Will the fire community benefit from the ‘lessons learned’ concept and sustain a ‘safety culture’ wh
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The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17 (NKJV)
Happy Fourth of July.
This 'flyover' graphic below originally accompanied a New York Times (NYT) article that ran on July 6, 2013, just six days after the tragedy on the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire (YH Fire) when there was still little to no verifiable public information available about what happened on June 30, 2013.
The video moves along quickly, so the first few seconds reveal some new-to-us YH Fire "evidence." At the five second mark, you will notice the inserted marker "Hotshot crew moves west" with an arrow direction from the Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR or Helms) to the next location. At the nine second mark, you will notice the video inserted marker "Hotshot crew trapped." It then moves into the time lapse video from Congress, AZ videographer Matt Oss.
Figure 1. One of the AZ State Forestry numbered evidence video clips (NYT source) where the NYT Jeremy White concluded: "Hotshot crew moves west" and "Hotshot crew trapped." Sources: Arizona State Forestry (AZSF) evidence file, Matt Oss, and Jeremy White of NYT
I emailed the following NYT reporters today, July 4, 2018 (8:23 AM); Fernanda Santos, Jeremy White and Jack Healy.
“Your 'flyover' graphic originally accompanied your NYT article about Yarnell that ran on July 6, 2013, just 6 days after the tragedy ( when there was still little to no information available about what happened ).
"Would you please explain why the NYT came to the conclusions that the Granite Mountain Hotshots (GMHS) were at the BSR-Helms and then went to the Deployment Site.
"This is contrary to what the SAIT-SAIR [Serious Accident Investigation Team - Serious Accident Investigation Report] concluded.
"In the original July 6, 2013, NYT article... right above the embedded 'flyover video'...NYT authors wrote the following... "As the thunderstorm approached, the men were digging a trench near the Glen Ilah subdivision southwest of Yarnell, trying to protect its homes."
"Did you and your reporters talk to someone we haven't talked to yet? Do you all know something we don't? How could NYT print that unless they had some evidence that's what GM was doing?”
YH Fire Eyewitness
Joy A. Collura"
At the time, Fernanda Santos was the Phoenix-based NYT News correspondent, so she had a co-byline on this story which ran just six days after the tragedy. Fernanda Santos would go on to write one of the books about the YH Fire, entitled "The Fire Line." We will one day, fact check and post our conclusions and findings about all the YH Fire books.
Not much was known about what happened a mere six days after the tragedy, however, it looks like someone told whoever created that 'graphic flyover movie' for the article, that the GMHS had actually moved west FROM the BSR and that is when and where they were trapped and died.
You have to ask yourself, is that really what happened?
The NYT Article Titled: A Painful Mix of Fire, Wind and Questions was written by Fernanda Santos and Jack Healy and published on July 6, 2013.
( http://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/us/a-painful-mix-of-fire-wind-and-questions.html )
You have to scroll down some in the article itself to find that 'embedded flyover video,' near the bottom. The video probably ended up as part of the AZSF investigation (and assigned the ASF0000414 INV number) because when they saw the article they were probably wondering themselves - "Is this accurate? What the heck do they ( the reporters ) know that we don't?"
You have to remember what July 6, 2013, was like on the day the NYT ran that article. No one in the media or the general public really knew jack shit.
And then there were those slip-through-the-cracks eyewitnesses, which included many more observers than just the two hikers, troublesome to the SAIT, that what they witnessed, did not fit the SAIT's false "conclusion first" scenario. That is why I am here taking the time to share with all of you. And if any of you, the many other observers are reading this and have your own photos and/or videos, please let me know, email or post in the comments section below. I promise anonymity.
All anyone knew was that the BSR-Helms was THERE, and was allegedly then being used as the 'command center' for the investigations. The press evidently could see that. There was also the visible GMHS deployment site scar out at the end of that dozer push (to retrieve the deceased). So all the press could do was ASSUME things. It really looks like the NYT was ASSUMING that the men had just showed up to work that day, walked west from the BSR-Helms for some stupid reason, and they were just 'working' out there in that stupid canyon when "The Big Bad Fire Just Came And Got Them".
It was during the July 23, 2013, InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) John Dougherty's video, where Prescott FD Wildland Battalion Chief Darrell Willis, at the YH Fire Fatality Site News Conference, told the whole world that where they actually died was NOT where they had been supposedly 'working.' The SAIT-SAIR concluded that this site was actually where they got 'trapped' while MOVING towards the BSR-Helms.
However, this new-to-us AZSF evidence video should now make us question the SAIT, the AZSF, and the NYT reporters and their "conclusions."
To this day, we still run into people who actually believe that the GMHS died where they had been 'fighting the fire' and the wind just changed and killed them where they were 'working.' That's how clueless some people still are and how naive Fernanda Santos and the other NYT reporter(s) seemed to have been on July 6, 2013, when they ran that article.
Until today, I was unaware that the AZSF Investigators themselves were 'curious' enough about what this video was 'showing' that they bothered to actually obtain copies of it themselves and assign those ASF-XXXXXXX-INV evidence numbers.
I find this to be extremely significant and problematic.
Maybe the AZSF Investigators really did think, early on, that these NYT reporters had talked to someone and actually knew something they didn't yet know. Maybe someone DID mention to the NYT reporters, sometime between the tragedy and the July 6, 2013, YH Fire Fatality Site News Conference, like something about GMHS Eric Marsh (acting Division Supervisor A) being near the BSR-Helms and then hiking back WEST to meet his fate with the rest of the GMHS.
Here is another link if something goes funky with the link to the original NYT article ( https://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/us/a-painful-mix-of-fire-wind-and-questions.html )
In the original July 6, 2013, NYT article, right above the embedded 'flyover video,' the authors actually ignorantly wrote the following:
"As the thunderstorm approached, the men were digging a trench near the Glen Ilah subdivision southwest of Yarnell, trying to protect its homes." (emphasis added)
That probably REALLY got the 'attention' of the SAIT investigators and likely also caused them to probably ask themselves these questions: "Did these reporters talk to someone we haven't yet talked to? Do they know something we don't? How could they print that unless they had some evidence that's what the GMHS was doing?"
In addition, no respectable wildland firefighter (WF) would ever use the phrase "digging a trench" to describe someone building fireline on flat terrain around a community. WFs know that they only build trenches at the bottom of wildfires on steep hillsides, (i.e. Watch Out #9). Santos took the Arizona Wildfire Academy basic wildland FF course ( S-130), therefore, she should know better. So then, the NYT reporters made that part up. As I am the eyewitness, also revealed in all the photos I took, the GMHS were either at rest and talking, but not really "working" as the reporters claimed.
Figure 2. Joy A Collura's June 30, 2013 Photo of the GMHS Source: Joy A. Collura
The above photo shows the GMHS on the two-track road, which is actually a 1960's era fire-break road (when the area last experienced a wildfire - "brush fire"), near the fire's edge and lunch spot. I want to emphasize, the GMHS was NOT actually "working" in any of the photos I took and were later published online. Instead, we witnessed and photographed them kicking rocks and generally engaging each other in conversations, while sitting and standing in the direct sun.
Added this into this post Feb 3, 2021 5:45PM - The two track road on the Weaver Mountains was first reported in the Phoenix Gazette in 1968 due to a 'brush fire' and again in the 1992 Yarnell - Peeples Valley Centennial Historic Notes where none other but Peeples Valley Retired Fire Chief, Bob Brandon, who was on the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire was on the Historical Notes Committee Board like such:
Figure 3: 1992 Yarnell - Peeples Valley Centennial Historic Notes Source: Dan Jacob's Historical Note.
At the time of this posting, I have received no answers to my emailed questions above from the NYT reporters. It's a national holiday today. I can see them putting the original article out July 6th, 2013, yet there should have at least been an added correction to that article since then, unless they know more details and intentionally are omitting them from us. And if so, why? Hopefully, they will get back to me after the holiday.
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1 (NKJV)
webmaster reviewed page last: 7-19-18 1:45pm
Updates: minor spelling, punctuation, grammar, caption spacing, increased Figure 2. photo size, scripture verses (June 27, 2021, 8:38 PM)
this page last: 2-3-2021 7:07PM
(Blog Was On Pause since 1-27-21- Glad blog was on pause - there was missing content and it was all moved around and broken links.) (JC)
The New York Times has never replied in reference to this post and my email inquiries.
#wildlandfire #Yarnellfire #GraniteMountainHotShot #New York Times #Matt Oss #Jeremy White #Jack Healy #Fernanda Santos #A Painful Mix of Fire, Wind and Questions #ASF0000414 INV #GMHS Eric Marsh #Phoenix Gazette in 1968 #1992 Yarnell - Peeples Valley Centennial Historic Notes #Peeples Valley Retired Fire Chief, Bob Brandon (hashtags)
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Post Number Seven
Update October 20th 4:28pm- Fred J. Schoeffler has my full permission to use any and all content from "Will the fire community benefit from the ‘lessons learned’ concept and sustain a ‘safety culture’ wh...?" on his new "Project 10 and 18 United" / "Project 10 and 18 International" blog he is creating.- Joy A. Collura