Part 3 of 5 - Underneath every simple, obvious story about ‘human error,’ there is a deeper, more co
Part 3 of 5 - Underneath every simple, obvious story about ‘human error,’ there is a deeper, more complex story - a story about the system in which people work. Will these formerly unrevealed public records change the account of what occurred on June 30, 2013?
Having nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11 (NIV)
In loving memory to my father (12 - 21 -15 )
Views expressed to "the public at large” and "of public concern"
DISCLAIMER: Please fully read the front page of the website (link below) before reading any of the posts ( www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com )
The authors and the blog are not responsible for misuse, reuse, recycled and cited and/or uncited copies of content within this blog by others. The content even though we are presenting it public if being reused must get written permission in doing so due to copyrighted material. Our sincerest apologies for the delays. These posts were due out in August 2019 yet we had WIX.com website research a matter, and we are now finally able to rebuild the pages and make them "live." This extensive post may offend some due to the time of the year, however, we must stay the course to release information because more is yet to come out in future posts. To avoid such offense to some, please avoid further reading the posts until you find a proper reflective time for yourself. I did ask many people who were affected by this tragic Yarnell Hill Fire event and they said it was okay to post it this weekend. I know some people would not want any of this out at any time, yet I also know too many for "mental health" reasons need this out ASAP. Again - please avoid reading any further if you are unable to handle "sensitive material." Thank you.
Consider now the continuation from Part 2 of 5 leading into the rogue Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area, likely firing operation. As published in our 2019 AHFE paper titled "Formerly Unrevealed Records Should Change the Account of What Occurred on June 30, 2013. Underneath every simple, obvious story about ‘human error,’ there is a deeper, more complex story … a story about the system in which people work." What follows contains what we presented in a PowerPoint format, now converted to a PDF JPEG format. The additional accounts that were not in the 2019 AHFE paper regarding the second - and third-person hearsay accounts of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area likely firing operation were included in the AHFE Conference PowerPoint presentation, and are now included here in the PDF JPEG format images that follow. Most importantly, more details are brought to light and included in this post on the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor firing operation. Additionally, more details are provided below each image due to the freedom to additionally expound on further clarifications and descriptions in this post, a luxury typically not rendered in a PowerPoint presentation.
This Part 3 of 5 section contains information, data, images, photographs, and analysis of: research on argumentation and burdens of proof to overcome logical fallacies and disagreement; investigative journalism and truth seeking; whether a likely rogue firing operation occured in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area; hearsay exception evidence from a WF (Downhillndirect avatar); NWCG Escape Routes importance; tracking devices /systems; NWCG WFSTAR '52-minutes from Blow-up to Burnover' image and discussion; Google Earth image of Corridor area, twin parallel chutes, etc. alignment with GMHS deployment site; Hearsay exceptions; former USFS Fire Director Jerry Williams discussing the "10 & 18;" the history of military "Friendly Fire" and discussion of wildland fire "Friendly Fire" history and "fog of war"; GMHS Steady Drift Into Failure and Bad Decisions With Good Outcomes; 2012 Holloway Fire; Unaccounted for GMHS Evidence; BRHS Brian Frisby and USFS Human Dimensions Joseph Harris email regarding the YH Fire and Staff Ride; Our Investigation and Our Truth PODCASTS; "Student of Fire" website re: YH Fire and GMHS; Staff Rides in general; NWCG leadership; detailed WTKTT analyses on numerous GMHS videos, especially MacKenzie, indicating alteration and manipulation; Abercrombie Former "WildlandFire.com - They Said" archives (1999-2004) quotes, samples of 2019 AHFE Advances in Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance book content, and more. Close to, but not necessarily in the above order.
Furthermore, you will be regularly exposed to the dubious "Factual" SAIT-SAIR (page 11) drivel that seems to follow the ethics and morals lessons of this notoriously demonic wanker: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Joseph Goebbels, Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. (emphasis added)
In order to separate the wheat from the chaff, as they say, and discern fact from fiction, these two research paper links immediately below on logical fallacies may assist you in traveling the convoluted trail of the June 30, 2013, YH Fire debacle and the GMHS tragedy. Hopefully, they will be especially helpful trying to tell the difference between what the AZ State Forestry endorsed SAIT-SAIR disingenuously presented as "factual." Realistically, they are more like numerous methodically crafted deceptions, inaccuracies, and outright falsehoods for the purpose of "honoring the fallen" as they say or in the converse, to avoid "speaking ill of the dead" - compared to the numerous untold truths that we reveal.
(1) Godden, D.M. (2010) The importance of belief in argumentation: Belief, commitment and the effective resolution of a difference of opinion. Synthese, 172. ( https://www.jstor.org/stable/40496048?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents )
(2) Imran Aijaz et al (2012) Burdens of Proof and the Case for Unevenness and the The Attitudinal Burden: When Truth is a Primary Aim section.
This inspiring article cited herein, segues well into the shrouded magnitude of investigative reporting and truth seeking. The Boston Globe Spotlight editor who defined investigative reporting in Boston, died on Aug. 23, 2019, at 76. "Some 30 years ago, this Globe investigative reporter wondered how tough he should be in a story about corrupt judges, and sought guidance from Gerry O’Neill, editor of the Spotlight Team. “WRITE IT SO IT SCARES YOU,” [he] said. "Fine advice, ... those most likely to tremble were the officials whose misdeeds he chronicled ... The greatest lesson ... [when we] run into all these obstacles, we will get frustrated,” ... “Gerry would say, ‘We just have to keep going. ... we’re not going away. We’ll do what we have to do.’” And he inspired everyone ... to hold accountable anyone who betrayed the public’s trust. “Gerry never flinched in the face of power or sacred cows” ... “He believed in the story.” By Bryan Marquard Globe Staff, August 23, 2019, 10:58 a.m. (emphasis added) We will keep going - We are here to stay the course to do what we morally have to do our best to hold accountable those who betrayed the public’s trust. We believe in revealing the truth (and lies) about what occurred on the YH Fire on June 30, 2013.
Figure 50. (same as Figure 47 in Part 2 of 5 ) PDF JPEG image of "Was There a Rogue Sesame Street to Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
The seemingly ongoing question of whether there was a Rogue Sesame Street to Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area likely firing operation begins with: (1) three SAIT-SAIR excerpts (pp. 18, 21, 24, 25); (2) what photographs that the authors posted, confident that a firing operation occurred based on separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes); (3) reference to the twenty people (WFs, FFs locals, and others) that viewed the July 2013 video at the Yarnell Library of WFs / FFs using drip torches in a firing operation above the Shrine area. The video ultimately "vanished without a trace;" (4) There are also references to "burnt fusees" and "accelerants" found in the area on subsequent visits with specialized dogs; as well as (5) an audio Podcast and InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) posts with references to a "back burn" in the area. "Back burn" is a colloquial or slang reference to a firing or burn-out operation. Additionally, a GMHS mother on their Podcast stated: “I stand firm that there was a back burn [firing operation] that came up that canyon. It was this fact …” (all emphasis added) (Our Investigation, Our Truth - What Happened to the Granite Mountain Hot Shots (GMHS). DP & former GMHS D. Harwood. November 28, 2015 email. (https://anchor.fm/our-truth/episodes/Episode-Ten-Thank-You-e40gp7 ) I find it interesting and confusing that DP refers to it as "Our Investigation, Our Truth - What Happened to the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshots."
Consider now the SAIT-SAIR excerpts referring to the two-track road (an old fuel break) between Sesame Street and Shrine Road to be used for a burnout along a dozer line.
SAIT-SAIR: “They [BRHS] encounter SPGS1 who requests a Heavy Equipment Boss (HEQB) to manage a dozer and … clear out the two-track road on both sides as far as possible to provide access and to prepare for possible backfire … clear out the two-track road (an old fuel break) between Sesame Street and Shrine Road. … The HEQB continues to work the dozer to open the line between Sesame Street and Shrine Road. The Blue Ridge IHC move their crew carriers toward the Shrine of St. Joseph (the Shrine) and a youth camp area around 1500 and then start preparing for burnout along the dozer line.“ (pp. 18, 21) (emphasis added)
SAIT-SAIR: "... SPGS1 contacts [BRHS Supt.] to ask if they still have the option to burn out from the dozer line. BR Supt tells him no. DIVS A, hearing the transmission, agrees and says he believes the fire is almost as far as the Granite Mountain vehicles. A moment later, DIVS A says, “I want to pass on that we’re going to make our way to our escape route.” (p. 24) (emphasis added)
SAIT-SAIR: “A task force with Structure Protection Group 1 is working in the area. They are cutting a piece of indirect line from the area near the youth camp on Shrine Road eastward to a boulder pile, expecting that they may need to burn off this line overnight. This piece of indirect line connects to the dozer line between Shrine Road and Sesame Street, which the Blue Ridge IHC have been prepping since about 1500.” (p. 25) (emphasis added)
It is very clear that the BRHS and others were improving the two-track road (old dozer line) that was the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area specifically for a likely firing operation. The task force with Structure Protection Group 1 was working in conjunction with the BRHS cutting a piece of indirect line from the area near the Youth Camp on Shrine Road eastward to a boulder pile, which connected to the dozer line between Shrine Road and Sesame Street. But around what time ??does the SPGS1 contact the BRHS Supt. to ask if they still have the option to burn out from the dozer line. The crucial timeframe of that question is NEVER addressed in the SAIT-SAIR. Both the BR Supt and DIVS A tell him no. DIVS A, says he believes the fire is almost as far as the GMHS vehicles.
And recall that the GMHS - once again - for the third time, have left their Crew Carriers in an unburned, green clearing without any drivers to move them, (e.g. 2011 Sunflower Fire - TNF (AZ); 2012 Holloway Fire - BLM (NV & OR) - 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire (AZ)! Refer to the Holloway Fire (VIMEO video) by Colby Drake where a contract Engine Crew sub-caption states "we saved the [GMHS] buggies from burning up!" ( http://vimeo.com/48411010 ) (2:40 to 3:25). Near the end of the VIMEO video clip, you will notice a GMHS wearing a black hardhat (the lookout ?) running down their handline toward the bottom.
Colby Drake, the contract Engine Crew Engine Boss addressed this (below Figure 60) further posting on InvestigativeMEDIA as "Methods."
According to the SAIT-SAIR, a moment later, DIVS A says, 'I want to pass on that we’re going to make our way to our escape route.'” Wait a minute now! The NWCG defines Escape Routes as "... the path the firefighter takes from their current locations – when exposed to danger – to an area free from danger" in "Escape Routes 1." Furthermore, " ... follow the established escape route to the safety zone" and "You should always know the location of your escape routes leading to safety zones and deployment areas" in "Escape Routes 3." (emphasis added)
Lo and behold! The NWCG considers Escape Routes so important - which they are - that they cover it in three separate postings! And, of course, our favorite NWCG wildland fire fatality poster (below) in Figure: 50a.- "Blowup to Burnover" - referring to the fact that the Yarnell Hill Fire, was a whopping "52 minutes" from the time the GMHS - and everyone else for that matter - witnessed the fire blowing up until they escaped or burned over. Only three (3) other wildland fire fatalities were in that extended (40+ minutes) timeframe, (e.g. Battlement Creek (CO) 1978; Thirty-mile (WA) 2011, and Blue Ribbon (FL) 2016.
In Florida, it is remarkable that the tractor-plow units on the Blue Ribbon Fire were outfitted with an "'Asset Tracking System' which is a platform where the GPS location of suppression equipment is transmitted via radio from the suppression equipment to a supervisor’s radio in their vehicle, then to a laptop computer. It failed to function properly on this fire. The Asset Tracker System was a benefit to IC-2 during the incident; however, the System was not installed on T/P-1 and the location of T/P-5 was not displayed on IC-2’s computer. There are inconsistencies between the Asset Tracker System data and firefighter statements as to when this occurred." (emphasis added) SAIT Team Leader Jim Karels was from FL Forestry and proposed these tractor tracking units.
Florida provides GPS to protect those fighting wildfires (January 1, 2014) by Kevin Spear
"The 19 firefighters who died in an Arizona wilderness blaze last summer and two rangers who perished in a North Florida forest fire in 2011 were victims of similar perils: an afternoon eruption of unexpectedly fierce fire and an ensuing communications breakdown. (emphasis added)
"To prevent a repeat of such tragedies, the Florida Forest Service is equipping its frontline firefighters with GPS units that provide location points on supervisors' laptops. The agency thinks the system is the first of its type in the nation. It will give crews, especially those on bulldozers who plow fire lines, a virtual way to see through the "fog and friction" of wildfires. (emphasis added)
"To cut through the fog and friction, the Florida Forest Service has been rolling out its Asset Tracker System, equipping all of the nearly 400 bulldozers and fire engines statewide with GPS receivers and radio transmitters. System software will be installed in the laptops of nearly 60 supervisors. (emphasis added)
"Every 30 seconds, the units blurt out an electronic warble, confirming that a packet of data containing unit identification, location, speed and direction had been transmitted by a 40-watt radio able to reach supervisor laptops within 2 miles. The system doesn't provide a complete picture of a wildfire; the blaze, for example, isn't outlined on maps depicted on laptop screens. (emphasis added)
"But Kern said supervisors are learning to correlate the GPS tracking data with their knowledge of tactics used when fighting fires with bulldozers. Supervisors also will know where to direct a helicopter to drop water should trouble occur. 'If one of our guys calls in, 'I'm stuck and about to be burned over,' we'll know where to go,' Kerns said." (emphasis added) So, at least they'll know where to go to start the investigation and / or to retrieve the bodies.
This GPS tracking equipment is actually one of seven "recommendations" that the YH Fire SAIT-SAIR (p. 44) came up with for all WFs after the deadly June 30, 2013, YH Fire. "4. The Team recommends that the State of Arizona request the [NWCG] to review current technology that could increase resource tracking, communications, real time weather, etc. For example, this may include GPS units and weather applications." (emphasis added) No thanks! Applying the 10 & 18 and LCES work just fine for tens of thousands of WFs each and every year for those that actually use them.
Unsurprisingly, they also proposed this "recommendation" but never followed through with it: "5. The Team recommends that the State of Arizona request the NWCG and/or Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) to charter a team of interagency wildland fire and human factors experts to conduct further analysis of this event and the wildland fire communications environment." (emphasis added)
And so, because they have NOT done this, then we, and many other concerned current and former WFs, FFs, and citizens like us, have decided to carry on with that noble task, delving into the human factors while conducting further analysis of this event.
Figure: 50a. Operational Engagement - Escape Routes 1 (Take 5@2) 6 Minutes for Safety Source: NWCG
This component of the probable firing operation - planned and discussed above - was, in fact, likely fired off by a mixture of Federal, State, and Municipal Fire personnel as detailed in the segments below in Figures 51-57 in "Was there a Rogue Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area likely firing operation?"
Once again, the Google Earth image below (Figure 50b) will allow much easier understanding of the WFs and FFs access and movements, better clarification, and verification of the specific areas referenced when discussing the Sesame Street to Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area, likely firing operation.
Figure 50b. PDF JPEG image of a Google Earth image aligned Northwest to Southeast, indicates the "Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor" area aligned approximately North to South (upper middle) - "Upslope Alignment" (white arrow) of the twin "Parallel Chimneys / Chutes / Washes" (middle to lower middle - black lines & arrows) which funneled intense afternoon thunderstorm outflow winds directly upslope into the GMHS "Deployment Zone" (lower middle) and ultimate fatality site on June 30, 2013. The Boulder Springs Ranch / Helms ("B.S.R. / Helms") was the GMHS alleged goal (middle right).Source: Google Earth and Joy A. Collura
It is a widely held belief among WFs, specifically WFs involved in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area likely firing operation, that the increasing outflow winds and resultant fire behavior created an exponentially violent fire storm that overtook the GMHS as they hiked downhill into the fire surging uphill toward them. Refer to Figure 25 in Part 1 of 5.
Consider now the importance of broaching the question: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" I will use legal literature to establish standing, for legal credibility, while utilizing the "Arizona Rule 803. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay" in order to qualify his experienced WF statements as having "particular probative value" (evidence which is sufficiently useful to prove something important in a trial).
'A firsthand account of an event or topic is based on an individual's personal experience, while a secondhand account of an event or topic is based on an individual's research, rather than personal experience. It is generally considered to be circumstantial evidence. By definition, hearsay is an out of court statement made in court by someone other than a party to prove the truth of matter.'
"In evaluating factual matter, the modern trend is to allow an expert to rely on anything normally relied upon by other experts in his field, that is, on anything that has gained "general acceptance" in arriving at opinions. He may rely on opinions of others; statements of third parties not involved in the action; and knowledge derived from books (learned treatises), articles, lectures, etc., written and given by others. However, an expert may not rely upon irrelevant or speculative material in arriving at his opinion. The material upon which expert opinion is based need not, by itself, be admissible; it may, for example, be hearsay." (emphasis added) Objections to Evidence and Testimony - Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ( http://freedom-school.com/objections_to_evidence_and_testimony.pdf )
It will be necessary to recognize and then accept that a 25-year veteran WF, using an avatar to protect his identity (Downhillndirect - DND), would basically be considered as an "expert witness," in a court of law. So then, granting him his due credibility as such in this instance is therefore permissible. Notes from numerous phone conversations and InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) Yarnell Hill Fire posts, provided below, reveal what evidence DND has garnered, as well as his sincerity and goal of sharing the truth minus "unfounded inferences or skewed by the provider’s bias." Furthermore, I highly recommend that you apply your credibility discernment with bite. Rather than accepting at face value DND's claims based on training, knowledge, and shared wildland fire experiences, you should recognize that tight groups, such as WFs and FFs, sometimes subscribe to a set of shared, but nonetheless unreliable, beliefs. So then, make your credibility judgements accordingly. You should also scrutinize whether the evidence provider’s experience base is sufficiently extensive enough to support what he presents as bona fide evidence, albeit second- or third-hand, including what would be considered as what is known as "professional opinion." By giving teeth to the "Arizona Rule 803. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay" covered in Part 1 of 5, underneath Figure 8, you can avoid allowing mere opinion evidence that lacks a sufficient basis and ensure that only reliable inferences fairly drawn from his experience are presented to you, the reader. (emphasis added) The above derives from: Anne Bowen Poulin (2011) Experience-Based Opinion Testimony: Strengthening the Lay Opinion Rule. Pepperdine Law Review, 39 ( https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1365&context=plr ) May have to cut and paste this URL link or search for the tile and author to reteieve the data.
The context to follow is a mixture of 'first-person' - 'second hand' - 'third-person' perspective anecdotes and comments that either: (1) take place in a training academy where the students, one of which was involved in one of the firing operations, are engaged in discussion as a group with the academy instructors about the Yarnell Hill Fire, June 30, 2013, fire behavior and eventually human factors; (2) part of a separate firing operation in a different area by a Single Resource Agency Type 3 Engine, (3) a municipal FF perspective while at the BSR, and (4) from an established 25-year veteran WF, using the avatar "Downhillndirect (DND)," that has spoken with each of these three individuals that were a part of their respective, likely firing operations. Remember that these are "professional" versus "personal" opinions, although still considered hearsay.
We initially address the limited original text accompanying the PowerPoint photos and images from the 2019 AHFE Conference PowerPoint presentation, and then move on to further examination of those from a PDF JPEG format, with significantly more detailed evidence and information in these recently posted materials. Several of these newly posted materials concern the controversial, problematic, and elusive issue of: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area, likley, firing operation?"
What follows are anecdotes, comments, and quotes, that are derived from notes taken during conversations with the respective YH Fire Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area, likely firing operations personnel. Excerpts from military literature on the historical notion of "friendly fire" from several military sources and therefore, from purely military perspectives are examined. The few wildland fire "friendly fire" incidents posted and discussed, are mostly from contributing auhors, experienced WFs and FFs, and several InvestigativeMEDIA website posts on the issue.
Figure 51. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
From Figure 51 PDF JPEG image above:
‘The training academy student (student FF) stated that 'the closer they got to the Sesame Street and Shrine area … there was a feeling of absolute panic as they pulled out of the area.’ The FF said ‘we could hear everything those [GMHS] guys were saying; Marsh said that the Ranch isn’t that far from where he thought the guys are now … we knew Marsh went down that ridge a few times before those guys had to deploy.’ (emphasis added) This fearful, panicked reaction is normal under the stressful circumstances due to these municipal FFs being unskilled in wildland firing operations, especially under such environmental and psychological settings. It puts into question Marsh's whereabouts relative to the "factual" SAIT-SAIR. (emphasis added)
The student FF said: ‘We were part of a firing operation off one of the spur roads .. that road, close to where everybody piled out [Sesame Street to Shrine Road near Miner Rd] about twenty (20) minutes before hearing all the ruckus on the radio about the GMHS, Air Attack, yelling on the radio.’ (emphasis added)
The "multiple spur roads" referred to by the student FF are the maze of roads in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area and Miner Road heading into Peeples Valley. (emphasis is added)
Figure 52. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
From Figure 52 PDF JPEG image above:
The student FF spoke of "firing out multiple spur roads" while trying to keep it square so it wouldn't jump the main road. The "multiple spur roads" referred to by the FF are the maze of roads in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area and Peeples Valley. This FF asked several times if the area was clear of firefighters and civilians before they did any firing. A supervisor told them: "Sometimes we do things we have to, not because we want to." This is significant in that the FF was prescient enough to ask several times if the area was "clear of FFs and civilians" before they started any firing. And even more significant in that the firing supervisor told them: "Sometimes we do things we have to, not because we want to." Really? Because we have to and not because we want to? We always have options! (emphasis added)
The student FF thought that the Firing Boss of the operation was 'part of the set-up, part of the IMT ... someone like a Structure Protection Specialist.' We have some ideas on who this was but nothing solid ... yet. (emphasis added)
Figure 53. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
The student FF clearly revealed their limited wildland fire inexperience by stating 'we had the Engine out in front of us.' WFs trained in firing operations would have the Engine support behind them, especially if they had only one Engine. The FF went on to say that they had: 'No spots, absolute miracle because the wind was howling parallel with the road they were on and every now and then it would gust over the road and throw embers - but no spots." He stated that "the Engine was going fast and we had a hard time keeping up with it while firing out." Experienced WFs have told me that, generally, under these conditions with this kind of wind and terrain alignment, this is an acceptable and safe practice, including firing at a rapid rate with no spot fires. (emphasis added)
The student FF noted that the 'urgency and fear in the eyes of everyone on that road was unnatural.' This reaction similarly revealed their wildland fire inexperience because the firing they were doing was an acceptable and safe practice and firing operation experience. "It was burning in so fast … it was ripping right in." This is also typical fire behavior considering the conditions and alignment. 'They tied into a corner,' a bunch of vehicles came out including BRHS and the GMHS buggies … [he started crying again]. … we felt much better lighting to the corner of this road / intersection, and because we saw the GMHS rigs, we figured they were inside, out of the area.’ Like everyone else that witnessed this that afternoon, they saw the GMHS Crew Carriers, and they figured that they were inside the vehicles and now out of the area. However, only drivers were in the GMHS Crew Carriers and NO other GMHS inside. (emphasis added)
Figure 54. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
The student FF stated: ‘The fire was gone, half mile or mile away from us within 5-10 minutes of firing, uphill and gone. This also reveals their wildland fire inexperience and describes some awe inspiring fire behavior when combined with everything this FF talked about prior to this. The 'uphill and gone' comment likely referred to very aggressive fire behavior in the Harper Canyon area. (emphasis added)
'We all staged in our rigs listening to the TAC channels and then we heard the GMHS A/G chaos. They are obviously pretty hyped-up and stressed out at this point, and very likely thinking that they just had something to do with this "chaos" at this stage. (emphasis added)
'The entire [Engine] Crew, including our Captain, felt like there was no air in the Engine, like we couldn’t breathe. Our Captain said he felt like he was gonna have a panic attack. This is also understandable considering the cumulative circumstances - the stress of the firing operation, unsure if everyone was clear of the area, being given marginally unethical and possibly unsafe supervisory guidance, and conflicting and contradictory supervisory direction. This was all while witnessing the aggressive to extreme fire behavior that they have likely never experienced before which contributed to these fairly 'normal stress reactions' for experienced WFs and FFs, but over-the-top stress reactions for these fairly inexperienced WFs and municipal FFs performing somewhat complex firing operations. And so, the Academy FF talks about is likely akin to some type of claustrophobia or psychologically induced trauma. (emphasis added)
The student FF also stated that later that day, they were greeted by several higher ranking WF / FF Supervisors in Yarnell telling them that 'everything was gonna be alright' and that 'you saved a lot of structures ...' (emphasis added) Who were these high ranking WF / FF Supervisors, in what positions, and who did they work for?
Figure 55. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
The following day, the student FF ‘... got a direct phone call from a high-level supervisor telling him 'not to talk with anyone else about the YH Fire' and told him that if he spoke about the YH Fire 'even one more time to anyone' he would be sent home. (emphasis added) Refer to Part 1 of 4, Figures 44 and 45 on USDA OGC and USFS Employee Direction and Guidance email threads.
He felt 'ostracized for the rest of the academy because people made sure he would not talk about the YH Fire … And he is still traumatized by it.’ (emphasis added) It sounds like Agency-imposed peer pressure and Groupthink from upper management to apply vicarious intimidation.
The Academy Instructors, if discussing the YH Fire, were directed to get USFS Regional and Washington Office preapproval of their lesson plans.’ The Academy Administrators told the Instructor that there would be no 'disrespecting the dead and no YH Fire talk here …’ (emphasis added) Refer to Part 2 of 5, Figures 42 and 43 on USDA OGC and USFS Employee Direction and Guidance email threads. WFs and FFs in a training academy discussing what occurred on the YH Fire and the GMHS is in NO FASHION 'disrespecting the dead.' In fact, to NOT discuss it is the epitome of "disrespecting the dead." Indeed, the joint Weather Channel and WLFLLC video guidance and inspiration was to share and talk about it.
Figure 56. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Another WF involved in the likely firing operation stated in a one-on-one conversation with DND regarding: 'An ordered firing operation / backfire occurred in the Sesame / Shrine Corridor right up until the fatalities occurred.' He defined in great detail what they did, what they were asked to do by an 'unknown WF Supervisor' ... 'It has affected them in a very deep way.' (emphasis added) The location and timing is instructive and the "unknown supervisor" calls into question the Engine Boss's acumen regarding questioning ambiguous or conflicting direction, especially from an 'unknown supervisor,' In spite of the firing operation, the WFs reactions ('... affected them in a very deep way') are logical based on what the GMHS fatal outcome when they failed to follow basic WF Rules. The likely firing operation was a lesser, fatal causal factor than the GMHS's 10 & 18 failures. (emphasis added)
Usually, OPS / DIVS must approve that type of firing around structures and WFs and FFs in an adjacent Division, however, there was no approval record by OPS Abel or anyone else. Must be approved by and agreed to by all parties in the area. (emphasis added) A Single Resource Boss has the authority and responsibility to perform a firing operation and Fire Order #7 presupposes that they inform their Supervisor. (emphasis added)
The proof of the firing was / is documented on YouTube; firing in the direction they were firing definitely shows that the firing show severely affected the rates of spread from the main fire that ultimately killed 19 people. (emphasis added) Woodsman and a retired municipal FF Battalion Chief stated that they watched a same / similar Yarnell Library video and / or out-of-state viewing of the firing operation on YouTube and it disappeared. The likely firing operation, aligned with the strong winds and terrain features, would severely affect fire spread rates from the main fire that overran the GMHS. (emphasis added)
Figure 57. PDF JPEG image of one of several that address: "Was there a Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor firing operation?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
It is fairly common knowledge by those WFs and FFs and others that were either involved in and / or know about and / or seriously investigating the likely firing operation that there are, in fact, "many involved and / or overseers that don’t want anyone to know what ensued." It is also true that these individuals have great remorse for firing in an area that was unconfirmed that it was clear of people or FFs. (emphasis added)
Yes, indeed, a likely firing operation, based on anecdotes, conversations, and circumstantial evidences. And there is definitely a concerted effort to divert attention away from it and make it go away because the SAIT and associated SMEs ('they') have to keep up their fatalist "we will never know" ruse. (emphasis added)
The Fire Orders are referenced as Rules of Engagement (ROE) below by former USFS Fire Director Jerry Williams accurately stating that: “The Ten Standard Firefighting Orders must be firm rules of engagement. They cannot be simple guidelines, and they cannot be “bargained.” They are the result of hard-learned lessons. Compromising one or more of them is a common denominator of all tragedy fires. On the Dude, South Canyon, and Thirtymile Fires, the Fire Orders were ignored, overlooked, or otherwise compromised. (emphasis added) (Williams 2002) ( https://www.fs.fed.us/sites/default/files/fire-management-today/62-4.pdf ) The Fire Orders mean little after we are in trouble. That is why we must routinely observe them and rely on them before we get into trouble. We know that no fire shelter can ensure survival all of the time under all circumstances. Entrapment avoidance must be our primary emphasis and our measure of professional operational success. (emphasis added) (Williams 2002)
All other references to Rules of Engagement (ROE) above are located in either military or structural firefighting literature.
I agree that most people directly involved have tried to permanently forget it or silence anyone that knows the truth. However, it is very difficult to forget something like this. The silencing of those involved that know the truth has been fairly successful, however, there are still plenty of brave souls coming forward as they fell led to do the right thing. (emphasis added)
The recent photographic evidence of multiple separate and distinct smoke columns and associated fire behavior is evident. The intensified thunder cells and downslope winds when the winds shifted from the North and collapsed, most definitely influenced and increased the fire behavior exponentially, especially when it aligned with the slope-bowl above the BSR and ridgeline saddle terrain features. (emphasis added)
Figure 57a. Screenshot of Asst. USFS Fire Director Facebook video "about 5 years ago" (April 19, 2014). Source: Colorado Firecamp Facebook
This is a screenshot of a Facebook video of former Asst. USFS Fire Director Jerry Williams in 1995, a year after South Canyon and 18 years before Yarnell: "If we come up short division sups, we'll rob a hotshot crew of that hotshot sup and put him on the division, and we'll make do. We need to quit thinking about makin' do." I was hoping for a video of him promoting the Fire Orders and Entrapment Avoidance, however, all I could locate was this Facebook video that Wix.com will not accept for downloading. Here are the Colorado Firecamp FB details for you to locate it yourself to listen to it.
lt's a pretty good guess that the GMHS leadership either failed to read his Fire Management Today article (2002) discussing the Rules of Engagement and the Ten Standard Fire Orders, nor watch this video clip and heed the lessons learned here; or maybe they did read the article and watch the video and failed to heed his sage advice.
Before we consider the third person hearsay posts verifying a Sesame Street and Shrine Road Corridor area likely Firing Operation, a short history of some "Friendly Fire" anecdotes are in order. This directly relates to the leadership (or lack thereof), of what occurred with the Mediterranean Fleet training exercises on June 22, 1893, when compared / contrasted with the Yarnell Hill Fire Operational (DIVS A) decisions and actions in particular, and the Acting GMHS and IMT, in general, on June 30, 2013, that virtually mirror each other as outlined below.
Continually attempting to make sense of the YH Fire and GMHS tragedy, excerpts a 1995 book titled: Blue on Blue – A History of Friendly Fire by Geoffrey Regan, is cited. The subtitle “A devastating assortment of miscalculations, malfunctions and military mishaps – from ancient Greece to the Persian Gulf” brings it a bit more into perspective. "While there have been many different reasons for individual accidents in battle, human error consistently has been present in all of them, and this is something that everyone - generals included - must learn to accept. This does not mean that one need not try to improve techniques of identification to reduce the incidence of friendly fire. Acceptance instead means coming to terms with the existence of the problem, rather than attempting to hush it up or sweep it under the carpet." (emphasis added) The author talks about these unfortunate, often tragic "acts of carelessness" from the "fog of war." (pp. 3-7) It sure sounds A LOT like the BRHS Frisby and USFS Human Dimensions Specialist Harris's April 12. 2016, "Human Factors!" email! See the June 19, 2019, Figure 3 in the "Why was it that the SAIT and ADOSH investigators were able to interview BLM employees but unable to interview USFS employees to obtain critical Human Factors information?" post on this website.
Included in the chapter on Naval Warfare (pp. 186-220), is the legacy of a prescient, brilliant tactician – British Vice Admiral Sir George Tryon, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Squadron of the Royal Navy. 'His intellect allowed him to dominate everyone around him. ... it was no use arguing with him and better to acquiesce quietly. He found that the majority of the naval officers feared his reputation and none dared to stand up to him or challenge him or suggest that he was wrong.' (emphasis added)
In the end, likely during the fog of war, he fell victim to these attitudes and perceptions toward him. On maneuvers, Tryon proposed a difficult test to his captains, crews, and fleet of eleven battleships. ... the Admiral issued instructions ... for the distance between the two ships columns to be maintained at six cables (1,200 yards) and for each ship ... to turn inwards to make a 180-degree turn. (emphasis added)
An obvious small problem was that the leading ships of both columns (HMS Victoria and HMS Camperdown) each required eight cables (1,600 to 1,800 yards) leeway to safely make a 180-degree turn. When questioned ... Tryon initially conceded ... eight cables, ... he later gave the order that the distance between the ship columns should be only six cables. (emphasis added)
Captain Archibald Bourke, commander of the Victoria, commented: “open criticism of one’s superior is not consonant with true discipline, and so he chose do to nothing but to grit his teeth and pray.” Rear-admiral Markham knew it was impossible and impracticable and so he waited for a revised order that never came. Admiral Tyron demanded what could at times be absolute obedience from his officers.(emphasis added) The professional dilemma of obeying a stupid order comes to mind as well as Groupthink as the result of his demanding leadership style throughout these threads.
Markham complied and the two lead ships turned inward toward each other in their 180-degree turn. And the inevitable happened. The Camperdown's ram buried itself deep into the starboard bow of the flagship Victoria, now fatally damaged. A great breach and water rushed in at 3,000 tons per minute. The Victoria listed starboard and the bows began to sink. The Victoria rolled over and sank quickly. Admiral Tryon and his 357 officers and men lost their lives in this baffling incident. Admiral Tyron’s body was never found. Almost 300 other crewmen of the Victoria were rescued ... (emphasis added)
Why did Tryon seem unprepared to admit his error and correct it, thus preventing a disaster and the deaths of so many men? The dialogue with his officers over the figures “six” and “eight” revealed that he preferred to risk the consequences of it, whatever the case, rather than admit to younger and more junior men that their commander was imperfect. (emphasis added) Arrogance or pride or both?
The later court martial deemed it was in the Navy's best interests to avoid censure for obeying orders. The Army commanders and the Army Commander in Chief, the Duke of Cambridge, stated: “A good deal has been said of late as to the freedom being given to inferiors to question and disobey the orders of a superior officer. Discipline must be the law, and must prevail. It is better to go wrong according to orders than to go wrong in opposition to orders.” (emphasis added)
The reaction to this disaster led to a more intelligent interpretation of the past’s rigid and inflexible adherence of “blind obedience” to orders that had blighted the peacetime 19th century Royal Navy.
( http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/tryon-sir-george-4753 ) B. N. Primrose, ‘Tryon, Sir George (1832–1893)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National Univ., published first in hardcopy in 1976. ( http://www.navy.gov.au/biography/vice-admiral-sir-george-tryon )
Hopefully, you will recognize the parallels to what occurred on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, as DIV A Marsh adamantly insisted that Acting GMHS Supt. Steed bring them down to the BSR. Steed protested that it was unsafe and either they could not or would not make it, with Marsh responding insincerely apologetic: “I understand and I’m sorry” from Marsh. Against all training and published WF Rules, the GMHS left their Safety Zone and dutifully hiked downhill through chutes / chimneys, into a deadly bowl, choked with unburned fuel.
And yet, the survivor - alleged “lookout” McDonough stated they were much smarter than those WFs following the rules because he felt those rules were ”Hillbilly” and old. Third year HS Crewmembers come to that conclusion from others, so most likely an accepted GMHS Normalization of Deviance.
Consider now further evidence of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area and likely Firing Operation from a WF third-person perspective within the Hearsay Exception. The PDF JPEG image posts above for Figures 51-57 stand as posted with additional narrative below the images. What follows are from several InvestigativeMEDIA posts from "Woodsman" and "Downhillndirect" - both competent and experienced WFs.
The notion of "Friendly Fire," (aka "fratricide / amicicide") from a unique wildland fire perspective is examined in the following short detour to explain what I mean by "friendly fire" in historic military passages and quotes to propose it as an analog for wildland fire incidents. During a wildland fire shelter deployment Staff Ride, the WF brother of a deceased GMHS, that had applied to be a GMHS, acknowledged and conceded that his brother died "from fratricide" on June 30, 2013, while we were discussing the YH Fire and the likely rogue firing operation. He conceded the GMHS were adults with several choices and options to choose from that day. Unfortunately, they made bad choices and paid the consequences.
According to researcher and author, former US Army Colonel turned academic, Scott Snook (PhD ) wrote extensively on the subject. "Friendly fire-casualties unintentionally inflicted on one's own forces-is not a new problem in the history of warfare. However, until quite recently, little explicit attention has been paid to studying its causes and possible solutions [Footnote omitted] The authors of a 1993 review of friendly fire by the Office of Technology Assessment conclude that: Friendly fire is often thought of as due primarily, or exclusively, to misidentification. Investigation of particular cases usually reveals that the fratricide was in fact the last link in a chain of mistakes (citation omitted). Dr. Snook wrote about the friendly fire incident in Iraq where US Air Force fighters accidentally shot down two Army Blackhawk helicopters. Author and researcher Charles Shrader found that "it may well be that in the 'fog of war' friendly fire casualties are inevitable ... The 'fog of war' is an oft-mentioned, if imperfectly understood, factor in combat. ... Given the dearth of literature on the topic, the researcher must collect and analyze the scattered, often cryptic, references to amicicide found in general operational military histories or in the available official documents of combat units." (emphasis added) Wildland fire "friendly fire" incidents, although rare, are most often fatal as recounted below by experienced WFs and human factors researchers. Many experienced WFs and FFs believe that the Mann Gulch (MT-1949), Loop (CA 1966), Battlement Creek (CO-1976), (likely) McKenzie (AZ-1994), and the YH Fires (AZ-2013) were all the result of "friendly fire."
Scott A. Snook (2000) Friendly Fire - The Accidental Shootdown of U.S. Black Hawks over Northern Iraq ( http://www.mindtherisk.com/literature/150-friendly-fire-the-accidental-shootdown-of-u-s-black-hawks-over-northern-iraq-by-scott-a-snook ) 'Mind The Risk' book review of "friendly fire" incident examined.
Shrader, C.(2005) Amicide: The Problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War. J. Army War College, 23.
Consider now the InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) posts of WFs and FFs discussing the few known, likely wildland fire "friendly fire" incidents.
Robert the Second says July 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm posts: 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.’” (emphasis added)
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.” (emphasis added) (Snook, p. 205) It all unequivocally boils down to HUMAN FACTORS!
Woodsman says June 29, 2019 at 9:36 am
"If you’re referring to the parallels between the Loop & Yarnell Hill, then yes. They both had adjoining forces constructing firelines with dozers below their position. A common tactic being a dozer push to burn off of. Adjoining forces were under the belief the crews above were in a safe location but in both fires, the crews ending hiking into the drainage the burnout would traverse to their actual respective locations, killing them…with unintentional “friendly fire.” (emphasis added)
"The Loop fire chain of events came to me in my research just last week! See my post below.
Mann Gulch – friendly fire. Thanks to Ted Putnam. (emphasis added)
"Each instance employed tactics of a cover-up by the powers that be in the official reports after the fact. Our job (self-appointed) is the determine the whole truth in order to save lives." (emphasis added)
Woodsman says June 26, 2019 at 12:26 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxvii-here/#comment-479354 )
"I have reason to believe there have been many, many more “friendly fire” events in wildfire history that have ever been documented as such. I believe it happened at Mann Gulch (see Putnam’s research), Battlement Creek (Gary’s account), Loop (my research I’ll share below), AND finally, Yarnell Hill. Let me know which one’s I’ve left out. (emphasis added)
"Setting aside the multiple operational failures in all instances of crew leaders doing dumb shit like working in box canyons above fires, moving their crews through unburned fuel, hubris, etc, one simply cannot ignore the facts that show real evidence for the possibility of firing operations being the final nail in the coffin of the series of bad decisions that resulted in hotshot fatalities. (emphasis added)
I’m going to point out a few key quotes in this article in support of my hypothesis that we have a pattern of friendly fire incidents which also includes the Loop fire. (emphasis added)
“On the Loop fire, King believed the biggest danger his men faced was loose rock tumbling down the nearly sheer 2,200-foot-long slope. There was no fire in sight, just light smoke a few ridgelines away.”
If they were upslope they would be able to see if there was fire below them but ‘there was no fire in sight, just light smoke a few ridgelines away?’ (emphasis added)
“King saw Los Angeles County firefighters working with bulldozers to cut a firebreak at the bottom. He was close enough to hear voices. King heard a helicopter in a canyon to the west. The voices below turned to shouts.” (emphasis added)
"He saw LA county firefighters working below his Crew? Cutting a fire break with dozers? Were they prepping for a burnout? He was close enough to hear voices. These voices below him he could hear turned to shouts. What were they shouting? What was the reason for the shouting? Is it possible LA County firefighters torched off the bottom of the canyon using their newly constructed dozer line? Is it possible they didn’t know El Cariso was above them when they put fire on the ground and once someone realized what was happening the shouts began? (emphasis added)
"I think this is the ‘freight train' like noise El Cariso heard coming their way, a burnout fire racing up the slope. This is just like Mann Gulch, Battlement Creek, and Yarnell Hill. (emphasis added)
"The Loop, Mann Gulch, Battlement Creek, and Yarnell Hill fires are all examples of friendly fire being the final nail in the coffin of the series of bad decisions that resulted in death to hotshots which were covered up by fire managers so as shield themselves and the system from scrutiny (including prosecution), and as a by-product, increased the odds of its reoccurring in the future. No accountability, no honest reporting, equals no lessons learned." (emphasis added)
The only fire I can think of where there may have been “friendly fire” firing operation was on the 1994 Mackenzie Fire on BLM land in the rugged Hualapai Mountains near Kingman, AZ. (emphasis added)
WLFLLC links to Mackenzie Fire investigation records here:
This 1994 Mackenzie Fire, in my view, was very similar to the YH Fire in many ways regarding fuels, weather, topography (HUGE BOWL), fire behavior, and the likelihood of "friendly fire."
These three Prescott Hot Shots (PHS) were the advance load of PHS being flown into the fire; they were working the fire with another SW HS Crew already on the fire working below them. They had made a plan to land the helicopter in the black, however, the pilot changed his mind on approach (too much ash?) and landed them further away in the unburned heavy chaparral. The report notes between 1330 to 1350 reveal the fire activity timeline (pp. 8-9).
These three PHS then began hiking through the green, and according to several of the PHS WFs that includes air support personnel, they are "almost positive that a straight line / wall of fire came up out of the drainage below them from a firing operation' and was going to cut them off. One PHS WF says he "can still remember it like it was yesterday." They had to really hoof it through the green until they found a large boulder pile, only large enough for three, and they crawled in there and wrapped their fire shelters around them and plugged openings as best they could. They had fortuitously told the Helitack Crewmember to get back on the helicopter, otherwise there would have been no room for a fourth WF in their boulder pile.
They said they took considerable heat inside the boulder pile from several recurring fire fronts, immediately drying out their sweat-soaked boots (which later disintegrated due to the intense heat). They had inhaled heat, enough to require oxygen upon helicopter retrieval and at the Kingman hospital. The doctor told them they likely would have died without the initial supplemental oxygen. To this day, one of the WFs is still affected by the heat inhalation injuries.
The "professional opinions" of several WFs familiar with this incident is that there was only enough room for these three WFs in the boulder pile, and relying on fire shelters alone, without the boulder heat sink properties, would have been fatal for the three PHS. And likely fatal for the Helitack Crewmember had he not been sent back to Kingman on the helicopter.
Now that we have discussed the known incidences of "friendly fire" on a few wildland fires, consider the occurrence of the most recent and deadliest "friendly fire" - the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire.
An InvestigativeMEDIA thread follows with the first of several posts by Downhillndirect says July 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479765 )
"Downhillndirect says - July 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Friendly Fire…. (all emphasis added)
I’m new to IM and this God Forsaken captcha wall.
I am here to answer any questions about my friend Jesse [Steed] and what I know to be fact on 6/30/13.(emphasis added)
"I am A FF so name dropping isn’t something I feel comfortable doing. After 2.5 decades of Hotshots/Engines and Paramedicine, I have forged many good life long friends in our small Fire Service family. I can’t say where I’m from but I can share what I know being in an inner circle of people that either showed me personal video or what was told to me by those that actually did the Firing.(emphasis added)
"I’m at a point that I try to keep my personal and emotional thoughts out of what I am going to share but I understand I lost a very good friend on June 30, 2013. (emphasis added)
"And [sic] ordered firing assignment/backfire occurred in the Sesame/shrine Corredor‘s [sic] right up until the fatalities occurred. I spoke with the gentleman that explained in great detail of what they did [and] what they were asked to do and I could tell it affected them in a very deep way. (emphasis added)
"Operations section chiefs must approve that type of firing structures and firefighters in an adjacent to their assigned areas. If it was approved I have not read anywhere where Abel or anyone else approved The last ditch effort firing show. On any fire I’ve ever been on that type of tactic must be approved on and agreed to by all parties in the area. (emphasis added)
"The proof of the firing show was all over YouTube and I haven’t looked in a while but the way they were firing and in the direction they were firing definitely shows in my opinion and their opinions of a lot of people that that firing show severely affected the rates of spread from the main fire that ultimately incinerated 19 people. (emphasis added)
"Of course people don’t want anyone to know that that actually happened but I spent days talking with this individual that I could tell felt great remorse for firing an area that wasn’t confirmed clear of people/citizens or firefighters. (emphasis added)
"That type of gross negligence would shut down city state and federal entities if it was brought up to the point where it is re-investigated. The fact of the matter is that it did take place and a lot of effort has taken place to divert any public information towards it happening or not. ... a lot of effort has taken place to divert any public information towards it happening or not. I’m here to say that I did from the things I’ve seen and the people I’ve talk to. (emphasis added)
"So many ROEs [Rules of Engagement] were broken. Most people directly involved have tried to permanently forget it or a scarf [sic] and anyone that knows the truth. A lot of work was done by some of you to show multiple columns and different fire behavior that didn’t exist as the thunder sells collapsed. (emphasis added)
"I really think it’s worth talking about again so that people will know without a doubt that it did occur and not being lied to is some thing none of us take lightly lightly lightly. [sic] emphasis added)
"I’m here to talk about it as much as I can but again I need to stay employed. I believe I can do so in a way that builds momentum so that those of you that are truly investigating it yourselves can bring that to the table when the time is right. I’m here to talk about it as much as I can but again I need to stay employed. (emphasis added)
"It is fantastic to see so many intelligent people questioning the events in 2013 and I hope that I can be of service and help answer any questions that may come out that I can answer. I’m grateful for this for him and for all of you but I’ve made it what it is today. I will check daily and hopefully be able to answer anything I know to strengthen what has already been said, thank you." (all Downhillndirect text emphasis added)
An InvestigativeMEDIA thread follows with the second of several posts by Downhillndirect says July 3, 2019 at 9:07 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479774 )
"[The] BSR had a Type 1 [ENG] crew on the East side. The firing was don[e] by Fed type 3’s and they hung the fire up north of where the box canyon rim came down to the flat. The burn wasn’t done by a IHC [sic], they knew better. There was a video with audio but it was swiped by the state goons days after it was sent out. YES this is something a good friend couldn’t hold onto anymore but he now has grown quiet aka Attorney quiet. Firing to save homes without comma [sic] kills people or at least can, and did. It’s easy to blame the weather but the weather wasn’t all of it. It’s not Hillbilly to be in contact with adjoining resources at all times, now, is it. Two other dear friends and one of you gave me the courage to talk. Now for my bro that was there, I pray he will someday. ..." (emphasis added)
An InvestigativeMEDIA thread follows with the third of several posts by Downhillndirect says July 14, 2019 at 7:18 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-480195 )
"The video I am referring to was shot by a hybrid friend on the east side of BSR. He sent it to me to confirm he wasn’t crazy. I had it electronically for a little while before the SAIT team caught on that he sent it from work to a few of us. I was made to destroy my copy and shut up, Fuck that. That video has most of what you all are looking for. (emphasis added)
"The burn I was told about was by the engine supervisor at the time in 2013. If everyone is savvy with doctored redacted [sic] records then you will find him. His words, not mine were “We haven’t slept in almost two days and as we headed out north to south, a guy stopped us and said “Light the road on the way out, hold it up shy of the ranch”. Apparently there is video of this but it’s awful quality. I’m not a Fucking informant. I am a man that loves his family , friends and coworkers dead or alive. This isn’t a game nor does anyone deserve an award. This shit took friends away, time off of my life and has ruined relationships. The burden I pass on as I won’t watch current or retired FF’s pay for a huge F-up by multiple leaders. I miss Jess daily and know the other men charged with falsifying all the information you all get think we are sheep. I’m a fucking sheepdog and I won’t have anyone turn my words or fail to pass them along. If you think I’m wrong, I’ll send emails explaining why my comments were denied. I’m here to help make those that got away with murder answer for everything. Joy is a angel [sic] that didn’t ask for this neither did Sonny, please be easy on them. RTS is a well respected man that has no fear to get truth. (emphasis added)
"As far as other videos, I could care less, you can sway a million people in 6 years. Cougar is a good man as well as a few others made to be pawns. (emphasis added)
"I will never give direct names but I will give enough for the “'Twelve Angry Men. iM ,put it together. Instead of calling me an informant how about building trust first? I will answer what I know without putting friends or myself on welfare. I don’t look at IM everyday so please be patient. BTW my username is a purposeful name, spelled incorrectly to challenge those that have really studied fatalities, ..." (emphasis added)
An InvestigativeMEDIA thread follows with the fourth of several posts by Downhillndirect says July 6, 2019 at 8:23 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479910 )
"I am not here to prove anyone right or wrong. The fact(s) that Arizona’s “Finest” were hours behind every trigger point and set evacuation agreement not only strengthens the stern and emotional conversation I had with one of the Captains that explained in great detail their ordered firing operation that fell upon the same timeframe pre-burn over. (emphasis added)
"The supposed structure protection group missed every indicator observed and pre-set until they were forced out themselves. A backfire must be agreed upon by Ops/IC and division supts down to the ones actually executing it. Time, was right on the money, wind, especially with how topography runs around and into the DZ could and did cause variable 20 ft winds as the Type 3 engines lit the western edge. (emphasis added)
"Distance, was between 3500’-5600’ from internal two tracks and the corridor roads in question. Does a defensive/offensive firing operation influence the ROS of the main fire? Absolutely once the magnetic effect starts. (emphasis added)
"Nowhere in my 25 years have I witnessed holding forces out in front of their engines unless it was during a mass exodus knowing ALL were accounted for hoping the Hail Mary would’ve worked or changed the main fires direction. (emphasis added)
"I will not name the brave man that was ordered to fire the well known roads by a non-existent Div Supe after 48 hours of sleep deprivation. All he knew then was he and two other engines were firing an area reported to be clear of human beings. No one in his firing group knew 19 humans were walking downhill through drought stricken decadent fuel with minimal to no fire return history. If they did know, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. (emphasis added)
"Gross negligence was a systemic disease running rampant from Schumate to the day the reports were released. 0 good decisions a 1 god awful Incident command system in place on 6/30/13". (emphasis added)
An InvestigativeMEDIA thread follows with the fifth of several posts by Downhillndirect says July 4, 2019 at 6:50 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479822 )
"Thank you Woodsman,
"There is a video that was sent to me not long after the fatalities.. The sender knew that it had everything to do with why 19 men or incinerated about this powder Springs Ranch. That video was tracked down after it was sent and multiple higher level investigators stop Ed nothing [sic] to make sure disappeared. I saw it and listened to it and wished I would’ve made a copy but since (emphasis added)
"The powers that be stop at nothing to get rid of it I deleted what was given to me not knowing what I had. I know that a good friend still has that video and I know it’s going to take a lot of convincing and the fact that he may lose his career to show the world that there was no downtime in the radio and they were is a lot more sad [sic] than what people think believe me. (emphasis added)
"There is no doubt that a firing operation took place. There is no doubt that people knew this occurred after it happened and stop at nothing to cover it up. Without a doubt people were told to never speak of this again and made out financially or professionally with blood on their hands. In my opinion the only innocent people on that hill were the new guys and the hikers that were there that day. (emphasis added)
"All if not most of that put together a team had no business working in the wildland arena just because it says IC or operations on your name tag doesn’t mean you know what the fuck you’re doing.(emphasis added)
"The only time the Yarnell fire and it’s overhead had control was after the fire made it’s the last big run and more people came in from out of town to really and employ safe tactics. (emphasis added)
"... be brave push forward and allow the right thing to happen this goes out to all of my friends you know who you are especially the ones that are still in hiding." (emphasis added)
An InvestigativeMEDIA thread follows with the sixth of several posts by Downhillndirect says July 5, 2019 at 9:38 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479877 )
"I put myself out there for two reasons. #1 because the people that were there are deathly afraid of speaking up and #2 the lies and misdirection have been so normalized people, not all have accepted the lies as truth. (emphasis added)
"I have watched entire families destroyed by the incident and entire friendships suffer to protect the myth that there wasn’t anything wrong with everything that was and is to follow, ... Thank you for allowing me a voice kind people " (emphasis added)
The above Downhillndirect posts, somewhat disjointed at times or redundant due to his iPad idiosyncrasies, add much more credence to the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area likely multiple firing operations that were fairly uncoordinated. And there was certainly no communications to adjoining forces as required by the Fire Orders (#7). NOTE: Maybe it is due time that Watch Out #7 should be changed to incorporate that shortcoming because, afterall, Watch Out #7 fails to include adjoining forces as it does in Fire Order #7, and seems to be a causal factor in the GMHS fatalities.
Figure 58. PDF JPEG image of Unaccounted for YH Fire and GMHS evidence. Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
We will now examine the "Unaccounted for YH Fire and GMHS evidence." There is a disturbing, unethical, and likely illegal, recurring pattern to any and all of the YH Fire and GMHS "evidence" in all the various forms of "records," (i.e. photographs, videos, audios, email and /or lettered documents, and much more) These will be detailed below in the same order.
1) On the late afternoon of June 30, 2013, there was an AZ Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Yavapai County Sheriff Deputy that wanted to take some photographs of the Deployment / Fatality Site while there was enough light to do so. They took several cell phone photographs and videos from a helicopter, and then handed them over to members of the SAIT.
2) The GMHS was known to always carry at least four (4) GPS Units according to the GMHS alleged "lookout" McDid-not. These were notably visible in GMHS photos and videos as well. These GPS Units would have provided clear evidences of their travel routes and times that day, similar to what was provided by the day's travel movements and times (blue dot) provided by the Blue Ridge Hot Shots (BRHS) in this YouTube video titled: A09-20130630BlueRidgeIHCMovement
( https://youtu.be/AxQAoQBWppM ) WantsToKnowTheTruth says January 7, 2014 at 12:00 am ** ** BLUE RIDGE HOTSHOTS GPS TRACKING VIDEO ** NEW VIEWABLE COPIES ARE ONLINE the original AVI file was named… BlueRidgeIHCMovement_20130630.avi The conversion files are named… BlueRidgeIHCMovement_20130630_MP4_32meg_best_quality.mp4 On YouTube already at…
( http://youtu.be/O8AJSgk2pIQ ) and (BlueRidgeIHCMovement_20130630_WMV_27meg_good_quality.wmv} Also on YouTube already. Use same link as above and then just click account name for other videos.
3) The altered and removed "checking on your comfort level" GMHS MacKenzie video that now consists of two nine-second clips 39 seconds apart. Who takes nine-second videos on a fire and then 39 seconds apart?
Comments from WTKTT: "It was Mackenzie’s CANON camera ( the on[e] he took his VIDEOS with ) that ‘went missing' from the deployment site, was never entered into the YCSO ‘Chain of Evidence’, and then just end up mysteriously being given back to Mackenzie’s father by some still-unknown Firefighter.
Comments from WTKTT: "And yes, they ( whoever ‘they’ are ) would have succeeded in forever hiding those VIDEOS and the other Mackenzie CANON photos if Christopher’s father hadn’t had the good sense to make SURE that evidence got back to the SAIT ( via Willis ).
Comments from WTKTT: "There has ALWAYS been some indication that we have never seen ALL of Christopher Mackenzie’s CANON photos, video… nor ALL of his iPhone 4s Smartphone photos, either.
Comments from WTKTT: "The two 9 second VIDEO clips that DID see the light of day have always been ‘questionable’ as well. As in… did Mackenzie really just shoot TWO 9 second video clips, exactly 39 seconds apart, or was any video/audio actually ‘cut out’ of one ( or both ) clips?
Comments from WTKTT: "Mackenzie’s FIRST video clip with CANON filename MVI_0888.MOV was ( supposedly ) shot at exactly 3:53:15 PM and is ( supposedly ) exactly 9.24 seconds long.
Comments from WTKTT: "YouTube Video Title: IMG-2736-and-MVI-0888 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bolQm3uYx2E ) This video is a ‘comparison' between MacKenzie cellphone photo IMG_2736.JPG, taken at 3:51.58 PM… and a still frame from +6 seconds into MacKenzie’s first Canon Powershot video MVI_0888.MOV shot at the same location as the cellphone photo. As the images ‘fade in/out’… it is clear that the MVI_0888.MOV video was shot AFTER the IMG_2736.JPG ( 3:51.58 PM ) cellphone photo. There is a significant ‘forward push’ of the smoke cloud in a due SOUTH direction into the ‘middle bowl’ which is not seen in the cellphone photo. So this is the ‘other half’ to the proof that MacKenzie’s first 9 second long MVI_0888.MOV video was shot sometime between MacKenzie cellphone photos IMG_2736 ( taken at 3:51.58 PM ) and IMG_2737 ( taken at 3:55.20 PM )."
Comments from WTKTT: IMG-2738-and-MVI-088873 Published on Apr 24, 2014 ( https://youtu.be/-MC2RQwroQo ) Seems to be PROOF that the first MacKenzie video HAD to have been shot BEFORE the 3:55.31 PM cell phone photo IMG_2837.JPG. This is a 'video fade' between the two following images... The MacKenzie 3:55.31 PM IMG_2738.JPG cell photo (and) a still frame at +6 seconds into the MacKenzie MVI_0888.MOV video. The IMG_2738.JPG photo had to be 'rotated' a few degrees clockwise in order to match the terrain as the photos fade in/out. If you look at the CENTER of the video as these images fade in and out of each other you will see that there is MUCH more SMOKE in the 3:55.31 PM cell phone photo than can be seen in the 0888 video, AND the smoke has traveled much farther SOUTH in the cell phone photo than is seen in the video still frame. This pretty much PROVES that the first MacKenzie 0888 video had to have been shot BEFORE the 3:55.31 PM cellphone IMG_2738 photo. See another video in the same account folder as this video that then compares MacKenzie's earlier IMG_2736 cellphone photo with this same moment from the 0888 video. That other video also proves that the 0888 video had to have been shot AFTER MacKenzie's 2736 photo. This means that BOTH MacKenzie Canon Powershot videos were shot somewhere in a 3 minute and 22 second time 'window' BETWEEN cellphone images IMG_2736 ( taken at 3:51.58 PM ) and IMG_2737 ( taken at 3:55.20 PM ) NOTE: In THIS video... you can clearly see that the smoke column ( and the fireline ) was still in the process of 'rotating around' to the SOUTH at this point in time... and ( as we now know ) would continue to do so for the next 30 to 40 minutes.
Comments from WTKTT: "Mackenzie’s SECOND video clip with CANON filename MVI_0891.MOV was
( supposedly ) shot at exactly 3:53:54 PM and is ( supposedly ) exactly 9.14 seconds long.
Comments from WTKTT: "What has always been WEIRD about those TWO video clips is that they are almost the EXACT same duration.
Comments from WTKTT: "There is only EXACTLY 1/10 of one second difference in the lengths.That’s VERY STRANGE, and hard to believe happened ‘naturally’.
Comments from WTKTT: "I actually tried to duplicate this manually shooting video with an iPhone 4s and even when I was TRYING to make 2 video clips that were within 1/10 second of the same length… it was impossible.
Comments from WTKTT: So yea… that’s always been really WEIRD and makes one wonder if the video clips released are really all there is to see/hear."
GMHS MacKenzie Video Analysis and metadata - WTKTT - January 10, 2014 at 2:47 am
MACKENZIE VIDEO 1 – Taken (approximately) 1601 (4:01 PM)
Canon File Name: MVI_0888.MOV
Format: H.264 Decoder
Size: 1280 x 720
Byet format: 16-bit Integer ( Little Endian )
Audio: Mono, 48.000 kHz
Data Size: 26.17 MB
Data Rate: 23.93 mbits/s
Normal Size: 1280 x 720 pixels
Current Size: 1280 x 720 pixels ( Actual )
MACKENZIE VIDEO 2 – Taken (approximately) 1602 ( 4:02 PM ) + a few seconds
Canon File Name: MVI_0891.MOV
Format: H.264 Decoder
Size: 1280 x 720
Byte format: 16-bit Integer ( Little Endian )
Audio: Mono, 48.000 kHz
Data Size: 26.29 MB
Data Rate: 24.12 mbits/s
Normal Size: 1280 x 720 pixels
Current Size: 1280 x 720 pixels ( Actual )
SOMETHING ODD (WELL WORTH READING ALL THIS BELOW!)
The Arizona Republic reporter who first received these files on a CD from the SAIT investigators when they were working with AZ REPUBLIC and doing the whole ‘planned media event’ coordinated with the release of the SAIR report happened to notice something odd right then and there and took the time to document it when they were adding Christopher’s photos and videos to their own ‘Photoshop’ photo/video library manager.
He noted that the ‘time/date’ stamps for the files on the CD did NOT match the original June 30, 2013 time/date stamps for all the JPEG still photographs. The time/date stamps for the video files were sometime AFTER June 30, 2013. He did not say HOW much time after… but the key point was that the 2 video file time/date stamps did NOT match the ‘creation’ date on the same CD for the original June 30 photographs.
He also noted that could be because of how they were copied to the CD he was handed… but it also could be signs that they were not the original .MOV files at all and had been ‘edited’… which would be another explanation for a more recent time/date file stamp than other files on the same CD.
There is now something additionally ODD that can be seen in the metadata for these clips as provided with the SAIT FOIA/FOIL packages. The DURATION of these 2 video clips is almost EXACTLY IDENTICAL. There are only 3 one-hundredths ( 3/100 ) of a second separation in the lengths of BOTH of these videos… supposedly taken at different times.
It is VERY odd that if these 2 video clips were actually taken manually by the same person on the same device and manually pressing/releasing a shutter button… that the durations would accidentally be within 3/100ths of a second of each other.
I actually have a Canon Powershot here and I just did a test to see if I could reproduce that kind of ‘coincidental’ separation even if I was trying. I could not. I tried about 30 times.
Best I could do… even using a running metronome to help me time the duration and tell me when to ‘release’ my finger from the shutter button was about TEN times that kind of separation ( 1/3 of a sec ).
So at the moment… I’m not sure what that actually means.
The chances of this happening ‘accidentally’ or ‘naturally’ are actually in the millions of millions.The chances of it being the result of SOME kind of manual ‘editing’ applied to these clips are… shall we say… not nearly that high. Stay tuned on this one.
FYI: Here are the ‘differences’ in the metadata between the two Christopher MacKenzie clips showing the ‘extremely odd’ 3/100ths sec separation in actual video length between BOTH clips…
Data Size: 26.17 MB
Data Rate: 23.93 mbits/s
Data Size: 26.29 MB
Data Rate: 24.12 mbits/s
Duration difference between 9.17 and 9.14 = 3/100ths of one second.
WantsToKnowTheTruth says January 10, 2014 at 8:42 am
UPDATE ON THE MACKENZIE VIDEO(S) - SOMETIMES WHAT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE IS ACTUALLY TRUE
I forgot something about the Canon Powershots. As it turns out they DO only write a minimal amount of metadata into their Apple Quicktime MOV (movie) files on the device itself… but Canons also do something else.
When you take your finger off the shutter and stop filming the movie… the Canon automatically creates a ‘Thumbnail’ image ( with a file extension of .THM ) from the first frame of your movie. The Canon then also secretly copies LOTS of standard EXIF metadata related to the movie into that .THM file.
The Canon keeps those .THM files as separate files from the original Apple Quicktime .MOV file… but it also keeps them ‘in-sync’ on the device.
If you look at the bottom of Mr. Dougherty’s dropbox page for Christopher MacKenzie’s photos and videos that he received from the SAIT investigation you will see that he very diligently copied EVERYTHING he had in that ‘MacKenzie’ directory on the CD he got up to the dropbox page.
So there are the original ‘first-movie-frame’ THM files from Christopher’s Canon Powershot. They are named exactly the same as the original movie files only with a .THM extension.
A ‘THM’ ( Thumbnail ) format file is really just a JPEG image in disguise… so you can actually then just run any standard JPEG EXIF data extractor on those files.
So that’s what I did…and there are no mysteries anymore about these MacKenzie movie clips.The exact timestamp the movies were made is, in fact, inside that first-frame THM EXIF information for each movie.
You still don’t get a ‘duration’ value for the movies… but you get something just as accurate. For a movie… the Canon stores the total number of individual frames recorded for each movie along with the exact ‘frame rate’ for that movie.
So it’s then easy to calculate the ORIGINAL LENGTH of the movie itself.
As IMPOSSIBLE as it might have seemed at first for two separate movies made manually to be exactly within 3/100 ths of one second in duration… that appears to be what actually happened out on that ridge on June 30, 2013.
Here is the actual ( additional ) THM-EXIF metadata for both of Christopher MacKenzie’s movies
MACKENZIE VIDEO 1 – MVI_0888.THM
THM-EXIF Create Date: June 30, 2013, 4:01:31 PM
THM-EXIF Canon Image Size: 1280×720 Movie
THM-EXIF Quality: Normal Movie
THM-EXIF Continuous Drive: Movie
THM-EXIF Record Mode: Video
THM-EXIF Canon Image Type: MVI :PowerShot SD1400 IS Movie
THM-EXIF Canon Model ID: PowerShot SD1400 IS / IXUS 130
THM-EXIF Camera Temperature: 34 C ( 93 F )
THM-EXIF Audio Bitrate: 768 kbps
THM-EXIF Audio Sample Rate: 48,000
THM-EXIF Audio Channels: 1
THM-EXIF Video Codec: avc1
THM-EXIF Image Unique ID: 2248e2774be0ab5a80114ba41729
THM-EXIF Drive Mode: Continuous Shooting
THM-EXIF Frame Rate: 29.97
THM-EXIF Frame Rate: 30
THM-EXIF Frame Count: 275
Duration: ( Frame Count 275 / Frame Rate 29.97 ): 9.2436 sec
* MACKENZIE VIDEO 2
THM-EXIF Create Date: June 30, 2013, 4:02:10 PM
THM-EXIF Canon Image Size: 1280×720 Movie
THM-EXIF Quality: Normal Movie
THM-EXIF Continuous Drive: Movie
THM-EXIF Record Mode: Video
THM-EXIF Canon Image Type: MVI: PowerShot SD1400 IS Movie
THM-EXIF Canon Model ID: PowerShot SD1400 IS / IXUS 130
THM-EXIF Camera Temperature: 34 C ( 93 F )
THM-EXIF Audio Bitrate: 768 kbps
THM-EXIF Audio Sample Rate: 48,000
THM-EXIF Audio Channels: 1
THM-EXIF Video Codec: avc1
THM-EXIF Image Unique ID: 274830764be0ab5a80114ba41729
THM-EXIF Drive Mode: Continuous Shooting
THM-EXIF Frame Rate: 29.97
THM-EXIF Frame Rate: 30
THM-EXIF Frame Count: 274
Duration ( Frame Count 274 / Frame Rate 29.97 ): 9.1424 sec
So even though there appears to be a slight discrepancy in the length of MacKenzie’s first video and it SHOULD actually be about a tenth of a second longer than what we are actually seeing/hearing… that is inconsequential and can be written off to the imperfections of video player software.
The computed duration of the second video matches exactly other reported lengths and the EXIF data in the .MOV file itself.
It is safe to say now ( finally ) that it appears these Christopher MacKenzie video clips have NOT been ‘edited’ or ‘cropped’ since they were copied directly off his Canon and we have always been seeing ( and hearing ) all there is to see / hear.
So now that we finally know the exact SECONDS intervals between Christopher’s still photos AND his movies that he shot at the ‘4:00 PM’ resting location… we can also say for sure (now) that this is exactly what happened…
1600:xx – 1601:xx – They arrive at this 1600 location after hiking for just a bit from the previous 1552 location.
1601:31 – MacKenzie 110-0888 – First VIDEO capturing Marsh saying “I could just feel it, ya know”. Duration: 9.24 sec.
1601:52 – MacKenzie 110-0889 – First still photo at this new location 12 seconds after shooting the first video.
1602:00 – MacKenzie 110-0890 – Second still photo here just 8 seconds later.
1602:10 – MacKenzie 110-0891 – Second VIDEO, 10 seconds later, capturing Steed saying “I Copy… and it’s almost made it to that two-track road we walked in on”. Duration: 9.14 sec.
( Only 2-3 more minutes of unknown activity / conversations )
1604:xx – 16:05:xx – They all leave this location and head south for the box canyon
This also means for certain that the TOTAL time ( and possible maximum total missing conversation length ) BETWEEN the two videos is exactly 30 seconds… since the first video ended at 1601:40 and the second one actually started at 16:02:10.
4) GMHS MacKenzie's still working Canon digital camera vanished from the Maricopa County Medical Examiners office during the GMHS autopsies. It was also never entered into the YCSO evidence chain. Once his final effects were delivered to his family, his sister discovered the camera in there and showed it to her Father, who then supposedly made a DVD copy and then delivered it to PFD BC Willis who eventually supposedly gave it to the SAIT.
Comments from WTKTT: We still don’t know whether this crucial device was actually examined by the YCSO police investigators or not or ever entered into evidence. It would appear that it was NOT since Mike MacKenzie ( Christopher’s father ) was quoted as saying “I was puzzled why I would be getting Mike’s camera back when they were keeping his phone.”
Comments from WTKTT: We also still don’t know who this mysterious person from the medical examiner’s office was who was said to be the one that actually GAVE Mr. MacKenzie his son’s camera back, and only then did Mike’s stepdaughter discover that it had photos ( and videos ) on it.
Comments from WTKTT: SIDENOTE: I have pretty much confirmed now that the MacKenzie VIDEO was, in fact, shot with the Canon Powershot and could NOT have come from MacKenzie’s iPhone. The actual lens focal length and the quality of the video itself makes it almost IMPOSSIBLE for that video to have been shot with an iPhone. It appears that the video WAS recorded on the same Canon Powershot ( G7? G9? ) that Christopher used to shoot the still photos at the same time from the same location.
Comments from WTKTT: So that means that the actual RAW video ( unedited ) was probably still on it when Mike MacKenzie [Father] first got it, and when his stepdaughter first took a look at the memory card, and is probably STILL on the original raw video files.
5) Peeples Valley FD personnel had taken numerous photos and videos of the June 30, 2013, likely firing operation and fire behavior from their personal and/or FD cell phones. PVFD FF Bob Brandon commented that the SAIT viewed their photos and videos and "took a flashcard of them" because they had timelines and "they took information off our cellphones."
The PVFD FFs gave this revealing and informative cell phone "data" to the SAIT, however, none of their photos or videos were ever utilized in the SAIT-SAIR. Moreover, one of the contributing authors filed a FOIA Request with the Region 4 USFS Regional Office and the SAIT Co-Team leader Mike Dudley for these YH Fire PVFD records. The USFS response to his FOIA was the typical "No records responsive to your Request."
Figure 59. PDF JPEG image of the GMHS Steady Drift Into Failure Bad Decisions with Good Outcomes Source: Schoeffler, Honda. Collura
Several cases of GMHS hazardous attitudes and actions support their drift into failure addressed in 2016. Spanned from their first official Hot Shot status season (2009) with a repeated attitude of having to “prove themselves” or “one-up” other HS Crews on fires, due to their Municipal FD status, until the 2013 YH Fire.
Author Kyle Dickman reported that one of the reasons GMHS Brandon Bunch applied for a transfer to another Crew prior to the 2013 season is because he was sick and tired of the GMHS Supt. always acting like he had ‘something to prove.’ “The more seasons Bunch worked for the [GMHS], the more he felt that under Marsh’s command, the Hotshots were always having to prove themselves.” (all emphasis added) In addition, due to HIPPA laws I tend to believe that it was something to do with his health.
Posted on InvestigativeMEDIA by “WFF wife” on 8-11-16: “As the wife of a WFF, there were so many times of obviously disregarding safety protocol. Even McDonough mentioned it, and there are documented cases of this being their nirmal. [sic] Yeah, they probably got away with it a lot of times, but that suffering will catch up to you, the safety precautions, fire orders and watch out situations are there for a reason.” This has strong validity, as a “WFF wife” and especially so if she was a GMHS “wife.” (all emphasis added)
Spring SW Region HS Supt. Workshop - Early on, in 2009, once the GMHS had IHC status, GMHS Marsh stated tp the Steering Committee Chairman: "we have to prove themselves." The overall response was that they had already 'proven themselves as a SW Region IHC and they merely had to go forth and be a Hot Shot Crew.'
Station Fire (2009) - Angeles NF(CA) - At least two other HS Supts. (R3 and R5) on separate occasions stated that the GMHS was known to 'go out of line’ with other Crews who agreed not to do assignments. GMHS would accept unsafe assignments that other Crews had refused for safety reason(s) and go against what the others had stated in order to remain united on refusing the assignment(s). This was their first GMHS IHC status year. Horseshoe One Fire (2010) - Coronado NF (AZ) - A SW Region HS Supt. acting as a DIVS recounted this anecdote. The DIVS had been supervising five (5) SW Region HS Crews, including the GMHS, working under him on mop-up assignments in very hot temperatures. He called the GMHS on the TAC channel asking for his location and status. Marsh stated that he had attempted several times to contact the DIVS unsuccessfully on TAC several times; that he was at or near the helispot and they had "just finished up the second bag of fluids" for one of his Crewmembers. The DIVS asked the other four (4) HS Supts. standing nearby, if any of them ever heard the GMHS calling the DIVS on the TAC channel. All four (4) nearby HS Supts. stated "negative." The DIVS attempted numerous times to meet with Marsh during that shift to discuss the potentially serious heat-related medical matter. However, Marsh and the GMHS demobed before bringing this to potentially serious incident to closure. This was an incident with NO required Fire Order #7 and it revealed GMHS actions that were disingenuous, lies, and evasive.. Horseshoe 2 Fire (2011) - Coronado NF (AZ) - Numerous SW Region HS Crews were to be involved in a somewhat hazardous Firing Ops - Marsh was the DIVS with the GMHS and attempted to hand off the firing operation to several other HS Crews telling them he was handing them a “Shit sandwich.” The other HS Crews turned down the assignment and the Division and the firing operation "blew out." The OPS stated that they had spenf s lot of effort to accomplish this task. NOTE: ALL the Hot Hot Crews and other Resources on the fire received a Letter of Appreciation. This is a standard IMT tact to dole out such "boiler-plate" Letters of Appreciation to all Resources. Sunflower Fire (2011) - Tonto NF (AZ) – Marsh Ignored advice from another HS Crew Supt. to move their Crew Carriers parked along a road above unburned bowl; The Crew Carriers "took some heat" according to the alleged GMHS "lookout" McDonough in a SAIT or ADOSH interview. This was also visibly revealed in their 2013 Crew video that has been removed from YouTube. Little Bear Fire (2012) - Lincoln NF (NM) - During a firing operation, the Type 2 Safety Officer (SOF2) asked Marsh to roll his sleeves down and to have his Crew do the same. Marsh performed "partial compliance with a resentful attitude" on the sleeves after being reminded several times to do this required safety protocol. Halstead Fire (2012) - Salmon-Challis NF (ID) - Marsh and the GMHS continued to perform direct attack in mixed conifer in spite of peer and overhead admonishments to back off and go indirect attack. Their ATV burned up when they had to abandon the fireline due to increased, aggressive fire behavior. Alleged GMHS "lookout" McDonough would later state in a SAIT or ADOSH interview that the ATV was old and had trouble starting and that's why it burned up.
Holloway Fire (2012) According to a Type 2 Safety Officer that worked on the Bear Trap Fire (July 2014) on the Humboldt-Toiyabe NF near Ely, NV, he had several conversations with numerous misc. USFS, BLM, Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF), and dozer contractor WFs that either directly supervised and / or worked with Marsh and the GMHS on the Holloway Fire. They stated they were all working in heavy grass and sagebrush fuels in steep V-shaped canyons that funneled strong winds, and were therefore told to go indirect. One day, the GMHS committed themselves to going direct and these misc. USFS, BLM, NDF, and dozer contractor WFs left them in order to work elsewhere on the fire. They then reconsidered since the GMHS had basically "committed themselves" and wanted to be there to assist them just in case they got themselves in a bind. The canyon the GMHS was working in in 'blew up' and the GMHS disengaged. These misc. WFs chastized the GMHS for their actions in spite of being told earlier by them to go indirect. Expectedly, the standard GMHS response they gave to the misc. WFs was their typical 'we’re Granite Mountain … we think we can pull it off.'
YH Fire (2013) - ASF AZ - The BRHS had to "save" the GMHS Crew Carriers; the GMHS caviler and slack attitude regarding safety: Alleged third season "Lookout" McDonough setting his own trigger points even though GMHS had best view of the fire except for AA; Alleged third season "Lookout" declaring that Fire Order #10 was "hillbilly" and "old" and they were smarter than that; DIV A never really relinquished control to Steed; Marsh / DIVS A cavalier attitude with personal names instead of professionally by position, Crew names, etc.; according to a PFD FF that filled in on the GMHS, their habit of mainly using Crew Net, allowing only a few to talk on Command, Tactical, and Air-to-Ground, while keeping intentions. locations, and movements, withheld from their Overhead. Many Other Fires - According to many IHC Supts. and / or Overhead anecdotes over the years, the 'GMHS stories' abound about having to prove themselves or the GMHS Supt. always trying to ‘one-up you’ and / or use their common phrase: 'we’re Granite Mountain … we think we can pull it off.'
Figure 60. VIMEO video (Holloway Fire - we saved the GMHS buggies) from Contract Engine Crew Source: Colby Drake
Consider now several 2012 Holloway Fire episode anecdotes regarding the GMHS, recounted by a Contract Engine Crew Engine Boss that was there. He posted on InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) using the avatar "Methods."
On the 2012 Holloway Fire in NV, their Crew Carriers, parked in the unburned, minus drivers, saved by an Oregon Contract Engine Crew in VIMEO video. ( http://vimeo.com/48411010 ). From 2:41 to 3:05, the nozzleman pans left; notice a handline on the hillside. Freeze-frame until you notice a GMHS black helmeted WF (lookout?) running downhill. Engine Boss Drake ("Methods") noted that: Multiple members were running down the slope to get to their buggies; fire crossed drainages; Crewmembers that made it down to the buggies ended up firing off around them. Literally in the green in a “V” drainage. Definitely account for two “bad decisions, with good outcomes” just on the 2012 Holloway Fire. This was the second of three times another Crew had to “save” their Crew carriers.
Methods says July 2, 2019 at 11:53 am
"I am the person who recorded the 2012 Holloway Fire in Nevada when GMIH buggies were saved. They were located/working up the hill building handline and putting out spots with a helicopter. Marsh was acting DIV and managing other resources. After saving their buggies (what is caught on film), we were asked to bed down for the night (spike out) on the line and GM, as hotshots tend to do, went off and bedded down by themselves. They didn’t bed down in the green watered pasture with the other resources but instead in dry grass and had to wake up to fire out around themselves during the night." (emphasis added)
Methods says July 2, 2019 at 11:55 am - "That’s two incidents within a 24 hour period that I personally saw on the Holloway Fire in 2012."
Methods says July 3, 2019 at 12:03 pm - "Yes, Marsh worked on the same division as GM. I was an ENGB assigned to the same DIV and was working with them during the first 3-4 days before an IMT showed up. We slept on the other side of the creek from them and heard them wake up that night. "Marsh worked on the same division as GM. I was an ENGB assigned to the same DIV and" (emphasis added) ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479750 )
Methods says July 3, 2019 at 12:00 pm - "IMO, it sounds similar to the event that I caught on the video. Multiple members were running down the slope to get to their buggies; fire crossed drainages; I believe the crew members that made it down to the buggies ended up firing off around them. They may have assumed that they parked in a safety zone but it was literally in the green in a “V” drainage. Just my guess, but I can definitely account for two “bad decisions, with good outcomes” just on the 2012 Holloway Fire in Nevada." (emphasis added) ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-chapter-xxviii-here/#comment-479748 )
Consider now the Public Record PFD GMHS Squad Boss interview that reveals GMHS blunders on the 2012 Holloway Fire, referred to as the "Nevada Fire" by the GMHS. "PFD Recruitment Committee (2015) for GMHS Squad Boss position" All four candidates asked for a good leadership example. The 2012 “Nevada Fire” (Holloway Fire) was mentioned where they posted no lookout, the fire ‘snuck up on them,’ they fired out around themselves and their vehicles, and ‘everything turned out alright.’
At the 2016 AZ Wildfire Academy, an experienced WF was asked to address the Advanced FF / Squad Boss (S-131) course regarding "leadership and human factors." While discussing the 2012 Holloway Fire (NV & OR 2012) and the issue of the GMHS needing to fire out around themselves and their Crew Carriers because they failed to post a lookout. One of the students interrupted, identifying himself as "a former GMHS from 2011 to 2013 and I was on that fire and that's not what happened." They all took a break and the former GMHS recounted the following: They were initially line spiked and told by the IMT to be “fire-ready” even when sleeping. According to the former GMHS, the Acting Supt. posted no lookout and woke up to a distant glow, ignored it and went back to sleep. They awoke hours later with the fire upon them. They quickly fired around themselves and everything turned out alright. (https://web.archive.org/web/20151031112325/http://www.prescottenews.com/pdfs/GMHS1.pdf )
Figure 60a. Halstead Fire (ID - SCF - 2002) - GMHS photos of burned up ATV. Source: GMHS, John Dougherty
According to a Type 2 Safety Officer on the Halstead Fire, in spite of peer and overhead admonishments to back off and go indirect attack due to erratic fire behavior, GMHS Marsh and the GMHS continued to perform direct attack in a mixed conifer fuel type. Their ATV burned up when they had to abandon the fireline due to increased, aggressive fire behavior. Alleged GMHS "lookout" McDonough would later state in a SAIT or ADOSH interview that the ATV was old and had trouble starting and that's why it burned up. This brings into question why someone would bring an ATV in such condition to a wildfire assignment, much less onto an active fireline day after day.
Figure 61. PDF JPEG image of USFS Email thread (April 12, 2016) between BRHS Supt. Brian Frisby and USFS Human Dimensions Specialist Joseph Harris regarding "Human Factors!" Source: Joy A. Collura
This is a keen example of how much BRHS Supt. Brian Frisby and the BRHS know about the YH Fire and debacle GMHS tragedy and want to share what they know for many reasons. This is an April 12, 2016, email between USFS BRHS Frisby and USFS Human Dimensions Specialist Joseph Harris regarding "Human Factors!" with an exclamation point no less! And why not ... "human factors ... were ... off the charts ... that day" according to Frisby. Furthermore and even worse, "there was so much that went on that day that is being swept under the rug." Frisby realized the value of the June 30, 2013, events fearing that they may be lost or discounted, he hopes for the best with this statement: "I would love the opportunity to talk about it. believe there is a lot to be learned from this event and if we are to adopt this as an agency we need to get it right."
You may recall from two earlier YHFR.com website posts (1. AFUE Records on October 15, 2018) and (USFS vs. BLM employee SAIT and ADOSH interview disparity - June 19, 2019) that the USFS Human Dimensions Specialist Joseph Harris (2. Frisby and Harris “Human Factors!” April 12, 2016 email above) wrote a research paper on Staff Rides and the USFS for his Master's Degree thesis from Lund University (Sweden) titled: "DO STAFF RIDES HELP MOVE THE FOREST SERVICE TOWARD ITS GOAL OF BECOMING A LEARNING ORGANIZATION?" (June 2, 2015)
In his dissertation's conclusion (p. 29), Harris writes: "Staff rides are highly valued learning products, and could contribute to the Forest Service’s mission to become a learning organization. Staff rides can easily be structured to conform to most of the suggested elements of a learning product. ... Research shows that accounting and allowing for a wide variety of learning styles within a presentation is [most] effective … 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. ... There was a consensus that while we do a good job of identifying lessons to learn, we don’t do as good a job of actually following through with organizational change. ..." (emphasis added)
USFS Human Dimensions Specialist Joseph Harris utilizes the classic application of understatement here ( https://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/greatest-understatements-of-all-time ) with this assertion about "a perceived gap between the traditional written report and the staff ride." Only a perceived gap? It's seems more like a gaping chasm. And whether or not "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 ..." (emphasis added) is a well-established conclusion from current and former USFS employees - that they cannot and will not ever accomplish this important goal.
In my view, the USFS can, if they really want to, however, they will never achieve this goal because according to USFS WFs still within the Agency, they will not allow their employees to publicly talk about the YH Fire and the GMHS in work-related forums, (e.g. wildland training academies, training sessions, and refresher courses) unless and until they get "prior Regional and Washington Office approval." With some select Wildfire Academy students, it is also a taboo subject at the AZ Wildland Fire Academy in March in Arizona to talk about the YH Fire debacle and the GMHS tragedy. I have been told that it is approved to talk about the actual SAIT-SAIR and its conclusions and discussion points but nobody's opinions or even "professional" opinions are allowed if it differs or strays in any way from the official "factual" SAIT-SAIR. My own YH Fire eye-witness account was not accurately done and books have been made basing it on the SAIT-SAIR rather than the facts. (emphasis added)
Wildﬁre fatalities continue to occur from the same causal factors because of “incomplete lessons learned.”
One way to address this is through credible Staff Rides, a valuable asset in the “lessons learned” tool box to reduce them, however, when they are based on deceptive “investigations” and bogus conclusions, you really have to ask yourselves - how valuable are those “lessons learned?” In 2016, BRHS Supt. Frisby was told in a YH Fire Staff Ride Development session, either in an AAR or a critique or evaluation by participants or SMEs that he was "a distraction." Yes indeed, "a distraction!" How is it that a wildland fire fatality participant could be considered "a distraction" on a Staff Ride?
An overlooked, if even known about, NWCG Fireline Leadership statement includes that Staff Rides
“ … should avoid being a recital of a single investigation report. Such reports rarely address the human factors that affect individual decision-making. … providing participants with a variety of information sources is important.” (emphasis added) Clearly, the YH Fire requires as many different “information sources” as possible to even come close to being factual. And you would certainly hope that the problematic, truth-sharing YH Fire and BRHS debacle "distraction" - BRHS Supt. Frisby - would be considered within the important "variety of information sources" category, especially to focus on the infrequently addressed "human factors that affect individual decision-making."
Disturbingly, yet not surprisingly, these statements regarding other “information sources” and a “variety of information” will be slightly changed in the newest version of this website. NWCG: Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program. The Staff Ride (2019).
Consider now the newest Staff Ride rendition regarding “information sources” mentioned above. “While an investigation report is a primary source of information, it should not be the only source of information that is used. Facilitators are encouraged to rent and watch the movie Courage Under Fire. Although this movie is a fictional drama, it provides a good perspective on the barriers that can be encountered during an incident investigation.” (emphasis added)
So then, after convincing myself to actually watch and engage in the "fictional drama" Courage Under Fire, I have changed my mind about the value of the movie based on its honorable message, and how it parallels with what we are doing here. I realized that it squarely relates to the June 30, 2013, YH Fire debacle and the GMHS tragedy because it deals with telling the truth about a friendly fire episode.
How about taking the high road and just telling the truth from the start and all the way through? There should be no need for a "perceived gap" and then a feigned, pretentious need to remedy it by closing a gap that "they" [SAIT] created! It makes so much more sense for the SAIT to have told the truth from the get-go. And allowed BRHS Supt. Frisby and the BRHS to be interviewed and find out from them instead - their first-hand accounts. It's pretty evident that the entire BRHS Crew have a lot to share based on what former BRHS Supt. Frisby states above in his April 12, 2016, email and what the rest of the BRHS document in their unit logs and other notes posted elsewhere on this YHFR.com website.
And here we have more evidence from the DP and Harwood Podcast, that BRHS Frisby is willing to share his June 30, 2013, YH Fire experiences. Some minor editing was necessary for space, flow, and comprehension purposes from WTKTT's transcription of their Podcast segment.
"WantsToKnowTheTruth says June 1, 2019 at 5:21 pm ( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxvii-here/#comment-478711 )
"THE [DP] / HARWOOD PODCASTS ( CONTINUED ) "BRIAN FRISBY IS TALKING TO OTHER HOTSHOT CREWS ABOUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT THE YARNELL FIRE. (emphasis added)
"Apparently, Blue Ridge Hotshot Superintendent Brian Frisby is sick and tired of beiing [sic] told he can’t discuss what he knows ( and has ALWAYS known ) about the Yarnell Hill Fire. (emphasis added)
"According to [DP] and former GM Hotshot Doug Harwood, Frisby spoke to an entire California Hotshot crew just last summer about what REALLY happened in Yarnell, and whatever he told them was enough for them to realize the SAIT investigation was a total FARCE. (emphasis added)
"In their ‘introduction' to their PODCAST Episode 8, published just 5 weeks ago on April 24, 2019, Harwood ‘reads' an email they received from one of the firefighters on this Hotshot crew that Frisby spoke to. (emphasis added)
"Our Investigation, Our Truth What Happened to the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshots PODCAST Episode 08: Your Changes, Our Changes Published: April 24, 2019 ( https://anchor.fm/our-truth/episodes/Episode-8-Your-Changes–Our-Changes-e3qqcb ) Episode 8, Part 1
+0:48 ——————————————————————————————————– Doug Harwood: We have a comment from a firefighter on a Hotshot crew in California. He says…
“My crew was lucky enough to work with Blue Ridge last summer. On one of the slow days the Blue Ridge supe ( Brian Frisby ) took time to speak to our whole crew about the events of that day. Between THAT conversation, and listening to your podcasts, I’m appalled by the FAILURE of our original investigation. Not only was it an injustice to the perished firefighters, it’s a disservice to our current firefighters as well. How are we supposed to learn ANY lessons from the tragedy if we don’t know exactly what happened?” (emphasis added)
Doug Harwood: We want to thank that firefighter for his message.
[DP]: Yes. Thank you so much."
These are all very interesting comments from this WF from a California Hot Shot that listened to BRHS Frisby vent about the June 30, 2013, YH Fire events in combination with listening to the [DP] / Harwood Podcasts. It should be common knowledge by now that experienced WFs are often "appalled by the FAILURE of our original investigation." which was most definitely "an injustice to the [GMHS]," and "a disservice to our current firefighters as well." This upset CA Hot Shot asks a question, asked by so many experienced WFs, and it deserves an honest answer - 'how are we supposed to learn ANY lessons from the tragedy if we don’t know exactly what happened?'" These bothersome, burning, frustrating, and gnawing questions demand answers from the SAIT and associated SMEs, as well as from respective upper level supervisors and Agency and Department leaders. How is it that the WFs and FFs can so clearly see it but the leaders cannot .. or is it they conveniently refuse to see it?
Consider now some comments from the "Student of Fire" website, one of them a sister of BRHS Supt. Brian Frisby.
Figure 61a. Comment on the Student of Fire website for the "On The Road: Yarnell" - January 18, 2017 post with comment from Corianna Lee, claiming to be BRHS Frisby's sister ("my bro is the sup for Blue Ridge") Source: Student of Fire
The Student of Fire website post titled: "On The Road: Yarnell" - January 18, 2017 by studentoffire - 19 Comments ( http://studentoffire.org/index.php/2017/01/18/on-the-road-yarnell/ ) has an interesting and enlightening comment from BRHS Frisby's sister Corianna Lee, in the Snippet (above). She states that these GMHS "guys were his brothers in every sense of the word. He has done his best to move on, but [her brother, Frisby] was never the same after the event."
Figure 62. PDF JPEG image NWCG Leadership Group of quotes regarding Staff Rides Based on Disingenuously "Factual" Wildland Fire Fatality Investigations Are Even Worse Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Consider now some of the work of authors and military history researchers Eliot Cohen and John Gooch in their book Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War, in "The Taxonomy of Misfortune" (1990) section of their book to as an analog to examine wildland fire lessons learned. They analyze the "pathways to misfortune" and examine the "three basic kinds of failure: failure to learn, failure to anticipate, and failure to adapt. ... The failure to absorb readily assessable lessons from recent history is in many ways the most puzzling of all military misfortunes. ... The inability to foresee and take appropriate measures ... inability to handle the changing present. ... [failure to] take reasonable precautions ... inability to cope with unfolding events ... When two kinds of misfortune occur together we are in the presence of an aggregate failure ... Aggregate failures most commonly combine learning failure and anticipatory failure ... When all three kinds of failure occur together, catastrophe results." (emphasis added) pp. 24-32.
It's a permissible inference that the GMHS hiked right down into all three of these identified failures on June 30, 2013; First, a likely intelligence 'failure to learn' from historical wildland fire fatalities; second, a 'failure to anticipate' with a hubris of extreme and unwarranted self confidence in their own inability to rethink their strategy, and lastly their 'failure to adapt' and stay put while changing their course of action in light of the rapidly deteriorating fire weather and exponentially increasing fire behavior conditions discussed in some detail both in Parts 1 & 2 of 5 and elsewhere on this blog. (p. 124) Therefore, the GMHS's aggregate failures escalated into all three kinds of failure occurring together resulting in catastrophe. (emphasis added)
In the end, the surprise and operational failures are best understood, not as accidents created by indecisive leadership or as the result of unavoidable pathologies of a lack of gathering and processing intelligence. Rather, they were at the deepest level, the products of failure to think through the many dimensions of a changing strategic challenge. By focusing only on them and by failing to gauge the cumulative impacts of the weather and fire behavior changes, the GMHS set themselves up for a calamity by leaving their Safety Zone at the worst possible time. The operational and the intelligence brains of the GMHS had failed, and had done so together. (p. 130)
Dr. Putnam hits the Staff Ride Lessons Learned nail on the head with his statement that official fatality wildland fire investigation reports have lies written into them, and then the Staff Rides, based on those lies within the reports, become dramatic productions. And even if the truth later does seep out, the damage is already done, because the Staff Rides just keep passing on the same old lies. So then, where are then, where are the "complete" lessons learned?
Regarding Staff Rides, this issue, addressed in Part 1 of 5, will be briefly discussed here: "3. The [SAI] Team recommends that the State of Arizona work cooperatively with its fire cooperators to develop a wildland fire staff ride for the Yarnell Hill Fire incident. The staff ride is a process of conveying the lessons learned from this incident for future fire leaders."The SAIT and the AZ State Forestry actually did follow through on this documented, yet pretentious, SAIT-SAIR recommendation, although fecklessly and disingenuously, because a Staff Ride was also mandated in the GMHS Family lawsuit(s) as a binding settlement agreement. (emphasis added) (SAIT-SAIR p. 44)
Figure 63. PDF JPEG image of "Does anyone ever wonder what just one of the multiple satellites saw on the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013?" Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
The issue of satellites and satellite imagery for the YH Fire has been raised numerous times but never delved into in any depth. So then, does anyone really wonder what just one of the multiple satellite saw on the YH Fire June 30, 2013? Those at the July 2019 AHFE Conference had the benefit of viewing this original image with the link, however, the rest of you will just have to wait until we have our meetings on this subject.
Figure 64. PDF JPEG image of our "Summary - Conclusions - Acknowledgements" and our website Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
We admit to scarce evidence of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor firing operation due, in apart, to fear of disclosure. Therefore, we had to rely on the photos and video clips of separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes), and second- and third-party anecdotes to corroborate a firing operation occurred.
We surmised that there were at least three "spies" among the approximately 25 participants with six comments and questions, compared to most other presentations with none to two comments or questions. The alleged "spies" were two well-dressed (business suits) females, one a serious typewriting / stenographer-type note-taker and several others taking cell phone photos of each of the PowerPoint images. The note-takers left immediately after our presentation.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
AHFE: International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics
Advances in Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance
Proceedings of the AHFE 2019 International Conference on Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance, July 24-28, 2019, Washington D.C., USA
"Resist him [the Liar and Deceiver], standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." 1 Peter 5:9 (NIV)
The following is from the former "Wildlandfire.com" - the self-proclaimed "home of the wildland firefighter." Among many resources on their site is the bulletin board, They Said It, which was first moderated by the original "Abercrombie" and now by Abby. They Said provides its readers with LCES: a Lookout for what we probably couldn't otherwise see happening in the rest of the wildfire world; Communications to bring together a diverse group of agency, contractor and cooperator folks (and even some of those structure types); Escape routes for when the off-season or office day lasts too long or is just too far from the smoke; and ultimately, a Safety zone in the information, innovation and motivation to help bring us all back home." (emphasis added)
"Wildlandfire.com - Home of the Wildland Firefighter - They Said" post by Abercrombie
It is well worth reading the following "They Said" thread because it delves into author John MacLean's book on the 1994 South Canyon Fire and his ostensible "qualifications" and "interpretations." Here is an example: "However, it's my opinion John N. Maclean doesn't know and failed to learn enough about the fire suppression organization and firefighters as an entity. I think Mr. Maclean's having a father writing about a similar tragedy forty years prior fail to qualify him to write about this story. "Thirty years writing, reporting, and editing for the Chicago Tribune", seem to me an unlikely background to begin deducing and assigning blame in this tragedy. Burned up firefighters must have appeared a very attractive subject matter, especially when there were indications of government ineptitude involved." (bolded emphasis added)
You will also notice that Abercrombie lists the "Fire Orders" in a "new" way that the "Good Idea People," after the South Canyon Fire, thought would supposedly encourage better memorization. However, it was definitely counter intuitive and contrary to the way they were designed to be - an analytical step-by-step method of fighting wildland fires. The lion's share of the Hot Shot community persistently and successfully lobbied upper-level fire managers pressing hard to have these returned to the "original" Fire Orders.
On this Abercrombie copied post I had to replace the odd-shaped symbols with apostrophes for better aesthetics, reading, and comprehension.
"Assuming there may be a few readers left with me here, I'll now address the issues noted in the second paragraph of this article. The failure of a firefighter, all firefighters, any firefighters, regardless of rank, to follow established rules or guidelines have little to do with weather forecasters, district managers, or dispatch centers. Yet, Mr. Maclean in his ignorance and some of the readers of his book seem to prefer blaming some of these individuals, or others who were far from the fireline. An excess amount of uninformed, misplaced, insinuations filled far too many pages of the book as the author critiqued decisions and placed blame on those making decisions about when the fire first ignited, how long it was left to burn, whose jurisdiction or responsibility it was, and how long it took until resources began to attack the fire. I consider this extraneous information as fluff, dander, and fill to make the book fit the parameter of a novel at around 275 pages. Most of dialogue, interviews, and conclusions fail to address the primary responsibility of each firefighter to comply with the fundamental rules already existing to govern their actions and behavior.
"It didn't matter if the South Canyon fire was burning for a week or a month, it didn't matter if the fire was 5 or 500 acres prior to initial attack, or if there were 10 or 100 airtankers five miles away ideally spinning their props. Understand? It doesn't matter and has absolutely no bearing on why the firefighters died. Do you get it? The primary responsibility for a crew's safety lies with their crew supervisor. Period. It doesn't matter who the IC is, who the Division Supervisor is, nor the Branch Director, nor any other person in an observing status. It's the crew supervisor!
"I believe adequate training was provided these people to prevent this scenario from happening. They just didn't follow the rules. I would like to have the capability of making sure each firefighter reading this understands that a similar situation may happen to them on any given fire. My hopes are that each of you are aware that you have the right to "question authority". Ensure you understand and are aware of the 10 Standard Orders and the 18 Watchout Situations! Make sure you understand them and apply them to every fire you fight. You have the right to refuse any assignment you are uncomfortable with. You have the right to say NO!
"Seldom politically correct, always fire correct. . . Abercrombie
Former "WildlandFire.com - They Said" archives (1999-2004) with a ton of good stuff! This one was already run through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine ( https://archive.org/web/ ), so it should work. If not, refer to the Wayback Machine directions below. ( http://www.wildlandfire.com/arc/arc.htm )
From Abercrombie (August 4, 2000) "... be safe this [and every] most promising and dangerous season so we may all enjoy its end and return home to our loved ones. Take time to remember those firefighters who came before you and those families who have lost their firefighting members. ..." (emphasis added)
First go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine ( https://archive.org/web/ ) then copy / paste this link for the "They Said" Abercrombie article ( http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/abspeaks.htm ) that recounts their history, purpose, theme, and goals.
"From the bottom of my heart I feel a deep sadness at the loss of these firefighters. My purpose here is not to cast blame on individuals, nor John MacLean, but to try to identify the specific causes of a tragedy from a pragmatic rather than emotional point of view." (all emphasis added above)
To access the above "WildlandFire.com and They Said" article by Abercrombie initially requires an interesting journey through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine here: ( https://web.archive.org/ ). Start by copying & pasting this next link to place in the blank, horizontal Wayback Machine URL block
The Wayback Machine will search for it, then it will show two links, one in the URL block and a separate bolded one underneath. Click on the bolded one and it will then go through its gyrations and, if they can locate it, to a horizontal timeline indicating vertical yellow boxes and with one or more blue dots on certain days in a particular month. Choose one or all of these blue dots to hover over and it reveals these details: "month, the number of "snapshot(s)" and a timeframe number that will appear above like this: ( Sun, 25 Mar 2018 18:29:12 GMT ) with the coded and colored number like this: "18.29.12" - so then click on the numbered blue link in that colored number sequence to access it. It will also list the number of hits or crawls or captures like this: "22 captures -11 Dec 2003 - 25 Mar 2018" or "Saved 22 times between ..." whatever dates it lists.
"It struck me that you never really know how lucky you are until your luck runs out." Nick Heil (Aug 28, 2019) 'The Tragedy on Howse Peak' about a multi-fatality climbing incident from an avalanche. Just curious. For someone who refuses to believe in luck, I need to ask how does that luck thing work anyway; do you get so many "lucks" when you're born and you just use them up all your life or what? Can you borrow or buy them or trade them with others? ( https://www.outsideonline.com/2401264/david-lama-jess-roskelley-hansjorg-auer-deaths-howse-peak?utm_source=pocket-newtab )
Please avoid bashing us and getting impatient. SIMPLY WAIT - TOO MANY do not realize the sensitivity of the information and it just cannot simply be spurted out, so when we get data we promise anonymity and then we have to respect and honor our commitments.
As a wildland fire community, this is the moment when we must converge for the betterment of our combined health and welfare. And for supervisors to remember that their main responsibility is ensuring the safety and welfare of those they supervise to the best of their abilities. No matter what! WFs, FFs, and citizens are dying from the same causal factors. It is not just the 19, it is many of us in the fire COMMUNITY. There is far too much concealing, lying, and pretending day-by-day. We need a positive, sincere change. Emphasize the basics, the "10 and 18" and LCES, focusing on Entrapment Avoidance in order to do our part to reduce the unfortunately inevitable wildland firefighting deaths.
What follows are a series of images of the 2019 AHFE Advances in Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance book that contains most of the pages of the research paper titled: "Formerly Unrevealed Public Records Should Change the Account of What Occurred on June 30, 2013" by Schoeffler, Honda, and Collura. Our presentation was include within the "Theorizing and Theoretical Issues in High Reliability Organizations" section with three other presenters.
Figure 65. Copy of an original USFS poster seeking "Men" that could work hard, ride, pack, shoot, fight fires with a cool head, and all requiring a "vigorous constitution." Source: USFS and GTS
In an obituary published in a national magazine, William F. Rickenbacker, one of Captain Eddie’s two sons, wrote: ‘Among his robust certainties were his faith in God, his unswerving patriotism, his acceptance of life’s hazards and pains, and his trust in persistent hard work. No scorn could match the scorn he had for men who settled for half-measures, uttered half-truths, straddled the issues, or admitted the idea of failure or defeat. If he had a motto, it must have been the phrase I’ve heard a thousand times: ‘I’ll fight like a wildcat!”
This post is dedicated to men and women of courage - thank you to people like WWI ace Eddie Rickenbacker-
he said it right: "Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared."
Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people. Jeremiah 20:13 (CEV)