(Story updated at 9:05 a.m., Dec. 21, 2015 to include Amanda Marsh’s statement that Eric Marsh only carried one cell phone.)
By John Dougherty
Granite Mountain Hotshot superintendent Eric Marsh did not make or receive any cell phone calls in the three hours leading up to the burn over that claimed his life along with 18 other members of his crew during the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013, his wife Amanda Marsh said Saturday.
The question of whether Marsh was in cell phone communication with fire commanders in the hours leading up to the tragedy has lingered for more than two years after two state investigations failed to examine his cell phone records.
“There was nothing after 1:11 p.m.,” Amanda Marsh said. “That call was with Todd Abel.” Abel was a senior commander directing fire suppression operations.
Abel has told investigators he had a cell phone discussion with Marsh at that time to discuss a disagreement Marsh had with another fire commander.
But the call was about three hours before Granite Mountain moved from a safe zone on a ridge in the Weaver Mountains west of Yarnell and descended into a box canyon where the crew was trapped by flames at about 4:40 p.m.