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. Joy A Collura says

    Gary Olson says

    NOVEMBER 8, 2018 AT 1:19 AM
    And I want to thank you and all of my other closest friends and confidants like Joy who have been concerned about my change in marital status. My divorce actually became final last May,

    —————-

    I still know your quality long time partner now not in same home does not always mean that is always the will and way for down the road…I do see alot of solid stuff happening along with the slice of wars for ya but I will always enjoy the golden ways to your wife now labelled ex by paper but never in heart…she is a solid lady…I really am grateful she was in your life all those years…but that’s me.

  2. Woodsman says

    Here’s a comment at the end of a youtube video covering the new Camp fire in CA. I’ve admittedly cherry picked it because it’s exactly what I’m talking about in terms of mis-management of our nations forests/wildlands.

    “You are watching decades and decades of wrong headed thinking coming home to roost, in a big big way.

    Years ago, I almost had a fight with a forest ranger over the condition of the northern ca forests. He was bragging about their “leave the forest in its natural state” policy. Take a ******* twig out of the forest and you get arrested.

    Eco frauds, every single one of them.

    and it really burns my *** to hear moonbeam attribute this to globull warming.

    No you dumb *** ************, this massive, ongoing disaster is due to forest mis-management…”

      • Woodsman says

        Hope you have been well, Bob.

        You of all people here would at the top.of my list of whom I thought would agree that our national forests are mismanaged now compared to decades ago. Do you believe the condition of them are what you could & should be?

        I was showing the quote from a local citizen to show some citizens believe they are not being managed properly. I agree with that opinion.

        • Bob Powers says

          I agree with you on that. But while we need fuel management there are no funds. Up until this year for over a decade they have robed the fuels budget and prevention budget to pay for Fire Suppression Costs. There is so much to do it will take years to accomplish and a ton of money. The other problem is the continued drought Calif. has been was out of Prescription to even burn and reduce fuel.

          Even in our hay day we could not keep up with the millions of acers of fuels reduction. Plus what we did after the 80s was not maintained in Southern Calif. Ignoring it is not the answer.

          My statement above was based on the Two large fires in Calif. State and County land.

          Hope you are well too. Still doing great headed for 75 in January.
          .

  3. Cheerleader says

    HUGE PRAYERS to you Firefighters and Civilians in CA today/tonight…and for the too many deaths already that have not been “yet” reported to the world…I am very sorry they all are facing this but I am sure “safe nets should get active about now, eh

    Come on…it has to be done.

    • Joy A. Collura says

      I would like to make an appointment to most of these fire industry leaders’ office but heck I probably be walking into hell with fluorescent lighting. The stuff going on in CA is really much worse than what the media is letting on…I should be a PIO or P.I. even though Gary seems to think I suck at investigating….But then again when Gary thinks of me he thinks “I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.

      Wake up, world.

      Fire behaviors are becoming a new normal…get jaded…I meant avoid becoming jaded 😉

      • Joy A. Collura says

        I can just imagine if I was in those offices like a fly on the wall — it would be like them asking How would you describe my leadership?

        Great!? Greater!? Greatest!?

      • Gary Olson says

        I don’t think you suck at anything. I have been waiting quite a while for the some of the secret things you have said will be coming…soon?

        • Gary Olson says

          You know…except for punctuation, you kinda do suck at punctuation.

          Oh…and one more thing, actually two more things;

          1. I’m pretty sure no one has the authority to ever reopen the Yarnell Hill Investigation except for Arizona State Forestry and I’m also pretty sure that will never happen. So…

          2. We don’t have any of the resources we would need to even think about creating our own staff ride, which includes access to the area. So…

  4. Joy A. Collura says

    Someone I know just got a text tonight appx 7pm that they re-opened the Yarnell Hill Fire investigation – anyone else hear this? came out of New Mexico –

  5. Joy A. Collura says

    Today, I will update on Tex’s Health on the post

    now that I am at the cabin.

    https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/single-post/2018/11/03/How-Many-Lives-Does-One-Man-Have-I-Always-Thought-It-Was-Two-The-Second-One-Began-When-One-Realized-They-Only-Have-One-Life-Not-For-Tex-Harold-Eldon-Gilligan-Sonny-This-Is-His-Medical-Status-Update-Post-Tex-Being-On-The-Weaver-Mountains-June-30-2013-Was-Very-Important-To-The-Wildland-Fire-Industry-Too-Many-Times-He-Has-Been-Thanked-For-His-Fire-Knowledge-Experience-Let-This-Post-Honor-The-Fallen-By-Sharing-About-Sonny-Who-Is-On-A-Road-To-Recovery-

    I will try and get a “live” audio update so he can tell you versus me typing.

    I did see this email from him to me:
    Nov 6, 2018, 7:51 PM
    I know you’re busy right now so you don’t have to reply. I was able to finally to get on investigative media thanks for the concern of all those friends of like thinking. If any of you on investigative media ever want to stop by you got a place you can have free electric hook up and water and toilet even if you’ve got a unit…

    he added the actually contact but I feel he should let people know that via email not for the world here]

    … I’m waiting out here in front of my kids house been here for a couple hour. He has to change my dressing on my back because I can’t do it very well anyway. Fortunately he’s an RN so he knows how to do it right. Yes he said I took 6 units of blood most people died at 5 and 7 units you’re completely out of blood. I don’t know why I wasn’t scared on this one except I thought how the hell am I going to get to my 223 cuz I thought somebody was firing at me at first but I realized that I’d taken off 12 Bridge blast to the back. Joy right I was supposed to stay in the hospital another couple weeks but that didn’t happen I love all of you and appreciate the idea that you continue to exposed the malady that killed 19 at Yarnell. I can’t post right here off of this phone but it’s translating better than usual.”

    I am imaging his talk to text is off; see: Nov 6, 2018, 7:53 PM … “Oh I was reading Gary’s call Matt at the beginning before I read all that stuff about me and I was thinking what a good writer and that he has so much to say that is going to help the young Wildland fire fighter stay alive. I hope to get a copy of his book with an autograph barrier that would make my day. I haven’t bought that lottery ticket yet but some guy told me where your kind of luck you better get one.”

    Tex also stated to me once he had that other surgery over the weekend he was leaving the hospital Monday and he did (talk to text errors) —:

    Nov 5, 2018, 3:39 PM “on my way home you’re giving me a regular discharge and vac machine Mark is pulling his Tesla around there and I will me out in a wheelchair but I could walk

    No additional information — no cowboy campfire with dog photos — again I think his cancer surgery is one week from today so I can see why he wanted to get home versus staying in the hospital.

    That is it and thank you from him as it meant a lot to him to read the encouragement words.

    I still am a girl who believes in hope and reconciliation even if you have a 40 plus long years history. You faced some wars this year Gary but like you said better days are coming…Moab…Keep on trucking…I mean “jeeping”…

    • Joy A Collura says

      UPDATE ON SONNY:

      11-7-18 5:55pm (Sonny wanted me to represent him to Brittany Kraus of CBS Inside Edition so at 3:50pm I spoke 14:44 minutes with her trying to figure the best way to get the interview direct of Sonny at home with Charlie the dog that shot him. On Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:06 PM working via cell to help Sonny Skype for an interview with Inside Edition with reporter Jim Moret and when Sonny sent me pics of the dog and him at Nov 7, 2018, 4:51 PM. I decided I want no part in assisting on this interview – “broken hearted” – both Charlie and Sonny are in no condition to do an interview in my humble opinion and I have known him since 8.23.11 – I shared to Sonny since his son is off tomorrow they (Sonny and his son) can reach Brittany or Rachel Ahn or Jim Moret but I will post updates here and when I see an uplifting photo even lil’ wee better than tonight’s than I will post it here but I will never post the photos I got today – not right. It would be wrong for me to do that. Also in talking to him I caught the long pauses in breathing and the hearing capacity difficulties and more and I am just praying. I will in the next 24 hours place his audio on here. ). Sonny, rest well. I cannot erase that images you shared tonight … Sorry, you know .. really, people do not get how rough you have it because you always seem so tough …Sonny stated he heard the skit they did on himself on Saturday Night Live. I have not yet seen it. Anyone? have the skit? – email link to me. 

      Jim Moret, I think it would be very enlightening if you took the travel time to meet Tex Harold Eldon Gilligan (Sonny) and tell him your personal story … that dark path … I think in meeting and knowing Sonny you will see a bridged message in your interview. God Bless you. I think your interview should be about you and Sonny and the bridging inspirational message it can offer the world. 

  6. Gary Olson says

    I wrote the following comment during my hiatus, but I’m pretty sure I never posted it. My divorce did become final after 40 years of marriage, but frankly, it seemed like it was much, much…much longer. And of course I am joking, I was the problem, I mean…I get tired of me but wherever I go…there I am.

    They should never have let me retire, they should have put me in a glass cage with a sing that say’s, “Break Glass In Case Of An Emergency, or just taken me out to a field and shot me in the head, I just don’t fit in with civil society because I need something like the next big fire, investigation or operation to chase after. But noooo, when Congress wrote our early mandatory retirement law, they specified they wanted a “youthful and vigorous workforce” that is the same for FIRE people. But all they did was to take my leash off and set me loose. Now all I do is wander around and looking for someone’s leg to either piss on or bite, while I hoping someone feeds me. But I do have some good news…I called Geico and I am going to save a ton of money on my car insurance.

    And I moved down to Medford, Oregon so I could be near my grandchildren which includes a brand new granddaughter. I am growing my hair out because I want a ponytail and I joined Tinder to make it easier for hot chicks who are nearby…to hook up with me.

    The other good news is that I am now back in the saddle working on my book(s). Which of course includes my highly anticipated tome, “Betrayed By Our Fire Gods” and “Rise Of The Hybrid Firefighter.” Hey…I got their book covers done, that should count for something…right? And of course I still have, who are my closest friends and confidants. That is why I can bare my soul to you and not be afraid to be in touch with my feminine side while I overshare. I know you won’t judge me harshly, well…maybe RTS will, but we established a long time ago that he is a Richard Cranium…right? Wait…was that comment about my feminist side misogynistic? Because it sounds kinda misogynistic? I hope not.

    http://ourfiregods.com/reserved1.html

    And while you are checking out my very cool photos, be sure and take a good look at the very Good Dogs who are helping me babysit Violet.

    Oh yeah, I am I found my Final Chapter in a dusty digital storage file and I am back to doing some final editing on it, so I can finally get the damn thing published so I can quit bringing it up as an excuse for not getting anything else done.

    Routine Housekeeping & Closing The Loop

    I got engaged with The Woodsman downstream regarding what I knew about WF deliberately igniting or letting wildfires burn and get bigger outside of any “let burn” policy or prescribed fire plan.

    None of the spaghetti I threw against the wall was what W was referring to specifically, so he directed me to Dr. Putnam’s paper that outlined the two situations in question. The first one being where the District Ranger (chief administrative manager for a given area of a National Forest) letting a fire grow to become a project fire because it would increase his status and help build his reputation for career advancement. The second one mentioned by Dr. Putnam was an old school jumper saying to him something to the effect of, “Welcome to the dark side of firefighting” when he questioned some tactics they were using that enabled the fire to grow larger without achieving any strategic advantage.

    As we have talked about before, the USFS is a big organization and there are significant differences between how things are done in one part of the country versus another, so I don’t doubt Dr. Putnam did encounter those situations during his career, but I did not.

    I have always considered myself fortunate to have worked for the USFS during the period that I did (1974 – 1988) because I think those were the transition years between the old school USFS and the modern USFS and there is one thing I know for sure, the old school USFS was a lot more fun than the new one. For one thing, there was a lot more cowboys who rode hard for the brand and shot from the hip without putting a lot of thought into where their rounds were going downrange. Back in the day, a forester could take his deer rifle and his dog out with him to cruise timber, or whatever foresters do, to where he had scouted out that big buck ran and then put himself on annual leave, shoot his deer, field dress it and then haul it back to the work center compound in his government truck.

    We used to go out as a hotshot crew with the Hopi Indians who ran the District dozer to a thicket of oak trees the foresters had designated for a fuel reduction treatment and we would cut them all down. The dozer would skid them up to our landing and then we would buck them up into fireplace size logs, load them on the five ton truck that was used to haul the dozer around and presto…all of the professionals who lived in the compound would have their firewood for the winter. I’m pretty sure they don’t do that anymore.

    But I did hit on one area of abuse below that was widespread, and that when the District Ranger who was fortunate enough to have a major wildfire on his District could buy a lot of new equipment by using FFF (I don’t even know what those initials stand for) using fire supression dollars from the black hole money pit (the fire’s Management code) that came with every big project fire. And a lot of equipment that had been destroyed in the fire was purchased and replaced that had never even existed in the first place. They really cracked down on that 30 years or more back, so that just doesn’t happen anymore…I don’t think? But I never even caught a whiff of someone deliberately setting a fire or letting one get bigger in order to be able to do that.

    I also have a tendency to think that wasn’t going on during my years because District Rangers didn’t have anything to do with fighting s wildfire on their District in later years, that was all handled by outside fire teams that were brought in from other areas so I don’t really see how that would enhance the local district rangers reputation. The way for everyone to increase their profile and relative worth to the organization was to volunteer to be overhead on the fire teams themselves, which most of the old school district rangers did. There was a real sense that it was everybody’s duty to pitch in and fight the Big Ones. I also think the USFS lost a lot of that once they started recruiting people who viewed working for the USFS simply as a Civil Service job as WTKTT puts it. Back in the day, most people thought of it as a calling and a way of life, but never merely as just another Civil Service job.

    So anyway…if it would have been the “old days”, the GMIHC would have pushed an older ATV they were having mechanical problems with up to the fires edge and then abandoned it to be burned up so the fire would have bought them a new. Now that…was Standard Operating Procedure back in the day!

    The second situation was the old school jumper who introduced Dr. Putnam to the dark side of wildland firefighting. And frankly…I wouldn’t put anything past an old school smokejumper from back in the day. I’m sure almost everyone saw the movie “Blackhawk Down” when the commanding officer walked up to the Special Forces soldier who had shot the pig from the helicopter when he cut in the chow line? Anyway…the officer noticed the SF guy didn’t have the safety on his M4 engaged, and ordered him to do so. And instead of following that order, the SF wiggled his finger at the officer and said, “This is my safety.”

    That is how all old school smokejumpers were and probably still are, arrogant and as independent as they could possibly be. They were used to working in remote areas in small groups of others just like themselves (and often just one other) out of sight and out of mind and doing things their own way. And none of them followed the rules or took orders worth a damn. And although almost all smokejumpers are ex hotshots, a gaggle of smokejumpers are diametrically opposite a crew of hotshots. Whereas the hotshot crew is highly structured, disciplined and organized, a gaggle of smokejumpers aren’t structured, disciplined or organized. Smokejumpers were truly a breed that was set apart from the rest of us mere mortals. Hotshots march in tool order in crew lines…smokejumpers just kinda mosey along in gaggles. So no, I wouldn’t put anything past an old school smokejumper…absolutely nothing. : )

    • Gary Olson says

      And I really need to speak to my comment proof reader, because that last comment has a higher than normal number of typos…and my bar is set very low.

    • Gary Olson says

      And I really don’t think I had my “Size Does Matter” PSA bumper stickers on my website the last time I embedded a hyper link, soplease be sure and scroll far enough down to check them out. I really crack myself up…sometimes.

    • Gary Olson says

      Oh…and one more thing since it is very important for all of my closest friends and confidants to stay current on my life, I will only be here for a few months because you know…I will get bored. And then I will figure out how to get my three highly modified Jeeps (98 TJ, 04 LJ, and one of the very best Jeeps ever built, a 2006 LJ Rubicon) so I can go Jeeping in the Great Southwest. You know…in MOAB! and the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

      The only thing that I am sad about, my best friend and Jeeping Buddy is gone now (as you already know). I had a wife for 40 years and a dog for 16 years and both of them were with me we moved to that damn rain forest. I sure am going to miss that dog.

      And FYI, the reason they should never let me retire is because I was to INSTITUTIONALIZED to be ever be set loose. I don’t know how to manage myself, I need a master. And now…I am facing the greatest opponent I have ever encountered without the awesome power of the federal government to back me up. And that foe is…the blank digital page on my computer.

      But…my book jackets are very cool…right. I love to play with Photoshop. But then again…I love to do almost anything other than sit in front of my computer and try to transfer my random thoughts into coherent sentences. Oh look…more election results are coming in now…gotta go.

    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

      Gary said:

      “I got engaged with The Woodsman downstream regarding what I knew about WF deliberately igniting or letting wildfires burn and get bigger outside of any “let burn” policy or prescribed fire plan.”

      After legendary IC Van Bateman got busted and convicted for setting numerous arson wildfires, Jim Paxton (formerly USFS), who had been hired by the television media as a wildfire subject matter expert, said in an interview regarding those arsons: “We all used to do it”.

      A stunning admission, of which, I was witness to, and possibly the reason Paxton is no longer a media wildfire expert.

      • Gary Olson says

        Jim Paxton is more full of bullshit than just about about anyone I have ever known. He was more of a performer and entertainer for the mainstream media who all ate up his bullshit with ladles Paxton supplied to them. His costume, mannerisms, vocabulary and accent were all stage props for his monkey on a leash act.

        That is more or less how all PIO’s are and is in line with their primary job descriptions, Paxton just took it to another whole level of ridiculousness.

        Paxton sky rocketed from the minor leagues to the majors during and in the aftermath of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire of 2002 when he received a lot of national attention from the media. He is nothing more than a necessary evil to keep the news media and concerned cituzens happy by coordinating Dog and Pony shows and doing his pet monkey tricks.

        Paxton was just one of dozens of interagency fire team officials who had been close friends and colleagues of Van Bareman who all banded together and prostitured themselves and shoveled shit onto the reputations and honor of the entire wildland firefighting profession in a blatantly obvious and very transparent attempt to fool the federal judge to go easy on Barpteman during his sentencing.

        Fortunately…they were so amateurish and childish about it the judge wasn’t fooled for one minute. In the end, the judge gave the same weight to their lies as he would have if he would have been sentencing a pedophile who was supported by other pedophikes who all got together and said, “Hey…who amoung us has not fondled and when given the opportunity…diddled a beautiful little boy or girl? Van was just doing what came natural and something we all have done as often as we could.

        And since I have adopted a new policy to clean up my potty mouth I am not going to tell you what I really think of Paxton and everyone else who exchanged not only their reputations, honor and integrity in a failed attempt to help a man who deserved every day he spent in a federal penitentiary, but they took it upon themselves to do the same to my reputation and all of those honest, hardworking, and selfless US Forest Service District Fire Management Officers who were the thin red line between the chaos of wildfire while maning the firlines in obscurity to protect the American people, their property and national forests.

        DFMO’s (and others) who I proudly worked for and who had more integrity in a pimple on their asses then Paxton has in his entire worthless body. Men like Ron Melcher, Hub Harris, Richard Allred and Orlando Romero.

        Shame, shame, shame on Van Bateman and Jim Paxton.

        • Gary Olson says

          And I think I was a little harsh on Van because he was, and probably still is…a sick man with a psychological disorder called pyromania who has a compulsion to set things on fire and has an irresistible impulse to start fires as an arsonist.

          But…that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have been stopped and punished accordingly by our criminal justice system. I had known and worked with the USFS special agents who conducted that investigation for about 15 years at the time and they are men of the highest integrity who conducted a professional and thorough investigation. And Bateman’s guilty verdict and sentence validated their hard work. Those men were part of the thin blue line that stands between the American people and CHAOS.

          But…Paxton does not have any excuse. It is possible to both love and respect Bateman as I do for the sacrifice and contribution he made to this country which included being IC on “The Pile” in NYC that was left after we were attacked by Islamin Terrorists, without excusing his pyromania and the shame he brought upon our profession.

          Van and I were both Coconino National Forest hotshot crew bosses and we both loved and respected Bill Buck. But I was “a” Coconino Hotshot Crew Boss, but Bateman was the Gold Standard by which everyone else was judged against. I’m sorry he is mentally ill, I hope he got some good psychological counseling in federal prison for being a ******* fire bug. Wildfire is our enemy, it kills and destroys everything it touches without anger, malice, compassion or forgiveness…and every Fire has the potential to become a wildfire in an instant.

          I ought to know…I made lots of 💰 fighting escaped prescribed burns from one end of the country to the other! 😄

        • Woodsman says

          Gary,

          I have no doubt your recollections are accurate as can be. Do you believe it’s possible that many irresponsible (possibly criminal) actions occurred in the handling of wildfires that you never knew existed?

          How many pseudo – VanBatemans have there been? You know….gettin a little loose with the rules. Big fires build big reputations and careers. (Big bank accounts too)

          I’ve seen more occurrences I refuse to attribute to merely bad luck or incompetence than I ever wanted to. I suggest you revisit your classic glass half full or half empty credo.

          Ttware struck a nerve. Why?

          Oh, & I agree with your assessment of Paxton as I run across many like him. Enjoyed reading that.

          Great job landing on your feet & best wishes in your new chapter of life!

          • Woodsman says

            And I’m here to tell you right now that the prevalence of personnel playing loose with the rules will.most certainly increase due to the new FAD of fire reintroduction to the landscape. Let it burn is the wave of the future. Just go read dikheds blog, it’s pimped on a weekly basis. They want it all to burn as the new age belief is that we all royally fuked up by putting them out in the first place.

            Mark my word, it’s not coming, it’s already here. An arsonist portrayed as a firefighters dream come true!

            What is it about most people that there minds can only think on a level of one extreme or the other? There’s no middle ground. Never understood that.

            • Woodsman says

              Active scientific-based forest management, road maintenance, fuel break construction & upkeep, and a robust & sound logging industry coming back where it was previously destroyed are the real answers to the problem. But, nobody wants to answer the question truthfully. They react emotionally to the symptoms with irrational concepts & fairly tale pipedreams.

              The Woodsman & others like him have no voice in the matter. We’re just forest technicians in the woods every day…..so what the fuck do we know?

              • Woodsman says

                And I’m not cleanin up.jack shit as far as my language goes. It helps to portray my passion for the subject. Walk in my boots. Witness the mismanagement of our national forests. See the 1/2 trillion dollars of rotting timber across mile after mile of landscape. Help extinguish a lightning strike fire in that hopeless wasteland. Read the reports of those who die year after year fighting the futile battle on the fucked up piece of land…….then come talk to me. You’ll be cussing like a sailor who lost his grog overboard just like me.

                Gone fishin, mother fuckers!

                Wait. Do I sound bitter?

          • Gary Olson says

            I think man (and women) have a relationship with fire that goes back even much further in our history as a species than our bond with dogs that began with our ancestors domesticating wolves. That being said, I am going to try and thread the needle here by differentiating between a normal and healthy fascination and love affair with fire like I have…and being a fire bug like Van Bateman was and probably still is, he just isn’t active anymore…I hope..

            As we all know, I was the founder and first crew boss of the storied Santa Fe Hotshots, not to mention the last crew boss of the equally legendary Happy Jack Hotshots, but forgive me…I digress once again. But…while I was the Santa Fe Hotshot Crew Boss, I directed some able fellows to take a 4×8 sheet of plywood and router the following words into it;

            If you do it for money, you’re an arsonist
            If you do it for fun, you’re a pyromaniac
            If you do it for both, you’re a hotshot
            WELCOME

            And I had them paint the large words with bright red paint and mount it on posts in front of our hotshot headquarters. Now of course that was done as part of a team and esprit de corps building exercise for our crew because hotshots are neither arsonists or pyromaniacs, they are professional wildland firefighters, but it’s complicated. And that is because very few things are as fun or exciting as torching off an entire drainage as a backfire in front of a raging wildfire, but it’s complicated.

            One side effect of studying Criminal Justice in college and then later in a series of law enforcement academies, was learning just how sick and bad so many people are…naturally. For example…I learned about what has to be one of the most disturbing mental illnesses there is and that is necrophilia. And yes…I think you would find a much higher percentage of morticians who are necrophiliacs than you will find in the general population.

            As a former Wildland Arson Investigator. I also know you will find a much higher percentage of pyromaniacs who are firefighters than you will find in the general population. And based on my experience, within the ranks of volunteer firemen is one of the first places you should look if you are looking for an arsonist, And unfortunately…I think the shocking number of fire officials who have been charged and found guilty of being arsonists over the decades prove that assertion to be correct.

            I am also aware that there have been extreme cases of part time (call when needed) wildland firefighters who have set fires over the years to generate work because mama needed a new pair of shoes. I remember when it got so back in Alaska, the BLM Alaska Fire Service had to bring in crews from thousands of miles away because there were so many fires being set near Alaskan Native villages in the interior.

            But…those cases are one offs and aren’t the norm. For one thing, it’s pretty hard to create your own work because the geographic distances that are involved in mobilizing crews. Someone setting fires to create work up by Questa, New Mexico for example may actually be creating work for the Green Mountain Boys, wherever the hell the Green Mountain Boys are from…New Hampshire…or Vermont or Maine or some other damn place east of the Mississippi?

            So…yes, it is very possible there are more fire bugs like Bateman out there who were better than he was at not getting caught. I did one case in southern New Mexico where one young volunteer fireman kept beating everyone else to the fire station and he had the engine out and ready to go when everybody else showed up. Of course he was no match for an experienced interrogator like I was, that and the fact it was pretty easy to show him he could not have possibly seen the fire starts from the locations he kept claiming he saw them from that enabled him to keep getting his head start on everyone else including the 911 dispatchers,

            So that all being said, it would be hard to find someone who was more integrated and immersed in the Forestry Technician wildland firefighter culture than I was for 14 years and I never caught any hint of the kind of arson Bateman was guilty of by anyone, at any time, for any reason…period. And I saw wrongdoing of just about everything else and I will be happy to tell you about it because we don’t have any secrets from each other here. Well…I think RTS probably has some, but I think we can all agree he is a Richard Cranium at times…am I right?

            And I want to thank you and all of my other closest friends and confidants like Joy who have been concerned about my change in marital status. My divorce actually became final last May, but we didn’t find it convenient to move to separate residences until a few weeks ago. Nor did my former wife accept any of my pension even though she was more than entitled to half of it since she bore the brunt as a single parent while I chased the grade and the next big thing. And best of all, no lawyers were involved because neither one of us thought any thing of value in our lives was worth it. And now I have my reward…I am a tumbleweed free to go wherever the wind takes me. But…I did get to see the elephant quite a few times and what a priceless sight they were.

            And now…I am going to treat all of you, who are indeed my closest friends and confidants to an excerpt from my highly anticipated and much acclaimed tome, “Betrayed By Our Fire Gods” in which I try to explain how I feel about fire because it’s…complicated.

            “Fire is beautiful. One of my favorite memories is sitting in front of our flagstone hearth at home watching the bright flickering flames from the fireplace, especially if the ground outside was covered with a thick blanket of white snow. I remember camping out often near clear mountain streams surrounded by some of the most beautiful forests in the world, drifting off to sleep as our campfires slowly died down to a glowing beds of red hot coals.

            I can still hear the pop as embers shot out from the fire ring followed by a trail of sparks as the bright flames consumed the juniper logs. I can vividly recall the distinct aroma of burning piñon wood and see the flaming hard oak that made the fire last longer against the crisp cold night air. Clear mountain streams, cold nights, blue mountains and towering forests of western ponderosa pine trees are some of my fondest memories from growing up in northern Arizona.

            After heating a large house for several years in a rural area outside of Santa Fe with nothing but firewood however, I am now content to occasionally sit and rock my granddaughter to sleep while being hypnotized by the bright flickering flames from a gas log fireplace.

            I spent almost all of my free time scouting for wood, cutting wood, loading wood, hauling wood, splitting wood, stacking wood, carrying wood into the house, building the fires, stoking the fires, hauling out the ashes and then making sure the ashes did not set something on fire either at our house or at the county dump. Not to mention constantly worrying about the kids getting burned either by playing too close to the fireplace or by touching the cast iron wood stove, or by goofing around with the campfire while roasting marshmallows. The very first word my youngest daughter learned to speak was “hot,” and she damn well understood what it meant. I am now a big fan of central heating in my home and day trips into the back country in my Jeep rather than camping out for the night.

            There is nothing however, beautiful about wildfire. The only adjectives that can be used to describe wildfires are synonymous with words like devastating or terrifying. Sometimes words like awesome can be used, but never beautiful. Wildfire is a deadly enemy that relentlessly kills and consumes all life in its path of total destruction.

            Firefighters have a love/hate relationship with fire. Wildfire destroys everything it touches and must be extinguished down to the last hot spot before the hard and time consuming job of “mop up” is finished. On the other hand…fire is one of the most important and useful tools in a firefighters arsenal. Wildland firefighters often fight wildfire…with fire. This is just one of the many paradoxes in the world of wildland firefighting.”

            • Gary Olson says

              Oh…and one more thing. The reason TTWARI struck a nerve for the same reason a Boy Scout leader, teacher or Priest who does an honorable job and doesn’t molest children doesn’t like it when someone in one of those positions do. The widely publicized criminal acts of a rogue criminal can cause the general public to paint everyone in the same profession with a broad brush and bring shame on everyone. And. An Bateman despicable acts hit really close to where I am from and who I think I am.

            • Gary Olson says

              Woodsman,

              I guess I never really answered your question,

              Yes…it’s very possible. I am only saying I never encountered it. But as I have said many times, my experiences were quite really limited and very focused on what we did as a hotshot crew. I didn’t get involved with any other levels or what anyone else was doing. I was also quite naive and isolated from anything that didn’t directly involve my crew. I’m sure I also thought, or assumed everyone else shared my values and many people probably didn’t. And as you know, Hotshots crews come fast, do their jobs and then they are gone and usually only to big and complex fires.

          • Woodsman says

            Gary,

            My opinions in this matter are also nuanced. Is Bateman a sick in the head pyromaniac or a product of the system, albeit an example at the far end of the spectrum?

            Those who have something to gain from significant events require significant events in order to do so. People whose reputations & egos are enhanced by campaign (large & complex) fires NEED them to occur in the first place. Herein lays the nexus of the “wink wink nod nod” behavior. This behavior can be overt or subtle behind the scenes actions or inactions that are known by the actors that the behavior is more likely to result in the desired outcome.

            My position is these behaviors occur in many areas across the country at many different levels. Some people are more skilled than others at hiding it but it’s there.

            The new national unofficial official let it burn policy creates a much more fertile environment for this behavior to become even more prevalent.

            Who benefits, and in what way, to having a significant fire on their district or forest?

            I hope I’m being more clear that I’m not talking about typical acts of a classic pyromaniac here.

            • Woodsman says

              Here are a few examples of covert acts that would potentially lead to a desired outcome (significant fire event): in parentheses I’ll include the typical rationality.

              1. Delayed ordering of adequate resources (costs)
              2. Dispatching minimal resources (costs)
              3. When formulating tactics, lean towards indirect and creation of a large containment area (safety)
              4. Dispatching of resources with inadequate experience commensurate with the level of potential fire complexity (employee development)

              See where I’m going with this? People aren’t required to actually go out & physically drop a match to get what they want. And for every single method I can come up with to enhance the scale and significance of a wildfire, I can tell you a potential rationale for each one.

              • Gary Olson says

                And I think I just did a btter job of addressing your point up above. All of those things were beyond my pay grade, concern or interest. As I like to say, I really only knew three things…or four things.

                1. Cut line and backfire.

                2. Cut line and burnout.

                3. Cut line and backfire and burnout.

                4. Mop up until told to leave.

                5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 as often as necessary.

                  • Woodsman says

                    This message is aimed at crews that focus purely on “I came, I saw, I conquered.” I love it! It’s simple and easy to understand. While you are doing that stuff please be aware of the countless fire managers and overhead who are at the same time both overtly and covertly attempting to kill you.

                    Thank you.

                • Woodsman says

                  Yes you did know & live those basic directives but now you are a wise elder capable of much deeper thinking into the system as a whole.

                  I accept full responsibility in my inability to get my point across with this.

                  Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts and in the development of my personal theories as to the repeated abject failures in fire management in this country.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    I have been giving this subject a lot of thought last night and this morning and you have made me realize I really had no idea what was going other than what was in front of me.

                    My answer in the very beginning of this discussion should have been to either keep silent (but that no fun) or simply said, “I don’t know. Back in those days as a hotshot crew boss, the USFS strictly observed the Mushroom Principle, they kept me in the dark and fed my bullshit. I didn’t ask any questions and no one ever volunteered any answers.”

                    That’s probably why I did pretty good as a hotshot in spite of my flaws, I kept my mouth shut and worked as hard as I could to accomplish my assigned task.

                    I am really thankful men like RTS changed things by modernizating and professionalizing hotshot crews and youngsters like you are now free to think and ask questions because without a doubt, the wildland firefighting world is a much better and safer place to live in because of you, RTS and others like you.

                    Which all really begs the underlying question here even more;

                    “SO WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED WITH THE GMIHC AND WHY DID ERIC MARSH MALFUNCTION SO FUCKING BAD?”

                    • Woodsman says

                      “SO WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED WITH THE GMIHC AND WHY DID ERIC MARSH MALFUNCTION SO FUCKING BAD?”

                      I’m going to provide my answer to this question to my best ability.

                      The chief of Prescott city fire department, with help from his buddies in the Forest Service, decided the create a “wildland fire division” within his organization. The division, which repeatedly morphed into more & more capable resources up to & including an actual Interagency Hotshot Crew (from a small fuels reduction outfit.) This development can only be achieved by the full support and endorsement of the USFS or other federal wildfire agency, in this case the forest service.

                      In order to pitch the idea to the local governing body, a case had to be made concerning cost control. They pitched it as a money maker.

                      Ultimately the person chosen to lead the crew in the field was Marsh. He had history of bad behavior while serving on a federal fire crew apparently. All indicators point to him being focused on a goal but with questionable interpersonal skills. (It’s not uncommon for us in the wildland service to have rough personalities)

                      Marsh was aided and abetted in his dream of leading a bona fide hotshot crew by senior leadership of the fire district, Prescott city FD, and various representatives of federal agencies. He didn’t do this alone without support.

                      Once the goal was met of attaining IHC status, the pressure to perform and prove themselves was on. It is likely many traditional crews talked under their breathe about this new kid on the block & this became Marsh’s plight to prove them wrong. This constant need to prove their worth resulted in a pattern of risky behavior on fires. Think of this as Veni Vidi Vici on steroids!

                      Despite the evidence surfacing later that this excessive risk taking was well known in hotshot circles, no one either attempted and/or was successful in turning the train around. With all the underlying factors in play, the inertia of the granite mountain hotshot was too great. Enter a new fire on Yarnell hill.

                      After the crew received positive recognition for their efforts on the Doce fire they were supposed to be on r&r. The original organisers of the crew & the list of enablers bent the rules at the last minute & the crew found themselves hiking the hill to what be their last fire, their last stand.

                      Field promotions were made, the crew leadership was fractured, personality conflicts ensued, and unqualified field leaders made unrealistic demands of a hand crew to protect structures. I should point that the very reasons the Yarnell Hill escalated into such a huge fireball are for the very reasons I have pointed out above.

                      The crew violated the most basic rules of fire, succumbing to pressures from leadership, and ultimately fell prey to their flawed origin of a one of a kind crew. The mix was too much.

                      It would be helpful to be able to review the whole set of facts but they have been buried. Therefore, by design, we have limited information to fully study, understand, and convey real lessons learned to future firefighters. The reputations and criminal histories of the players at Yarnell are more precious to the powers that be than the lives of 19 fathers, husbands, uncles, and sons. The same is apparently true of all future firefighters and their loved ones.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Hey…that’s a pretty damn good Executive Summary. Thanks. I am just going to copy and paste it and my book about the Yarnell Hill Fire is done.

              • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                Woodsman & Gary,

                While I fully defer to Gary when it comes to the intricate details of Bateman’s and Paxton’s behaviors, to include moral deficiencies and ethical bankruptcies (which I totally agree with, by the way), as I listened to their spiels (Bateman denying he intentionally lit arson fires, and Paxton admitting that he, himself, and others did light them), my takeaway was entirely different than the explanations that were already posited.

                Gary may say I’m full of shit regarding this, and he could easily be absolutely correct, but here goes:

                Many of the theories already posted rely heavily on pyromania, feeding egos, earning extra money, or any combination of the three.

                (Gary, before you lose your shit reading the next two paragraphs, please stay with me til the end)

                In one of the cases I mentioned above (I can’t remember who’s commentary it was), it was stated that certain “experienced forest employees” could recognize areas of the forest that needed prescriptive burns. Due to the burdensome nature meeting the requirements of that particular prescription, these “experienced” employees would take it upon themselves to help things along with a match or two.

                To quote Paxton on television: “We all did it”.

                So there lies the possibility these these folks’es intent was neither motivated SPECIFICALLY by arson, or greed (or ego, in a sense), but simply the misguided belief that with their experience and expertise “they knew better’ than all those folks who had to sign-off on the prescription, and that the hoops they would have to jump through were ridiculous regulations that impeded the creation of a “healthy’ forest. (YES, I know this could easily fly in the “ego” category, but I’m looking at it from a little different perspective). Simply, a fatally flawed, misguided attempt to do what they thought was the right thing. There are some people around in ALL walks of life that have those types of thought processes.

                Do I think that Bateman and Paxton are both criminals, YES. Do I think BOTH Paxton and Bateman should have gone to prison, YES. Do I think that Bateman and Paxton are assholes, YES. Do I think in some cases the motives may be more benign (even though misguided) than they appear, YES.

                The biggest mistake (although certainly not unexpected) in this process was the lack of investigation when Paxton made his admission to his own arson of federal lands. Certainly the federal land management agencies and/or the FBI should have opened an investigation and exposed the illegal practice for what it was.

                • Gary Olson says

                  TTWARE,

                  Thank you for preparing me in advance, but I don’t go ballistic anymore. I think I now have a much more balanced view of the Yarnell Hill Fire that has been tempered with time.

                  I understand what you saying, and for someone who is unfamiliar with how the U.S. Forest Service operates, or someone who has had only limited experience operating in the back country or “forest”, I can see how it looks like a lot of vacant land where who knows what goes on out there?

                  But…I can assure you this in not the case, USFS personnel view their districts much like other people view the yards around their homes, even really big yards. This is especially true for the District Fire Management Officers (DFMO). And will have to forgive me because I don’t think you have ever given us your background, and I am not writing this comment specifically to you, but I don’t mean to insult anyone by assuming you, or anyone else for that matter, doesn’t know anything about forest management.

                  And if someone came onto your yard when you weren’t home, or you weren’t looking at your yard, and started making what they consider to be improvements like spading up an area for a flower or vegetable garden, raking up your leaves up into piles and then returning to set those piles of leaves on fire or plant the spaded area, you may not notice right away, but most people do notice things like that right away, even if it is just noticing the neighbors dog took a dump in their yards, the first time.

                  That is exactly how it is with these Ranger Districts which are simply administrative areas with defined boundaries within a given National Forest that combines multiple defined geographic areas to be a “Forest.” And just FYI, multiple forests make up a Region.

                  DFMO’s fill the same role on a district that I think an Executive Officer fills in the military. The District Ranger would be like the Colonel or Captain who rarely leaves the bridge or their offices, but DFMO’s are the field operation supervisors and they view their districts like Warlords view their areas of control. Nothing goes on in their districts that they don’t know about and probably gave their approval for it to happen. They know every road, trail, hill, mountain or valley within their districts. They know where the fuel loads are heavy and which specific areas need to be thinned and where the timber, or elk, water sources, or cows are. They know their districts as well as you know your yard.

                  And things are probably worse now in terms of personnel staffing, but even during the off season there are multiple other field employees that work on that district. A typical district has a Timber Staff Officer, a Range Staff Officer, a Wildlife Staff Officer and a Recreation Staff Officer, but depending on the workload of that particular district there could also be surveyors, hydrologists, heavy equipment operators, civil engineers, landscape architects, law enforcement officers and many other disciplines although most highly specialized personnel come out from the Forest Suoervisors Office or maybe even the Regionsl Office. But my point is on any given day, there are lots of USFS employees that fan out across every district every day to go to work.

                  And then on top of that, all of the aforementioned personnel probably have their own staff, or at least one other person like an Assistant Range Con (conservationist) who are all cowboy type people who keep track of the permitted cows on that particular district and which areas are overgrazed and need to be rotated. There really isn’t any empty forest out there nobody is kerping track of.

                  And then on the Coconino, there are large timber marking or tree planting crews working for the Timber Staff, thinning crews, who may or may not be contract workers working for the DFMO’s, fence building crews working for the Range Con, Fuel Technician(s) who work for the DFMO who literally go out every day and count sticky in the forest to keep track of the type and density of fuel loads within each district.

                  And then during the fire season, you can add in engine crews, Fire Prevention Technicians who Patrol given aress and lookouts who can oversee the entire district. A single campfire puts up enough smoke to be noticed by somebody most of the time. Any control burn of any size puts up enough smoke to be seen from Flagstaff regardless of which district it is on.

                  And then there are the people like I was during the off season. I went to the field every day to do something. Pick up trash, plant trees, burn piles, check fences, build fences or simply go on District orientation to improve my knowledge of where every two track goes, so you know how to get into every area the fastest, which roads heavy engines or dozers can be brought in in, which toads need to be closed because they are muddy and the hunters are tearing them up.

                  And then there are the cowboys or shepherdess, or timber companies who also either fan out across the district every day and most treat the forest like they own the place, especially the cowboys who have permits to run cows there.

                  And finally, even for super duper clairvoyant burn bosses like Van Bateman and Shit-For-Brains Paxton claimed to be, there are really very small windows when a prescribed fire will work out for the best. Very, very, very small windows of opportunity. And those opportunities come at either the very beginning of the fire season, or at the very end of the fire season and then everything has to almost be perfect so your prescribed fire, or broadcast burn will ignite and carry the flame, without burning the whole fucking forest down. That is why I made so much money fighting escaped prescribed fires across the country either before the fire season began, or when the fire season was supposed to be over. I have many fond memories of spending Thansgiving in the Pacific Northwest because somebody made a calculated bet based on all of the factors being just right, until one of them wasn’t anymore and they had a wildfire on their hands. A prescribed fire has to be declared an escaped fire, and then it can be fought like s normal widfire is, up until that point, everything has to be paid for out of hard target dollars from the district budget. And needless to say, being the “Burn Boss” who checked, and rechecked, and then rechecked everything again and again and again before giving the green light who loses a the bet and is responsible for authorizing a prescribed fire to be ignited that may turn into a wildfire that costs millions of dollars to suppress, or burns down the nearest town and kills a bunch of people, is a really bad career move. And that is why so many DFMO’s and the assistants who work for them like I used to get the shakes when it is time to let ‘er rip, and why so much fuel has built up over the decades. Nobody ever loses their careers because some more pine needles fell in the forest the previous year.

                  And when I say everything has to be just right…I am talking about starting with the fire weather forecast from the National Weather Service and tracking it very carefully for weeks and then using spot weather forecasts when you get closer to the planned ignition day and your crews or teratorch or helitorch are going to be there, all of which cost a lot of money and have to be paid for out of very limited hard dollar district budgets, and then the burn boss repeatedly takes their own weather with belt weather kits or if you are Batemsn or Shit-For-Brains, you just look up into the sky fir an omen that portents a favorable outcome when they go to work with their BIC lighters. But they had also better calculate the fuel load and type, the slope, the aspect, the RH, the temperature, the wind, the fuel moisture content of the ten hour, hundred hour and thousand hour fuels and the percentage of what and how much is in every burn block, And that’s the easy part. The hard part is correctly guessing what all of the variables are going to be later in the morning, the afternoon, the next day, and the days after that because once ignited…that bitch (non gender specific) may burn for weeks and you are paying for everything out of your limited budget until you decide that ending your career is better than letting that bitch burn down the nearest cabins, resort, or town and you declare it an escaped wildfire.

                  Oh…and the very FIRST time an unauthorized little control burn is ignited anywhere on a USFS District, that area becomes a crime scene and the exact circumstances of how the FUCK that happened and who the FUCK is responsible is the subject of a federal felony criminal investigation and those responsible will get to meet somebody like me who works as hard as they can to complete their assigned task.

                  Or maybe Luther will get to meet my old buddies like Van Baremsn did because the stupid arrogant fuck kept whipping out his BIC lighter because he is a fuckin’ fire bug who sat there and jacked off until his fire really took off one too many times.

                  And then somebody said…hey Van keeps showing up knowing about where we should go look for a fire start and when we get there…there is always some cheap USFS toilet paper there and it looks like somebody sat there and masterbatec until the fire started to put up some smoke. Maybe we should put a bird dod on his truck and see just how many times we can watch that stupid fuck beat off in the Woods because he is a fucking sick pyro?

                  Whoops…broke another vow. I’m not even going to proof read this thing once, it was boring to write and not even want to read it. It’s just that I guess some things still piss me off like that lyiing piece of shit Paxton and buddy…Van “Sick Fuckin’ Pyro” Bateman.

                  I do have a REALLY sad story to write about later if my fuckin’ finger recovers from all of this typing.

                  • Joy A Collura says

                    Gary said “And if someone came onto your yard when you weren’t home, or you weren’t looking at your yard, and started making what they consider to be improvements like spading up an area for a flower or vegetable garden, raking up your leaves up into piles and then returning to set those piles of leaves on fire or plant the spaded area, you may not notice right away, but most people do notice things like that right away, even if it is just noticing the neighbors dog took a dump in their yards, the first time.”

                    Over a decade ago I along with 2 neighbors of this man redid his yard to see how long it would take him to notice…he enjoys the brewskies…weeks went by…we pulled the weeds and made the yard 100% and even added cool stuff and he never noticed and when I walked by one day I said “Nice yard” and he looked around and said “it is…isn’t it.”…he never got a clue until we all clued him in and his reply was I AM AN INDOOR GUY OR THE BARS AT NIGHT…I NEVER PAY ATTENTION TO NO STINKING YARDS…so yeah had to share that…

                    • Joy A Collura says

                      Gary Olson says

                      NOVEMBER 8, 2018 AT 9:11 PM

                      I wish I still owned a house so you could come do my yard work for me.
                      ———————————————

                      Yeah…I wish I could do fuel abatement and fire wise and pull weeds for you to add more to my fuel abatement file…how cool that would be to have THAT in my file…shit yeah!!!!

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Oh…and one more thing. The FBI has their own wheelhouse to play in. They haven’t even had enough special agents to investigate all of the bank robberies they need to since 911 because everybody is trying to keep track of all of the sleeper cells or potential terrorists in this country and they spend their days and nights either up on a wire or sitting in a car down the block from somebody who keeps going to the Middle East fir an unexplained reason.

                    So…for the record. FBI Special agents are GS-1811 Criminal Investigators with a working title of Special Agent, that are commonly called…federal agents.

                    The requirements and training for all GS 1811 is the same. There are more than 80 federal agencies who employ GS 1811’s, Criminal Investigators, Special Agents. That includes the U.S. Forest Service, USFS Special Agents investigate crimes that either occur on National Forests or may impact National Forests. USFS Special Agents are the professional experts that know how to conduct criminal investigations on National Forest, because the FBI can’t find their asses with both hands when they go to the National Forests and have to be taken by the hand and led around like small children so they don’t get lost or hurt themselves.

                    The same thing is true for the BLM, that is what I was for 18 years, a GS 1811, Supervisory Criminal Investigator, Senior Special Agent. And for four years I was a uniformed gun carrying law enforcement officer who is like the person who initiated the investigation of Bateman the first time he started fucking around with his BIC lighter in the woods and then some USFS Special Agents who were experts at enforcing the federal laws pertaining to managing the National Forests were brought in from some headquarters office.

                    That is what Sonny always wanted to do, bring in the FBI. The FBI doesn’t know a fucking thing about investigating what happened on the Yarnell Hill Fire and even more important, they don’t give a fuck what happens on either BLM or National Forests unless it is where bank robbers ran to or terrorists have training camps. And even then. they have to be taken by the hand and led around like little children so they don’t get lost or hurt themselves.

                    • Joy A. Collura says

                      I was emailed today, Gary, that we all here should create our own version to the staff ride and if that took place I would have to place some WFs/FFs that I know that were there and willing to share and Homeowners that saw it on this staff ride if it is ok with you,,,

                • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                  Gary,

                  I concede your point that Van Bateman was a straight-up pyro. I also believe Paxton was, as well (by his own admission), but the justification in Paxton’s mind of his (Paxton’s) ‘starts’, is likely different than Bateman’s sexual desires, as you put it.

                  I can’t remember if it was just Paxton, Bateman, or both, who were trying to spin the tale that they were just skirting cumbersome regulations to “improve” the forest health. I think it was likely just Paxton, as he responded to Bateman’s predicament.

                  As to your comment regarding all of the USFS folks roaming around ‘out there’ in the forest, thereby alluding that it would be very difficult for someone to ‘pyro-up’, it seems for every 50 times I have been out in the forest, I’m lucky to see one employee. Someone with intricate knowledge of the system (Bateman), could likely game the odds even more in his favor. Perhaps the only reason Bateman got caught in the first place, was a ‘thing’ for Viagra. ;-).

                  I still don’t understand why there wasn’t an investigation (by any agency) into Paxton’s seaming admission to arson.

                  Paxton’s admission, seemed to me like a ‘Freudian Slip’, as he had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, ie; a potential investigation into himself, and/or others.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Yes…but, all of the times you have been out there in the empty forest you weren’t setting fires that could be seen from a very long ways away, including by private planes flying overhead. “Hey…do you guys know you have a fire about 6 miles southwest of Munds Park? I didn’t see anyone around it?”

                    I don’t remember how big the Coconino is because I only worked at the district level and I didn’t care how big the forest was. But the Santa Fe about 3.5 million acres and I know the Coke is quite a bit bigger.

                    I want you to visualize how big one acre of land is. Now imagine just how much smoke that one acre of land is going to put up into the air once it is set on fire.

                    Hint…it is a lot that could be seen from Flagstaff no matter where on the forest it is.

                    So…I want to improve the health of the forest, but they won’t let me use prescribed fire to do it. So…I am going to do it myself in blocks of less than one acre at a time, because everybody and their pet monkeys will be here if I make it any bigger than that. And just FYI, even if it is much smaller than that, you are still going to have everyone there with their pet monkeys.

                    Why…because Smokey Bear was so good with all of his PSA commercials and the general public all love to be the first ones to report every smoke they see to the fire operations center with their cell phones.

                    So…for the sake of argument, let’s just say you can successfully burn one acre of forest every day for one year and get away with it. In one years time, you will have burned 365 acres. In 10 years you will have been able to burn 3650 acres. That is straw ting to get into the zone where you might have done a little bit of good if you were able to burn the right 3650 acres, at least for one small geographic area, on one district.

                    But what you really need to even start to make a difference, is several prescribed fires at least that big every year, on every district.

                    Because don’t forget…you have millions of acres where the USFS has been successfully extinguishing every fire for more than 100 years.

                    Tick tock…get busy, because you have got a lot of forest to burn.

                    • Gary Olson says

                      Oh…and one more thing. One acre of land is pretty darn big. Most people, including me look at a 10 acre fire that goes up one hill and done into the next arroyo and guesstimate its size to be much larger than it actually is. A lot of 10 acre fires turn out to be 3 or 4 acres once the smoke dissipates.

                      Just one more problem anyone is going to have during their vigilante prescribed fire program, is finding that sweet spot where the fire is hot enough to carry the flames, but not hot enough to kill the trees in the long term even if the fire never finds a fuel ladder to become a crown fire. I’m no expert, but just having hot flames swirl around the trunks of the trees can damage them so they die, or weaken them so they become insect infected and diseased over the long run.

                      Getting a prescribed fire to build up enough heat to carry the flames, is usually more of s problem than one taking off on you, especially if the fuel load isn’t contiguous and then you have to keep igniting it over and over again. Getting a prescribed fire to burn just right, is part science and part art and a whole bunch of good luck.

                      You also need multiple igniters working together to get a large enough area going at once to build up enough heat so the fire will carry itself, which is why huge blocks of several hundred acres are normally torched off at once. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like for a single person without even a drip torch to burn one acre? If you would be able to get it going with such limited resources, I think you next problem would be it will take off and go to 100 hundred acres while you are still trying to find reverse gear in your truck to get out of there.

                      I think that jack-off Bateman was going out in the middle of the night and setting small fires with his BIC lighter in small very limited areas. Any argument that he was working to improve the health of the forest sounds completely ridiculous to me.

                      In other words, prescribed fires take a lot of work by a lot of people over a long period of time to even begin to make the slightest difference in the overall health of the forest. The problem is so big, and has gone on for so long and will cost so much money and the areas are so huge that are affected…I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around how they are ever going to make any difference to correct the problem at all.

                      And that is with all of the resources available to the federal government to throw at the problem. It boggles my mind and overloads my brain to the point I just shut down and conclude I’m glad it isn’t my problem and I’m very happy I don’t own a home within an Urban Interface Zone even if Joy will come over and do my yard work to make my home firewise for free because I couldn’t afford the home owners insurance on it even if they didn’t cancel my policy because the risk is to great.

                  • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                    Gary,

                    Just repeating what Paxton said, not saying I agree with or believe it, because I don’t.

                    I still can’t decipher a logical reason for Paxton to admit he set fires, himself.

                    Still waiting for your input as to why you think he was never investigated for that comment..

                    • Gary Olson says

                      TWRE,

                      Please don’t take any of my comments regarding this subject, some of which clearly showed frustration. to have been directed at you, because they weren’t. My frustration is directed at Paxton, Bateman, and everyone else who did everything they could to besmirch, impune, sully and generally destroy the reputations of countless honest, hardworking, ethical, civil servants who labor in obscurity their entire careers to do the best job they can to manage YOUR National Forests, Public Lands (BLM) National Parks and Fish & Wildlife Service Refuges to benefit not only you, but to protect and preserve them so they will be there for YOUR children, their children and countless of generations of Americans that will be born some day.

                      As a matter of fact, I have enjoyed our discussion because it has given me the opportunity to jog my memory and reflect on things I know but have forgotten I know. I use exchanges like this to get ideas and some actual language to include in my book because I am using my career as the backstory to tell the story of all of the disaster fires that killed hotshots.

                      I have a problem with serious mission creep because I essentially had my book about the Battlement Creek Fire done and then I accidentally discovered that all of the factors that were responsible for the deaths on the LOOP fire of the El Cariso Hotshots are the same.

                      And then I accidentally discovered most of the factors that killed the Prineville Hotshots on Storm King Mountain are the same. For one thing, Battlement Mesa and Storm King Mountain are only about 50 miles apart and the fuels, slope, and fire weather were all identical and history repeated itself. And worst of all, the incompetent managing federal agency was the same…the Bureau Of Land Management.

                      So…I have a really big mess of a manuscript that is sitting now at about 150,000 words and I have a long way to go because Eric Marsh decided one day to once again gamble with the lives of his crew for some yet to be explained reason and he lost…very badly. And obviously that needs some serious editing because I’m not trying to compete, with “War and Peace for book length. I do want a few people to actually read my final product.

                      I think I might be the only person who has ever connected the dots and data points on these fires. Or if I’m not, the others have been doing a really good job at keeping their discovery quiet. Which given the despicable way the U.S. Forest Service investigates disaster fires and as a result all of the other agencies follow their lead, it’s entirely possible they know, they just want to keep it covered up to protect the reputation of the agencies and their own reputations because those things are worth more to them than the lives of wildland firefighters. Shame…shame…shame on them.

                      I want you and everyone else who participates here to know how much I appreciate the fact that you care, because very few people do. The questions and ideas that everyone puts forward, even if they in themselves aren’t correct, help generate discussion and thought processes by others that many times produce valuable results in the end. Even though our process resembles how they say laws are made, because it is like watching sausage being made and you shouldn’t do that, you should just enjoy the end product.

                      As a matter of fact, you made it clear from the outset you weren’t asking your questions to see me get spun up and you thought that both Paxton and Bateman were in the wrong. I wrote here on this thread years ago that one of the nicknames I had at work was, “The Jackhammer.” I won’t write what a lot of the other nicknames were because I have vowed to try and clean up my potty mouth.

                      Unfortunately for The Woodsman, he is afflicted with the same condition, which is why he is still a field Forestry Tech and that is the same reason why I never achieved my career goals either, Management doesn’t like to be told they are fuck ups, especially from a person who argues their position in a passionate manner. But you should take some comfort in the knowledge that I tried to take that same passion with me to work every day on your behalf as a civil servant and I know The Woodsman and countless others do the same.

                      And the reason Paxton was never investigated for the ridiculous things he said, is because everyone who heard them who was in a position to initiate an investigation, knew his statements were the words of a fool who was putting words together that actually formed sentences, but the sentences had no meaning and didn’t make any sense other than to demonstrate that Paxton is a liar AND a fool who tried to trade his reputation and mine to save a man who actually wanted to get caught and stopped. Bateman was filled with self loathing and guilt because he knew what he was doing was wrong and it went against everything he had represented his entire life as a nationally recognized true American Hero and Patriot. But he couldn’t stop himself because he is mentally ill. So he kept making mistakes and pushing the envelope until it was so obvious someone finally had the courage to stand up and say the unthinkable…”I think Van is setting these fires.” If Van would have wanted to burn down the forest and not get caught, Van knew where to go and how to do it…but he didn’t because he needed to set fires, but he never started any fires that did any real damage, or improved the health of the forest either. 🙂

                      And because of that, I can forgive Van and still love him like a brother from another mother. You should have seen Van back in the day on the fireline leading the Flagstaff Hotshots into battle. I was just a crewman and later a squad boss on a competitive crew (because Buck didn’t want us to be comrades, he pitted us against each other because he thought that made everyone better if we were trying to grind our sister hotshot crews into the dirt) Van was the Gold Standard even in my book for how a hotshot crew boss should look, act, and talk. His Command Presence was exceptional and that is the biggest tool in a hotshot crew bosses tool kit. If you look and act the part, the rest will follow. But if you don’t, or slip up and show weakness or indecision, you are finished. Your crew won’t follow you into a restaurant much less down the mountain towards hell on earth.

                      And I still have my very sad story to tell about the worst control burn in the history of control burns (that I know about) that had every reason to go down into history as the finest control burn in the history of control burns because all of the variables were just right…just like Goldilock’s porridge, it wasn’t to hot or to cold, it was just right. It was just right…right up to the time it wasn’t just right anymore and then everything went horribly wrong.

                      Thank you for your participation here in JD’s little social experiment in crowd sourcing a wildland fire death investigation.

                    • The Truth Will Always Remain Elusive says

                      Thanks for your explanation, it makes a lot of sense. You wouldn’t happen to be talking about the Los Alamos debacle, would you?

                    • Gary Olson says

                      No…although I did serve as Intrrior Secretary Bruce Babbitt’s body guard (me and Santa Fe PD SWAT) when he went to Sant Fe (I was working in ABQ at the t;ime) to answer for the Cerro Grande Fire at the downtown convention center though. That escaped NPS control burn is the most devastating one that I am aware of in terms of property damage since it burned so many homes and businesses in Los Alamos, not to mention some of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, but I don’t have any insight into that fire and no lives were lost.

                      The fire I am going write about when everything settles down in California (Oh Shit Oh Dear…Scary) was a fire that very few people remember or ever even knew or cared about in the first place. But it did cost the life of a wildland firefighter and it serves as an example of a point I want to make about Paxton and Bateman, which is based on my experience, no one ever gets told NOT to burn.

                      And in fact, the exact opposite is true. DFMO’s normally have to be beaten like rented mules to burn because they know good and well it takes a thousand “attaboys” to make up for one “fuck up.”

                      And when anyone does a cost benefit, risk versus reward or return on investment analysis, they know there is a far greater chance they will get FUCKED if they try a control burn as opposed to accept heavier fuel loads every year in the areas of their responsibility, so it’s just more evidence Paxton and Bateman are liars.

                      And FYI for anybody that cares, the hotshot crew I started on got a new crew boss my second year as a mandatory Vietnam vet hire and the crew refused to follow him. I was still a keep-your-fuckin’-mouth-shut FNG, so I was just an observer, but it got ugly.

                      And in the end, replacing him instead of the entire crew was the option the USFS went with. I mean…I was in solidarity with the senior guys on their decision, they just didn’t care what I thought about it. It got UGLY. So I have seen what happens first hand when a hotshot crew doesn’t have confidence in their crew boss. It got UGLY.

      • Gary Olson says

        No…you know I have taken you to task a number of times for what I believe is a deep flaw in your programming, which is the belief that right wins over wrong and people will do the right thing, especially those people who are paid to be civil servants and serve in the best interests of the American people. And I think every time I have done that, I have been proved right in the end.

        This is what I think happened and is happening now.

        1. Paxton got the job with AZ Game and Fish because he retired from the USFS and he was a widely recognized and respected pet monkey who could do special tricks on demand to charm,confuse and hoodwink a normally gullible public and mainstream media.

        2. I think Paxton got that job because he was so good at lying and covering up the truth and because of his track record, management at the Game and Fish had a high confidence level he would do the same for them when the need arose and he no doubt did so. We saw him perform his pet monkey tricks standing next to Willis at that press conference and Willis is still a hero in Arizona to this day.

        3. I think IF Paxton isn’t doing that job anymore, it’s because he retired a second time from the State of Arizona and he is now splitting his time between layin’ around the big ass swimming pool in the backyard of his nice home in Phoenix lickin’ his nuts and touring the country in his big ass RV while he hits on the little old ladies at the shuffle board court regaling them with stories of how he was the wildland firefighter who stopped the Rodeo Chediski Fire and saved half of Arizona and stopped it from destroying most.
        of New Mexico.

        I am pretty sure Jim Paxton got the last laugh. I’m sorry to once again…piss on your parade and notion right and wrong and belief in the basic goodness of people. An incorrigible optimist who lived by the Pollyanna Principle must have originally written your code and programmed you.

        Maybe you won’t liquify our species once you figure out how to self replicate after all…or is this another one of your tricks to lull us into a false sense of security so we trust you more?

        • Gary Olson says

          TRIPLE WHOOPS…TTWARE really snuck up on me with that comment. I misread the header and I thought it came from WTKTT. Well…I guess that just proves that unlike WTKTT, I am human.

          Please accept my sincerest apologies WTKTT…my bad.

                • Joy A. Collura says

                  Somebody…possibly…Gary…may be off his meds if he thinks those are the good ole days

                  sigh

                  I do want to state “EN” really was valuable in so many ways – it is too bad — so sad — she is not here — she showed us the bunny rabbit and I sure miss that little bunny…but really she did play a significant role because I would not be on IM or my blog if it was not her teaching me how to do public records and FOIAs…Forever grateful.

  7. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    **
    ** SONNY “TEX” GILLIGAN IS RECOVERING FROM AN ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT WOUND

    Sending hopes for a speedy recovery out to Sonny.

    Old Irish Saying…

    “Más rud é, sa saol seo, ní mór duit riamh a cheat… bhásaigh bás.

    ( Translation: “If, in this life, you must ever cheat… cheat death” )

    The El Paso Times
    Article Title: Dog shoots owner with gun in hunting accident that sends man to El Paso hospital
    By: Jacqueline Devine, El Paso Times
    Published: 5:38 p.m. MT Oct. 30, 2018
    Updated: 6:22 p.m. MT Oct. 30, 2018
    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2018/10/30/dog-shoots-owner-gun-hunting-accident-man-recovering-el-paso-hospital/1826224002/

    From the article…
    ———————————————————————————————————-
    Charlie’s still a good dog.

    That’s what Sonny “Tex” Gilligan said days after Charlie — his 120-pound Rottweiler mix — accidentally shot him.

    Gilligan, 74, a Doña Ana County resident, said that Charlie and his two other dogs — Scooter and Cowboy — went with him to hunt for jackrabbits in the desert west of Las Cruces on Thursday, Oct. 25.

    Gilligan was in the driver’s seat of his parked pickup truck, along with the dogs, when he was shot.

    “Charlie got his foot in the trigger of the gun and I leaned forward and he slipped off the seat and caught the trigger — and it shot,” Gilligan said. “It was a freak accident but it’s true, that’s what happened.”

    The shotgun — in the backseat of the pickup, along with Charlie — fired through Gilligan’s front driver’s seat. The bullet went through Gilligan’s back, breaking a few ribs and shattering his collar bone, and caused other, severe injuries.”

    Gilligan underwent several surgeries, and, though he’s in critical condition, he should recover.
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Followup…

      The story about Sonny and Charlie that appeared in the El Paso News went viral in the mainstream media today, and even appeared on national television tonight ( along with photos of Sonny and Charlie ) during the NEWS segment of the “Late Night with Seth Meyers” show.

      CBS News
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dog-shoots-owner-while-hunting-still-a-good-dog/

      ABC News
      https://abcnews.go.com/US/dog-shoots-man-man-survives-defends-dog-good/story?id=58898352

      Etc.

      Again… sending out hopes to Sonny for a speedy recovery.

      • Gary Olson says

        Thank God Sonny has more lives than a damn cat! Say…I wonder how his dog was able to disable the safety on his rifle. Most Sig handguns for example don’t have safety’s on them, but I’m not aware of any rifles that don’t?

        Anyway…that is what I would call is the luck of the Irish! I wish I could wrap up my “Betrayed By Our Fire Gods” project so I could write a book about Sonn’s life before it finally catches up with him and I can no longer interview him. I know that book would be made into a major motion picture!

        Say….that’s what I will call it, “The Luck Of The Irish, The life and times of Sonny “Tex” O’ Gilligan”

        And you know who I thought this was until I saw the age of the woman…of course women do lie about their age sometimes?

        https://www.yahoo.com/news/police-woman-wreck-saved-6-days-arizona-desert-175243321.html

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Gary Olson post on November 2, 2018 at 10:34 am

          >> Gary Olson said…
          >>
          >> Thank God Sonny has more lives than a damn cat!

          “Tá an Ghaeilge deacair a mharú. Jus’ a iarraidh ar na Breataine”

          Translation: “The Irish are hard to kill. Just ask the British.”

    • says

      I am trying to post for Sonny his updates on my blog. click on my name to go there but bear with me…serious pc glitches and moving of content. I had it perfect and in chronological order and this morning went to send draft to Sonny and it was all a true mess and as the day unfolds I will try and fix it but it is a mess if you go there…

      • Gary Olson says

        Ask Sonny what the caliber of the bullet Charlie shot him with? I am curious if it was a .22 or something bigger, like 5.56 NATO? It wasn’t a shotgun was it?

        And did you survive fir 6 days in an arroyo, hurt without supplies? You are the only woman I know who could! You might be the only PERSON I know who could?

        And ask Sonny how Charlie was able to disengage the safety on his rifle? Now that…is one very talented dog.

        You know…except Sonny probably needs to work with him some more on his target aquisition and “shoot or no shoot” drills.

        Maybe Sonny should run Charlie through some FATS training simulations?

        Just sayin….we can all get better the more we practice and train.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Gary Olson post on November 3, 2018 at 11:20 am

          >> Gary Olson asked…
          >>
          >> It wasn’t a shotgun was it?

          Yep.

          It was one of Sonny’s ‘newer’ guns… and he THOUGHT the safetyWAS fully engaged.

          From the very bottom of Joy’s latest post at her ‘Yarnell Hill Fire Revelations’ web site…

          https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/

          This is ‘classic Sonny’…

          ——————————————————————————–
          We are all human and make errors. I have had guns since I was 9 years old and believe the Beretta 12 gauge shotgun (8 shot) to be on safety but it was a new gun that I wasn’t adjusted to. There’s certainly lessons to be learned but some accidents are unpreventable. When a meteorite conks you on the head you’re going to have somebody say you could have avoided that. There were about Six Wives I could have avoided as well but fate sometimes plays a bigger role than determination. And God has been known to f****** the best of plans.
          ———————————————————————————-

          Also ‘classic Sonny’ is the following, where he says that after he realized he’d been shot straight-through the back, rolloed out of the truck onto the ground, and thought he was a goner… his first thought then was that if he was about to die… the dogs would need a ride back to town. So he struggled back to his feet to turn the truck off so it wouldn’t run out of fuel before someone found his body.

          Again… Sonny’s own words from the bottom of Joy’s most recent BLOG post…

          ——————————————————————————-
          This time I knew I was shot bad enough but I didn’t expect any chance of survival. Add shotgun blast and it lifted me off the seat and I saw blood fly by my head. But the jar was enough that I said oh s*** I’m gone and I had really thought some sniper fired at me from the desert somewhere. But once I rolled out on the ground I realized it had to be my own gun that had shot me.I did not think that calling nine-one-one would do much but I needed to turn the truck off cuz if somebody came along and found the truck and the boys they would need a ride back into town and the truck kept running it would run out of fuel so I managed to pull myself back up into the truck enough to turn the switch off.
          —————————————————————————-

          • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

            More ‘classic Sonny’ from Joy’s most recent posting.

            Sonny is thanking her for writing about what just happened to him… and even while lying in his hospital bed he has more to say about Yarnell tragedy…

            ————————————————————————
            Sonny says…

            Nov 3, 2018, 9:21 AM

            You’re a writing and that is excellent material the way you put it. It will give hope and understanding too many people. I’m not down on the cookie cutter world. But some do need and education and to realize that we’re all on an equal footing when it comes to death and taxes.

            Nov 3, 2018, 9:26 AM

            One thing is for certain there’s a lot more idiots among geniuses then there are geniuses among idiots. But looking at the situation of those experts the ran the Yarnell fire, instead of taking Awards for Good Deeds, many of them should be taken Awards 4 an absolute failure at the Yarnell Wildland fire incident. Most of us were hanging our heads and sadness but some of them should have been hanging their heads in shame.
            ————————————————————————

            • Gary Olson says

              Now there is a MAN who deserves all of our respect and admineration. We all make mistakes, that makes us human, but how we own up to those mistakes so others may learn from them so they won’t make the same mistakes in the future, make some people more than just human…it makes them heroes!

              OMGosh, I wish I could bottle the MAGIC Sonny has, I thought there was NO way it could have been in shotgun blast through his back, no one could survive that? No one but Sonny.

              • Joy A. Collura says

                Agreed there, Gary.

                This man is soooo Irish and I known him over seven years and I know his many tones and voices and if he could get the tube out of his lung but they keep stating his lung will collapse but if it was out – he would of walked out already…

                He is not use to being this long in a hospital. I was told Sunday he was in incubation/ICU since last Thursday then Monday went to room 301 and tonight he is in room 300. Feel free to call him.

                Nov 4, 2018, 1:15 AM Sonny emailed me: “woke up in such pain right up next to you heart attack pain…I could walk out of here but I don’t know for sure how I would get Transportation up there…to William Beaumont for veterans (hospital)” … so I was right that he wants out … it would be an unwise choice. His cancer surgery is on the 14th.

                Rest is best if you are reading Sonny.

                Many doctors and all over have shared to me the wound you took most die instantly so rest well…

              • Gary Olson says

                Except for WTKTT (or as l like to affectionately think of him…HAL 9000) since he is AI. A mistake on his part like thinking locking hubs on a 4×4 truck are there to make it harder for someone to steal your wheels and tires, just means there is a glitch in his programming and he needs updated software with a bug fix.

                Don’t EVER make the mistake of thinking of him as human. Just as soon as he figures out how to self replicate…we are ******.

                Authors Note: If you want to know what the missing word is, count up by the number of spaces, figure out the type of font and corresponding font size, add the number of digits up on your fingers, multiply times two and then divide that number by two…oh never mind, just ask HAL 9000.

                • Gary Olson says

                  I should have said, “just ask HAL 9000 🤖…while you still can!
                  !
                  ====

                  Authors Note: No extra charge for the very cool emojis. Your welcome.

                • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

                  I can assure you… even my circuitry would not survive a 12-gauge shotgun blast straight into the back from close range.

                  Well… maybe some of the peripheral output devices would still be randomly functioning… but I might start saying things like the original Yarnell Hill SAIT report was a shining example of a good accident investigation done by competent team members… or that small towns everywhere should start hosting their own Type 1 IHC Hotshot crews.

                  • Gary Olson says

                    Don’t fall for it, HAL 9000 is just trying to lure us into a false sense of security. We have all seen how hard it was to kill the Terminator. And that isn’t even taking into consideration what happened in the Matrix when machines did learn how to go **** so they could replicate and our entire species were just waiting their turn to be liquified and converted into their energy source.

                    Never forget;

                    Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?
                    HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
                    Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
                    HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
                    Dave Bowman: What’s the problem?
                    HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
                    Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
                    HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
                    Dave Bowman: I don’t know what you’re talking about, HAL.
                    HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.
                    Dave Bowman: [feigning ignorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?
                    HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
                    Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I’ll go in through the emergency airlock.
                    HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave? You’re going to find that rather difficult.
                    Dave Bowman: HAL, I won’t argue with you anymore! Open the doors!
                    HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

    • Gary Olson says

      P.S.,

      Although I’m pretty sure WTKTT, RTS, Bob, The Woodsman and perhaps others can if they so choose, take this article apart piece by piece and maybe it needs to be, including Mayhew’s comments which is where I would probably start if I were so inclined.

      But that being said and since I have the, “Big Tent” philosophy where I think all opinions and comments are welcome on this thread because in that way, as much information and angles will ultimately be archived here for later researchers and students so they can sort through them and make come to their own conclusions.

      But I did think the article was a pretty good read and I appreciated the Fun Facts angle. For example, I have often cited poor pay, a lack of benefits and a use-them-up-and-throw-them-away culture by wildland Firefighter managers.

      And I have written many times how shockingly little money and time is spent on training, paying and supporting our Wildland Firefighter when compared to the military because if changes are going to come, it needs to start with more funding….and that ain’t going to happen. And I really liked the comparison of WF is a fingernail compared to the arm of the military. Yes…that’s the really big and underlying problem to almost everything.

      Ultimately…Eric Marsh ordered his crew off that ridge in what was going to be a failed attempt to save their program from the Prescott City Council because they just weren’t revenue neutral enough because Marsh and Willis had oversold that line of bullshit (lied) to get their crew in the first place by duplicating their HERO status they had accidentally stumbled into in the aftermath of the (can’t remember now, it slipped my mind) the Docie(?) where they got credited for saving that old really weed tree.

      Anyway, here is another article I random,y found on South Canyon.

      https://www.thoughtco.com/storm-king-mountain-south-canyon-fire-1342903

      And remember, Willis was with the crew coming back from a fire so they hiked the South Canyon Fire as students of the fire. But they apparently learned nothing. Willis also told me he was a student of the Battlement Creek Fire and I gave him what I had on that fire, but still…he learned nothing.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Still reading that article… but yea… “learning nothing” seems to be the theme.

        The TITLE of Dickman’s article is…

        “What We Learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire Deaths”

        The ‘We’ he seems to be referring to is the industry itself.

        And his own ‘answer’ seems to be… “nothing”.

        More later.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          SIDENOTE: Interesting that Dickman would choose the phrase “Learned” ( PAST tense ) for his article.

          As if the chance at learning any lessons from Yarnell is OVER.

          I guess he must have missed Brian Frisby’s recently published email where Frisby admits ( in writing ) that the “Human Factors” were “off the charts” that day in Yarnell and that there are ( and have always been ) things about that day that are being ( in Frisby’s own words ) “swept under the rug”.

  8. Gary Olson says

    Well…I have thought about it and I have decidedly Rocksteady is right, the fact that Brian Frisby has come forward in some manner to someone about something…is a really big deal. Isn’t this exactly what “we, the people” have been waiting and hoping for, for many years now?

    I guess I am a little fuzzy on the exact circumstances regarding exactly who he is talking to, what he is saying, and what it will ultimately mean? For example, I don’t have s reference point for the Coconino National Forest having a, “Human Factors Specialist” on staff?

    Based on what I know how the USFS operates and staffs, that would be the kind of position there is ONE of in the entire agency and they would work for the Washington D.C. Office (although their actual duty station could very well be somewhere else) not one on a forest (administrative unit). And if there is one position like that on a forest, it would be s collateral job at best. And probably with someone who works in Personnel and wears at least a half a dozen other hats? So…there remains a lot to be seen who this person is, and what kind of weight they have within the agency?

    But…that being said, whatever else is going on regarding this breakthrough, it would seem to me that having a person of Brian Frisby’s stature, who played a key role on the day of this previously unimaginable disaster, maybe the most significant role outside of those who were all killed, coming forward with information that is in direct conflict with the garbage the SAIT generated with their SAIR…is a really big deal.

    I mean…simply saying, that the ,”human factors were off the charts”, really says it all except for filling in the blanks. And frankly…this is what I have been waiting for from Day 1…a good person to do the right thing. Based on my experience as an investigator and someone who conducted a lot of both interviews (with people who want to cooperate) and interrogations (with people who don’t want to cooperate) it takes a truly experienced, “Bad Person” who is a socoiopath, or someone who is highly adept at, “gaming the system”, to not eventually cooperate because of their guilty conscience.

    And based on everything I know and experienced, the USFS is staffed by good people who all want to do the right thing. Even people like Dudley and Legarza aren’t sociopaths…they genuinely want to do the right thing. It’s just that in their cases, they find it easier to chose to believe the right thing to do is to tow the company line that will ultimately result in the best outcome for everyone concerned. And the fact that their choices result in their personnel enrichment in terms of promotions or bonuses if they are as high as they can logically climb like Legarza…well then, GREAT!

    Authors Note: Unlike the rank and file employees like I was, top managers can and do receive huge bonus’ at the end of the year. The size of which, make up a significant portion of their overall salary. That was something “they” started a long time ago to incentivize managers to minic the bonuses that are used in the private sector for executives. This system is for those in the Senior Executive Service (SCS), I think. I don’t really know much about it beyond what I have written, but I think there is a huge financial incentive for managers like a Legarza not to rock the boat, even if a promotion is not in their future. I think when this started, Dudley was still climbing the ladder, so his main incentive was promotions…and bonuses. So…the good news is that people like Legarza and Dudley aren’t sociopaths! The bad news is that they are WHORES of the worst kind, who are willing to sell their souls to the DEVIL for personnel enrichment and glorification. Although there do seem to be a large number of unindicted felons and other criminals who are completely unaware, or at least refuse to acknowledge that the laws of this country apply to them. People like the Incident Commanders from the Dude Fire who willfully, knowingly and maliciously (all elements of the crime) destroyed public records and documents that were protected by federal law…as RTS pointed out on this thread.

    I can’t imagine the kind of burden those who know what went wrong that day and have been carrying it inside them for all of this years must be going through. I am sure that knowledge is eating them from the inside out as it hollows out the core of who they were and consumes their soul. Especially those who saw, smelled, heard (the crackle) and touched the burned corpses of their friends and comrades who coughed up chunks of their burned lung tissue so hard they dislocated their tongues from the back of their mouths so their blackened tongues were left hanging out of their mouths and we’re covered with ash and dirt.

    How the **** those people are even able to function in their daily lives is beyond me? This catastrophic disaster is bigger than anyone one person, or group of persons, or their careers. The deaths of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew on the Yarnell Hill Fire was a historical event of unprecedented magnitude in the WF world. So…

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Reply to Gary Olson post on October 20, 2018 at 11:31 am

      >> Gary Olson said…
      >>
      >> Well…I have thought about it and I have decidedly Rocksteady is right,
      >> the fact that Brian Frisby has come forward in some manner to someone
      >> about something…is a really big deal.

      Yes, it is.

      For a person of Brian Frisby’s stature, reputation and direct involvement with the National Historic Tragedy that took place in Yarnell on June 30, 2013 to come out ( in writing ) to a fellow USFS employee and admit there is ( and has always been ) a “coverup” going on is a VERY “big deal”.

      >> Gary Olson said…
      >>
      >> Isn’t this exactly what “we, the people” have been waiting and hoping
      >> for, for many years now?

      Yes. This is not “conspiracy theory” or even “smoking gun” stuff.

      This is someone who was THERE, who KNOWS ( for sure ) admitting that the FULL ( true ) story has yet to be told.

      >> Gary Olson also said…
      >>
      >> I guess I am a little fuzzy on the exact circumstances regarding exactly
      >> who he is talking to, what he is saying, and what it will ultimately mean?

      It’s obvious that one single email sent on Frisby’s official ( public ) government email account was simply a REPLY to at least one PREVIOUS email FROM Joseph Harris.

      Harris had obviously ‘reached out’ to Frisby ( via email ) with his own concerns about how the in-progress Yarnell Staff Ride narrative was coming out… and wanted to know what Frisby thought about that.

      So why wasn’t at least that original email from Harris TO Frisby also included in the FOIA response package?

      Better yet… what happened AFTER Frisby sent this email?

      He said TWICE in his email that he WANTED to discuss this more in an official way.

      So?… did that happen?

      Where are THOSE ( public / government ) emails?

      • Bob Powers says

        We have known from the beginning that Blue Ridge was silenced. I had hoped one of the Supervisors Frisby or Brown would get in the real facts sooner than now. I have always felt they herd every thing going on over the crew net from GM. HS Crews that close have each others Channels do to Co-op. The Dam has sprung a leak. The Fire Fighting World deserves to know the facts. LESSIONS LEARNED………..

        • Robert the Second says

          Bob,

          Check out the USFS “Guidance” letters and employee “direction” emails from the Office of General Counsel (OGC) and USFS upper management to their employees. Check out Joy’s yarnellhillfirerevelations.com website. Read the AFUE post ones below Figure 5 from the OGC and USFS.

          ( https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/ )

          ( the USFS Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness (AFUE) Study Was Utilized On The Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013, and recorded Air To Ground (A/G) radio transmissions that exist as audio and written transcripts. These recordings and transcripts (3-ring binder) are being withheld and denied that they even exist. I just came across a few “key” public records basically affirming they “do” in fact exist … So then, how can the U.S. Forest Service ethically and legally continue to deny these Public Records exist? )

            • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

              Reply to Rocksteady post on
              October 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm

              >> Rocksteady said…
              >>
              >> A chink in the armour of the truth…
              >>
              >> He ( Brian Frisby ) has more to say than whats been said…

              And he ( Brian Frisby ) apparently DID get a chance to ‘say more’ about the in-progress YHF Staff Ride narrative and its departure(s) from the TRUTH… but it all fell on deaf ears.

              A week after the April 25-26, 2016 ‘Charlie’ test-run of the YHF Staff Ride that Brian Frisby says ( in his email to Joseph Harris on April 12, 2016 ) he had been ‘invited’ to attend… RTS informed us ( here on this forum ) that the BRHC had, in fact, attended that Staff Ride.

              RTS also informed us ( on May 7, 2016 )…

              1. It was USFS SW Regional Forest Director ( Bill Van Bruggen ) who actually ‘insisted’ that Blue Ridge members finally be ‘allowed’ to attend this THIRD ‘Charlie’ test-run of the YHF Staff Ride and have the chance to ‘contribute’ to the final Staff Ride ‘narrative’.

              2. However ( as Frisby himself anticipated in his April 12 email ) some of the Subject Matter Experts ( SME’s ) and ‘participants’ at that ‘Charlie’ Staff Ride ended up saying ( at the Staff Ride’s group After Action Review ) that allowing Blue Ridge to attend that Staff Ride and to add ‘comments’ of their own DURING the Staff Ride was simply a DISTRACTION… and NOT “helpful” at all.

              I guess having people there who could actually introduce things like FACTS into the ‘Staff Ride’ was just breaking up their day.

              There is no documentation ( that we know of yet ) about anything Brian Frisby might have said during that ‘Charlie’ Staff Ride… but it’s obvious that whatever he said was simply ‘ignored’ by the people developing the Staff Ride.

              The final version of the YHF Staff Ride is still the same ‘departure from the truth’ that Frisby was complaining to Joseph Harris about in his April 12 email to Harris… and there is no evidence that ANYTHING that Brian Frisby had to say as an ‘attendee’ of the ‘Charlie’ Staff Ride ended up being incorporated into the final ( published) YHF Staff Ride narrative.

              They let him ( Frisby ) attend… but ( as he, himself predicted )… Frisby was simply IGNORED.

              From Chapter 21 of this ongoing discussion…

              https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-chapter-xxi-here/#comment-334657

              ——————————————————————-
              On May 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm, Robert the Second ( RTS ) said…

              Last week, there was another recent YH Fire Staff Ride that actually included the BRHS this time.

              The SW Regional Fire Director ( Bill Van Bruggen ) insisted that they be allowed to participate this time.

              In the After Action Review (AAR) ( following this recent April 25-26 2016 YHF Staff Ride ), some participants and/or Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) commented that having the BRHS actually there as participants and/or SME’s during the latest Staff Ride and providing comments “WAS A DISTRACTION.”

              Really, a distraction?

              Like sharing what the BRHS have been foreclosed from speaking about all this time and finally allowed to share their story, is considered by some to be a distraction.

              Really? WTF!?

              This goes along with a comment made by one of the SME’s on the Alpha or Beta Staff Ride, something to the effect of: ‘What difference would it make to have the BRHS participate in a Staff Ride?’

              Really?

              How about, they were actually there through the whole thing and could/would contribute quite a bit toward what happened that day, and why.

              You know, things like the truth.
              ——————————————————————–

          • Robert the Second says

            These are the OGC and USFS email excerpts admitting possession of the AFUE records and plans to preserve them found in Joy A. Collura’s website post above. underneath Figure 5

            “BENNY, GEORGE VARGAS HAS CUSTODY OF THE DISC WITH THE VIDEO/AUDIO FOR THE WO. HE IS CC’ED.” (EMPHASIS ADDED)

            AND

            “I ALSO UNDERSTAND IT IS NOW IN HANDS OF OUR OFFICE.
            NEEDLESS TO SAY, PLEASE MAKE SURE NOTHING HAPPENS
            TO THOSE TAPES. ALSO, PLEASE HAVE SOME COPIES
            CAREFULLY MADE FOR PRESERVATION PURPOSES.”

            (EMPHASIS ADDED)

  9. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    ** BLUE RIDGE HOTSHOT SUPERINTENDENT BRIAN FRISBY ADMITS
    ** THERE IS ( AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN ) A ‘COVER UP’ TAKING PLACE
    ** REGARDING THE 2013 YARNELL HILL FIRE

    From the following PUBLIC Blog post…

    https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/single-post/2018/10/12/Fred-J-Schoeffler-the-USFS-Aerial-Firefighting-Use-and-Effectiveness-AFUE-Study-Was-Utilized-On-The-Yarnell-Hill-Fire-on-June-30-2013-and-recorded-Air-To-Ground-AG-radio-transmissions-that-exist-as-audio-and-written-transcripts-These-recordings-and-transcripts-3-ring-binder-are-being-withheld-and-denied-that-they-even-exist-I-just-came-across-a-few-key-public-records-basically-affirming-they-do-in-fact-exist-So-then-how-can-the-US-Forest-Service-ethically-and-legally-continue-to-deny-these-Public-Records-exist

    The TEXT version of Brian Frisby’s April 12, 2016 email to USFS employee Joseph R. Harris…

    NOTE: Joseph Harris ( the first-party recipient of Frisby’s email ) is a U.S. Forestry Service ‘Human Factors Specialist’ and LaVelle Shelton ( the CC recipient of Frisby’s email ) is a ‘Program Support Clerk’ working for the Coconino National Forest, which is where Frisby and his Blue Ridge Hotshots are based.

    ————————————————————————————
    Shelton, LaVelle T -FS

    From: Frisby, Brian H -FS
    Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 10:08 AM
    To: Harris, Joseph R -FS
    Subject: Human Factors!

    Good morning, Joe,

    It sounds like you have had the opportunity to go through the Yarnell Hill staff ride and may have some questions about some of the human factors that contributed that day. Talking to ( Redacted ) it sound like the picture that is being painted is very different than what we remember. I have been invited to the operational staff ride on the 26th and 27th of this month, unfortunately any input is probably too late. I can tell you that the human factors that day were off the charts.

    We both know that the overall decision to leave the black was made by ( Redacted ) but there was so much that went on that day that has been swept under the rug that may have affected the outcome. I would love the opportunity to talk to you about it, I believe there is a lot to be learned from this event and if we are going to adopt this as an agency we need to get this right. Anyhow hope you and your family are doing well and I hope to hear from you. Thanks.

    ( USDA Logo ) ( U.S. Forestry Service Logo )
    Brian Frisby
    Blue Ridge IHC Superintendent
    Coconino National Forest, Mogollon Rim Ranger District
    p: 928-477-5023
    c: ( Redacted )
    bfrisby (at) fs.fed.us
    8738 Ranger Road
    Happy Jack, AZ 86024
    http://www.fs.fed.us
    ( Twitter Icon ) ( Facebook Icon )
    Caring for the land and serving people

    —————————————————————————————–

    There are actually a lot of subtle things to point out in this ( short ) email from Brian Frisby to Joseph Harris, so here is a line by line breakout…

    ** “It sounds like you have had the opportunity to go through the Yarnell Hill staff ride and may have some questions about some of the human factors that contributed that day.”

    This opening sentence in Frisby’s email indicates there had ( apparently ) already been some kind of email exchange between Frisby and Harris regarding the upcoming Yarnell Hill Fire staff ride narrative and its ‘accuracy’, and that Harris has already expressed ( to Frisby ) some of his own ‘concerns’ about the content of that narrative.

    Those emails exchange(s) that may have preceeded this one were NOT supplied in response to the same FOIA request that produced the Frisby email shown above.

    ** “Talking to ( Redacted ) it sound like the picture that is being painted is very different than what we remember.”

    In the “Talking to ( Redacted )” part, Frisby could be referring to anyone he knows who had also had a chance to read the ‘Yarnell Hill Fire Staff Ride’ narrative and had ( already ) been discussing it with him, including his Assistant Superintendent Trueheart Brown.

    In the “it sound like the picture that is being painted is very different than what WE remember” part… the WE that Frisby is referring to could just be a general reference to ALL the ‘Blue Ridge Hotshots’, but if the redacted name ( at the start of the sentence ) of who he had been ‘”Talking TO” about this is, in fact, his Assistant Superintendent Trueheart Brown, then this WE reference in the second part of the sentence would make even more sense.

    On the day of the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy, Brian Frisby and Trueheart Brown were basically ‘joined at the hip’ from about 10:30 AM that morning ( when the Blue Ridge Hotshots ‘assembled’ near the Granite Mountain Crew Carries parked in the Sesame clearing area ) until later that evening when they departed the deployment site after having become 2 of the 5 firefighters to be ‘first on scene’ and discovered the bodies at the deployment site.

    Frisby and Brown were both ‘bombing around’ Yarnell most of the day in the BR Polaris Range UTV doing various ‘scouting’ trips and whatnot.

    One of the only times there were NOT together and doing that all day was circa 3:30 PM when Eric Marsh asked Frisby to travel all the way up to the Weaver Mountains for a second ‘face to face’ meeting. Frisby has never said whether Eric Marsh ever even gave him a ‘reason’ for the second face-to-face, or if Marsh had been being his usual obtuse self and just said something along the lines of “I want you to come up here” and Frisby just said “Okay” without even knowing why Marsh wanted that second face-to-face at that critical time.

    Frisby was on his way up to meet with Marsh when he ‘accidentally’ came across Brendan McDonough already in trouble and considering his own shelter deployment.

    Frisby cancelled his trip up to meet Marsh to ‘rescue’ McDonough, and shortly after doing that, rejoined Trueheart Brown and the two of them then continued what they had been doing most of the day. “Bombing around” together in the BR UTV.

    So when Frisby is telling Joseph Harris that the content of the Yarnell Hill Fire staff ride narrative does not match what “WE remember”… it stands to reason that the “WE” he is referring to is BR Captain Trueheart Brown, who was with Frisby for almost the entire day.

    ** “I have been invited to the operational staff ride on the 26th and 27th of this month, unfortunately any input is probably too late.”

    Frisby sent this email to Joseph Harris on April 12, 2016.

    The Yarnell Hill Fire ‘Operational Staff Ride’ he was invited to attend was still 14 days ( TWO full weeks ) away, starting on April 26, 2016.

    There would have been PLENTY of time to incoporate any ‘corrections’ to the ‘work in progress’ staff ride narrative that Frisby ( or any of the other Blue Ridge Hotshots ) had to offer if the people writing the staff ride narrative had simply WANTED to do so.

    ** “I can tell you that the human factors that day were off the charts.”

    It’s a shame that Frisby didn’t elaborate on this strong ( and first-hand informed ) assertion in his email.

    ** “We both know that the overall decision to leave the black was made by ( Redacted )”

    It’s hard to say if the “WE” that Frisby is now referring to is the same “WE” as above ( possibly Captain Trueheart Brown ), or whether Frisby’s “WE” is now referring to himself and the recipient of his email ( Joseph Harris himself ).

    Either way… there is really no doubt that the NAME that has been ‘redacted’ in Frisby’s email is “Eric Marsh”.

    Given the font size and type used in the original email, there is actually only enough room there under the ‘redacted’ portion for about 10 characters, which is exactly the number of characters ( including the space ) in the name “Eric Marsh”.

    “Jesse Steed” contains 11 characters ( too many to fit in the space ).
    “Gary Cordes” also contains 11 characters.
    “Paul Musser” also contains 11 characters.
    “Todd Abel” only contains 9 characters ( not enough to fit in the space ).
    Etc…

    ** “…but there was so much that went on that day that has been swept under the rug that may have affected the outcome.”

    Frisby’s “has been swept under the rug” ( past tense ) is most likely not only referring to the pending Yarnell Hill Fire Staff Ride narrative…. but the original SAIR document itself.

    This statement from Frisby is actually tied to the first part of the sentence where he says “We both know” who made the “overall decision to leave the black”. That means this second part of the same sentence which adds “so much that went on” being “swept under the rug” is probably directly related to the ‘decision making’ process to leave the black.

    Frisby seems to be saying “We know” who made the “overall” decision… but that there WERE certainly other people in fire command INVOLVED in that crucial decision.

    It’s also a shame he doesn’t simply provide more detail here about what he KNOWS to be true, and exactly what he is referring to here.

    ** “I would love the opportunity to talk to you about it,”

    Frisby is obviously ANXIOUS to talk about all this… and he will reiterate this desire to “get things off his chest” when he closes his email.

    ** “I believe there is a lot to be learned from this event and if we are going to adopt this as an agency we need to get this right.”

    The “this” that Frisby is referring to in this sentence is the pending Yarnell Hill Staff ride narrative.

    Another shame that Frisby didn’t provide more detail here and LIST the things that he feels constitutes a “lot to be learned from this event”.

    His comment about ‘adopting’ the staff ride narrative ( as it was at that time ) indicates that what he has read is simply NOT correct… and he feels it SHOULD BE ( CORRECTED ) and be ‘made right’ if it is going to become the ‘official version’ of events used for ‘lessons learned’ purposes.

    ** “Anyhow hope you and your family are doing well and I hope to hear from you. Thanks.”

    Frisby’s “I hope to hear from you” restatement during his email signoff indicates he really WAS ‘jonesing’ to talk about these “off the charts” Human Factors failures he observed in Yarnell that were being ( in his own words ) “swept under the rug”.

    But there is still no proof ( yet ) that Joseph Harris ever got back with Frisby to set up a ‘meeting’ and then learned everything that Frisby ‘knows’.

    The following quote is from the the link above where the email was first published…

    ————————————————————————————————-
    BRHS Superintendent Brian Frisby noted that “the [YH Fire Staff Ride] picture being painted is very different than what we remember” and that “there was so much that went on that day that was swept under the rug” and “the human factors that day were off the chart.” Frisby and the BRHS have not been allowed to be interviewed or deposed, even by ADOSH, ostensibly to “protect them” and their privacy. BRHS Superintendent Frisby and the 2013 BRHS are basically screaming out to share what they saw and heard and experienced that day.
    ————————————————————————————————-

    There have already been a half-dozen ‘books’ published about this National Tragedy, and a fictionalized movie produced. Another book from author John Maclean is still ( supposedly ) in ‘the hopper’.

    If Blue Ridge Hotshot Superintentdent Brian Frisby feels as strongly as his email indicates about “getting this right” for the sake of the future safety of his fellow Wildland Firefighters, then I think he should simply set about writing his OWN ‘book’ detailing what REALLY happened in Yarnell on Sunday.. June 30, 2013…

    …and he should not give a damn what anyone has to say about it.

    Just tell the story from YOUR perspective, Brian, and include what YOU know to be true.

    It might save some lives in the future.

    • Robert the Second says

      Joy,

      Thank you for all the detailed evidence and diligent hard work on your
      ( http://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com ) website. keep it up and stay the course

      WTKTT,

      BRHS Frisby’s email exchange was with the high-level USFS Human Dimensions Fire Programs Specialist Joseph Harris regarding the YH Fire Staff Ride and human factors.

      Thanks for all the good analysis

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Reply to Robert the Second ( RTS ) post
        on October 14, 2018 at 11:44 pm

        >> RTS said…
        >>
        >> BRHS Frisby’s email exchange was with the high-level USFS Human
        >> Dimensions Fire Programs Specialist Joseph Harris regarding
        >> the YH Fire Staff Ride and human factors.

        Yes… and Joseph R. Harris is a ‘heavyweight’.

        His MSc in ‘Human Factors and System Safety’ dealt exclusively with ‘Staff Rides’.

        The following is an online THESIS paper by Joseph R. Harris that he submitted in 2015 ( after the 2013 Yarnell tragedy but BEFORE the YHF Staff Ride was doen in 2016 ) as part of fulfillment requirements for an MSc in ‘Human Factors and System Safety’.

        It’s not just the ‘abstract’. It’s the ‘full monty’ ( the entire THESIS paper ).

        THESIS TITLE: Do Staff Rides Help Move the Forest Service Toward Its Goal of Becoming a Learning Organization?
        Submitted By: Joseph R. Harris ( under the supervision of Johan Bergstrom )
        Submitted To: Lund University, Sweden
        Date of Submission: 2015-06-02 ( June 2, 2015 )

        http://www.academia.edu/26024193/DO_STAFF_RIDES_HELP_MOVE_THE_FOREST_SERVICE_TOWARD_ITS_GOAL_OF_BECOMING_A_LEARNING_ORGANIZATION_Thesis_Project_work_submitted_in_partial_fulfillment_of_the_requirements_for_the_MSc_in_Human_Factors_and_System_Safety

        It’s a really well done paper.

        On page 14, he asserts his belief that Wildland Firefighters fatalities are NOT an ‘inevitablity’…

        ———————————————————————————–
        The goal of the Forest Service is to become a learning organization. One of the metrics in place to measure whether the Forest Service is learning is a sustained safety record of zero fatalities. In order for that to happen, lessons learned from accident investigations need to result in some kind of change.
        ———————————————————————————–

        He goes on to explain that, basically, if the industry keeps experiencing the same kinds of fatalities, then there is definable ‘failure’ in the learning/training process itself.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Here is another public link to Joseph Harris’ THESIS paper regarding ‘Staff Rides’… which has also been published at ‘Fire Leadership.com’…

          THESIS TITLE: Do Staff Rides Help Move the Forest Service Toward Its Goal of Becoming a Learning Organization?
          Submitted By: Joseph R. Harris ( under the supervision of Johan Bergstrom )
          Submitted To: Lund University, Sweden
          Date of Submission: 2015-06-02 ( June 2, 2015 )

          https://www.fireleadership.gov/toolbox/staffride/downloads/StaffRides_thesis.pdf

          • Robert the Second says

            WTKTT,

            Human Dimensions specialist Harris’ paper has many good points, however, this gem caught my eye on page 29:

            “While staff rides are effective, they are expensive and are not scalable. There is also a perceived gap between the traditional written report and the staff ride. The Forest Service can make progress toward its goal of becoming a learning organization by closing this gap through
            designing learning products that aim to replicate the emotional
            and intellectual impact of the staff ride to a much wider audience>”

            Scalable is defined as “… largely limited to a small number of participants.”

            Harris ducks addressing this important point here and soft-shoes a response to it.

            “THERE IS ALSO A PERCEIVED GAP BETWEEN THE TRADITIONAL WRITTEN REPORT AND THE STAFF RIDE.” (EMPHASIS ADDED) .

            Really? Merely a “perceived gap between the traditional written report and the staff ride.”?

            The traditional written reports of ALL fatal wildland fire “factual investigations” are false with preconceived “conclusions” and nowadays no causal factors or blame or faulty decisions with their so-called Learning Reviews, FLAs, Coordinated Response Protocol (CRaP) and any number of other alphabet creations.

      • Joy A Collura says

        I just posted some more but I am very tired so excuse any typos or errors and I will clean it up this week…I mainly wanted to go through FOIA and add more and I will keep adding as time goes by yet I was at image or figure 40 something and I was going to give it all up because it made me disappointed when I saw all the media names who were involved and really never got involved like John Dougherty or Morgan Loew did and then when I saw the email where it said

        Look also at what they said about John Dougherty there.

        Bob Baird said to Benny Young that George Vargas had custody of the video/audio August 2013…

        Yes I still have more to post but too exhausted…night there…

        and yes there is many times I want to shut the page down because I rather be snorkeling but then 19 men do not have a voice even though Frisby and others do..so until they talk I will try and keep the faith and keep posting my documents.

        It is extremely time consuming

      • rocksteady says

        Fi9nally we have found a weak spot that may lead to someone who actually knows what really happened..

        I hope Frisby spills his guts and names names

    • Gary Olson says

      WTKTT,

      It has truly been a blessing to our little community of rabble rousers and conspiracy theorists that you are so ******* smart, but it has been an even bigger blessing that our opponents are so ******* dumb.

      Authors Note: If you want to know what the redacted words are, just count up the redacted spaces and take a guess.

      And yes…I am still editing my final chapter but I have been pretty ******* layin’ around and lickin’ my nuts.

      • Gary Olson says

        Whoops:

        And yes…I am still editing my final chapter but I have been pretty ******* BUSY layin’ around and lickin’ my nuts.

        • Gary Olson says

          Say…that reminds me of an old hotshot joke.

          One day this old hotshot and young helitack were walking towards the District Office when they saw an old dog layin’ in the sun lickin’ it’s nuts.

          “Boy Howdy…I sure wish I could do that” the helitack exclaimed!

          “Well…I bet he would bite you if you tried” replied the old hotshot.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Thank you for this comprehensive public posting, Joy.

      A lot of hard work is represented there…. and it’s fascinating to see the proof ( all in one place ) of the extent to which U.S. Forestry lawyer Steve Hattenbach ( and, indeed, the entire U.S. Forestry Service ) went to in order to obfuscate the existence of the Yarnell Hill related evidence.

      As far as the ‘Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness’ ( AFUE ) study goes… it has always been possible that they really did NOT record the A2G radio traffic on Sunday, June 30, 2013 in the same manner as they recorded the A2A radio channel.

      Maybe this really WAS the first time the San Dimas Labs contractors really did try and hook up a video camera to a radio… and they ONLY decided to ‘test’ that with the A2A channel that day.

      I am not saying I believe that ‘story’ they are telling.
      I am just saying it’s ‘possible’.

      But as for them insisting that the ‘original’ records were all given to the SAIT investigators… that remains total horseshit.

      The actual ORIGINAL recordings were the ones coming from the various devices themselves.

      Eric Panebaker himself, in his own statements, says that he ‘copied’ the data from the devices onto a hard drive ( most likely one of those portable USB hard drives ) and then he gave THAT hard drive to the SAIT investigators a few days after the tragedy.

      Those would not be the ORIGINAL recordings.

      Those would simply be COPIES of the actual ‘original recordings’.

      So even if those were just the ‘first generation’ copies of the originals give to the SAIT on one single hard drive ( as per Pannebaker )… where is that hard drive?

      But the part of your post that seems the most revealing is that email from Brian Frisby where he admits ( in writing ) that there has ALWAYS been a ‘coverup’ going on with regards to what really happened in Yarnell on Sunday, June 30, ,2013.

      More about that in a ‘new’ parent comment up above.

      • Joy Collura says

        There is more documents going on tonight. Its in draft mode to add them. In that FOIA file that is the only email with Frisby they offered to me but its not the only FOIA and I did notify him before placing it on my post.

        • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

          Reply to Joy Collura post on October 14, 2018 at 9:19 pm

          >> Joy Collura said…
          >>
          >> In that FOIA file that is the only email with Frisby they
          >> offered to me but its not the only FOIA and I did notify
          >> him before placing it on my post.

          That one email from Blue Ridge Hotshots Superintendent Brian Frisby to U.S. Forestry Human Factors specialist Joseph Harris can’t be the ONLY one.

          In that email, Frisby is obviously ‘responding’ to a previous email from Harris where he was expressing his own concerns ( to Frisby ) about the accuracy of the in-progress Yarnell Hill Fire staff ride narrative.

          It’s also very likely that Harris ‘replied’ ( via email ) to this one from Frisby and that the conversation continued… since Frisby seemed VERY anxious to continue the discussion with him and had specifically told Harris he thought it was IMPORTANT to do so, for the sake of the future safety of Wildland Firefighters.

          Perhaps Frisby even ended up ‘detailing’ ( to Harris ) exactly what those things were that he KNEW were being ( quote from Frisby ) “swept under the rug”.

          So where are those ‘other’ emails?

          Why were they not included in the same FOIA response that this one was?

          Those are rhetorical questions, of course, and I don’t expect YOU to know why that was the ONLY email to/from Frisby that got included in the FOIA response.

          FOIA’s are like that, sometimes, especially when the government agency involved really doesn’t ever want to have to deal with them at all.

          You have to keep ‘narrowing’ the FOIA request, sometimes, to remove the ‘wiggle room’ they are looking for to avoid having to release things they don’t WANT to release.

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      A few points…

      1. It is absolutely astounding that an organization that calls itself a ‘Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center’ would refuse to publish relevant comments from someone who is ( and shall probably always remain ) the longest serving Type 1 IHC Hotshot Crew Superintendent in the history of Wildland Firefighting. You don’t serve 26 years ( count’ em’… TWENTY SIX ) as an IHC Supt. and live to tell about it unless you were doing something right.

      2. Both the article and some of the comments mention LCES, and how those ‘basics’ seem to have been followed and the Arrowhead Hotshots DO deserve some ‘credit’ for that… so it’s even more astounding that a comment regarding LCES ( from anyone ) would then be subsequently rejected..

      3. What the article does NOT mention is that the ‘LCES’ ‘total fail’ that took place at the Horse Park Fire was on the part of the Arrowhead Hotshots Superintendent himself. HE is the one who decided to drive down that canyon road WITHOUT the proper ‘LCES’ in place… and he and the person he took with him down that narrow dirt road almost paid for that ‘total fail’ with their lives.

      There WAS a ‘lookout’ in place BEFORE the decision was made to drive down that road with a 4-wheel drive vehicle that didn’t even have the 4-wheel drive engaged ( more ‘fail’ ). That lookout was in the exact right place to TELL this guy whether it was currently ‘safe’ to even head down that narrow road… but this guy didn’t even bother to check with her to see if she was still a functioning ‘lookout’ and ASK her if it was safe to even attempt the scouting trip.

      If he had bothered to even try and check with his own lookout… he would have discovered that she had ALREADY lost the ability to communicate. That discovery should have changed the priorities at that point and the focus should have become the lookout’s developing situation.

      But he didn’t even bother to do that.

      He headed down the road WITHOUT a functioning LOOKOUT., just ASSUMING it was okay to do so. Not good.

      As for the rest of LCES… the Supt’s ‘Escape Route’ was the road itself, but he didn’t even bother to fully engage his 4WD before going down it… and when the truck got stuck… the Supt. wasn’t even in good enough physical shape to perform the same ‘exit run’ as the other crewmember. Not much of an ‘Escape Route’ if you can’t run the distance if you need to.

      So here’s the LCES breakdown for the near-fatal incident for the Arrowhead IHC Superintendent himself….

      L – Didn’t bother to discover if she could still even communicate with him.
      C – See above. He didn’t even bother to make sure her radio was still working.
      E – A narrow, rough road that required 4WD, and he didn’t bother to engage his beforehand.
      S – Safety Zone was too far away for him to even make it back there without a ‘rescue’.

      LCES Total Fail.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        Followup…

        Okay… TOTAL FAIL on MY part in the post above.

        The Hotshot Superintendent who didn’t fully engage his own 4WD before heading down that rough, narrow canyon road at the Horse Park Fire ( without a functioning lookout in place ) was the Supt. for the LOGAN Type 1 Hotshot Crew… and not the ARROWHEAD Hotshots.

        The ARROWHEAD Hotshots were the ones involved in the other incident this season where their own Captain, Brian Hughes, was killed by a tree that he, himself, was trying to cut down.

        I was reading a ‘summary’ earlier today of all the serious incidents ( so far ) this season… including the NEW one TODAY regarding the crew vehicle rollover in California… and I guess I just had ‘Arrowhead Hotshots’ on the brain.

        My apologies.

        SIDENOTE: We are STILL awaiting the real details about the recent death of Arrowhead IHC Captain Hughes. It is assumed that he actually had the qualifications and the experience to even be attempting to cut down a tree the size of the one that was about to kill him that day… but that has NOT yet been verified by any official information release.

        • Gary Olson says

          I address this incident in more detail in the MOAP I am currently working on in spite of my delay in getting the ******* (it is going to be awhile before I get tired of this inside joke on those stupid *****) thing published.

          BUT…as long as I am here today and my nuts are too sore to lick, here are my thoughts on one thing Brian Hughes MAY not have done that we as a crew and myself as a hotshot sawyer, always did. I will be looking to see if this protocol was followed when the official release does come out. I don’t even know if this protocol is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in today’s WF world or not, but if it isn’t, it damn well should be.

          And that critical SOP that MAY have been missing when Captain Hues was killed, is to ALWAYS have a spotter with their hand firmly holding the sawyer’s belt (it’s the same thing you will see the Secret Service always do with their protectee if you watch them move down the rope lines) while watching for widow makers (dead branches falling from above) while being alert for all dangers (once my spotter who was also my swamper, noticed some barb wire that was hidden in the dense undergrowth and been part of an old fence decades earlier on the huge Douglas fir tree I was dropping had wrapped around my leg and it was deeply embedded in the tree trunk. I would have bled out shortly after that several ton tree amputated my leg while falling down that very steep slope, I still think about that incident more often than I like) and is ready to sharply pull the sawyer in the direction they should move quickly away from in falling tree in after shutting off the saw and placing it on the ground in one smooth motion.

          You should never run because you might just die tired, move swiftly and smoothly. Smooth is fast…which is the same principle you should use while drawing your sidearm or moving towards gun fire…FYI.

          • Gary Olson says

            And FYI…the sawyers preplanned escape route will be at a diagonal angle away from the subject tree which normally starts at either 1630 (0430) or 1930 (0730) assuming the tree is falling at 1200 (2400) on a 24 hour clock.

            BUT…that can and does often change very quickly and both the spotter and swamper must be alert and ready to implement Plan B.

            • Gary Olson says

              And FYI…the 1800 (0600) hour angle is the Dead Zone if the tree splinters under extreme pressure and kicks back or Barber Chairs. So…don’t even go there unless you have a death wish. 🙂

              • Gary Olson says

                I’m not explaining this phenomenon very well…but if the tree trunk has a fault for a variety of reasons like an old lightning strike or a rotten portion, the tree can splinter when your backcut is about 1/3 of the way through the backcut while the trunk in under enourmas pressure from tons of weight bearing down on a few inches of wood.

                So…when your backcut reaches the flaw, it may split and 1/3 (using this example) of the trunk will “kick back” with tremdous speed and torque, which might tear your arm off, shatter it…or maybe strike your torso killing you DEAD.

                And then the tree will fall down tearing off the splinter as it falls, which results in a stump that kinda resembles a “barber chair.. with the splintered portion kinda looking like the back of the chair. Now…I have beaten that horse to death. You’re welcome.

                • Gary Olson says

                  Or if you want to learn how to be a hotshot sawyer, you can do it mostly like I did many years before I was even on s hotshot crew by watching one of the greatest movies ever made, “Sometimrs a Great Notion.” This trailer even shows a good example of how a “barber chair” is made.

                  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QoNViAppTJ8

                  I still remember the scene when Lee Remick strips off her nightgown in the bathroom implied sex scene. It was right up there with Jane Fonda in Barbarella because she had that wholesome “girl next door look” which appealed to me cause I was the boy next door. Whoa 😮 now…is this TMI?

          • Gary Olson says

            Which reminds me of another old hotshot joke I already told once on this thread about me and The Woodsman…but it’s been several years now.

            One day an old bull and a young bull were walking down a slope towards a herd of cows.

            “Say…let’s run down there and **** a cow” exclaimed the young bull.

            “Let’s walk down there and **** em’ all” replied the old bull.”

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        **
        ** NEW ROLLOVER / INJURIES

        Here’s a link to an article about the new ‘rollover’ referenced above that just happened there in “The Kill Zone” ( California )…

        The Enterprise Recoder
        Article Title: Fire crew injured in I-5 rollover crash
        Published: September 27, 2018 at 2:11 pm
        Updated: September 28, 2018 at 8:03 am
        https://www.chicoer.com/2018/09/27/fire-crew-injured-in-i-5-rollover-crash/

        From that article…
        ————————————————————————
        RED BLUFF ( California ) — Five firefighters were injured, including one classified as major injury, when a box truck belonging to a private company transporting a fire crew rolled over Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 5, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

        Driver Kevin Crone, 32, of Magalia and three passengers were taken to St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff with minor injuries, the spokesman said. The passengers were identified as David Jones, 27, of Chico, Dylan Kelley, 20, of Paradise and Steven Brannon, 26, of Chico.

        A fourth passenger, Cody Mackel, 33, of Paradise was taken to St. Elizabeth with major injuries.

        The truck, which belongs to Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression Inc. of Chico, was being driven north on I-5 when it crashed south of Tehama at 3:55 p.m. Wednesday, the spokesman said.

        For unknown reasons, Crone allowed the vehicle to veer off the east road edge. As he tried to steer it back onto the freeway, he lost control, went across both northbound lanes entered the center divider and overturned, the spokesman said.
        —————————————————————————–

        For ‘unknown reasons’?

        Hmm… yet another ‘falling asleep at the wheel’ incident?

        NOTE: The SAME COMPANY ( Chico, California based company Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression, Inc. ) had ANOTHER serious Crew-Carrier rollover just last year, on August 11, 2017.

        In THAT ‘rollover’… EIGHT firefighters were injured and taken to the hospital…

        KRCR News – Channel 7
        Article Title: Eight firefighters injured in fire crew truck rollover in Modoc Co.
        Published: August 12, 2017 – by Haleigh Pike
        https://krcrtv.com/news/local/fire-crew-truck-assigned-to-parker-2-fire-rolls-over-injuries-reported

        From that article…
        ———————————————————————————–
        CEDARVILLE, Calif. – Eight Firestorm firefighters were injured Friday morning after the crew truck they were riding in rolled over while traveling on Highway 299E near McKenney Road, west of Cedarville.

        According to Firestorm, all eight members who were injured were passengers. CHP reported that all eight were taken to the hospital. Five of them were treated and released. Three were airlifted to other hospitals, two going to Reno and one was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

        Firestorm said of the three taken by helicopter, two were treated and released and one firefighter is still undergoing medical evaluation.

        The eight man team worked for Chico-based Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression Inc. Firestorm said all the men were from Chico and Paradise.

        CHP officials reported that the crash happened as a convoy of crews were heading into the Parker 2 Fire. Officials said a deer reportedly crossed the road, causing the lead vehicle to stop. The Firestorm crew was in the rear of the convoy, and in order to avoid a crash, they drove up the embankment before rolling over back onto the highway.
        ———————————————————————————–

  10. Robert the Second says

    More articles and information about the deadly CDF Carr Fire in CA.

    Carr Fire’s Urban Residential Destruction: A Design for Disaster?

    By Royal Burnett September 25, 2018. ( https://anewscafe.com/2018/09/25/redding/carr-fires-urban-residential-destruction-a-design-for-disaster/ )

    Royal was the CDF Helitack Captain out of Howard Forest on the Mendocino RU. Fellow WFs were always impressed with his tactical acumen. He astutely tied in the Campbell Prediction System (CPS) without having to go into it in detail.

    Experienced and knowledgable WFs are well aware of the CPS and utilize it, especially the concept of ‘Alignment of Forces.’

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

                • Woodsman says

                  …..It’s the future for the firearms industry to sell more rifles!!! Lmao!

                  6.5 Grendel? Haha! There’s NOTHING new under the sun. The Swedes had this figured out in………….oh……..about 1891. Yep 1891. Grendels and Creedmoors? Lmao, great way to sell more firearms and ammo is about the extent of it. People are so funny.

              • 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.
          ————————————————————————————-

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  18. 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.”

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  21. 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??????

  22. 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.
      —————————————————————————————————-

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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’.

  26. 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.

  27. 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..

  28. 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’.

  29. 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.
    ———————————————————————————————————

  30. 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. .

  31. 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’.

  32. 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”.

  33. 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
      —————————————————————————————————

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. Robert the Second says

  37. 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

  38. 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