Yarnell Hill Fire deaths were avoidable if crew had followed wildfire safety rules, research paper concludes


Two former Interagency Hotshot Crew supervisors have published a research paper on the Yarnell Hill Fire disaster that concludes human errors were the primary factors that lead to the death of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013.

“Did they all perish in a predictable, and therefore, avoidable death-by-fire incident? Indeed, per the conclusion of these authors, they did,” Fred Schoeffler and Lance Honda state in the paper.

Their conclusion directly contradicts the findings of the Serious Accident Investigation Team that was contracted by the state of Arizona to review the incident. The SAIT concluded that there was “no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol.”

Mr. Schoeffler was superintendent of the Payson Interagency Hotshot Crew for 27 years. He is suing the U.S. Forest Service for air-to-ground voice recordings and transcripts from the afternoon of June 30 in the moments leading up to the deaths of 19 out of 20 members of the crew.

Mr. Honda retired as a wildland firefighter in 2009 with 39 years experience including the last 12 years as superintendent of the Prineville (Ore.) Interagency Hotshot Crew.

The paper, entitled “Epic Human Failure on June 30, 2013“, was published by Springer International Publishing AG. The authors state that the crew’s leadership failed to follow well-known wildfire safety rules and that directly contributed to disaster.

“Almost every WFF (wildland firefighter) agrees that the (Yarnell Hill Fire) tragedy would have been impossible for 19 men to have died accordingly had they held to these tried-and-true WFF Rules,” the authors state.

The authors also state that Granite Mountain’s history of poor decisions was well known to other Interagency Hotshot Crews and that the disaster, horrific as it was, was not a surprising outcome.

“This was the final, fatal link, in a long chain of bad decisions with good outcomes, we saw this coming for years,” the paper quotes an unnamed Hotshot crew superintendent as saying during an October 2013 visit by wildland firefighters to the box canyon where the men died. Mr. Schoeffler was at the gathering.

“About 8 other Hot Shot Superintendents spoke and stated they had all attempted unsuccessfully over the years through peer pressure to get the (Granite Mountain Hotshots) to alter their unsafe actions,” the paper states.

© Copyright 2017 John Dougherty, All rights Reserved. Written For: Investigative MEDIA


  1. Joy A. Collura says


    I always liked what Brit Rosso said on the video above…it always made me feel HOPE but in reality—talking about the YHF has not been that simple to talk about—

    How important it is to talk about it—

    I tried contacting him when he did staff rides- he never replied to me…so it felt like his message was just for those in the industry not outsiders or eyewitnesses—


  2. Joy A. Collura says


    I always liked what Brit Rosso said on the video above…it always made me feel HOPE but in reality—talking about the YHF has not been that simple to talk about—

    How important it is to talk about it—

    I tried contacting him when he did staff rides- he never replied to me…so it felt like his message was just for those in the industry not outsiders or eyewitnesses—


  3. Robert the Second says

    Findings from the Wildland Firefighter Human Factors Workshop – Improving Wildland Firefighter Performance Under Stressful, Risky Conditions: Toward
    Better Decisions on the Fireline and More Resilient Organizations – United States
    Department of Agriculture Forest Service Technology & Development Program
    5100–F&AM, November 1995, 9551-2855-MTDC, Updated July 1996.
    Dr. Ted Putnam


    “Organizational defensive behaviors are leading to unsafe practices. When
    investigation teams or managers cover up the causes of accidents and
    near misses, no learning takes place for the individuals or the organization.
    There is a need for forthright information and open discussion at all levels of the fire community.”

    No kidding? Do ya think the YH Fire SAIT members read this too?

    I wholeheartedly disagree with these next two assertions:

    “There appears to be too many fire orders and watchouts. A formal content analysis study may be able to reduce these guidelines to a few key ones such as LCES (Lookouts, Communications, Escape [Routes, Safety Zones] (correcting typo in the text) that then should be prioritized. If some should never be violated, no matter what the circumstances, then they should be identified. Some fire orders and many watchouts are routinely disregarded. This is necessary at times to accomplish some fireline tasks and can lead to violating orders that are not just guidelines. When an order is violated and it works out okay, this can lead to more future violations. There is a general feeling that you must violate some, but that can get you in trouble when you string them together. Need to look at all the orders, watchouts, LCES and reorganize them for maximal clarity, minimum rules with clear direction from management, then enforce them routinely. Since attitudes and rules do not always predict behaviors, who is responsible for oversight and ensuring compliance?”

    The WF and Supervisor(s) as well as Management are responsible for both oversight and ensuring compliance with those primarily on the firelines .

    They are easy to memorize, recognize (with experience, validation, and training) and they work … every time.

    “There is a need to do a factor analysis on all the decision aids currently in

    • 10 Standard Fire Orders
    • 18 Watch-out Situations
    • 5 Common Denominators
    • 4 LCES
    • 10 Downhill/Indirect Line
    Construction Guidelines
    • 9 Urban/Wildland Watch-outs
    56 total”

    • Joy Collura says

      I am not a firefighter or in the industry and was sarcastic on other thread…the 10 and 18 and LCES will save you and are very very important and not difficult to remember and just tonight was teaching a 7 yr old girl them on my hike not because she plans to be a firefighter but it is a real good system and I am teaching her the system of the fire industry…that was never the issue.. The issues are the ones who really and honestly feel they are hillbilly or bend the rules…I agree with RTS .. They are easy to memorize, recognize (with experience, validation, and training) and they work … every time…

      Safety Matters!

      • Robert the Second says

        Thank you Joy.

        Dr. Putnam also accurately remarked: “There are too many incompetent people on the fireline.” Page 9

  4. Robert the Second says

    This is from an article by Paul Keller revisiting the original Fall 2016 Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, Two More Chains article (Volume 6, Issue 3) by Mark Smith of Mission Centered Solutions, titled ‘The Big Lie.’ This revisited article is titled: “‘The Big Lie’ Continues to Fester’ with comments from Douglas Fir.


    “Douglas Fir – posted August 1, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    “Regarding the main article response from above:

    ‘Completely Reevaluate How We Manage Fire’

    “’The 10 & 18s are not standard at all, they are merely a loose set of guidelines created to help young firefighters understand hazardous conditions and develop slides before these principles naturally ingrain themselves into subconscious thought processes.’”

    “I disagree. I refer to it as Fighting Fire by the Rules. It’s really pretty simple.”

    “When I started “back in the day” there was NO Safety Zone(s) mentioned in Fire Order Number 4 or the 13 Watch Out Situations. This was verified in an April 1980 publication titled: “Preliminary Report of Task Force on Study of Fatal and Near-Fatal Fire Accidents.” So then, just GTS that title or go to the 1977 Cart Creek Fire Fatality Review in the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) Incident Reviews in the respective Staff Ride Information Sources section.”

    “Let’s also add in the rest of The WFF Rules to the above, i.e. LCES, the Common Denominators of Tragedy and Near-Miss Fires, and the Downhill Checklist. We hear this all the time: OMG, you expect us to memorize 43 things? I would ask you: How did you make it through high school or college without memorizing 43 things? Or you sports aficionados that can memorize and spout off literally hundreds of meaningless sports statistics. How are those going to keep you and others alive on the inherently dangerous firelines? They are not! Feel free to fill out a Hurt Feelings Report if that bothered you.”

    “Let’s also add in the insightful Lewis and Clark HS Superintendent Matt Holmstrom’s: “Common Denominators on Tragedy Fires – Updated for a New (Human} Fire Environment.’”


    “Indeed, the fire ultimately burns us and/or kills us, however, what gets us into those predicaments are the Human Factors. It matters not what type of Human Factors you want to study, e.g. avalanche, aviation, mountaineering, wildland firefighting, the similarities are relevant and remarkable.”

    “The Ten Standard FF Orders are clearly standards and need to remain unchanged because they work. They work every single time when you know them by heart, understand them, and follow them. It is disturbing that since the June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire there has been a cunning movement afoot, especially within the USFS, to “revisit” and/or change the 10 and 18 “because they didn’t work that day.” I allege the reason they did not work that day was because those that perished selectively followed the ones they wanted to and disregarded those that did not. They worked for the rest of the WFF on the YH Fire that day.”

    “The Watch Out Situations are the guidelines and we should add a Watch Out #19 – Death From Above, e.g. Overhead, Gravity Hazards (Trees, Hazard Trees*, Widow-makers, Rocks and Other Rolling Debris, Powerlines), Lightning, Aerial Ignition, and Aircraft. Unfortunately, there are those who mistakenly believe that the Watch Out Situations can be violated … they cannot. Only the Ten Standard FF Orders and the principles of LCES can be violated. The Watch Outs can be unrecognized, unmitigated, etc. but not violated. These are things we experience on every fire, every time and they determine whether-or-not we remain engaged in our fire suppression effort(s).”

    “*NOTE: I use the term Hazard Trees instead of ‘snag’ because every year for the past 10-12 years WFF have been maimed and/or killed by hazard trees. Snags are by definition, standing dead trees and READS want them “saved” for wildlife. The heck with saving dead trees, save the WFF’s and call them Hazard Trees so you can mitigate them and cut them down. One of the main reasons they are Hazard Trees is due to the woeful lack of serious fire and forest management – another issue for another time.”

    “Back to the WFF Rules. We also hear about all the alleged wildfires where WFF followed all The WFF Rules and they were still burned over, deployed fire shelters, or died. Really? First off, if someone deploys their fire shelter then someone really screwed up, because the fire signals to us what it is going to do every single time. All we and/or our lookout(s) must do is pay attention and act accordingly. I challenge you to search the Wildland Fire LLC Incident Reviews and provide me the name of one fire where a WFF followed all the WFF Rules and was burned over, deployed a fire shelter, or died. …. You won’t find even one.”

    “The ‘required’ NWCG Fire Shelter training video reveals that fire shelters are responsible for saving hundreds of lives and preventing hundreds of burn injuries since their inception. To a certain degree I agree with that. More importantly and to the point – knowing by heart, understanding, and following The WFF Rules, including mitigating the Watch Out Situations, are responsible for saving tens of thousands of WFF lives every fire season. Learn and follow the WFF Rules, they work.”

    “Revisiting for a moment the initial post: ‘The 10 & 18s are not standard at all, they are merely a loose set of guidelines created to help young firefighters understand hazardous conditions and develop slides before these principles naturally ingrain themselves into subconscious thought processes.’”

    “Now rephrasing that initial post: The 10 Standard Fire Orders are clearly a standard in all respects. They are not in any way, nor should they be, a loose set of guidelines. The 10 Standard Fire Orders are based on solid evidence from fatal and near fatal wildland fires. They were produced to help all firefighters understand the basic influences on all fires and the human elements to safely operate in the inherently hazardous wildland fire environment; and to develop the necessary slides to properly ingrain the principles of good, sound decision making in wildland firefighting.”

    “Further rephrasing the initial post: Yes indeed, ingrain these WFF Rules into our conscious and subconscious minds and our thought processes to effectively and properly do our dangerous jobs safely and well. Otherwise, according to researchers like Daniel Goleman, when we start to mentally break down in stressful situations, we resort to what we are most familiar with, e.g. South Canyon Fire – sharpening a chainsaw; 30-Mile Fire – mopping up with a nozzle, etc. There is also credible research based on science and empirical experiences that show us how to overcome this human failure “On Combat” by former Army Ranger and West Point psychology professor David Grossman.”

    “It indicates that what consistently produces the best results is training as realistically as possible and repeatedly using accurate and consistent actions, like memorizing the WFF Rules, including recognizing and mitigating the respective Watch Out Situations to the point of ‘muscle memory.’ This works well and has kept others out of unnecessary danger and alive in warfare and gunfights and will do the same for us in our inherently dangerous work.”

    • Sitta says

      This was a great response. “The Big Lie” expressed exactly the kind of attitude I didn’t want to be on the line with. As a federal worker these days, it’s hard not to feel more and more disposable. Sometimes it seems like we federal workers have internalized it, and started spouting it back out.

  5. Joy A Collura says


    To ALL of YOU in Florida-

    I am so sorry…thinking of my own family and friends and hearing their stories already of the evacuations—I can only imagine the homeless and ones who are unable due to a disability and lifestyle/environment or whatever your limitations; no way to get out-


    the scale and size—how serious this is—
    I was with some people in their 90’s last night and even some of them say NO MATTER WHERE YA LIVE…
    get BACKUP water now—

    never know what is going on—

    God Bless-

  6. BC6111 says

    As being involved in WL fire for around 22 years I personally know One of the authors and He’s the real deal and definitely dedicated to the safety of our firefighters. I whole heartedly trust him 110% of his findings and trust he will continue to dig into this until they break and tell the truth. Unfortunately one of the men on GMH was a close family friend and didn’t deserve to die like that nor the other guys. Thank you Fred for doing what you do

    • Woodsman says


      I don’t know you personally although I’ve worked for you on a fire in the past. I could name you right right now but it wouldn’t solve a thing other than illustrate my high-level investigative skills to the rest of the readership… to no practical purpose other than stroking my own ego. With that said, I’ll not do it.

      1. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.

      2. I agree that Fred is dedicated to the safety of wffs.

      3. When you said that you trust Fred will continue to dig into this until they break & the truth comes out…who is ‘they?’ & what is the truth?

      The reason I’m asking is because I believe that there are a lot of wffs out there that know the truth of what happened that day & to date no one has stepped up to the plate, put their big boy britches on and told the whole truth…even though several avenues have been available for some time to anonymously do so. Why?

      I additionally believe that by this fact of no one having the intestinal fortitude to come forward to date, it has directly imperiled future WFF to a similar outcome. This is my #1 chief complaint. I’ve never been one to find satisfaction in placing blame for the sole purpose of doing so. While facts must be known, (which will include names of participants) it’s much larger than that.

      When it comes to WFF safety, it’s all talk. Rules be damned. When fatal mistakes happen, not only will the reports claim no one did anything wrong, it will be swept under the rug & the world becomes full of mutes. Dead men don’t talk. Those boys deserve better. You know it. I know it.

      Who will be the one? If not you, who? How long must the wildland community be put unnecessarily in harms way because we are not nearly as courageous as the public is led to believe we are?


      • Joy Collura says

        I wonder if he is abel to say who he is…

        It is not hard to figure it out…

        Anyone who knows what is going on…knows its best to be quiet and watch the evaluations and promotions Woodsman and see the lay out since Yarnell Hill Fire post and after of where they lay TODAY in the industry…the guy above is probably high up now credentialed to investigate fires while people like Dr Ted Putnam truly investigated all areas to a fire fatality on how and whys…the new way is not such way…I ran into a man who told me the current ways being taught…sad…safety is right on yet I am very disappointed by some in the current system…makes you want to put a sad bluesy cowboy song on…dance the night away while men keep dying while the high ups keep saying…as they tap their feet to and dance to their own tempo…

        I respect Fred sir
        Very highly

        Yet I also want to ensure no areas are glazed over and kept under some rug while men keep dying…

        I hope one day the men on the Yarnell hill fire…Moser…Abel…Fernandez…etc end up on my dance floor…see if ya can keep up…I am rather solid…so you may have to watch your step and beats…I may be a few steps ahead too…

        Woodsman…this has nothing to do with courage…it is the shift in how the industry investigates…wouldn’t shock me if the YHF fire men are fire investigators today since they saw how it goes…keep your mouth SHUT and here is our conclusion and you fill in the blanks to make it a reality vs making that shit head fella who had the ego enough to let something happen and that kid is now dead…move forward and I am talking about this year’s loss not 2013…


      • Joy A Collura says


        Woodsman- do not let a few spoiled apples ruin that barrel of yours—

        “Quite often, as we go through life, we’ll experience moments when one person in a group, one issue in a relationship, one personal problem is so rotten that it threatens to infect the rest of your life, especially if we allow ourselves to give into the fallacy that it is representative of the whole.

        In these situations you must remind yourself that you have a choice —you can either let the apple continue to rot and ruin everything or you can pick it out, isolate it, and recognize that it need not affect the rest of the situation.

        Picking out this bad apple sometimes is simply a matter of compartmentalizing the situation, and being mentally and emotionally strong enough to know that it is not indicative of a widespread concern. One cloud does not mean the sky is falling.

        You can expedite resolving the issue by focusing on the positive, continuing to conduct your life as usual, rather than allowing the bad apple to take over. Certainly, at some point, you must deal with the issue, problem or person, but it need not usurp everything else.

        So, stay positive, remind yourself that it is but one issue, one person, one problem and don’t let that one bad apple spoil the barrel.”

        so as I dig into the industry BE PROUD OF YOUR EFFORTS HERE ON IM OR IN YOUR WORK FIELD and NO WAY can one disagree that SAFETY MATTERS and that it is just SOME in the DNA of the industry that want us all to REMAIN ZOMBIES and just LOOK AT the conclusions and all their “fillables” versus pure plain facts and truths-


        but it has a feel Woodsman that
        Ephesians 4:29 is their platform

        *** Let no * unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment , so that it will give grace to those who hear. ***

        well then we already got that Woodsman—from the SAIR— books out and soon a movie—
        but I was on that Weavers and I am here to tell you Woodsman air to ground have more to share—maybe just maybe some day they will—maybe just maybe I will get that last dance after all…


        I can say my sinful moments are drying up the more I wear my new t-shirt
        “I USE TO BE A PEOPLE PERSON ( but people ruined it for me )”

        oh since I am here- just got on the scale…my walk tonight now put me at 75 pounds gone…new goal is still set and a few months away so gotta keep drinking my raw beef liver juices and raw purple and dark greens—mmmm—umm NOPE …the liver goes pass the tongue taste buds…yuk! GAG EFFECTS…but I do 200g per week…yet it has proven to me to reverse diseases and take the wrinkles right out of your skin—as people have said and my blood labs show and keeping my nurse/doc in check as I go forward with it—I really have flooded my body with nutrients from about 15- 20 pounds of organically-grown fruits and vegetables daily. Most is used to make fresh raw juice, up to one glass every hour, up to 13 times per day. Oxygenation is usually more than doubled, as oxygen deficiency in the blood contributes to many degenerative diseases and I am regenerating STRICTLY my body to HEALTH—
        My mother said tonight NO WAY JOY—I go to my primary to get my B12 shot she says- no drinking raw liver for me she said…
        I did lose 25%more hearing since July and that is not too good—I wonder if Tex did too seeing that bright light with high frequency vibrations—yeah he is probably not in MT and probably over by you Gary or you Bob—he is a travelling fella alright—But I am having to use CLOSED CAPTIONS…may have to wait for movie to come out on dvd with subtitles— ONLY THE BRAVE is still sitting on movie theater lists but not yet able to buy a ticket—little over a month away— can you buy tickets over where you are at?

        • Joy A. Collura says

          Diane Lomas says
          SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 AT 1:55 PM

          What part did Fernandez play at the yarnell hill fire?

          JOY REPLY: because he is mentioned so so minimally….yet it is CLEAR the major role he played when the change of command from Shumate to Hall and IF ANYONE DOES HAVE INFORMATION should contribute because he must of been paid for being there so what did he do is a great question Diane and hope someone can answer you because I never seem to get the public records on him; no foia replies to inquiries on that fella????..we know he took many pictures—the casual observer should review his photos—and really listen to the testimonies—and the lack of timeline testimonies–

          in person I can go over and show you the timeline on that but unable to here because I know there is an existence of people who want harm for me more so now then ever…so I am not sharing here….but yes there is obvious a discussion worth discussing on the topic Fernandez—

          why hasn’t anyone answered this question for you Diane in the industry ? So my guesstimation is it needs to be rephrased some way- I wonder why noone won’t answer that in past or current or in public records requests…so who in their humble opinion can share their views on Fernandez and his role on YHF?

          YOU OUT THERE FERNANDEZ…maybe Fernandez himself, Diane.
          https:/ / w w w.facebook.c o m/BLMArizona/posts/861249713932625
          h tt p://mypubliclands.tumblr.c o m/post/46938889715/blm-arizona-honors-inner-city-youth-grads-in-fire

          SO FERNANDEZ:
          if youth are our future as someone praised and recognized you for being an instructor in 2015—why are you not sharing publicly your role on YHF in completion?
          That will really educate the youth and their future- won’t it?

          Diane Lomas says
          SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 AT 10:35 AM

          What do think caused the explosions on the yhf on 6/30/2017 at about 10 a.m.?

          JOY REPLY: again in person is the best route to answer that but for now look at Shumate’s testimony and read the ADOSH and other links and begin to timeline on paper their timeframes or lack ofs-

          IS ANYONE GETTING A QUICK “Checking your Browser before accessing” when coming to InvestigativeMedia since yesterday when it crashed like many of us are….????
          I googled it:

          says it is:
          Cloudflare anti DDOS protection, to prevent attacks and bots

  7. WantsToKnowTheTruth says

    >> The paper, entitled “Epic Human Failure on June 30, 2013“, was
    >> published by Springer International Publishing AG. The authors state that
    >> the crew’s leadership failed to follow well-known wildfire safety rules
    >> and that directly contributed to disaster.

    You cannot ignore 66 ( SIXTY-SIX ) years of combined experience fighting wildfires… and living to tell about it.

    And, despite all attempts to prevent the truth about what really happened at the Yarnell Hill Fire from seeing the light of day… there seems to be a consensus on the part of Wildland Firefighter instructors which matches this paper’s conclusions.

    Here is just one example from an article just recently published…

    NBC – Newscenter – Rapid City, South Dakota
    Article Title: Inside Fire Camp – Part One
    Published: Aug 15, 2017 9:57 PM CST
    Updated: Aug 17, 2017 1:16 PM CST
    By: Sam Kraemer and Andrew Shipotofsky

    According to the article… the instructors at the famous Black Hills Interagency Fire School are
    now using the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy as a good EXAMPLE of what can happen to you if you lose your situational awareness on a fire AND you also do NOT follow the well-established
    rules of the profession…

    From the article…
    Before the start of every fire season, the U.S. Forest Service firefighting division welcomes a fresh group of new prospects hoping to join the team.

    Instead of throwing them out on the line right away, the students attend the Black Hills Interagency Fire School at the Boxelder Job Corps…

    But none of the firefighters can work on the line without first obtaining their red card, and that requires passing tests on content taught in camp.

    “The first and second-year firefighters, who haven’t seen it all, they’re the ones that are really asking the questions,” said Chris Stover, assistant fire management officer for fuels with the Mystic Ranger District – a sector of the Black Hills National Forest. “So if we can build up their knowledge base, so that they learn the questions to ask, that is huge for us.”

    The fire camp starts with 3 days of classroom instruction. New firefighters learn concepts like fire behavior, the chain of command, and of course, the importance of preparedness and safety.

    “They emphasized a lot, if you see something dangerous, don’t be afraid to speak up about it or ask questions if you don’t know,” said Walter Bordewyk, a student at the 2017 Black Hills Interagency Fire School. “Emphasizing that two-way communication, I think that was a really big thing that I didn’t think about.”

    Stover, who was one of several instructors at the camp, stressed the importance of knowing your surroundings when fighting wildfires.

    “If you don’t have situational awareness, you can get in trouble in a big way,” he said. “So, I think that’s probably the most important thing we’re doing.”

    That message, he said, is key, because a lapse in situational awareness can turn an already risky job into a crisis.

    Take the Yarnell Hill Fire outside Yarnell, Ariz., in 2013.

    Nineteen Granite Mountain Hot Shots, a hand crew consisting of highly-trained wildland firefighters, died when a shift in winds changed the fire’s path toward them.

    “You hear about all these people that have been doing it for years, these elite hot shot crews, that you know, just something went wrong, and they’re gone now,” Bordewyk said.

    This tragedy, in addition to several others referenced in the class, highlights the importance of firefighter safety.

    That’s why every firefighter carries an incident response pocket guide. Ten standard practices and 18 watch out situations are listed on the back cover — all derived from an incident gone wrong.

    “I think it’s important to remember that and keep that in mind, and learn from those things that happened,” said Bordewyk.

    • calvin says

      It should be noted that Wildfire today has not reported on this research paper.
      Wildfire today covers most things WFF related.
      Maybe they will, or maybe they will continue to ignore it.

      • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

        I think Bill Gabbert ( who runs that Wildfire Today site ) is still deathly afraid of ‘reigniting’ any kind of truly ‘open’ discussion about the Yarnell Hill Fire.

        Very odd for someone who otherwise seems pretty dedicated to Wildland Fire safety concerns.

        • Robert the Second says


          Yes, you hit this one spot on.

          Sadly, along with so many others, he is truly “deathly afraid of ‘reigniting’ any kind of truly ‘open’ discussion about the Yarnell Hill Fire” and speaking out against and posting anything truly critical of the wildland fire agencies.

          This is indeed “very odd for someone who otherwise seems pretty dedicated to Wildland Fire safety concerns.”

          • calvin says

            Rts and wtk
            As noted above.
            Wildfire Today is not the only Wildfire organization that is IGNORING this latest assault against the GMH.

            • Robert the Second says

              And the other Wildfire organizations ignoring this latest assault on the GMHS are who?

              And what do you mean by assault, what assault?

      • Robert the Second says


        Help me out here.

        How does it follow what you posted below from the video link you posted?

        You posted: “Any WFF firefighter that is photograped or videod with gloves off or sleeves rolled up and is injured in a fire later can (and possibly) will be the next target.”

        So then if you get photographed or videotaped, you are susceptible for being the next target?

        Target for what?

        But only if you have either your gloves off OR your sleeves rolled up? Which one is it?

        So then, if you have gloves on and sleeves rolled up you are good? Or no gloves and sleeves rolled down? Or no gloves and sleeves rolled up? Any other combinations?

        Most times, gloves are not required to be worn on the firelines.

        Having rolled up sleeves on hotline is a bad decision with a good outcome and falls into the Normalization of Deviance realm.

  8. Robert the Second says

    This post is with permission from an experienced WFF, a former Southwest Hot Shot and a current Smokejumper.

    “Investigation Teams never want to find out the cold hard truth and hold anyone accountable, rather they wanna always make it a ‘learning’ lesson instead of saying someone f***ked up and got a bunch of people killed.”

    • WantsToKnowTheTruth says

      Totally agree with regards to the way Wildland Fire fatality ‘Investigations’ are ( currently ) run… but it also doesn’t help to just say “Someone f**ked up and got a bunch of people killed”.

      WHY and HOW someone ( or someones, plural ) “f**ked up” is the most important thing to find out… and to KNOW… in order to have the best chance at preventing anything similar from happening again.

      A PROFESSIONAL ‘Investigation’ will always seek the TRUTH, regardless of where the evidence leads.

      Yes… you have to have respect for the people who have lost their loved ones… but you also have a RESPONSIBILITY ( as an investigator ) to help keep OTHERS ALIVE.

      And yes… that means there are times when ‘negligence’ CAN rise to ‘criminal’ level.

      No matter what any of us chooses to do for a living… or what workplace we find ourselves in… there can be times when ‘negligence’ can ( and SHOULD ) be punishable.

      • calvin says

        The undeniable truth is that there were numerous people who did know GMH was on the move, and one or more of these people gave the order.
        Too bad research hasnt been done to find out who these individuals are.
        People who have spent so much time in WFF have the contacts to find out the whole story.
        But insist on towing the official USFS BS line that noone did anything wrong, except for the dead.

        • Robert the Second says


          There are and were numerous people who did know GMHS was on the move.

          You posted: “and one or more of these people gave the order.” What order? Marsh gave Steed the order to move and he resisted numerous times.


          Research has been done to find out who these individuals are.

          Yes indeed, people who have spent so much time in WFF have the contacts to find out the whole story.

          The “official” BS line that no one did anything wrong is from the AZ State Forestry SAIT, not from the USFS.

          “… no one did anything wrong …except for the dead.”

          Plenty of WFF did things wrong that day, especially the GMHS that accepted the deadly assignment to leave the safe black at the worst possible time and they died because of their failure to comply with the tried-and-true WFF Rules.

  9. says

    Regarding “discussing our options”
    I am interested in what arguments were put forth by overhead that convinced GMHS to proceed to Yarnell in spite of the dangers.

  10. Frank says

    Seems anytime there is an accident like this one, investigation teams are reluctant to hold anyone accountable for the actions leading up to the incident. What we do see instead is investigation teams want to make it a learning lesson and not acknowledge the fact that someone fucked up and thus people paid the price

    • Joy Collura says

      Frank….LoLo fire in its entirety is a recent example and I HOPE that ego that is alive gets I see things beyond the norm as data keeps being pushed to the surface quietly so yeah you are right less time private and publicly is spent on the pure evaluation of the bosses above the bosses that are on the line…The movie is coming out but in due to time the most amazing documentary will surface but it will focus not just on yhf but many others as well then we will get to see people like Abel’s pure reactions and we will see his journey before the yhf…during…and after…it will amaze some…really…when the sait asked me certain questions…it was a red flag…then I knew where to dig…Frank the time will arrive…be patient. To me the movie is just a perception and another symbol to honor and memoriliaze but there is a time that you seek will surface…indeed.

      • Joy Collura says

        Oh and Frank. The people that are going to be talked about in this documentary will have their Fair moment to fact-check all that will be presented by production and we will send them a transcript beforehand even the ones on yhf and other fires and if they don’t respond that is okay because anything that is presented will have the proper documentation and if they don’t want to be a part of the documentary that is okay because this time production the editors have no clue what omit or put under the rug or pretend it never happened means so no cropping and so yes indeed there will be a time and so I guess what I’m saying here is that I have not been premature in my actions and held steadfast and Hope that the people that were on the Yarnell Hill fire we’re the ones that came public first…versus trying to keep building their career in the industry because in the end all the credibility build up will not matter. I know the 2 things I have to see God for in my 45 years of life and those 2 things I would not be mad or humiliated if big brother watched me over time an orchestrated into something else…my 2 things even happened based on the emotion FEAR and I have over time even addressed those fears on IM…I am only at 2.9 of my 15 mile walk and run and the sun is glaring down but I want you Frank to know we know what entities and people we have at our plate and seen the vile ways already and the way Fred S. has been disrespected in his own industry does not leave a sour taste with me but I will be able to one day show even Fred in this documentary who his true brothers are…because in some of the foia public records email some of you are fake as hell…fake and that fairness will radiate and shine in the documentary…this is not talk…this is not perception and will be based on real time facts…facts so the world can really see the industry and how it needs to make the changes…LoLo fire this year is proof enough…

  11. calvin says

    Thanks Marti!
    I thought IMG_1888 through IMG _1904 were taken when Cory Ball went scouting for a possible dizer line.
    But on second look it was when someone in the BRH were actually looking for a way in to find GMH?
    It seems like this activity was captured on the BR captains gps captured movements?

    • Joy A Collura says

      I do not think EN would want her public material touched on this site Calvin-

      there is a base camp some meet at- do you have access to it?

      • Robert the Second says

        Joy, it’s a public forum. Elizabeth/Logical Phallacy did a lot of good researching and posting audio and video clips.
        Then she went off the deep end …

        • Robert the Second says

          Sorry Joy,

          I meant this for Calvin.

          It’s a public forum. Elizabeth/Logical Phallacy did a lot of good researching and posting audio and video clips.
          Then she went off the deep end …

          We can and should post whatever we like.

      • Sitta says


        I haven’t been maintaining the Basecamp site — I’m considering taking it down (due to security issues and lack of activity). If you still have the Yarnell Hikers account you signed in with, you should get an update to that effect, and we can discuss it. Thanks!

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