a big carpenters hammer to be specific.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    IF…you have seen that stupid movie, Eric Marsh was talking all kinds of trash I didn’t even pretend to understand about, “I want to do this that and some other things about this and that and some other things and you guys go here and do this that and some other things about this and that and we will go here and there and do all kinds of other things.”

                    He confused the hell out of me because I couldn’t ever figure out what the hell he was talking about.

                    So….let me repeat, for me, back in my day, we did one of the following.

                    1. We cut fireline and burned it out.

                    2. We cut fireline and backfired it.

                    3. We cut fireline and we burned it out AND backfired it.

                    And IF the crew boss said it was Easter, we immediately started searching for Easter Eggs no matter what day the calendar said it was.

                    It was all pretty fuckin’ simple.

                    • Bob Powers says

                      The only thing I ever saw was Lazy Pickup Crews they generally never finished their jobs and we would end up backtracking their leftovers. I do not know if they did this on purpose but could be. As a Sector Boss and a Crew boss I was always making sure the line was complete.

          • Gary Olson says

            It’s been a long while since I have had to break a comment into

            Well.now that I have told you what I know I know, I will now tell you what I think I know.

            My main concern is to always defend how I view myself because that is how I want others to see me as well.

            And I see myself as a grunt and a ground pounder with very highly specialized experience in a very narrow area of WF.

            And you know I like to brag I never worked in any overhead capacity except for the one time circumstances forced me to step in literally on the tarmac and take a Taos NF Type II Crew of lazy worthless WF who were more like an organized criminal gang than they were a fire crew because the CLO didn’t get to ABQ in time to catch the charter jet to the pacific Northwest (Washington) for a few weeks of chasing an escaped burn over Thanksgiving. My assistant of course was there to step in for me with our crew, but as I wrote above, we just didn’t do that.

            And as a result of my very narrow experience, I have a very narrow outlook, but I already covered all of that…so here I go!

            1. I never even caught a hint during my entire career that even the people I think the very worst of…BLM managers have ever done anything for personal enrichment in terms of what most people think of as corruption. That is unless you consider both keeping your job and advancing to much higher jobs as personal enrichment, which I do. Not to punch on my favorite punching bag…Shawna Legarza, oh never mind, I am going there. If she would have done the right thing pertaining to the Battlement Creek Fire Staff Ride, that MIGHT have helped avert or minimize the YHF disaster and as I have written before, even if it were a 1% chance…I would take it. But if she would have done that, she would have demostrated a strong sense of right and wrong, honor, integrity, honesty, courage, etc. and she would have done well in life because she is a very competent, intelligent, highly motivated and impressive person as I have written many times. I don’t know where her top would have been if she were a good person, probably a Forest FMO as a GS 13. I don’t even know what she is now, maybe a GS 15? And without running the numbers, I would guess the difference would be 1 million or more dollars over a lifetime including retirement because she shot up very far and went there very, very, very fast which gives her years…decades to rack up the steps. A GS 15 Step 8 or more with some QSI’s, (I myself received 4 and each one was worth more than 100 grand) now that’s what I’m talking about! So…here is the question. Did Shawna commit fraud for 1 million dollars? I think you could make the argument she did just that, but she didn’t do it because someone offered to hand her one million dollars. That is a really long story to explain I don’t think and I have never thought…Joy is going to find what she has always looked for and so I haven’t even gone to her website yet. I love Joy as all of you know…I just think she goes after things I don’t see., which is why I took a lukewarm approach to what I perceive W is asking about, I think I was also a little naive in my initial response, so I am trying to walk it back or walk it sideways, because I think wrong things are done, they just aren’t done for the reasons most people think they are, which is true graft, corruption and malfeasance with mal (evil) intent. For example, I dumped on my former contemporary hotshot crew boss from back in the day earlier…Tony Sciatica.. I don’t think Tony is evil, just like I don’t think the rest of the Eric Marsh Defense Team are evil. I think they are doing what they are doing because they are NICE people. They don’t want to hurt Eric Marsh’s parents feelings, or his former wife, or his friends, or the rest of his extended family’s FEELING’S. I think people like them have always done the very same thing for the very same reasons all the way back to Gordon King who killed 12 of his crew on the Loop Fire Of 1966. So this is what they do, they all agree to say, “No one did anything wrong.” And so nobody has to fill out one of RTS’s “Hurt Feelings Reports.” And then everyone says…or at least thinks, but we REALLY know what happened so we will keep two sets of books. There will be the official set that explains Gordon King led his hotshot crew into a steep canyon above an uncontrolled wildfire during the height of the burning period in flashy explosive fuels, it was hot dry, windy, very low RH, up Canyon winds and at least 3 other local area (Bob knows a lot of this better than I do since it was his country, crews, etc. but I think I am getting it right more or less) In other words, the El Cariso Hotshots had everything stacked against them except for two things. And those two things weren’t enough to save them. They had Gordon King’s blind ambition and hubris, in addition to one very important thing. They were the only hotshot crew who had been authorized to wear 75 th Ranger Regiment Lookalike Black Berets and it was 1966, two years before the Tet Offensive when we thought Black and Green Berets were enough to carry the day. We were dead wrong. Dang…was that a political slip up, my bad?But neither Gordon King’s attitude nor the Black Berets were enough to save the El Cariso Hotshots from themselves. The only problem I have with the way Tony Sciacca et al think…is I don’t think all of my people get the secret memo and so I think THOSE people are putting MY people at risk and I find that to be unacceptable. My people are GS 462 Forestry Technicians who form the backbone of OUR wildland firefighters Corp. I did become a GS 1811 but I remain a GS 462 to this day. I got a little lost on that one W, but I don’t think anyone will ever find mal intent on any of the things that have been drifting in and out of this conversation on the periphery for years now on the YHF. Misguided people trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings…yes they are there. And my default is the NTSB, what if they never wanted to hurt the feelings of a pilots family? I think it is usually pilot error…right? Or the feelings of an airplane parts manufacturer, or the feelings of Boeing or Airbus to name just two…no one would be any safer traveling by commercial carrier than they were doing the horse and buggy days.

            2. I’m still a little lost, but I am trying to redirect my brain. The second area I think I know about people doing the wrong thing is easier to both identify and quantify and that is when wildland firefighters deliberately start fires. Since I haven’t read either Joy’s website or Dr Putnam’s paper W is referring to, I am using the shotgun approach here to hit my target, so I am at a clear disadvantage here, but I don’t care, I am on a roll. Usually men WF set these fires, but I do remember a female Fire Prevention Technician setting one of the largest and most destructive fires up around Denver several years ago. Those fires were burning in all of that bug killed timber and it got really, really, really bad. But I don’t think that is what W is asking about, but I do know that happens…all too frequently.

            3. I also know there have been instances where pick up fire crews deliberately set fires, not as fire bugs, but because Mama needed a new pair of shoes and Daddy needed a new snowmobile and it got so bad in Alaska, the Alaska Fire Service had to fly other fire crews thousands of miles so as not to reward the arsonists. But I don’t think that is what W is specifically asking about either?

            • Gary Olson says

              Part II

              4. So…are wildland firefighting managers deliberately allowing fires to not only start, but get bigger before they step in to put them out? There are two reasons I can think that could be happening. First…everyone knows if you don’t spend your budget by the end of the year, they assume you can live on the lessor amount during subsequent years and no one wants to have their budget permanently slashed just because they didn’t spend all of their money. I do know as the Drug Enforcement Coordinator for both BLM Arizona and BLM New Mexico at different times, I was called upon to do some very serious last minute ordering so as to not leave Pappy Bush’s money on the table. To get er done though I had to revert to things like multiple two hundred thousand night vision telescopes, not night vision goggles, night vision telescopes and gyroscopic stabilized camera’s for helicopters…it wasn’t easy, but I had my gung ho can do hotshot attitude so I got it done. We never used any of that kind of stuff because it was too specialized and complicated to really use, but that was never the point during the War On Drugs, the point was for the White House through multiple administrations to report we must be winning the drug war because we keep spending more and more money every year. Do WF managers do similar things with wildfires? Not that I ever heard of.

              5. Which brings me to my final point that I probably could have started with because I often tell people how to build a watch when all they did was ask me what time it was. And that would be to let fires get bigger so as to cheat on prescribed fire stats to pump up the acreage a manager can claim, and make no mistake, those figures are tied to hard targets that are reported up the food chain and lots of money in terms of bonuses are riding on achieving those targets. But I don’t think that is happening either, except perhaps in a very limited amount by my favorite agency to pick on, the National Park Service. The BLM doesn’t even do any control burns based on my knowledge nationwide, nor does the BIA from what I know. The BIA is an odd duck, for lack of a better term, as a partner wiland firefighting agency. And that is because they literally do everything for an entire subset of our population…everything. The same people are budgeting for jails, entire police forces, all social services, medical care, education and the list goes on and on so it is often hard for them to concentrate on any one thing…like letting wildfires get bigger so they can claim hard target acreage when they probably don’t have any hard target control burns in the first place. The same goes for the USFWS and all of the lessor primates in our family of mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, great apes, monkeys, lemurs etc, so on and so forth. The only ones I think are candidates for letting wildfires deliberately get bigger to cheat on prescribed fire targets is the USFS and NPS. I just don’t think the USFS does that, at least that I have ever heard about, but as we all know…what I think I know is VERY dated. For my money, the USFS has always been just too risk adverse to do something that stupid. Those prescriptions are very complicated cases with a lots of ins, lot of outs. And the odds of everything lining up under just the right circumstances, with just the right wildfire, at just the right time, in just the right way, and in just the right place, with just the right conditions? I think the odds are just too astronomical and the USFS is just too good, not to mention risk adverse, wait…I did already mention that one. There are three things, as I have written before that are more important to the USFS than anything else, and those three things are,

              1. Tradition

              2. Tradition

              3. Tradition

              And to my knowledge, the USFS just didn’t have a tradition of doing something so reckless, dangerous, foolhardy, frivolous and irrational to subject peoples lives and property to such inconstant, capricious, wayward, and random form of extreme danger…and for what? A few more acres catalogued at the end of the year to meet or perhaps even exceed hard targets? I just don’t think the USFS has, or ever will go down that road.

              So…how about the National Park Service!? What do I think about them? Yes…I think as an agency they are just that arrogant and filled with hubris, in addition to being way more STUPID than the minimum they need to be to be just that STUPID. in fact….I think that is EXACTLY what they did with the ChimneyTops II Fire, because there are three things the National Park Service always demonstrates in excessive and inexplicable quantities.

              1. Arrogant and being convinced of their own superiority, although I have no idea why?

              2. Arrogant and being convinced of their own superiority, although I have no idea why?

              3. Arrogant and being convinced of their own superiority, although I have no idea why?

              I think they are 100% responsible for all of those horrible deaths of the very people all of us are paid good wages to protect. And it is my sincere prayer that when all,of those who are responsible for those horrible deaths of our people, which included young children, and that responsibility goes far beyond the boundaries of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, meet our Creator…each and every one of them burns in hell so they will know how those who were burned alive felt. We can only pray that sweet death released them from their agony with.a kinder and gentler means such as death by smoke inhalation to die, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

              • Woodsman says

                Wow! Powerful response & perspective. Thanks!

                Also thanks for admitting that your perspective is mainly upon your service some years ago.

                This is not meant to disagree with you but merely to add to the discussion, what if I told that in the last 5 years I’m aware of a wildfire in a national forest in which public notification had taken place by posting paper maps, info, etc of a planned prescribed burn…..which were subsequently removed from these public places quickly once the wildfire was declared…but not before photos of these notices showed up on social media? There was some serious public grumbling on that one, you can be assured. Would your old USFS do that?

                I agree with your assessment of the NPS as it matches my experience as well…and not just Chimney Tops 2 either.

                Thanks, man

                PS can’t wait for you to read Dr Ps paper!

                • Gary Olson says

                  Well…like we both have said, my reference point is decades old now.

                  What…34 years outdated? And no, the USFS i knew wouldn’t have done that….bummer.

                  I don’t know what to say…so I am going to stop writing now.

                • Gary Olson says

                  W,

                  And just to be clear, I have written many times on this blog that I neither hate nor love the USFS. The USFS in an inanimate collection of buildings, forests, grass lands, policies, rules regulations and ideas.

                  Some of the people who work for the USFS are good…and some of them like Mike Dudley and Shawna Legarza are….bad.

                  This entire exercise has been about 19 WF who didn’t work for the USFS. So…I care about WF…not agencies.

                  It’s a real quirk of fate that my grandfather, myself and now my son all had and have a relationship with the USFS and I certainly loved working for it.

                  But FYI…my grandfather wasn’t a dedicated USFS employee, he was a dedicated rancher and a USFS permittee who was desperate for cash money like all ranchers.

                  Two brothers each inherited a million dollars. One of them was a rancher. When his brother ask him what he was going to do with his inheritance, the rancher said, “Oh…I don’t know? I guess I will keep ranching until all of the money is gone?”

                  My mother said her father loved his cows more than he loved his family. My mother hated his cows because he treated them better than he treated his kids.

                  Gee…maybe my shortcomimgs as a father are genetic…NOTHING IS EVER MY FAULT!

                  And you probably know that as a Mormon from one of the families who settled southern Utah and the White Mountains, he had a lot of family including a whole bunch of kids. Or maybe you don’t know that…say, where are you from anyway? And just WHO are you?

                  All of the family on my mothers side are, or were ranchers. I grew up on ranches. Now…I’m no hat AND no cows.. : )

                  And for those who may be interested just who my family is who settled southern Utah and the White Mountains (you can’t throw a rock at an all employees meeting for either the USFS or BLM in the Great Basin States and not hit a Mormon) It is Hamblin…Goggle Jacob Hamblin.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Oh….and one more thing. Even though I have a deep love and respect for Mormons in addition to a strong affinity with than, I am not a Mormon.

                • says

                  Gary,
                  Given your experience in firefighting do you think that it is possible that a backfire was lit in the sheine area
                  that eventually caught GMHS?

                  • Gary Olson says

                    No…I think that concept is at the heart of what Joy has always hinted at and I have always discarded.

                    It doesn’t actually matter what I think, but thank you for asking. All of us are like detectives from different agencies with different backgrounds and experiences all being temporarily assigned to a major case investigation.

                    All of us come up with different angles and ideas to pursue that we as individuals think may be productive in learning all of the truth at the end.

                    So…if in the end Joy is right and that is proven, it won’t hurt my feelings at all. In fact…if that is what happened, I hope it is proven sooner rather than later so we can move on as individuals to a new line of questioning or angle to pursue.

                    My basic theory still goes like this…because to recap it will help me remember where I am at.

                    1. The city of Prescott wanted to eliminate the GMIHC because in spite of all of their creative financing, the truth was this…the City Of Prescott couldn’t afford the GMIHC because the crew had been sold to the Mayor and city council on a foundation of lies based on the fact they were going to be able to siphon off so much money (steal) from the federal government, the crew would be revenue neutral meaning they were going to be a mechanism to enable the city to steal more money than the crew cost. But once again, it was all alive, told by skillful liars wgphonwere experts in the dark art of bureaucratic doublespeak, e.g., Darrell Willis.

                    Well Diane…it looks like you have struck a nerve with me and I am winding up to hurl more spaghetti at the wall based on my own pet theories and pet peeves.

                    I didn’t know I wanted to answer your question until you ask it, but I really do. I am just going to have to do it in phases because it is actually a very complicated case Diane, there are lots of ins

                  • Gary Olson says

                    PI don’t really know what happened with THAT copy and paste job.

                    No…I think that concept is at the heart of what Joy has always hinted at and I have always discarded.

                    It doesn’t actually matter what I think, but thank you for asking. All of us are like detectives from different agencies with different backgrounds and experiences all being temporarily assigned to a major case investigation.

                    All of us come up with different angles and ideas to pursue that we as individuals think may be productive in learning all of the truth at the end.

                    So…if in the end Joy is right and that is proven, it won’t hurt my feelings at all. In fact…if that is what happened, I hope it is proven sooner rather than later so we can move on as individuals to a new line of questioning or angle to pursue.

                    My basic theory still goes like this…because to recap it will help me remember where I am at.

                    1. The city of Prescott wanted to eliminate the GMIHC because in spite of all of their creative financing, the truth was this…the City Of Prescott couldn’t afford the GMIHC because the crew had been sold to the Mayor and city council on a foundation of lies based on the fact they were going to be able to siphon off so much money (steal) from the federal government, the crew would be revenue neutral meaning they were going to be a mechanism to enable the city to steal more money than the crew cost. But once again, it was all a lie told by skillful liars and experts in the dark art of bureaucratic doublespeak, e.g., Darrell Willis.

                    Well Diane…it looks like you have struck a nerve with me and I am winding up to hurl more spaghetti at the wall based on my own pet peeves and half baked theories.

                    I didn’t know I wanted to answer your question until you ask it, but I really do. I am just going to have to do it in phases because this is a very complicated case, Diane. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Gary’s head. Luckily I’m adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.

                    The other good news is that I am no longer channeling my old back of the hotshot bus self in order to have the courage to speak out on these issues, so no more…you know….bad words.

                    I decided that my goal is to have a book in the end that my grandkids can read, so…I gotta clean it up.

                    TO BE CONTINUED

                    • Joy Collura says

                      Gary,

                      It is obvious you have not been to my webpage…I do not mention backfire…backfire to me is when you have a rapidly advancing fire towards your fire line and you wait for the INdraft of the approaching head (s) and you light off your fire line. I agree with you that it is a big operation requiring coordination and communication. You should visit me and my page sometime…you might learn something. Check your ego qt the door and come visit some time.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Whoops,

                    I guess I should at least try to answer your question before I go off on a tangent, because although I answered it, I think some explanation is in order.

                    So first, please keep in mind all of my original caveats, that include my experience being very specialized and very outdated.

                    Although in this case, my highly specialized experience is very relevant.

                    So…no, I don’t think the crew got caught in a back fire.

                    A backfire is the most dangerous, specialized and technical work any WF can be asked to perform.

                    Timing is everything. A successful backfire also requires a lot of things to line.up just right and timing is EVERYTHING.

                    Based on my experience, most WF do not use backfire because of the reasons I mentioned previously and therefore that assignment is left to hotshot crews and highly experienced overhead supported by hotshot crews.

                    The biggest reason I don’t think a backfire caught the crew is because to prepare for a backfire requires a lot of planning. And I haven’t seen any evidence the fire team on that fire had the ability to plan for lunch.

                    In general, you need a line to fire from, a large group of highly trained people to do the firing and hold the line simultaneously and most importantly in terms of preparation, you need to have a large quantity of ignition devices that are not routinely carried by anyone other than hotshots who tend to carry them only in small numbers for exigencies circumstances, not for large preplanned operations.

                    The only part of that equation that may have been partially in place that day was the now famous Cory Ball dozer line, I think.

                    But…I also haven’t studied maps, photos, videos, or witness statements because I depend on our AI to do that for me and advise me of anything important I need to know.

                    I also know all of the things I just mentioned are some of Joy’s specialities and she knows way more than I do about almost everything pertaining to this fire. Basically, all I have is my gut instinct based on my experience.

                    So…with all of that being written, I am also going to dust off one of my classic theories to explain why I don’t think the YHF overhead, or anyone else went down that road.

                    And that is my “Paint By The Numbers” theory of fire operations. As I like to brag, I never served or even trained in any overhead position and certainly includes graduate and Phd course work.

                    As you probably know, WF courses have or had, identifiers assigned to them like the most basic courses, S110 and S130. The PhD course was, or is, called Fire Generalship (I think).

                    I think that is where all aspiring overhead all get together and okay a war game after studying the course material, probably for a couple of week or more down in Mariana. “Down” in Marana is the standard way to identify what was, or still is the National Advanced Resource Training Center at the joint CIA and USFS base at the Pina, Air Park about five mikes north of the farming town of Marana, Arizona. If you decide to go…be sure and take all of your own drinking and bathing water.

                    That joint base, which included one of my prime destinations for many years also included FLETC West until former Senator Pete Dominici Of New Mexico decided to pay off a political supporter by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy and fix up a defunct Christian Bible College “down” in one of the most God.forsaken, bleak, barren, Hell holes nestled among hundreds of thousands of acres of flat wind swept BLM alkali deserts in the world…Artesia, New Mexico near where they are storing a lot our nations spent nuclear material in underground salt caverns. One of my proudest moments was when I was part of the interagency task force that transported the first shipment of such waste from Los Alamo’s New Mexico to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant nearby to begin its first 10;000 year internment. The Certificate Of Acheivment I received for that accomplishment is the only one I still have on display in my bathroom.

                    Whoops, got side tracked again.

                    Back to down in Marana, which has been in existence as a joint USFS and CIA base since the USFS provided cover that enabled the CIA to fight its dirty wars in Laos Cambodia and other places in later years like Nicaragua by providing a place to store and maintain all of those really big transport planes the government doesn’t own or fly out of Marana. Somtimes in the morning in the chow hall it would look like a United Nations gathering of flight crews eating breakfast in flight suites with patches that had languages on them I couldn’t identify.

                    Anyway, all of the aspiring overhead get together to get highly inebriated for a couple of weeks while they also play war games. Finally…I can make my point, the war games they play are based on the same paint-by-the-numbers paintings they sell at hobby and craft shops.

                    They start with 1….and then look for 2….and then look for 3….and then look for 4…you get the “picture”…right?

                    The Yarnell Hill Firemay have started on “1”, but then it exponentially jumped way ahead in the linear numbering sequence while the Yarnell Hill Fire Team was still looking for number “5.”

                    So no…I don’t think anyone ever planned, prepped for, or executed a backfire to catch and kill the crew on the YHF. That fire team never managed to relieve CHAOS from running that particular goat roping and rodeo.

                    I think I’m doing pretty darn good at NOT cussing up a storm…but it has been very hard on me.

                    And besides that…who needed to ignite a backfire when everyone already had a firestorm of Biblical proportions bearing down on them way faster than their brains could compute the danger their bodies were in while it rained burning material down on their heads from the well developed pyroclastic cloud of black smoke and ash that towered above them reaching up tens of thousands feet towards the blazing sun they could no longer see in a scene that was stripped right out of Dante’s Hell on earth?

                    • Gary Olson says

                      I think this is one of my more quotable quotes,

                      “The YHF Team utilized and relied on proven linear thinking and problem solving techniques while playing by the old rules as they faced and attempted to engage an exponentially growing threat that ignored not only the old rules, it incinerated the entire rule book right before their astonished, confused and dumbfounded faces.”
                      C. G. Olson, 2018

                    • Gary Olson says

                      I think this is one of my more quotable quotes,

                      “The YHF Team utilized and relied on proven linear thinking and problem solving techniques while playing by the old rules as they faced and attempted to engage an exponentially growing threat that ignored not only the old rules, it incinerated the entire rule book right before their astonished, confused and dumbfounded faces.”
                      C. G. Olson, 2018

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Oh…and one more thing. The fire did EXACTLY what the fire weather meteorologists said it was going to do EXACTKY when they said it was going to do it.

                      So…you know, that wasn’t fair. How could they have possibly prepared for such a compketly and accurately prdicted outcome?

                    • Woodsman says

                      You’re assuming a backfire is planned out in detail before any take place on every fire in this day and age. In an ideal world, yes. Today’s world? Not a given.

                      You underestimate the lack of skill & experience of the gaggle of battalion chiefs & other assorted characters assembled through the “I scratch your back – you scratch mine (oh, & sign my taskbook, will ya?) netbook at the Yarnell Hill fire. Anything and everything is 100% on the table until ruled out with evidence.

                      I’m a self-declared special case. I believe only the not possible is impossible. Everything else is possible.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Oh…I didn’t take the time to state the obvious…I don’t think a spontaneous or informal backfire killed the crew or even happened either.

                      I am less certain that no one ever whipped out a fussee, popped the cap on it and went to work, but I am as certain as I can be just by guessing, that no backfire or human caused ignition killed the crew. I don’t think there was time. I think that fire reversed itself and swept back down that valley and ultimately button hooked on that box canyon, trapped and ultimately killed our crew.

                      EXACTLY when the fire weather meteorologists said it would do several hours before it actuly did.

                      Gee…wouldn’t every profession who deals with catastrophic disasters love to have a crystal ball and a group of mystics who can accurately predict the future of such disasters? You would think that would be really helpful in order to AVOID them or at least mitigate the damage they cause?

                      Oh…and one more thing. Law Enforement uses a Force Continuum when reacting to the escalation of or engaging a threat.

                      In general, it goes like this,

                      1. Physical and command of presence.

                      2. Voice commands.

                      3. Open hands and control holds

                      4. Closed hand strikes.

                      5. Chemical use.

                      6. Baton strikes.

                      7. Non lethal rounds

                      7. Deadly force.

                      But if a bad guy jumps right to using a gun, no one expects them to react with just disapproving looks.

                    • Robert the Second says

                      Gary,

                      Who said anything about a backfire? I did not get that from reading any of her posts.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      And I am pretty sure I was ahead of Fred by stating I believe that if the crew would have run towards Marsh instead of Marsh ruining towards them, they could have had a good laugh at how exciting it has been and how close they had come to being killed.

                      But, I really liked the time and clock numbers Fred supported our theory with and I am going to use them in my book as prima facile evidevs the crew could And Ian pretty sure I was ahead of Fred by stating I believe if the crew would have run towards Marsh instead of Mary ruining towards them, they could have had a good laugh at how exciting it has been.

                      But, I really liked the time and clock numbers Fred supported our theory with and I am going to use them in my book as prima facia evidence the crew could have survived without giving Fred the credit fior researching those numbers…so, heads up on that one.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Bummer…now I got The Woodsman, Fred AND Joy being snippy with me.

                    Well..Fred, the person who mentioned backfire was Diane, that is the person who ask the question I was attempting to respon to.

                    I kind of just threw Joy in the mix because it seems to me that for the past several years, Joy has been the one pushing the concept that the crew was killed by a backfire that was ignited in the Shrine area?

                    If…I remember that wrong, than please accept my deepest and most humble apology to both you and Joy?

                    But…in my defense, Joy throws out so many hints. innuendoes, and promises of producing the Holy Grail in unknowns based on people who are telling her some things behind the scenes, while she constantly cajoles them to come forward and reveal all to our audience but they never do, I get more than a little dazed and confused.

                    And as far you go…little Miss Smarty Pants…if I knew the link to your website…I would visit just to say “Hello.”

              • Gary Olson says

                W,

                Wait just one minute, Did I still miss by a mile? Is the actual suggestion or even accusation that some wild land firefighters have let some fires get bigger, just to let them get bigger? To what end? To make a few more dollars when they do finally go to suppress them?

                I can’t fathom that to be true and if it is, that concept is an abomination to everything we stand for and I hope some people go to prison.

                I just can’t believe that is true and I am probably the most cynical person I know. But…if Dr. Putnam is going there, or has gone there…I’m not going to dismiss the idea no matter how inconceivable it may be to my way of thinking.

                We think reburns are anathema to everything we as a culture believe, much less letting fires get bigger for, once again…for what…more money?

                I don’t know any WF who ever did that job for money. The money is part of the equation of course…everyone has to feed their monkey, but like I wrote earlier, those who do it for money don’t last long because the money just isn’t that good. It is about being part of something bigger than yourself and answering a higher calling.

                I already wrote about the head game I always played with myself as we drove or flew towards a big, bad, black or dark grey smoke column laying over horizontal to the earth while it waited for us.

                As I studied the column to assess what we would encounter when we got there, I would mark a spot, look at the column at that instant and then whenever we did leave, I would turn and look back where the smoke column had been at that same spot and it was always…gone.

                VINi…VIDI…VICI…and not for MONEY!

  29. Woodsman says

    I read Dr. Putnam’s paper that Joy posted a link to at her new blog. You know, the one the Lessons Learned Center refused to acknowledge the existence of multiple times. Gotta say that I have that sinking feeling in my stomach…again. I had no idea about Mann Gulch & the likelihood of (and major suggestive evidence of) a fire deliberately set below the crew. So….the coverups have been part of our institution since the 1940’s? Good God, man. I’m getting callouses on both my face & palm at this point.

    I see the potential for serious commonalities between Mann Gulch, Battlement Creek & Yarnell Hill, although each had different specific motivations for the act, each one shares a common physical theme: fire deliberately set below a crew…whether those setting the fire knew of the danger the would be trapped crew was in or not.

    Which fire(s) have I left out with this common physical occurrence? There must be more.

    All signs point to serial coverups going on a cool century now unless something changes. Will it change? I’m normally a fairly optimistic guy but my gut tells me NOPE. It won’t. I spit in “management’s general direction. Go to hell, weasles. You pension clinging fucks!

    Oh, & I’m not raging. I’m shattered. I’m devastated by the lies & deceit. I’m crushed that what should be good is actually shit. USDA prime feces. All of it.

    Doesn’t mean I’ll give up. Hey, it’s a character flaw or a gift…either way you want to look at it is fine by me. I’ll stop speaking up when I die, thank you very much.

    By the way, it wasn’t hard to figure out why the LLC refused to acknowledge the paper – they ” can’t. ” What a bunch of useless, taxpayer $$ sucking, worthless charlatans. Lessons Learned Center? Ha!!! Good one!

    Wood

    • Woodsman says

      Oh & my personal tragedy fire is Stanza. You forgot to mention in the report the freshly graded road with loose shoulders, inadequate width in the switchbacks, no room to pass for 2 vehicles meeting on most of it, no traffic control for when vehicles would meet ( how would you like to be in an old jalopy of a crew school bus for that? Don’t look down! We could barely make the turns with no oncoming traffic!)…..NO, you just had to blame most of it on the driver of the engine. You got blood on your hands, assholes. And it won’t wash off. Live with that!

      OK. That was a touch of anger but can you blame me?

    • Woodsman says

      And I’m not talking about Wag Dodge’ escape fire either. Read up on the local ranger & contemplate his possible motives based on others testimony & the physical evidence. The ranger’s professor (he was a college student) investigated the fire behavior indicators with the ranger & never lived to tell what he discovered as he died of a heart attack coming out of the gulch. What were the circumstances surrounding that?

    • Woodsman says

      But I’ll survive. After all life is tough. Just don’t call me a fool for having the inability to trust others until they have prove trustworthy.

      • Robert the Second says

        Woodsman,

        You make many good points about the causal commonalities between the epic wildland fatality fires which include covering up the truth about what really happened and why and completely ignoring the human factors leading up to the events, the steady drift into failure.

        instead, the Investigation Teams first determine a “conclusion” and then support their fabricated “conclusions” with supposed “facts” to fit. I know this from personal experience on a 1996 fire shelter deployment investigation as the Operations Specialist.

        The Human Factors “expert,” a PhD from the Univ. of ID, briefed us on this very thing – first establish a conclusion and then find the “facts” to support that “conclusion.”

        Dr. Putnam’s 2011 IAWF paper more or less reveals the same thing.

        Regarding the WFLLC, I will avoid going so far as to say that they are “a bunch of useless, taxpayer $$ sucking, worthless charlatans.” I know there are some good people in there, all former WFs as far as I know, and maybe they were directed to not reply to either Dr. Putnam or myself. And maybe there are some gutless obsequious sycophants as well, just doing what they’re told.

        This OMG dreadfully frightening situation places these employees in a Catch-22 of following orders or defy the orders and risk adverse action of insubordination or failure to follow orders. Remember, in at least the Federal Govt., one must follow orders unless they are “illegal, immoral, unethical, or unsafe.”

        Some may throw down the moral relativism card. Moral relativism holds that moral judgments are either true or false relative to some particular worldview and that no wordview is uniquely privileged over any others.

        I’m still patiently waiting for the WLFLLC to acknowledge my contribution to starting up the WFLLC under Paula Nasiatk with my 60 or so wildland fire Investigation Reports on fatalities and shelter deployments and more.

        Keep talking and writing about the Stanza Fire in order to heal on your lifelong journey of remembrance and more importantly, ridding yourself of the triggers that bring you back there.

        • Woodsman says

          I agree that I was a little harsh on the lower levels of the LLC. I believe the mechanism at work for the entire bureaucracy is similar to most large organizations: low-level members are not advised of the big picture & ultimate goals/purpose of the organization, incrementally as members move up in the organization they are given more enlightenment of the purpose (which incentally is a defacto reward for going along with it), and finally those that have proven themselves most trustworthy of harboring & cultivating the continuation of the big secret land in the top leadership positions. Thus the machine is self-sustaining with a life of its own.

          So my broad-brush condemnation of the entire wildland coverup machine could be considered unfair…as many do not know what they are helping to prolong…until it’s too late.

          Weak-minded easily manipulatable people end up in top management positions because of what they must do or not do in order to please the ones sitting in the big chairs. Unfortunately, many of these people climbing the ladder are lead to believe that if they “cover this time” changes will be made outside the courtroom or 3rd party oversight. This is false as true change doesn’t ever come.

          My thoughts on the matter anyway…

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            You realize you just perfectly described the structure of the Scientology organization./cult… right?

            The ‘move up’ from being just a CLEAR to full blown THETAN?

            Ask Tom Cruise. He’ll verify.

            • Woodsman says

              No. I didn’t realize that. I think the concept is not the exclusive domain of Scientology & I’m no expert there for sure. It’s prevalent in many organizations in my opinion. Thank you for the feedback. Hopefully I have provided occasional useful nuggets amongst my emotional reactions to tragedy fires of my own. The awakening is very slow until it isn’t. One day it all comes crashing down.This is my method to address the frustration.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                Reply to Woodsman post on
                July 3, 2018 at 7:47 am

                >> Woodsman said…
                >>
                >> I think the concept is not the exclusive domain
                >> of Scientology & I’m no expert there for sure.
                >> It’s prevalent in many organizations in my opinion.

                Yes, it is.

                Some moreso than others. The parallel(s) between your organizational description above and Masonry are also there.

                Upward mobility in Masonry is also based on first ( and foremost ) demonstrating ‘loyalty’ and the ‘ability to keep secrets’… and the ‘carrot’ that is dangled is always that the more loyalty you show… the more ‘secrets’ you will have access to… and on and on until you then become one of the ones demanding loyalty and imparting ‘secrets’ yourself… and deciding who ‘advances’ and who doesn’t.

                And the wheels on the bus go round and round.

    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

      Woodsman said:

      “Doesn’t mean I’ll give up. Hey, it’s a character flaw or a gift…either way you want to look at it is fine by me. I’ll stop speaking up when I die, thank you very much”.

      They believe it’s a character flaw, I believe it’s a gift.

      Having said that, I have the flaw of the tendency to trust others until such time that they prove untrustworthy. That flaw has burned me more times than I would care to admit.

      • Woodsman says

        TTWARE,

        Thank you for the support. As you know it’s not easy. You are less pessimistic than I am. That can be a very good thing. You are fortunate. I appreciate your contributions. Hang on to your hat as what I’m feeling is about to unfold is going to be one wild ride. Hold on to what’s true and good. Thanks again.

        Wood

  30. Gary Olson says

    And yes…I do know it was wrong to take crew photos with a suicide victim on the way to the Chalk Fire of 1978 on the Tonto National Forest, Cave Creek Ranger District.

    I can’t explain or justify the way the USFS organized, staffed and managed hotshot crews back in my time as a hotshot during the Dark Ages. The only explanation I can offer is maybe sometimes hard choices had to be made based on the need for hotshot crews and the lack of funding to properly organize, staff, and manage those very same crews? And sometimes, maybe those hard choices had to be made between the lessor of two evils…so to speak. Or perhaps the game was to win as much and as often as possible…even with a losing hand by bluffing?

    I do know a lot about young wildland firefighters, in addition to the demands, complexities and the inherent dangers of putting hotshot crews forward as the tip of the spear while challenging Mother Nature and her destructive wildfires…on her home court. And every old hand who has either read or participated on this thread knows as much as I do about those very same subjects, more or less. And by that I mean that some old hands might know a little more than I do…while others might know know a little less?

    All of us know one more thing for certain though, either I was a very special person indeed to be made a hotshot crew boss at age 23, with a total of 10 months of wildland firefighting experience, even though all of it was as a hotshot…or I was a very dangerous person who was an inherent train wreck just looking for a place to happen. And as I have already assured all of you many times, although I was indeed a cowboy who rode hard for the brand and shot from the hip, I was anything but a very special person.

    In fact…I have stated I was both an accidental hotshot and accidental hotshot crew boss whose primary claim to fame is that I was the last crew supervisor standing, even though I was the junior squad boss, after weeks of fighting the brutal Hog Fire on the Shasta Trinity National Forest of 1977.

    And so that just leaves one other possibility…obviously. Fortunately for those who worked under my command…I never found just the right place to have that train wreck like Gordon King, Tony Czak and Eric Marsh managed to do. There…that is “speaking truth to power”, even though I have always hated that analogy because it just sounds way to pretentious for me to feel comfortable to almost ever use.

    Thank God men like Fred and too many others for me to name, primarily because I don’t know most of them, or even their names and I never will…stepped forward and professionalized our hotshot crews in their long arc from the genesis of hotshot crews in the Cradle of Hotshot Civilization in Southern California in 1947 – 48, to where we are today.

    I have never said this Fred and all of those like him who made this transition possible…thank you! Because at some point…we should stop losing hotshots at the completely unacceptable rate we have up through our shocking loss on the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013. A catastrophic loss that cannot be overstated and literally left us dumbfounded and rocked us violently to our very core while we desperately searched for answers and simultaneously made us seriously doubt who we thought we were…or are…or hoped to one day be?

    But don’t get all mushy on me Fred…I am still going to give you a hard time because you and the Payson Hotshots were such slackers high up in the Wasatch Mountains of Central Utah on the Murdoch Basin Fire of 1979, but l love you anyway…man.

    • Gary Olson says

      And yes…I do know it was wrong to take crew photos with a suicide victim on the way to the Chalk Fire of 1978 on the Tonto National Forest, Cave Creek Ranger District.

      I can’t explain or justify the way the USFS organized, staffed and managed hotshot crews back in my time as a hotshot during the Dark Ages. The only explanation I can offer is maybe sometimes hard choices had to be made based on the need for hotshot crews and the lack of funding to properly organize, staff, and manage those very same crews? And sometimes, maybe those hard choices had to be made between the lessor of two evils…so to speak. Or perhaps the game was to win as much and as often as possible…even with a losing hand by bluffing?

      I do know a lot about young wildland firefighters, in addition to the demands, complexities and the inherent dangers of putting hotshot crews forward as the tip of the spear while challenging Mother Nature and her destructive wildfires…on her home court. And every old hand who has either read or participated on this thread knows as much as I do about those very same subjects, more or less. And by that I mean that some old hands might know a little more than I do…while others might know know a little less?

      All of us know one more thing for certain though, either I was a very special person indeed to be made a hotshot crew boss at age 23, with a total of 10 months of wildland firefighting experience, even though all of it was as a hotshot…or I was a very dangerous person who was an inherent train wreck just looking for a place to happen. And as I have already assured all of you many times, although I was indeed a cowboy who rode hard for the brand and shot from the hip, I was anything but a very special person.

      In fact…I have stated I was both an accidental hotshot and accidental hotshot crew boss whose primary claim to fame is that I was the last crew supervisor standing, even though I was the junior squad boss, after weeks of fighting the brutal Hog Fire on the Shasta Trinity National Forest of 1977.

      And so that just leaves one other possibility…obviously. Fortunately for those who worked under my command…I never found just the right place to have that train wreck like Gordon King, Tony Czak and Eric Marsh managed to do. There…that is “speaking truth to power”, even though I have always hated that analogy because it just sounds way to pretentious for me to feel comfortable to almost ever use.

      Thank God men like Fred and too many others for me to name, primarily because I don’t know most of them, or even their names and I never will…stepped forward and professionalized our hotshot crews in their long arc from the genesis of hotshot crews in the Cradle of Hotshot Civilization in Southern California in 1947 – 48, to where we are today.

      I have never said this Fred and all of those like him who made this transition possible…thank you! Because at some point…we should stop losing hotshots at the completely unacceptable rate we have up through our shocking loss on the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013. A catastrophic loss that cannot be overstated and literally left us dumbfounded and rocked us violently to our very core while we desperately searched for answers and simultaneously made us seriously doubt who we thought we were…or are…or hoped to one day be?

      But don’t get all mushy on me Fred…I am still going to give you a hard time because you and the Payson Hotshots were such slackers high up in the Wasatch Mountains of Central Utah on the Murdoch Basin Fire of 1979, but l love you anyway…man.

      • Gary Olson says

        Whoops major malfunction on my copy and paste.

        And FYI…as I have stated several times on this thread, my hotshot death count includes 12 El Cariso Hotshots on the Loop Fire of 1966, 3 Mormon Lake Hotshots on the Battlement Creek Fire if 1976 and 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots on the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013.

        I exclude the death of 9 Prineville Hotshots on the South Canyon Fire of 1994, which is often mistakenly called the Storm King Mountain Fire in this particular count for this specific purpose.

        It is my preference to count as I do because unlike the other three hotshot disaster fires, the Prineville Hotshot Crew command and control structure was severely compromised on the South Canyon Fire and the 9 person squad of hotshots were under the command and control of others at the time of their deaths unlike the hotshot deaths on the Loop, Battlement Creek and Yarnell Hill Fires. So…your hotshot death count may differ depending on your own methodology and analysis of primary and secondary casual factors?

        Nothing I have written here should be interpreted by any one in any way to diminish the signifance of the deaths of our 9 Prineville Hotshot brothers and sisters on the South Canyon Fire and their heartbreaking loss to all of us and everyone who loved them.

    • Robert the Second says

      Gary,

      I am finally getting around to replying to your post.

      I actually remember seeing your sick as f**ck photos of that hapless suicide victim on the Cave Creek RD.

      I recall that your guys took turns sitting in the guy’s pickup with their arm around the guy to somehow make him feel as if he actually did have some friends in the world.

      No worries about getting all mushy on you.

      You go right ahead and give me a hard time because I was not the supervisor of the Payson Hot Shots at the time. I was the detailed Plesant valley HS Supt. at the time.

      If I recall, you and your Happy Jack HS were the slackers high up in the Wasatch Mountains of Central Utah on the Murdoch Basin Fire of 1979.

      You may recall that the Plans Chief told us that he remembered being on a fire once with both of those Crews. He said that “Pleasant Valley wasn’t that pleasant and Happy Jack wasn’t that happy.”

      And best of all we got to go on day shifts because I told them that is what I preferred. You, on the other hand, sucked up to him and told him “I’ll do whatever you want us to do.” Pretty friggin pitiful even back then.

      It’s okay though because l love you anyway Man.

      • Gary Olson says

        NO…I can’t take any more if this from RTS, or any more of this Kabuki Theatre and charade for that matter, he is right, I was a Suck Up AND a Slacker! There…are you happy now? I have finally spoken some gut level and very painful Truth To Power…I have been bested by the best. So…

  31. Woodsman says

    One of my favorite old timers that raised me in the wildland fire service (RIP old friend) used to tell me: ” you gotta stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. ”

    What I stand for is truth, honor & service.

    I’ve come to realize that our voices are limited & restrained on purpose. Of course I’m talking about the voice of the little guy; technician, crewman, the worker.

    Management assures us that our input is wanted; that we must speak up. Is this true? No it’s not. How do I know this fact? I’ve been speaking up & offering my ideas for 19 years. Not only has it fallen on closed minds & ears, it’s shut doors that I was promised will always be open. That’s the big lie of management.

    How many times and how many ways have you heard that you have a voice in the wildland fire service? Is it real? We have SAFENET & the Lessons Learned Center. Do they work as intended? I say NO! They do not. I’ve posted safenets after fires with significant ‘issues’ and barely a discussion is had about it. Serious incidents are swept under the rug. Why? Am I the only one that’s frustrated by this?

    Why does it take anonymous posting on a blog provided by a hippie independent journalist (you da man, John! Love you, bro!) to let our voices be heard? Do you want your voice heard if improvements can be made?

    I’m here because there is no other viable mechanism for my opinions to be expressed. Oh how we have failed as an institution to foster change and improve the safety & effectiveness of our workplace. I’ve grown tired of the lip-service.

    Good, bad or indifferent what must happen is for wildland firefighters across the country is to say to themselves, enough is enough, & realize the power of their voice. There are few places to make your voice heard but heard it must be. Investigative Media is one place. Find one & make it happen.

    Be proud of who you are and what you do. Be humbled for the reasons you do it. Speak up! The new guy beside you is counting on it & so is his family.

    Don’t be the one who falls for anything.

    Woodsman

    • Gary Olson says

      No truer words have ever been written than these, “Not only has it fallen on closed minds & ears, it’s shut doors that I was promised will always be open. That’s the big lie of management.”

      That is the true “BIG LIE” my old friend, or maybe you are a new friend since I count the few I have in decades…not years? No matter, you are a good friend.
      And as a good friend, I will tell you this for a fact, if you ever wanted to get ahead in this life, you had to start out being a FUCKIN’ WHORE (non gender specific) like Shawna Legarza right out of the fuckin’ gate.

      I mean….she knew she was a FUCKIN’ WHORE (non gender specific) when she was still the crew boss for the San Juan Hotshots when I met her as part of the Battlement Creek Fire Staff Ride Developement Committee in 2006.

      That FUCKIN’ WHORE (non gender specific) told Hardy Blomeke, Bill Moulton, and me at lunch in front of our driver, who was one of her squad bosses, that she was a FUCKIN’ WHORE (non gender specific) right after we told her the truth about exactly what happened and why it happened on the Battlement Creek Fire, which was the same exact truth former Smokejumper and Sector Boss on that fuckin’ God forsaken fire in addition to highly respected and experienced expert on all things pertaining to Wildland Firefighter Safety Dr, Ted Putnam told her a couple of days later.

      And do you know what she said to us? That FUCKIN’ WHORE (non gender specific) Shawna Legarza said in so many words, thanks for the info that Gary has already been kind enough to share with me over the past few months…but it’s like this boys, I’m a FUCKIN’ WHORE, non gender specific, and I have already been notified in too many ways to count that I have been put on a fast track and I am destined for GREAT things and I am not going to fuck that up for you, the truth or the real lessons learned even if it MAY save a crew in the future from being killed by a crew boss EXACTLY like that fuckin’ ego driven egotistical chip on his shoulder nut job who was willing to risk anything to prove himself and his crew as the being better than any other hotshot crew boss and hotshot crew, Tony Czak.

      Wait…have you gotten to know me well enough to know when I am pissed off and drunk enough even though I don’t drink, to know that I don’t care what I write (or say) because I am old and really pissed off because of what happened to OUR FUCKIN’ HOTSHOT CREW, the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew on that God forsaken Yarnell Hill Fire? That crew didn’t belong to Prescott…it belonged to all of us!

      In other words…are you pimpin’ me?

      • Gary Olson says

        And I don’t want anybody else to give me any shit just because Marc blew his head off with a shotgun. Yes…he was a really nice guy, but that isn’t relevant to current fuckin’ events and all of us have sad stories…so fuck off! Like I said…I really don’t give a flyin’ fuck!

        I had two partners who ate their own guns over 20 years…it happens a lot.

      • Woodsman says

        Thanks for the comments & agreement, Gary. I consider you a good friend as well. There’s no substitute for experience. I appreciate you sharing yours. My orders are too continue to gain it & pass on what I can to the next generation…. what I received from the prior generation coupled with that which I have observed myself. It’s the cycle. And these are my self-proclaimed orders. It’s how I was taught & how I am. At least I’m 100% confident I’m NOT a non-gender specific whore! This I’m certain of.

        I should repeat one thing because it’s something I always, always say:

        There’s no substitute for experience. None.

        Woodsman

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Woodsman post on June 29, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      >> Woodsman said…
      >>
      >> How many times and how many ways have you heard that you have
      >> a voice in the wildland fire service? Is it real? We have SAFENET &
      >> the Lessons Learned Center. Do they work as intended?
      >> I say NO! They do not. I’ve posted safenets after fires with
      >> significant ‘issues’ and barely a discussion is had about it.
      >> Serious incidents are swept under the rug.
      >> Why? Am I the only one that’s frustrated by this?

      FWIW… here’s a little ‘insight’ into the actual ‘decision making’ process ( or lack thereof ) up at the infamous Lessons Learned Center.

      The following is a copy of an email that Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center ( WFLLC ) DIRECTOR Brit Rosso sent to one of his BOSSES at the National Park Service by the name of Christina ( Tina ) Boehle…

      Christina ( Tina ) Boehle
      National Park Service
      Acting Branch Chief, Communication and Education
      Division of Fire and Aviation

      3833 South Development Ave. Boise, ID 83705
      208.387.5875

      Rosso was giving ‘Tina’ a copy of a response email that he had just sent back to a lawyer who was researching ( among other things ) the Yarnell Hill Fire and had emailed Rosso and asked him TWO simple questions…

      1. Who decides what materials merit being posted for download on the wildfirelessons.net website?

      2. Do YOU ( Brit Rosso ) really work for the National Park Service?

      Brit Ross ‘replied’ to this lawyer and basically said that HE has the FINAL SAY about what gets ‘posted’ at the WFLLC… and he also said there are (quote) “no hard and fast rules for what warrants posting” ( endquote ).

      He makes NO MENTION of the WFLLC’s actual MISSION STATEMENT.

      He basically admits it all comes down to whether HE thinks anything is ‘relevant’ to the safety of wildland firefighters… or NOT.

      He also verified that he DOES, in fact, ‘work’ for the National Park Service.

      Here is Brit Rosso’s actual response email back to the lawyer…

      —————————————————————————————————–
      From: Rosso, Brit ( brit_rosso (at) nps.gov )
      Date: Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM
      Subject: Re: Two questions for Mr. Rosso ….

      Sorry for the slow response.

      It is a very busy time of year for us here at the LLC.
      So I will try to answer your two questions;

      1 – my LLC team decides what materials merit posting to our web site.
      I have the final say as the Director, but we have no hard and fast “rules” for what
      warrants posting. The diversity of the products sent to us is just too complex to
      build hard and fast rules.

      2 – I do work for the NPS, but the LLC works for the entire wildland fire community.
      We were born out of the loss of 14 firefighters on the 1994 South Canyon fire.
      We lost a total of 34 firefighters that tragic summer. By design we are the “ombudsman”
      or 3rd party voice for the wildland fire service.

      I hope this helps you in your continued efforts. all the best.

      Brit Rosso – Director
      Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
      Work (520) 799-8760
      Cell (559) 827-7607 www wildfirelessons.net
      ————————————————————————————————–

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Brit Ross ( DIRECTOR of the WFLLC ) said…

        “By design we are the “ombudsman” or 3rd party voice for the wildland fire service.”

        ——————————————————————————————-
        om·buds·man
        noun
        noun: ombudsman; plural noun: ombudsmen

        …an official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities.
        ——————————————————————————————–
        Yea… right.

        Who are the ‘ombudsmen’ ( plural noun ) for the ‘ombudsmen’ ( plural noun ), then?

        Cus’ what’s in place right now just ain’t workin’.

      • Joy Collura says

        People in the world would be shocked WHO helped build that center and never shown proper respect of credit…but I won’t say who but hope he does…we will discuss this details today when I get back from an unexpected GMHS event so share the event and more on Brit Rosso tonight

  32. Gary Olson says

    Just saw this on my computer news alert and I don’t have any connection to Arizona or Prescott news alerts in this rain forest, so it must be a nation wide news story…sort of?

    https://www.dcourier.com/photos/2018/jun/28/984961964/

    Stupid fuckin’ people from Prescott and their committee couldn’t even get this right. Let’s see…let’s open up all of the phone lines and ask thousands of stupid fuckin’ people to tell a dozen other stupid fuckin’ people including a bunch of fuckin’ FIREMEN, what should represent a dead hotshot crew, none of which know a fuckin’ thing about being a WF much less a hotshot.

    Take one stupid gag photo in front of one stupid fuckin’ tree that nobody on that crew really gave a shit about, and it symbolizing their existence for as long as that stupid fuckin’ memorial will stand.

    Gee…how about putting that giant colossus Granite Mountain cliff face that the crew themselves selected to represent them instead of some stupid fuckin’ alligator juniper tree. You can’t even make good boards out of a worthless tree like that…just firewood that pops embers all over your carpet…stupid fuckin’ people.

    No hotshot crew in existence, or that has ever been in existence gives a shit about some stupid fuckin’ tree. We cut big beautiful trees down by the thousands to save the FOREST….nobody gives a shit about one stupid ugly worthless Alligator Juniper tree except for the fuckin’. tea sippers and incense sniffers in Prescott who sit around the fuckin’ high end coffee shops sniffen’ each others butt holes…fuck them and that stupid fuckin’ tree.

    I will guarantee you the GMIHC thought that was one stupid assignment, a joke and a complete waste of their talents and they really wished they could see what that fuckin’ tree looked like when it was torched off, which they were secretly hoping it would do in spite of their best efforts.

    That’s how a hotshot crew thinks…or at least one that meshes like a fuckin’ machine made up of sprockets, gears, springs, shafts and cogwheels. Thank you for indulging me…I feel a little better now that I have shared.

    WTKTT is right…you just can’t make this shit up and it never ends. Maybe I should go torch that fuckin’ tree up in their memory? LOL, and if somebody does…LOL, just kidding,(No…I’m not)! Wait…is that a terroristic threat? No…because I’m just JOKING, I’m a great kidder…really?

    • Gary Olson says

      And let that be a lesson for every hotshot crew out there, your latest gag photo might be your last one and then maybe there won’t be anyone alive except for some stupid fuckin’Sad Sack to tell everyone the truth, that was just a GAG photo and was not meant to represent you for time eternity.

      http://ourfiregods.com/happyjackhotshots.html

      Check out the crew video I made to mostly celebrate me…we took a gag photo where we all put orange traffic cones on our heads so we could be like Coneheads Beldar (Dan Aykroyd) and Prymaat (Jane Curtin) from the planet of Remulak, I even wore one on my head.

      But it we would have killed ourselves a short time later, do you think the USFS would have made a memorial to us using orange traffic cones? Well, forget that example…the USFS wouldn’t have cared enough to make any memorial for us…they just would have sent out of chicken shit checks from OWCP and call it good. So…bad example.

      But my point is this…one gag photo should not represent an entire hotshot crews body of work, either one fuckin’ worthless Alligator Juniper tree or Orange Traffic Cones.

      I mean…I was on a drug op with a bunch of Border Patrol assholes one year and we all went into Mexico a few times and I took some gag photos at the one of the strip club we went to…whoops, never mind that story. We’ll save that one for another time.

      But one of the guys….was up on the stage during a strip for the entire house. (he wasn’t even shit faced, but he made a deal with one of the girls…and a deal was a deal) And in the end, he was wearing red bikini underwear! No shit…who the fuck goes on a drug op wearing red bikini underwear?

      How would that look in the OR after you get shot…for God’s sake? What was he thinking? Do you think he would want a memorial of him in red bikini underwear? Well…maybe, that’s another bad example?

      But my original point still stands…the Alligator Junioer Tree was a poor choice, they should have used the CREW’S OWN FUCKIN’ LOGO OF GRANITE MOUNTAIN…WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

      • Gary Olson says

        Oh…and those strip clubs/whore houses in Mexico on the border are reasonably safe because they have a lot of Mexican cops standing around with submachind guns and assault rifles. You know…as long as you keep your pants buttoned down and zipped…WHICH I DID….I’m not stupid you know!

        • Gary Olson says

          Oh…and one more thing. Don’t ever go down there with a badge on you though, if they find that they will shove it up your ass and send you and your head home in separate boxes. So…word to the wise!

          • Gary Olson says

            Whoops…I spent years working on the Mexican border with U.S. Border Patrol Assholes, except that is really a redundant statement since 99.9 of Boder Parton people are flaming ASSHOLES. So…it is really only necessary to say Border Patrol because the ASSHOLE description is a given and REDUNDANT!

            I have taken a vow to be non political from now on, but…it’s no wonder they don’t know where all of those missing kids are, if it was left up to the fuckin’ ASSHOLE Border Patrol you would have to check all of the strip clubs and whore houses on the fuckin’ border to find them…and then buy them back!

          • Gary Olson says

            Not to put to find of a point on it, but it will be the Mexican cops who will pound that badge up your ass and send you and your head home in separate boxes. I don’t even want to think what would happen to you if the bad guys get ahold of you, .it makes me…shudder! And you know…quake in my boots.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Gary Olson post on June 29, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      >> Gary Olson said…
      >>
      >> Stupid fuckin’ people from Prescott and their committee couldn’t even get this right.

      The Prescott Daily Courier
      Article Title: New sculpture will tell Hotshot story through granite and bronze
      Published: June 29, 2018 6:03 a.m – By Cindy Barks
      https://www.dcourier.com/news/2018/jun/29/new-sculpture-will-tell-hotshot-story-through-gran/

      From the article…
      ——————————————————————————————————
      The partnership is hopeful that the total $500,000 cost would be a combination of contributions from the community and from local governments.
      —————————————————————————————————–

      The City of Prescott did not give enough of a shit about the Granite Mountain Hotshots to even preserve ‘Station 7’ ( which they ALREADY OWNED ).

      They sold it to a PLUMBING COMPANY for just $362,000.

      They even had a last-minute bid from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation for an outright-buy of $320,000… but for the sake of a lousy $42,000 the cheapskates still let Station 7 forever become a place that just stores toilets and PVC pipe.

      Now they want to go for a cool half-million ( $500,000 ) and all they get is a piece of sculpture and YABSOAWFF ( Yet-Another-Bronze-Statue-Of-A-Generic-Wildland-Firefighter ).

      And instead of all that material and memorabilia so diligently collected from the Station 7 fences having a REAL place to be displayed ( like the original Station 7 where it all was left in the first place ) THAT group is now relegated to trying to show the stuff in an old Footlocker shoestore in the aging Prescott Gateway MALL… and even then it will only be open on the weekends.

      What a bunch of fuck-ups.

      >> Gary Olson also said…
      >>
      >> No hotshot crew in existence, or that has ever been in existence gives a
      >> shit about some stupid fuckin’ tree.

      According to page 48 of Fernanda Santos’ book “The Fire Line”… when they got to the tree and saw the low-hanging limbs their first and only get-er-dun instinct ( since they were, in fact, just Hotshots ) was to fire up the chain saws and just start WHACKING away at them.

      Despite their efforts… the tree still got ‘singned’ pretty badly, BOTH from their own ‘burnouts’ underneath it AND from the fire that moved through after they left it to its own devices… and the jury is still out as to whether this tree has actually ‘survived’ that whole ordeal… or not. Only time will tell.

      It’s lasted a few years, anyway… so at least that’s a good sign.

      From Kyle Dickman’s book “On the Burning Edge”…

      —————————————————————————————————
      The tree still stood, but the heat had shriveled and curled back nearly a third of the green branches nearest the burnout. Nobody could know whether the ancient juniper had the strength to recover from the stress of the wildfire. Some, like Donut, thought it would surely die. The men sprawled out in the shade of the juniper’s branches and, while eating lunch, made deliberately crass jokes about visiting the tree during firewood-collection season.
      —————————————————————————————————

      And from Brendan McDonough’s own book ( and in his own words )…

      Page 171
      —————————————————————————————————-
      On the third day ( of the Doce fire ), as we were heading back from the fire line, the situation went from depressing to ridiculous, or so I thought. Jesse told us “We’ve been asked to save a juniper tree”.

      “A juniper tree?” I asked. “What the FUCK for?”

      “There’s billions of ’em out there”.

      We ( Hotshots ) spend our careers DESTROYING Juniper.
      It’s like the number one fuel in the Southwest.

      —————————————————————————————————-

      It wasn’t their idea to even try and save it.

      And they certainly didn’t STAY there ‘fighting to save it’, like some people think they did.

      They were given an ASSIGNMENT ( that they at first thought was just weird ).
      It was now their JOB to do something.
      They did a quick clearing-out under the thing…
      And then they just walked away hoping for the best.

      They got lucky ( THAT day ).

      I guess everyone is pretty much glad the tree is ‘still here’.

      I wish THEY were ‘still here’.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Typo in the last post.

        Meant to type ‘SINGED’ ( as in, SCORCHED )… and not ‘singned’.

        Line about should have read like this…

        Despite their efforts… the tree still got ‘SINGED’ pretty badly, BOTH from their own ‘burnouts’ underneath it AND from the fire that moved through after they left it.

        • Gary Olson says

          Well…that begs the question then, “Didn’t anybody read that stupid fuckin’ book BEFORE they came up with that stupid fuckin’ idea?”

          This whole exchange and my morbid memories reminds me of another “no shit” story. We were driving out to some shit project fire on the shit Tonto (Okay…except for the Payson and Pleasant Valley Ranger Districts) I think it was the Chalk Fire of 79; cause I think there is a Chalk Fire every year in that fuckin’ desert cause it’s an important geographic feature although of what…I have no fuckin’ idea?

          Anyway, on our way out there we drove past this guy lounging in the cab of his pickup truck and I said to my Number 2, “Hey Bill…did that guy look okay to you?”

          Bill didn’t know so I turned around to go see and he was a fresh suicide that had blown his brains out. We took some crew photos with him and then I called it in and we went on to the Chalk Fire and Veni vidi vici one more fuckin’ desert fire.

          I’m not complaining mind you, we always called the Tonto our bread and butter because we could count on it to make us some money even during really shitty Fire seasons.

          • Gary Olson says

            Actually…this discussion begs another question I would really like the City Father’s Of Everybody’s Home Town to answer for me.

            “Do those plumbers who bought Station No. 7 have to do push-ups if they step on the black tiles (or was it the white tiles)?

          • Gary Olson says

            That suicide was a clean cut young guy who could have been on the crew and he had a nice truck. I wish I knew what his problem was? I guess it doesn’t really matter, but sometimes I think about things like that? Whatever his problem was, I bet if he would have waited awhile it would have gone away, most problems eventually do if you ignore them long enough. Word to the wise…based on my experiences.

  33. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** NEW ANNIVERSARY – NEW EVIDENCE

    Every year, when one of these ‘anniversaries’ of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy rolls around, new details and/or new photos related to the incident always seem to emerge.

    This year is no exception.

    A number of things have already appeared, even though the actual ‘anniversary’ hasn’t arrived yet.

    I’m going to list just few of them below as ‘Replies’, since each one requires some explanation and some associated ‘hyperlinks’.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      ** NEW PHOTO SHOWING SMOKE COLUMN ENTERING THE BOX CANYON

      KPNX 12 News, based in Phoenix, Arizona, just ran an article about the grand opening of the new “Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center” at what used to be an old Footlocker shoe store inside the Prescott Gateway mall.

      ( Yes… you heard that right… in an old shoe store… in a MALL )

      That article is here…

      KPNX 12 News, Phoenix
      Article Title: Tribute center for Granite Mountain Hotshots ready to open
      Author: Jessica De Nova
      Published: 5:51 PM PST June 25, 2018
      Updated: 6:20 PM PST June 25, 2018
      https://www.12news.com/article/news/local/arizona/tribute-center-for-granite-mountain-hotshots-ready-to-open/75-567450256

      From that article…
      —————————————————————————————————
      PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Nearly a year in the making, a center honoring the Granite Mountain Hotshots is scheduled to open to the public Friday, giving those who visit the opportunity to remember the Yarnell 19 and learn how to prevent another tragedy like this from happening again. John Marsh is chairman of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center board. His son, Eric Marsh, or “Papa” as he was known, was the crew’s leader.
      —————————————————————————————————-

      There are no big ‘reveals’ in the article itself, except, perhaps, for the fact that following the ‘grand opening’ week… this new ‘Public Tribute Center’ will ONLY ever actually be open to the public on weekends…

      …but what IS interesting is the SLIDE SHOW that is included in the middle of the article.

      12 News put together a SLIDE SHOW for this article that has 30 photos of the Yarnell Hill fire from their own original archives.

      Photo number 16 seems to be ‘new’, and never seen before ( at least… I don’t ever recall seeing it before )… and it’s IMPORTANT.

      It might be the best photographic evidence yet of the moment the Yarnell Hill fire was actually entering the box canyon, just a few minutes before all the Granite Mountain Hotshots would be killed by it.

      The photo was taken on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, a few hundred yards SOUTH of the Ranch House Restaurant, on the EAST side of Highway 89 and looking out towards the box canyon and the deployment site.

      The photo was taken at exactly 4:31 PM, just 8 minutes ( 480 seconds ) before Jesse Steed’s first emergency radio callout would be recorded at exactly 4:39 PM.

      I say ‘exactly 4:31 PM’… because unlike a lot of other photos taken in Yarnell that afternoon… THIS one was taken with a network-connected iPhone 4S that always obtains accurate date/time information directly from the cellular network… and the original photo sitting on the ’12 News’ server still has all that ( accurate ) EXIF metadata embedded in the photograph itself.

      Not only does this photo show exactly HOW and WHEN the fireline was entering the box canyon, it also appears to disprove a number of claims made in the original SAIR. More about that in another ( followup ) post.

      I have used this 4:31 PM photograph to create one of those ‘through the looking glass’ crossfades from the photograph itself into the absolute equivalent ‘Google Earth’ view. After the crossfade… it ‘flies around’ the Yarnell/Glen Ilah area showing exactly where the fireline was at 4:31 PM ( as seen in the photo ).

      The video ends back where it starts ( right where the photo was taken ) and then ‘crossfades’ back UP into the original photo again.

      That photo ‘crossfade’ and ‘fly-around’ is here…

      Video Title: Yarnell-1631-crossfade-1
      https://youtu.be/_p6h5m6_W0k

      And here is just some of the ( relevant ) EXIF Metadata embedded in the original photograph…

      ————————————————————————————————–
      Filename: MARY NGUYEN 13 photo_1467319342345_3610850_ver1.0.jpg
      Item type: JPG File
      Size: 752 KB
      Date taken: 6/30/2013 4:31 PM
      Program name: ProCamera 4.1
      Dimensions: 2048x 1536
      Width: 2048 pixels
      Height: 1536 pixels
      Horizontal resolution: 72 dpi
      Vertical resolution: 72 dpi
      Bit depth: 24
      Resolution unit: 2
      Color representation: sRGB
      Camera maker: Apple
      Camera model: iPhone 4S

      F-stop: f/2.4
      Exposure time: 1/40 sec.
      ISO speed: ISO-50
      Focal length: 4mm
      Metering mode: Pattern
      Flash mode: No flash, auto
      35mm focal length: 35
      Brightness: 4.3660418963616321
      Exposure program: Normal
      White balance: Auto
      EXIF version: 0221

      ————————————————————————————————–

      • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

        Strong work WTKTT!

        This seems to confirm what a lot of us suspected all along, that the crew’s view was
        severely obstructed by the 2 boulder-laden hills on the north side of the bowl.

        What we didn’t know at the time in regards to that speculation, was whether or not the wind-event was laying the smoke down far enough ahead of the flame-front to have provided the crew with sufficient advance warning that they obviously should have heeded (notwithstanding the 10/18 and LCES, which I’m sure RTS will correctly toss into the mix, however, as we all know by now, human factors can and will, negate all of those things in an instant!),

        Your video provides a time-stamped record that; (1), shows that at a time when the wind was pounding the fire from the north, the smoke column was still ‘mostly’ going up, and not out, thereby, critically obstructing the crew’s ability to see the actual fire movement because of their location in the bowl; and (2), because of the chimney effect, the fire likely raced around the bottom corner of the most-easterly boulder strewn hill before the main fire front was even visible, as well as, racing in a southerly direction up the shoot between the 2 boulder strewn hills, topping-out almost right above their heads, giving them two “flaming fire fronts” to contend with at roughly the same time.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          The previously-known-about ‘Brian Lauber’ photographs were taken just prior to the one just discovered in the 12News archives… but from from a different perspective that doesn’t reveal as much as THIS photo.

          The Brian Lauber photos were taken looking WEST, but from a point on Highway 89 just north of the Ranch House Restaurant.

          So although the Brian Lauber photos have always ‘suggested’ that the column was still ‘standing up’ circa the 4:30 timeframe… and that there appeared to be ‘clear air’ out in the box canyon itself ( and that it was NOT filled with blinding ‘drift smoke’, as some have suggested )…

          …this photograph and the perspective IT provides PROVES those things.

          1. The smoke column had not ‘laid down’ yet… even just 8 minutes before the first GM emergency radio call.

          2. At 4:31 PM… there is still ( basically ) CLEAR AIR out there in the canyon, and for better or worse, a CLEAR VIEW of what was happening out ahead of them.

          The box canyon had NOT filled with ‘drift smoke’.

          There was still CLEAR AIR out there where they were about to die.

          If they couldn’t see that column starting to come in their direction, even prior to 4:31 PM… it’s either because they were TOTALLY not paying attention… or it was because they were so ‘head deep’ in the manzanita that even after reaching the floor of the canyon they couldn’t see jack shit out ahead of them.

          And speaking of CLEAR AIR… notice something else that this photo proves.

          The RED SIGHTLINE I drew goes EXACTLY from the ‘eye of the camera’, then out past the exact ‘left edge’ of the smoke column, and then continues on out to a spot on the far Weaver Ridge that was STILL VISIBLE from that ‘eye of the camera’, at that point on Highway 89, at exactly 4:31 PM.

          We still can’t, of course, see all the ‘smoke’ that is to the RIGHT ( north ) of that RED SIGHTLINE, because that tall-white column is blocking that view… but we can certainly see there were no ‘smoke columns’ ( at 4:31 PM ) to the LEFT ( south ) of that RED SIGHTLINE.

          And that includes all the way out to the Weaver ridge, to a point that is even farther NORTH of that ‘last resting spot’ where Christopher Mackenzie shot all his photos/videos… and a point that is almost where the ‘Helipad’ was up there at that old hang-gliding circle on the Weavers.

          In the photo crossfade… notice that the moment it ‘fades down’ out of the photograph into the exact equivalent ‘Google Earth’ view… that little RED BALLOON with an ‘M’ on it WAAAAY out on the ridge of the Weavers is VISIBLE. That is the exact location of GM’s ‘last resting spot’ and the place where Mackenzie shot his photos/videos.

          Not only is THAT location still perfectly VISIBLE from where this photo was taken ( as late as 4:31 PM )… even more real-estate NORTH of that point out on the Weavers is ALSO ‘still visible’.

          The SAIR’s original ‘fireline estimates’ for this timeframe suggest that by even a minute BEFORE this photo ( at 4:30 PM ), the fireline was ALREADY racing up the slopes on that northern side of the box canyon ( the side they could not see at all ).

          This photo proves that was definitely NOT the case.

          The SAIR’s fireline estimates actually don’t put the fireline reaching the TOP ( west ) side of that Saddle and being anywhere ‘visible’ up at the point where they ‘descended’ off the two-track road until 4:40 PM.

          So even their OWN fireline estimate charts have never actually matched their ‘narrative’ in the SAIR that somehow… at the same exact moment they saw ‘fire in front of them’, that they looked up and also saw ‘fire behind them’ at the spot
          where they began their descent into the canyon.
          .
          When Jesse Steed first ‘breaks in’ on the A2G radio channel at exactly 4:39 PM… it is obvious that a lot of realizations and a lot of decision making has ALREADY taken place… and they are ALREADY hard-at-work trying to clear out a place in the brush. That has never been ‘over-modulation’ heard in that first cry for help from Steed. There were at least TWO chainsaws running full-tilt-boogie near him and he was YELLING into his microphone in order to even hear himself talk and make sure he is being heard above the chainsaws.

          But the SAIR needed to explain WHY these men might have thought they had no alternative but to deploy their shelters.

          Their narrative NEEDED to suggest that at the moment they realized they were in deep shit ( When? 4:34? 4:35? 4:36? 4:37? ) that they were AT THAT MOMENT seeing “fire ahead of them and fire behind them”.

          That ‘suggestion’ neatly took care of them having to explain why these men didn’t even TRY to ‘drop packs and run’.

          But that ‘suggestion’ has never even matched their own fireline progressions, and this new photo also raises serious new questions about even their own original ‘suggested’ fireline locations in the 4:30 timeframe.

          Like most evidence that emerges… .there are usually more questions raised than answered… but that’s how investigations like this go.

          Example: Where in the hell was Eric Marsh at 4:31, the moment this photo was taken? Was he still anywhere near the BSR? Had he ALREADY rejoined the descending crew after having definitely been ‘out of ahead of them’? From what WE can now see in this photograph… if Eric Marsh had been anywhere out in front of those men then he should have been able to clearly SEE what WE can now see in this photograph. If Eric Marsh really was ‘out in front’ of those men… then why wasn’t he being a successful ‘forward lookout’? When did the wheels actually fall off THAT bus, ,that afternoon?

          Inquiring minds still wanna know.

          • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

            My post above has posited an additional theory, which based upon your cross-fade above, I believe to be quite probable: “……… as well as, racing in a southerly direction up the shoot between the 2 boulder strewn hills, topping-out almost right above their heads, giving them two “flaming fire fronts” to contend with at roughly the same time”.

            This theory is totally separate from the SAIT/SAIR claim that the fire “raced up to the saddle, giving the crew fire fronts in front of and behind them”.

            If you re-look at your video, at the 2:20 mark and looking mostly due south, you will see the shoot/chimney/drainage (not the saddle) between the rocky hills that I believe would have had enough convection current to pull the flames out ahead of the main fire and up and over the top, at roughly the same time the fire was getting pulled around the bend at the base.

            No one will ever know if the crew retreated a bit before finding a spot to deploy, but I think that it’s a likely first instinct when presented with that situation. If they did, though, I think its not far out there to believe that the fire crested between those hills above them at approximately the same time it came ’round the bend’.

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Yes… I see exactly what you are talking about.

              It’s certainly a plausible theory… now that we can see AROUND that smoke column and how much fire there WASN’T ( at 4:31 PM ) out there in that ‘middle bowl’… as the SAIR fire pgrogession maps have always suggest there was.

              The 4:29 PM Brian Lauber photos, taken just north of the Ranch House Restaurant, have always been considered the ‘last look’ at the fire column as it approached the mouth of the canyon. Unfortunately, we can’t see AROUND the smoke column in the Brian Lauber photos.

              Well… now we can.

              The 4:31 PM photo doesn’t lie.

              It allows us to see AROUND that same smoke column seen 80 seconds before in the Brian Lauber photos.

              There is NO FIRE ( or even any smoke to speak of ) anywhere to the LEFT of that RED SIGHTLINE from the ‘eye of the camera’ all the way out to a point on the Weaver Mountains that was far north of GM’s actual ‘last rest spot’…. from which they embarked on their fatal journey.

        • Robert the Second says

          TTWARE,

          Thanks for posting this, however, some clarification is in order.

          “… notwithstanding the 10/18 and LCES, which I’m sure RTS will correctly toss into the mix, however, as we all know by now, human factors can and will, negate all of those things in an instant!”

          Yes indeed. Those pesky human factors, ey. They can either keep you OUT of trouble or steer you headlong into the deep shit as was the case for the headstrong GMHS that fatal day

          • Robert the Second says

            WTKTT,

            Excellent work. Would you please, if possible, add in the Yarnell Fuel/Fire Break along the Sesame Street and The Shrine corridor because there is suggestive evidence that a “maverick” firing operation was taking place

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post
              on June 28, 2018 at 11:58 am

              >> RTS said…
              >>
              >> Excellent work. Would you please, if possible, add in the
              >> Yarnell Fuel/Fire Break along the Sesame Street and The
              >> Shrine corridor…

              You are talking about that original ‘escape route’ between Yarnell and Glen Ilah, correct?

              Former Yarnell Fire Chief Peter Andersen himself described this planned ‘escape route’ in his original interview with InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty…

              The Phoenix New Times
              Article Title: Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Ignored Major Mistakes by the State
              Published: October 16, 2013 | 12:00pm
              Author: John Dougherty
              http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/yarnell-hill-fire-investigation-ignored-major-mistakes-by-the-state-6667860

              From the start of the video interview with Chief Andersen…

              —————————————————————-
              Q: Was the State totally aware of the volatile situation here ( in Yarnell )?

              Absolutely.

              Q: Did you talk to them personally… here?

              Ahm… one of the supervisors for the State, on Fri… Saturday night when I went up to the fire station… had formerly been a guard ( Andersen makes quote marks in the air with his fingers for the next word ) “firefighter” on a prison crew… and then he wanted to get outta the DOC part… so we hired him here as a firefighter/EMT. So he was on my department for maybe six months or longer. Knew him very well. He KNOWS this area. He KNOWS what this area is all about and the fire danger here.

              Q: Who was that?

              That was Phil Brullio.

              Q: Did you feel like there was sense of urgency.

              ( Immediately and with emphasis ) NO.

              Q: Did you feel like they just wanted to let it burn?

              Yea… actually. I did.

              Q: Describe that… why did you think they just wanted to let it burn?

              Because I told several of the people that our prevailing winds up here come from the southwest, typically, and they don’t start up in the morning until between 8:00 and 9:00 o’clock. I said… this being summertime… that’ll give you three hours free without wind at your backs to be able to get this thing under control.

              My wife and I come out here and have our coffee in the morning.
              We’re out here from maybe 6:45 or 7:00 o’clock… and…
              At 8:03 Granite Mountain Hotshots’ two buggies went by.
              Right after they went by… the leaves started to blow.
              I just shook my head.
              They ( the State ) didn’t listen to me.

              Q: They got here too late?

              Too LITTLE, too late.

              They got dozers out there… ah…

              We built an emergency escape route for Yarnell in case there was a burnout like this and people were unable to get out. We had an emergency escape route for either Yarnell to get out through Glen Ilah or Glen Ilah to get out through Yarnell… and it was back there… well… it went through that area below the Shrine… west of the Shrine… and they had dozers back there widening that so that it would create a fire break.

              Too little, too LATE, man.

              You shoulda been done doin’ all that Saturday morning.

              ( snip )
              ——————————————————————–

              This ‘escape route’ that they were trying to turn into a ‘firebreak’ on Sunday, June 30, 2013 is already clearly visible in the recent video upload.

              If you pause the video at +58 seconds, then the part of that ‘firebreak’ and road system that was designed to be used as an ‘esacpe route’ to/from Glen Ilah/Yarnell is clearly visible on the right side of the video frame.

              The BLUE ‘balloon’ that marks the ‘DOZER Staging area’ is the beginning of that ‘escape route’. That point is right where the pavement ends for both Lakewood and Manzanita. The ‘road’ leading north from that place where both the DOZER loboy and the Blue Ridge Superintendent vehicles were ‘staged’ is clearly visible in the video frame leading NORTH from the BLUE ‘balloon’.

              If you pause the video again at +1:35, that same ‘escape route’ road system is again clearly visible in the upper right corner of the video frame. The ‘rock-face mound’ that has now appeared in the extreme upper right corner is, in face, the Shrine Road and Shrine Road Youth Camp area(s).

              At +2:17, and now ‘flying back towards Yarnell’, the Harper Canyon, Shrine Road Youth Camp and Shrine Road area(s) are now clearly visible on the upper LEFT side of the video frame. That ‘escape route’ road system leading from Shrine Road area back over to Glen Ilah and that BLUE balloon marking the ‘DOZER Staging area’ are also clearly visible ‘on the ground’ there.

              At +2:31… anotherr good view of the ‘escape route’ between Glen Ilah and Yarnell. It’s now occupying the bottom left corner of the video frame.

              At +3:05… probably the best view of this ‘escape route’. It’s now in the foreground and occupying ( from left to right ) the bottom center of the video frame over to the bottom right corner.

              >> RTS also said…
              >>
              >> …because there is suggestive evidence that a
              >> “maverick” firing operation was taking place.

              There have ALWAYS been ‘suggestions’ that there were “maverick” firing options taking place the afternoon of June 30, 2013.

              They have ranged from actual testimony about it happening from Peeples Valley firefighters ( which they later mysteriously retracted? ), to reports of spent fusees being found ‘out there’ ( even supposedly by Type 1 IMT Alan Sinclair ), to reports of photos and videos showing it happening.

              But so far… the only KNOWN ( and provable ) ‘manual burnout’ that took place that day was SPGS2 Darrell Willis’ team ‘torching’ the side of Hays Ranch Road as they were evacuating from the Double Bar ‘A’ Ranch that day. That ‘torching’ may have contributed to the fire that encroached on the Sickles Ranch Road area, up by Peeples Valley, but it was all too far north to have contributed in any way to the conflagration down in Yarnell/Glen Ilah.

              For the record… I ( me, personally ) am still ready to believe just about anything regarding this Yarnell Fire thing. So I am not ( nor will I ever ) say it is NOT POSSIBLE there MIGHT have been some “maverick” ignitions there near Yarnell or Glen Ilah that day…

              …but you know me. I am all about EVIDENCE… and whether something is PROVABLE.

              With all the KNOWN lies and half-truths that have already come out of the mouths of just about everyone who worked this fire and is still alive… nothing would surprise me, at this point.

              Hell… it wouldn’t even surprise me to learn that ( perhaps ) Blue Ridge Hotshot Cory Ball himself was just willy-nilly tossing lit fusees off the dozer that day as he rode back south with dozer operator Paul Morin to where the dozer loboy was staged.

              Blue Ridge Hotshot Cory Ball’s ( and Paul Morin’s ) whereabouts and actual ‘actions’ during the late afternoon are still shrouded in mystery…. when they should NOT be.

              Who knows. Given the level of ‘cover-up’ that has ALWAYS been ( and is STILL ) going on… just about anything remains ‘possible’… I suppose.

              • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                CORRECTION

                I said ( above )….

                ——————————————————————
                But so far… the only KNOWN ( and provable ) ‘manual burnout’ that took place that day was SPGS2 Darrell Willis’ team ‘torching’ the side of Hays Ranch Road as they were evacuating from the Double Bar ‘A’ Ranch that day. That ‘torching’ may have contributed to the fire that encroached on the Sickles Ranch Road area, up by Peeples Valley, but it was all too far north to have contributed in any way to the conflagration down in Yarnell/Glen Ilah.
                ——————————————————————–

                That is actually not totally true.

                There WERE some other ‘known’ and ‘provable’ times ( on Sunday, June 30, 2013 ) when firefighters were putting ‘fire on the ground’.

                The Granite Mountain Hotshots themselves started a burnout as soon as they arrived up at the anchor spot that day. That is the burnout that was then extinguished via SEAT drops by ATGS Rory Collins, forcing GM to change tactics and ‘go direct’.

                There were also some other ( small ) ‘structure protection’ burnouts by crews working up north in the Peeples Valley area… such as the Globe Type 2 DOC crew and the crew that was working in the Miner’s Camp Road area.

          • Gary Olson says

            Actually…I misspoke when I wrote we are at 99.9% in agreement. My arc bends to more inclusive than yours. I don’t know what my final number will be, maybe 80% “crew” human factors and 20% “others” human factors, although those are still human factors like W said (I think) sometimes bad things happen, but that is because people do stupid things and make bad decisions. I’m going to guess your arc is pretty much true North pointing right at the heart of the crew.? And I just can’t go that far.

            But…as WTKTT just proved in a big way and Joy may be getting ready to illustrate, we don’t know everything…yet. Or at least I sure as hell don’t.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        ** THE BRIAN LAUBER 4:29:39 PM PHOTO

        Speaking of the Brian Lauber photo(s)…

        Below is a link to a ‘crossfade’ on Brian Lauber’s IMG_1334.JPG photo, taken at exactly 4:29:39 PM from Highway 89, just north of the Ranch House Restaurant.

        This ‘crossfade’ video was uploaded to Youtube back on August 4, 2014.

        The interior of the ‘box canyon’ is on the left side of the photo, but is being obscured by that ‘tree’ there in the foreground on the west side of Highway 89.

        The small ‘dark mound’ just to the left of the smoke column is actually that infamous protrusion of the north side wall of the box canyon itself.

        In this photo… taken just about 80 seconds BEFORE the new 4:31 PM photo featured above, we can definitely see that same tall ‘white smoke column’
        acting as the ‘leading edge’ of the fireline as it starts to enter the canyon.

        But ( unlike the 4:31 PM photo ) this photo shows the ‘flames’ as well.

        Notice the CLEAR AIR over the box canyon.

        As the 4:31 photo also shows, the column had NOT ‘laid down’ yet and the box canyon was definitely NOT filling with ‘drift smoke’.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib555t2tTdY

    • Joy Collura says

      This link should also compliment Wtktt on the discussion of plumes as it offers a time lapse video on June 30 from a security camera showing fire behavior and I am already asking owner for original to make sure it was not redacted.
      I apologize but yesterday was more a social day vs getting data on that page but glad I did because I met a man who was YCSO stationed on June 30 2013…a lot of folks who have PRIVATELY shared to me and do not lay in public records if I have not said can I share on you then again stop with the incoming on that topic because your story is safe with me…I know the sensitivity of your positions if you were on the fire or just in the industry. At no time will I throw you and your account in the public eye unless we have discussed it. Air to ground on YHF…your accounts I do think you may have to be pushed out though for the fact Deer Valley Dispatch/Pete Masiel/Paul Morin and Corey Ball and certain dispatch never acknowledge my requests so yeah those folks are not in the clear and your account I may have to if this webpage sharing does not shake the ones to speak up. A lot hoped I would hold fear but I do have a person who is safely allowing God’s plan to connect and sorry for all affected on this 5th anniversary and this Summer my only plan is to drive all over Arizona piecing the interviews and getting the webpage data out there. I have had international response from only 2 blog inserts. I used question formats for title subject to share I am giving some still time to come out and call John Dougherty or email him with your YHF account…if you do not than after all the data is out the world will know looking here I did try…I have a professional grammar helper aka ghost writer who takes my ideas and key points to formulate sentences versus dot dot dot…I want to present the data proper and with the highest respect and with fairness for all.. I trust the person writing my words into real sentences. I know some thought woe Joy…she went to the Wildfire Academy this year and they made me into a smart lady…you better believe it…I learned most instructors currently teaching was on the YHF who only share and discuss if it goes by what Brad Mayhew and his team put out…as the next 5 years unfold you will see these last 5 years and what I gathered and held on but recently was told what I have are the missing swiss cheese pieces and I did not even know it. I am not a firefighter JUST JOY…A housewife hiker. I ate a gluten free 🍕 pizza and its keeping me up…I was invited today and tomorrow GMHS events but my focus this weekend is my 46th bday with family and friends. If I do anything besides my July 1st celebration it will be to jot on that webpage. I am going at it like a person who is Spring Cleaning and so I will do my best to present the data in a way that is mindful and I was pondering Gary if I should post the data where you are talked about and I decided I will present it when I come across it for you but the person will not like it so I may email it and first running that specific area by a lawyer. I can say this wtktt, Brad Mayhew will not be storming to the front of the room to tell me his perception because what I begin to unravel will be the actual data and sources and I bet Brad ends up inside his thougjt process… wishing 5 years ago he interviewed me for the SAIR personally…I am here to state I never had an interview as the eyewitness from the lead investigator at any time since the tragedy that should of never happened…There is a man running in honor of the GMHS…he is gonna be in Congress/Yarnell this weekend…I am so far away from the events and this is my first year I will not be dping the events but I figured how could I honor the Fallen but share what I know about YHF finally. God Bless.

      And as Sonny said and now RTS said…I never met a crazy bed bug or even any…try to not lay my head to meet any to know if they are or not but as I told Strawberry Pine FFs this time taking to share what I gathered is very sensitive matter and I have been moody…I hope for some kick butt cake 🎂and ice cream to kick out the moods once and for all…I just know my family and hubby are glad I am away if I am having these challenges…it such a bullshit to witness…so dumb…and at 4:38am the wrong number text me:
      If you knew who was with you every moment of every day , you would never experience anxiety or fear ever again.
      Just remember, that we can do all things with GOD, who straightens us.
      The power of prayer is much stronger than any negativity or fear and I know you have that power to back you up. I believe in you.
      So even wrong numbers text me stating what I know but not living…have a great weekend best we all can because this time of the year is very hard on me.

  34. Gary Olson says

    Well…I’m just checking in to let all of my friends and confidants know I am doing fine. I have been busy taking care of a lot of personal issues that are even more important than YOU PEOPLE are.

    But…I have been trying to stay current on your discussions so I don’t fall to far behind. I finished my final chapter in just a ouple of days because it was all floating around inside my head already and I just had to type it out. But…I am taking my time editing it because I want to make sure I include all of my thoughts on the subject in one shot so as to cut down on my copyrighted phrase, “Oh…and one more thing” additions.

    And frankly…I don’t think I will have very much, if anything to say after my last chapter has been published, at least until…you know, I get my book finished. I would really like to be a person whose absence is felt rather than a person whose presence is noticed…or something like that?

    I especially enjoyed reading The Woodsman’s explanation of how locking hubs work because there are only three topics that really hold my attention for very long these days and those are;

    1. Guns

    2. Four wheel drive systems

    3. Well…I guess there are only two topics after all?

    But…I do have one (1) comment. Just because WTKTT thinking locking hubs were something you have to lock to keep people from stealing your tires and wheels was just about the funniest thing I have read this year. I mean…it was like…ROTFFLMAO!

    Whoops, got sidetracked again, so here is my comment. That small gap in his data base in no way proves he isnt AI. All that proves is there was a glitch in his (he isn’t gender neutral, we know he was programmed to represent himself with a male personality when he demonstrates any personality at all) in his initial programming and he needed a system patch or bug fix…that’s all that proves.

    I also want to brag…because you know me. When I had my van dropped shipped new to http://quadvan.com/ to be built, I specifically had it built with old school locking hubs just because I like the way they look and I like getting out in the deep mud, snow and sand to remind myself to always follow RTS’s advice and lock them BEFORE I get in troubal. But then again, if I always do that…I won’t get to use my Warn WARN 16.5ti (16.5 thousand pound) Thermometric Winch as much.

    And just FYI…this is the second time that I know of the Logan Hotshots being made famous…at least they seemed to have gotten the memo that there is always an option to deploying fire shelters in areas that aren’t survivable…RUN!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3GD1p0hV8w4

    Speaking of bragging. The Nightline crew came out to the Four Corners at my invitation and did an entire program on one of my cases when I was an agent. I spent about two weeks filming with their crew. See…my use for the news media didn’t leave me after I stopped bragging about my crew to any news media who would listen to me or wanted to film the best of the best…in ACTION!

    Oh…and one more thing. A Random thought For The Day popped into my head today. I don’t know why these things happen sometimes? I can’t help it, my head is full of all kinds of nonsense and random thoughts and ever since I accepted Death With Benefits status, I don’t really have an outlet for my over-the-top imagination.

    Anyway,

    WTKTT posted in part,

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    To: Harbour, Tom – FS ( Director, Fire and Aviation Management HQ )
    From: Ed and Sandy Hollenshead ( idsandyanded (at) gmail.com )
    Sent: Jul 29, 2013, at 3:01 PM
    Subject: Musings

    Hello Tom, Ed Hollenshead here…

    I’ll be leaving Prescott later today as Darrell and Judy are taking some well earned time away and my mission, for now, has ended. As the last of the laundry tumbles in the dryer I decided to share something that bas been on my mind for more than a few years; something that popped up in my mind as a contributor to the tragedy in Yarnell, AZ.

    On June 30 there were sufficient qualified overhead on the Yarnell Hill fire to staff l-OSC2, 2-OBD ( wildland and structure ), 2-DIVS and 2-TFL. Instead, the organization consisted of 2-OSC, a structure protection specialist ( OSC2 qualified ), and a DIVS ( GMIHC Superintendent Marsh ). My concern is not what they decided to do there, but what they didn’t do… mold the organization to fit the complexity of the incident.

    I’ve seen any number of times where standing team configurations ( many now sporting not l, not 2, but 3-OSC ) hamper the creativity ICS was intended to encourage. Standard organizations are being shoe-horned into every incident regardless of its nature or complexity, and command and control are suffering. The use of the OBD is rare outside R5 and 6, instead an OSC is left in camp to serve as “Planning OPS” and the “Line Ops” ( sometimes 2-OSC each operational period ) is ( are ) doing what OBDs should be doing … working and adjusting the plan, informing, coordinating, and communicating up, down, and sideways. I attribute this to standard configuration language that nearly always ignores the OBD position.

    I think there is enough anecdotal evidence that IMT performance suffers because of the lack of creativity in forming and applying command structures that address the unique issues presented by the incident.

    Perhaps it is ripe to be a point of emphasis during in-briefings and closeouts this year and for the 2014 IMT meetings.

    Respectfully,
    -ed- ( Hollenshead )
    ———————————————————————————

    So here is my random thought. My friend from the old days was in a better place than almost anybody to evaluate what went wrong on the Yarnell Hill Fire and this was all he could come up with that went WRONG?

    .”I’ve seen any number of times where standing team configurations ( many now sporting not l, not 2, but 3-OSC ) hamper the creativity ICS was intended to encourage. Standard organizations are being shoe-horned into every incident regardless of its nature or complexity, and command and control are suffering. The use of the OBD is rare outside R5 and 6, instead an OSC is left in camp to serve as “Planning OPS” and the “Line Ops” ( sometimes 2-OSC each operational period ) is ( are ) doing what OBDs should be doing … working and adjusting the plan, informing, coordinating, and communicating up, down, and sideways. I attribute this to standard configuration language that nearly always ignores the OBD position.”

    Like I told The Woodsman before, I am only fluent in LFO and I only know enough ICS to confuse myself, but I would have thought given his level of experience he could have come up with more than a discussion regarding the pros and cons of using the OBD position on the most God forsaken and fucked up fire (if measured by hotshot body count, and that’s how I measure them) in the history of wildland firefighting!

    WTF is wrong with people like him? Do they get all of their fucking brains, common sense and integrity sucked out of their heads above a certain GS rating? Fuckin’ whores (non gender specific). I mean really? C’mon man!

    • Gary Olson says

      Oh…and one more thing.

      I think technically speaking the correct questions would be, “WTF is wrong with people like him? Do they get all of their fucking brains sucked out of their heads above a certain GS rating?”

      In addition to, “WTF is wrong with people like him? Do they get all of their fucking integrity sucked out of their souls above a certain GS rating?”

      I’m not even going to try and address their apparent lack of common sense in this restricted format.

      • Gary Olson says

        And just as a reminder for those who don’t track my resume as closely as they should…the strong bond that Ed and I had at one time was based on the fact we were both off the Mighty Coconino N.F. as former hotshot crew bosses.

        At one time, the Ed I knew would have threatened to beat the shit out of anyone who talked like he does now unless they backed down, backed up, and backed off. Which they would have done…cause the old Ed was half fuckin’ crazy at least half the time and all fuckin’ crazy for the other half!

        • Gary Olson says

          Just one more really important bit of information. The factory Ford locking hubs are made by WARN, so my manual hubs have WARN embossed on them. They like really good just FYI. I also saved $2000.00 on my van’s conversion…so there was that as well. All of that electronic stuff comes with a price tag.

        • Woodsman says

          Gary said:

          “At one time, the Ed I knew would have threatened to beat the shit out of anyone who talked like he does now unless they backed down, backed up, and backed off. Which they would have done…”

          My question is, what happens to people that make them change?

          W

          • Gary Olson says

            W,

            I am pretty sure you are asking a question you already know the answer to. It’s the same answer that explains why humans have committed inhuman acts ever since we as a species were squatting in caves and gnawing on bones we managed to steal from more capable predators.

            The desire for power, fame, and fortune and the accessories to life those things bring to those people who have more power, fame and fortune than others is the answer you are ostensibly searching for with your rhetorical question,

            Except I misspoke in my first paragraph, the bad things we do as humans aren’t inhuman at all. The word inhumane is a misnomer. That’s the root of all of our problems, inhuman acts are really all to human..

            Humans naturally do bad things to each other, their environment, other species…everything we humans come in contact with or we can reach through extraordinary means. That actually makes the bad things we do as humans, very human acts that are not inhumane at all.

            Being Dead With Benefits has given me a chance to become a history buff which I have always been interested in but never had the time to pursue. The more history of mankind I study, the more convinced I become we are actually a virulent infestation on this planet as a species.

            And I believe the world will actually be a much better place once we humans have finally manage to pursue our ultimate destiny to its inevitable and final conclusion. And that is because in doing so…we will finally manage to completely and utterly wipe ourselves out and our species will go extinct,

            The more good some of us do will slow down this process and alter its natural progression. But in the end, the long arc of the short history of our species on this planet is inexorably bending towards our ultimate and just annilahation.

            Wait…was this the plot of that latest Tom Hanks movie?
            The one where famous symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) follows a trail of clues tied to Dante, the great medieval poet. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman (Ben Foster) from unleashing a virus that could wipe out half of the world’s population?

            Because I didn’t see that movie, but I did watch it’s movie trailer several times. Maybe that’s where I got all of this from?

            G

          • Gary Olson says

            OK…sometimes I am like an old dog gnawing on a bone and sometimes I just can’t force myself to rebury it…I just keep gnawing.

            So…I can’t help but ask The Woodsman this one (1) question, although I would like to get answers fro everyone who partipates here on this thread, which would be like 5…or 6 answers for my non scientific study since my sample group is waaaaay it small to make this research experiment pass any kind of peer review. Ecpxcept maybe from my peers of YOU PEOPLE .

            Question: Do you know which single word, based on my historical study of our species here on this planet, has caused more inhuman acts committed by humans which include death, destruction, suffering, rape, pillaging, genocide, ethnic cleansing etc. than any other single word in the history of our species?

            My question isn’t new or unique, I just want to know what YOU PEOPLE think the answer is. I know HAL 9000 gets it, cause you know…he’s AI and is programmed to study us humans.

                • Gary Olson says

                  I was thinking of “religion” as well. Although since religion is a means to an end to enable one person to have power over another person (for every religion except for the one you happen to believe in, “you” meaning everyone not my old friend RTS exclusively because the one you believe in is the ONE true religion as opposed to all of the others) I am also going to have to agree with The Woodsman who chose “power.”

                  I think maybe power is just the macro view of it all and religion drills down on the issue a little bit more….gets us into the weeds just a little bit so to speak.

                  In any case, I am going to find another new hobby other than studying history because it is just too damn depressing!

                  Almost all of it starts and ends with an individual, a family, a tribe, a city state, a country, an empire or some combination of all of the above attacking, pillaging, killing, raping, plundering and destroying their neighbors who are weaker than they are.

                  I’m afraid the human RACE (sorry RTS, I am a product of the public school system which is governed by case law from The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes so I studied evolution and not creationism). There weren’t any cave men riding on dinosaurs in the text books I studied. Although I do use the term “studied” very loosely since I have always applied the principles of “71 gets you a badge and a gun” throughout my life and not just during my months of hell at FLETC.

                  I have never really been an over achiever except for being a hotshot…I took to that like a duck to water once I got over the shock of what the job entailed the first couple of seasons. It was kinda like learning how to enjoy chewing on tinfoil and shaving my head with a cheese grater.

                  Although I also agree with the Vatican in that believing in both God and science are not mutually exclusive propositions because you know…God moves in mysterious ways…right RTS?

                • Gary Olson says

                  I was thinking of “religion” as well. Although since religion is a means to an end to enable one person to have power over another person (for every religion except for the one you happen to believe in, “you” meaning everyone not my old friend RTS exclusively because the one you believe in is the ONE true religion as opposed to all of the others) I am also going to have to agree with The Woodsman who chose “power.”

                  I think maybe power is just the macro view of it all and religion drills down on the issue a little bit more….gets us into the weeds just a little bit so to speak.

                  In any case, I am going to find another new hobby other than studying history because it is just too damn depressing!

                  Almost all of it starts and ends with an individual, a family, a tribe, a city state, a country, an empire or some combination of all of the above attacking, pillaging, killing, raping, plundering and destroying their neighbors who are weaker than they are.

                  I’m afraid the human RACE (sorry RTS, I am a product of the public school system which is governed by case law from The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes so I studied evolution and not creationism). There weren’t any cave men riding on dinosaurs in the text books I studied. Although I do use the term “studied” very loosely since I have always applied the principles of “71 gets you a badge and a gun” throughout my life and not just during my months of hell at FLETC.

                  I have never really been an over achiever except for being a hotshot…I took to that like a duck to water once I got over the shock of what the job entailed the first couple of seasons. It was kinda like learning how to enjoy chewing on tinfoil and shaving my head with a cheese grater.

                  Although I also agree with the Vatican in that believing in both God and science are not mutually exclusive propositions because you know…God moves in mysterious ways…right RTS?

                  • Joy Collura says

                    God is good Gary. Through all the trials this site has faced the world is about to see much more of YHF through my eyes as I have officially got word my legal rights on what I can share. I will build a domain today and anyone wanting that link just email me at [email protected]

                    Only those that email me their desire to learn about the burn out operations not yet spoken about or how people have written about Gary or Fred or me or others will be presented on this page.

                    Please bear with me because if it was not for IM folks I would not be doing this but yesterday I spoke to a lawyer a final time. Some people will not like being on my domain but all I post are documented facts. Like I said bear with me as I build this because I WANT it done slow and right and finally ORGANIZED with timestamps

                    • Gary Olson says

                      WHAT?

                      Let me get this straight…do you mean to tell me I have possibly disappointed or even angered SOME people by expressing my views here?

                      And furthermore, are you suggesting that SOME of those people have written negative things about ME?

                      Thank God…I was afraid I was losing my ability to really piss off the right people!

                      Oh…and one more thing. Fred and I can go after each other because compared to me, he is usually way off base.

                      But nobody…and I mean NOBODY can legitimately criticize Fred and I together when it comes to all matters pertaining to hotshots.

                      There are a few others we will listen to, but NOBODY we will defer to when it comes to hotshot matters.

                      Together…Fred and I wrote the fuckin’ MANUAL on all things hotshot related.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      And just in case someone needs to be reminded who I am and Fred was, Fred is the longest serving hotshot crew boss in the history of hotshot crews.

                      And me? I am and will always be…the youngest and most capable hotshot crew boss in the history of hotshot crews.

                      Fred and I are like two hotshot crew boss bookends. So…

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Bookends that have a combined wight of way over 1/4 ton of beef and stand well over 13 feet tall.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Corrections,

                      “weight” not wight.

                      And Fred and I stand well over 13 feet (almost 14 feet) in our Whites.

                      And I forgot to brag about fully one half of my lifelong claim to fame…I started a USFS hotshot crew from scratch and there are very few who can claim that accomplishment.

                      There have been lots of new hotshot crews started by other agencies since the 1980’s, but there have been very few started by the USFS in that time since USFS hotshot crews have been in existence since 1947 – 48.

                      So…you know, tell my detractors I said they can FUCK OFF!

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Oh…and one more thing, I DO NOT HAVE AN ANGER MANAGEMENT PROBLEM!

                      I have an “anger management asset.” I have always found that bringing an edge with me to the task at hand, assists me in accomplishing said task to the required standards at a minimum and usually way above the required standards.

                      🙂

                    • Joy Collura says

                      https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/

                      It has glitches on Firefox but works on cells. No lists
                      The world can see. I started my first blog on a recent topic behind the scenes of locals NOW interested in talking about the separate smoke plume columns in area of Shrine and Sesame so started first blog on that but it will all come out as the Summer unfolds..

                  • Robert the Second says

                    I have a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which I and many other believe is the Son of the “ONE true” God. That is a huge difference from “religion.” Religion is a means to an end, for many, to enable one quasi-political and/or quasi-military group, usually led by one person or a group of persons called a Council, to have power over other persons. I too agree with The Woodsman and Joy who chose “power” but not power alone.

                    These quasi-political/military groups almost all begin and end with an individual, family, tribe, city, state, city-state, country, empire, or some combination of all of the above attacking, pillaging, killing, raping, plundering and destroying their neighbors who are weaker than they are. That sure sounds a lot like the original Papacy, the quasi-military Jesuits, and the two separate Inquisitions responsible for years of calculated mayhem, death, and destruction of countless innocents.

                    I agree with the term “human RACE” so no need be sorry. I too am a product of the public school system governed by the Scope’s trial case law. I was taught evolution and I study and believe in creationism. The term “dinosaur” is only about a hundred years old and they are referred to as “dragons, Behemoth, and Leviathan” in The Bible.

                    Not at all sure what you mean by “71 gets you a badge and a gun,” so help me out on that one.

                    I totally disagree with the quasi-government Vatican on almost everything, however, if it stated that “believing in both God and science are not mutually exclusive propositions,” then I would have to agree with that statement. The Bible, mainly the Old Testament, is replete with science.

                    You’re right Gary, God does move in mysterious ways. To quote Sonny: “That girl is crazier than a bedbug.” Just wait to see what she comes up with next.

                    And one more thing, you will “always be the youngest [AND] most capable hotshot crew boss in the history of hotshot crews.”

                    However, you will not be the most capable.

                    • Woodsman says

                      But he actually used the word “and.” I’m not sure you know what the use of brackets means in legal writing. [ ]

                      I know what you meant though.

                      I also read between your lines & I’m looking forward to the revelation.

                      P.s. you must admit, you & Gary ARE a force to be reckoned with. Am I right? Yup. I am.

                    • Woodsman says

                      “However, you will not be the most capable.”

                      Hmmm. Will not or is not or was not? I’m so confused. What are you trying to say?

                      I’m with you: words have meaning. Just curious is all. Can you admit that both you & Gary are powerhouses when it comes to hotshot street cred? You each bring a huge hammer to the table with unique experiences unlike most others. We’re not still measuring are we? At this age? Even I’m getting too old for that despite the high probability that mine’s much larger. Hahaha!!!

                      Old farts rule! Where’s Bob when you need him?

                    • Woodsman says

                      I guess my point is that both you & Gary have made unique & revelant contributions to the legacy & history of hotshots in the US. Without comparing who made a larger impact ( because it doesn’t really matter in this context) both of you have impeccable pedigrees which uniquely qualify you to speak of such topics without question.

                    • Woodsman says

                      I’m regretting getting in the middle of the former hotshot crewboss jousting match. I’ll simply say that united = productive, divided = unproductive. Stay focused on what’s important.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Fred,

                      You are incorrigible and I love you for it…man! And just for the record and all joking aside…I do understand I was never the most capable hotshot crew boss in the history of hotshot crews.

                      The only thing I ever had going for me was my refusal or inability to quit when I should have and my enthusiasm and love for the job. You know I have admitted this many times on this thread by stating I was just a cowboy who rode hard for the brand and shot from the hip…on my best days.

                      In fact, based on how you have described you ran your crew…you were probably the most capable hotshot crew boss in history because you made independent wildland firefighters out of FNG’s who were more prepared for their futures.

                      I concentrated on making cogwheels out of FNG’s who meshed flawlessly with the wildland firefighting machine that was our crew because that is what my crew bosses had made me into, a cog in their machine…although it worked well for us.

                      You know, because when the crew boss said it was Easter…we immediately started searching for those fuckin’ eggs. But…I understand now all hotshot crews are organized and run a little differently. I did think there was just one way when I first joined this thread, but you and Bob got me all squared away.

                      As far as God goes, you and I worship the same one in the same way…more or less. We will settle our differences once we are both sitting at his feet because that is where all wildland firefighters belong!

                      And as far as “they” go, they love to play Whack-a-Mole, they just don’t like it when the moles hit back. And thanks to this brave new world, social media and this blog or thread, or whatever it is…we have a platform to hit back!

                      As for The Woodsman. goes, when he is right…he is right! And in this case he is right on…nobody can fuck with you and me together on all matters related and pertaining to hotshots, although I do understand I’m not up to speed on current developments, like a hotshot manual, etc.

                      God Bless America…since we relied on nothing but an oral tradition and some things did fall through the huge gaps in our system of discussing the last fire, the next fire…or some over fire at the bars drunk on our victories. And furthermore…we are in agreement on 99.9 % of what went wrong on the Yarnell Hill Fire, which means they can take it to the bank and cash it, because that fuckin’ check is good.

                      And as far as “71 gets you a badge and a gun” I have used that reference once before…about five years ago on this blog. And frankly…I am a little disappointed you don’t remember it. At FLETC the minimum score for all testing is 70%. And if people fall below that standard they get sent home without jobs anymore…hence, “71 gets you a badge and a gun”, which was the standard I lived my life by, more or less. Although as I have written before, if I could do it all over again I would…except I would work harder to get it right next time!

                      As far as what our sweetheart Joy is up to, who knows? But I do know I am happy they put me in the same category as they did her…I love wacky, it makes life just a little bit more interesting and fun.

                      Now…this has been a welcome distraction from my work, but I have to get back to editing my final chapter because the fuckin’ thing isn’t going to edit itself!

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Oh…and just one more thing Fred. The USFS must not have thought you needed a sense of humor because apparently they never issued you one.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      W,

                      You know it’s not important how big my hammer is. What is important is how well I can use it and how hard I can pound in those nails. At least that is what guys with tack hammers like to believe.

                      And back to an earlier discussion, when you are a hammer…everything looks like a nail. As wildland firefighters, we were hammers and every fire was a nail…and we pounded it.

                      The NPS could learn a lot from us…but they won’t. They are just too arrogant and convinced of their own superiority…although only
                      God knows why? I think it is institutional failure on a grand scale.

                      G

                • Woodsman says

                  I win. I don’t need a prize. Knowing I beat Gary at his own thought game is more than enough payment. Way more. Anyone else want to play? Didn’t think so. Who’s your daddy?!!!???!! Boom!!!

                  The best part is that I know you already had your answer and then…

                  What can I say? It’s all I have left, man.

          • Gary Olson says