By John Dougherty
PHOENIX—Eric Marsh, the superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, violated wildfire safety protocols when he and 18 of his firefighters were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, Jerry Payne, the Arizona State Forestry Division deputy director, said Monday.
Marsh, 43, was given wide latitude to make tactical decisions in the field without first seeking permission from a superior because was operating as a “division supervisor” for several crews fighting the fire while remaining in the field with the Granite Mountain Hotshots, Payne said.
“He (Marsh) was the boss. He was the assigned division supervisor,” Payne said.
Payne said that once Marsh became a division supervisor, he delegated command of the hot shot crew to his captain, Jesse Steed. But Marsh remained with the crew, Payne said. [Read more…]