Part 1 of 5 - Underneath every simple, obvious story about human error,’ there is a deeper, more com
Part 1 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?
"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:1 (NIV)
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.
To underpin and underscore pertinent issues in this post, we begin by addressing several important leadership and human factors issues discussed in the Serious Accident Investigation Team ( SAIT ) - Serious Accident Investigation Report ( SAIR ) and other publications and venues, many that are Yarnell Hill Fire (YH Fire) specific, prior to delving into the July 2019 Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics ( AHFE ) Conference images and issues presented in Washington, DC.
Figure 1. June 30, 2013, 1629 (4:29 PM) Yarnell Hill Fire image of very aggressive fire behavior taken from near the Ranch House restaurant in Yarnell along Hwy. 89 with the Weaver Mountains in the background. Source: Brian Lauber, WTKTT, Google Earth
This photo above is a key component for examining and discussing the YH Fire and Granite Mountain Hot Shots (GMHS) tragedy. As posted elsewhere on this website, the original photo (without Google Earth overlay) was given to the so-called Lead "Investigator" of the Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) early on, however, it was never used or even referred to in the SAIT-SAIR. Instead, the SAIT-SAIR provided an "idealized image" on page 77 as "Figure 18" that gives a completely false representation of what actually occurred. The SAIT-SAIR falsely claimed that there was fire above and below the GMHS basically trapping them. Clearly, there is no fire visible above in this Figure 1 photo.
The title of this post, and the subtitle of our paper, are derived from a quote by Human Factors author and researcher Sidney Dekker in "Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error" 3rd Edition, p. 5 (2006). “Underneath every simple, obvious story about ‘human error,’ there is a deeper, more complex story about the organization.” Dekker, in a subsequent research paper, talks about what this deeper more complex story and systems in what he refers to as "complexity and systems thinking" in his Lund University paper titled as a noteworthy question requiring a noteworthy answer: "In the system view of human factors, who is accountable for failure and success?" Dekker's research paper, along with over 30 other papers, is published within the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter Annual Meeting in Linköping, Sweden, October 2009 book titled: "Human Factors - A system view of human, technology and organisation" is available in the links immediately below.
Dekker, Sidney. Human Factors: A system view of human, technology and organisation, Maastricht, the Netherlands: Shaker (2010). ( https://www.hfes-europe.org/books-human-factors-system-view-human-technology-organisation/ )
However, he does make this one debatable statement: "Formal, government-sponsored accident investigations enjoy this aura of objectivity and truth ..." (emphasis added) I disagree with this statement regarding government-sponsored investigations being objective and truthful. But then he may be talking about his own Government and certainly not our Government, which has a totally different impression of objectivity and truth, discussed in some detail in this post and elsewhere in other research papers and books, and on this website.
Dekker states: "The consequence for the ethics of failure is that there can be only one true story of what happened. In Newtonian epistemology, the “true” story is the one in which there is no more gap between external events and their internal representation. (i.e. those who, without any bias that distorts their perception of the world, will consider all the facts) are better poised to achieve such a true story." (emphasis added) In the system view of human factors, we are attempting to discover who is accountable for failure and success.
One of the primary goals of this website and these posts will always be to continually seek clues to the human behavior that cost these 19 young men their lives on June 30, 2013. These are things we need to know even though we may not fully understand, and therefore "The search for truth implies a duty. One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true." Albert Einstein
Consider now the Part 1 of 5 posts, each consisting of a PDF (converted to JPEG) of our original "Formerly Unrevealed Public 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" Power Point presentation. The PDF JPEG post differs from the originally published paper included in this link, in that it contains much more detail on each of the topic areas, especially the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area firing operation.
The presentation was given at the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics ( AHFE ) 2019 International Conference jointly within the sub-conference on the 3rd International Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance, July 24-28, 2019, Washington D.C., USA . ( http://www.ahfe2019.org/files/AHFE2019_FinalProgram.pdf )
Figure 2. PDF JPEG image of Title slide "Formerly Unrevealed Public 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." Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura, Dekker
The 2019 AHFE Conference paper with the same title is published within the Advances in Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance group. Included in these PDF conversions are more details about whether there truly was a Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor Firing Operation area. ( https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-20037-4 ).
"How liars create the 'illusion of truth.' Repetition makes a fact seem more true, regardless of whether it is or not. Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for propaganda, says psychologist Tom Stafford. ... 'Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. If repetition was the only thing that influenced what we believed we'd be in trouble, but it isn't. We can all bring to bear more extensive powers of reasoning, but we need to recognize they are a limited resource. Our minds are prey to the illusion of truth effect because our instinct is to use short-cuts in judging how plausible something is. Often this works. Sometimes it is misleading. Once we know about the effect we can guard against it. Part of this is double-checking why we believe what we do – if something sounds plausible is it because it really is true, or have we just been told that repeatedly? This is why scholars are so mad about providing references - so we can track the origin on any claim, rather than having to take it on faith. But part of guarding against the illusion is the obligation it puts on us to stop repeating falsehoods. We live in a world where the facts matter, and should matter. If you repeat things without bothering to check if they are true, you are helping to make a world where lies and truth are easier to confuse. So, please, think before you repeat." (emphasis added) BBC Future. Psychology. Tom Stafford. 26 October 2016 ( http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161026-how-liars-create-the-illusion-of-truth )
Wildland firefighting is often likened to a type of warfare and its firefighters as warriors, so a brief discussion of a very unique warrior culture follows.
"Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back." - Heraclitus (534-474 B.C.) (emphasis added)
The Spartan army was comprised of citizens trained in the disciplines and honor of a warrior society and stood at the heart of the Spartan state; young men subject to increasingly intense military drill from early manhood to become one of the most feared warrior nations in the Greek world. At the height of their power being labeled as lacking vigor was cause for shame and ridicule. (History Channel - Sept. 1, 2018) (https://www.history.com/new/8-reasons-it-wasnt-easy-being-spartan) (Gates of Fire - S. Pressfield) (http://171.c92.mwp.accessdomain.com/book/gates-of-fire/)
This rigorous training was indeed necessary for times like these: “There was an exercise we of the battle train practiced when we served as punching bags for the Spartan heavy infantry. It was called the Oak because we took our positions along a line of oaks at the edge of the plain of Otona, where the Spartiates and the Gentleman-Rankers ran their field exercises in fall and winter. We would line up ten deep with body-length wicker shields braced upon the earth and they would hit us, the shock troops, coming across the flat in line of battle, eight deep, at a walk, then a pace, then a trot and finally a dead run. The shock of their interleaved shields was meant to knock the breath out of you, and it did. It was like being hit by a mountain. Your knees, no matter how braced you held them, buckled like saplings before an earthslide; in an instant all courage fled our hearts; we were rooted up like dried stalks before the ploughman’s blade.” (emphasis added) (Gates of Fire - Steven Pressfield)
"Although extraordinary valor was displayed by the entire corps of Spartans and Thespians, yet bravest of all was declared the Spartan Dienekes. It is said that on the eve of battle, a native of the district appeared in camp spreading alarm by his report of the numbers of the Persian archers. So vast were these myriads, the scout declared, that when they fired their volleys, the mass of arrows blocked out the sun. Dienekes, however, quite unfazed by the prospect of dueling such multitudes, remarked only, 'Let the Persians hide the sun; we’ll fight them in the shade.'” (emphasis added) (Pressfield)
Wildland Firefighters are certainly NOT Spartan warriors. However, it is always good to compare and contrast the leadership and work ethic traits of all types of military warriors to WFs and FFs that engage in the quasi-military realm of wildland firefighting.
Consider now Part 1 of 5 posts, each consisting of a PDF (converted to JPEG) of our original "Formerly Unrevealed Public 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" Power Point presentation. The PDF JPEG post differs from the originally published paper included in this link, in that it contains much more detail on each of the topic areas, especially the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area firing operation. The presentation was given at the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics ( AHFE ) 2019 International Conference jointly within the sub-conference on the 3rd International Human Error, Reliability, Resilience, and Performance, July 24-28, 2019, Washington D.C., USA .
Figure 3. PDF JPEG image of Introduction and major elements to be discussed slide. Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
This is the basic outline of our Washington, DC AHFE PowerPoint presentation and this Part 1 to 5 Formerly Unrevealed Public Records post will follow it as closely as possible with additions and variations.
Figure 4. PDF JPEG image of Fairly standard Disclaimer promoting Lessons Learned and Entrapment Avoidance for WF and FF safety, noting the "authors' views," the use of "anonymous-by-request' contributors, and warning that some content may be considered by some to be graphic, disturbing, and / or offensive. Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Figure 5. PDF JPEG image of Arizona map (left) and Google Earth detail image (right) depicting Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor,upslope orientation, twin parallel chutes and chimneys in alignment with the GMHS Deployment Zone. Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
You are encouraged to focus on this Google Earth image in Figure 5 a lot because it will become very useful (and necessary) as you read down through the post viewing the numerous photographs and videos of separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) from the likely firing operation that occurred in the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area.
From a purely Fire Weather perspective, it is a permissible inference to state that, most experienced WFs, FFs, and Supervisors would find it interesting and informative that the motto for Yarnell is "Where the Desert Breeze Meets the Mountain Air." I say this because the way the Yarnell Hill Fire burned on June 30, 2013, was indicative of that type of desiccating and driving, hot desert air influence on the fire behavior on many wildland fires in Arizona, but especially on this tragic fire. This unique local fire weather factor (Watch Out # 4) is addressed in the July 2013 USA Today article below. And from a purely human factors perspective, it sure seems that the local GMHS were actually unfamiliar with these local factors in their own response area, especially considering that they had worked on the Doce Fire a week before exhibiting aggressive fire behavior.
The following is from a July 2, 2013, USA Today article titled: "Arizona officials seek answers after 19 firefighters die." "During the monsoon, the searing desert temperatures force columns of hot air high into the atmosphere, Leuthold and National Weather Service meteorologists said." On Sunday, meteorologists measured the thermals as high as 22,000 feet — halfway through the atmosphere. The readings were among the highest they’d ever seen. Brian Klimowski, the National Weather Service’s meteorologist in chief in the Flagstaff division, said local topography could channel winds into even stronger gusts, making fire behavior more unpredictable. ... The fire itself was a beast.“Guys on the ground told me the fire behavior was as extreme as anything they’d ever seen,” Dugger Hughes of the Southwest Coordination Center, an inter-agency organization in New Mexico said. ... What forensic pathologists will find will be important in learning how quickly the fire passed over the Prescott firefighters. ... “Charlie Gripp, a Federal Emergency Management Agency consultant and a former fire-operations safety officer for the U.S. Forest Service" said "they’ll go over all the qualifications, make sure there were no obvious over-sights by leadership,” he said. “They’ll look at the training they had: How good was it? Was it done timely and right? ... " (emphasis added) Source: "Arizona officials seek answers after 19 firefighters die" by Craig Harris, Sean Holstege and Bob Ortega, The Arizona Republic. Published 3:39 p.m. ET July 2, 2013 | Updated 4:08 p.m. ET July 2, 2013.
The fire weather was at its potential peak intensity for aggressive to extreme fire behavior based on the NWS observations, readings, and comments. And the comments made by Hughes (SWCC) and Gripp (FEMA) are instructive. Did the SAIT actually look into these detail areas and if so, how much consideration did they give them in their investigation and SAIR? I think it's fair to say - very little, if at all, because it's certainly not reflected in their "factual" SAIT-SAIR with the conclusion quoted below.
The idealized "Sunday's Shifting Winds" images from the link below reveal the intensity and time-frames of the June 30, 2013, YH Fire winds that occurred as a result of the approaching thunderstorm outflow winds. These winds fueled the fire with oxygen and funneled the fire through the deadly terrain mechanisms detailed below. The middle idealized image is most germane since the GMHS were burned over in their Deployment Site around 4:48 PM (1648). ( https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/staff-181 ) Monday afternoon / evening to 5:29 p.m.: Reporter McKinnon reports further on how the weather played into tragedy, “When the weather changed,” he writes, “it turned a bad situation deadly.” "Wildfire experts: More than 1 factor spawned Yarnell tragedy Fuels, thunderstorm likely contributed to deadly fire condition" Shaun McKinnon The Republic | azcentral.com - Tue Jul 2, 2013 12:38 PM
I firmly believe "Forensic Weather" experts are the future for Wildland Fire Industry so we should "fact check" what the media places out to us.
Figure 5a. Idealized image of weather, respective wind shifts, wind speeds, and wind directions from 3:00 PM at 24 mph (left), 5:00 PM at 42 mph (middle) and 7:00 PM at 22 mph (right) Stanton, AZ remote weather station Source: Arizona Republic
Figure 6. PDF JPEG image of the Wildland Firefighting Rules (e,g, Ten Standard Fire Orders) and Guidelines (Eighteen Watch Out Situations). Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Based on dialogues with numerous WFs / FFs / USFS WFs and my research - they consistently stated immediately after the YH Fire, there began an intensive movement by many of the SAIT members, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and select U.S. Forest Service personnel to discredit these tried-and-trued Rules of Engagement. They visited numerous USFS Ranger Districts during their Critical and/or Refresher Training sessions, Wildland Fire Training Academies, Wildland Fire Apprenticeship Academies, and many other forums to discredit the "10 and 18" as being ineffective "because 19 men died." These USFS WFs were directed to consider the Ten Standard Fire Orders as "Guidelines" instead of Orders (the 18 Watch Out Situations are guidelines) and to focus only on the "official" SAIT-SAIR for information because the SAIT officially found "NO INDICATION OF NEGLIGENCE, RECKLESS ACTIONS, OR VIOLATIONS OF POLICY OR PROTOCOL.” (emphasis added) SAIR (2013) p. 4.
Bear in mind that the wise man David Hume once said: "In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence." David Hume, (Enquiries Section X: Of Miracles; Part I. 87). I think he means that the strength of our beliefs should depend upon the strength of the evidence available or presented. Therefore, we should base our opinions on what and where the evidence (and the powers of our reasoning), guides us. And since most evidence leaves room for at least some doubt, we should always remain somewhat skeptical of what we believe.
Instructors at National USFS Wildland Fire Apprenticeship Academies, various quasi-private / municipal Wildfire Training Academies, and local USFS Ranger Districts were required to cite and utilize, and therefore, follow only the SAIT-SAIR "conclusions" and what is presented in the associated YH Fire SAIT PowerPoint and "briefing video." And USFS Apprenticeship Instructors were required to provide lesson plans for "Regional Office and Washington Office approval" if they were to discuss anything at all about the Yarnell Hill Fire.
These official "nationally recognized" and alleged self-proclaimed "progressive thinkers" used the fallacious argument based on the SAIT-SAIR no fault conclusion to boldly claim that the WF Rules don't work as evidenced by the nineteen dead GMHS. This deceptively insidious ploy continues to this day and is covered further in Figure 30 in Part 2 of 5 in this post and elsewhere on this blog.
Quotes from the following article (below) are pretty informative and insightful. Stephan Lewandowsky et al (2012)
Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13. ( https://journals.sagepub.com/stoken/rbtfl/FNCpLYuivUOHE/full )
I will now take those quotes and "fill in the blanks" with [bracketed] relevant wildland firefighting words and phrases to make it germane to the wildland firefighting realm. The author also wrote a subsequent (2017) paper titled: "Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and coping with the post-truth era" on the same misinformation subject matter.
Consider first the original quote: "It is a truism that a functioning democracy relies on an educated and well-informed populace. (citation omitted) The processes by which people form their opinions and beliefs are therefore of obvious public interest, particularly if major streams of beliefs persist that are in opposition to established facts. If a majority believes in something that is factually incorrect, the misinformation may form the basis for political and societal decisions that run counter to a society’s best interest; if individuals are misinformed, they may likewise make decisions for themselves and their families that are not in their best interest and can have serious consequences." Lewandowsky et al (2012) (emphasis added)
Okay, so now let's consider the same logic when we put the above quote into a WFs perspective by "filling in the blanks" in bolded red. It is a truism that a functioning [wildland firefighting culture] relies on an educated and well-informed [pool of wildland firefighting resources]. The processes by which [these WFs and FFs] form their opinions and beliefs are therefore of obvious [human factors] interest, particularly if major streams of beliefs persist that are in opposition to established facts. If a majority believes in something that is factually incorrect, the misinformation may form the basis for [wildland firefighting tactical and strategic] decisions that run counter to a [wildland firefighting resource's] best interest; if individuals are misinformed, they may likewise make decisions for themselves and [those they are responsible for] that are not in their best interest and can have serious consequences.
Consider now the second quote on smoking: "... the persistence with which vested interests can pursue misinformation is notable: After decades of denying the link between smoking and lung cancer, the tobacco industry’s hired experts have opened a new line of testimony by arguing in court that even after the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that tobacco was a major cause of death and injury in 1964, there was still “room for responsible disagreement.” (citation omitted) Arguably, this position is intended to replace one set of well orchestrated misinformation—that tobacco does not kill—with another convenient myth—that the tobacco industry did not know it. Spreading doubts by referring to the uncertainty of scientific conclusions—whether about smoking, climate change, or GM foods—is a very popular strategy for misinforming the populace." Lewandowsky et al (2012) (emphasis added)
Likewise, let's put the above into a WFs perspective by "filling in the blanks" with bolded red excerpts. "The persistence with which vested interests can pursue misinformation is notable: After decades of denying the link between [safe wildland firefighting by utilizing basic WF Rules and avoiding wildfire burnovers and fatalities], the [Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center and upper-level wildland fire management] experts have opened a new line of testimony by arguing [in Two More Chain posts and Podcasts and the SAIT-SAIR Briefing Videos] that even after the [Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Honoring the Fallen video] conclusion that [following the 10 & 18 and WF Rules] was a major cause of death and injury in [all cases], there was still room for [luck decision conversations]. Arguably, this position is intended to replace one set of well-orchestrated misinformation—that [luck decision conversations] do not kill — with another convenient myth — that the [wildland firefighting culture that followed the Basic WF Rules, i.e. 10 & 18] did not know it. Spreading doubts by referring to the uncertainty of scientific conclusions —whether about [knowing and following the 10 & 18], climate change, [mega fires], or [political correctness]—is a very popular strategy for misinforming the populace [and the wildland firefighting resources and culture]."
"Old School" WFs and Hybrid FFs - and those that subscribe to the "Old School" concept - know that these Basic WF Rules work every time they are properly utilized and applied, hotly oppose the "Progressive Thinkers" and their use of the "Honoring the Fallen" as an emotional pretense. Worst of all, we dishonor the dead by not telling the truth about what contributed to and / or caused their deaths. I allege that it is because what they really want is to use smoke and mirrors and subtle deception to convince you that the GMHS did no wrong and that it could happen to anyone because the 10 & 18 have never worked. There are always going to be other WFs/ FFs/ Smokejumpers that believe that the Fire Orders are guidelines, and I have a respect for them but not their beliefs.
"OLD SCHOOL" MATTERS as much as it is to bridge it to the new current ways!
So then, even though I have had some private sector wildland fire training and experience and the Basic S-130 / 190 training, other than my time on the Weaver Mountains on June 28-30, 2013, I have never actually fought a wildfire. However, I struggled for years on InvestigativeMEDIA with Bob Powers and RTS when they posted that the "10 and 18" and LCES work all the time. I have said for years that one cannot always follow the Ten Commandments, so how can one always follow the "10 and 18" and LCES. Since then, in my research, I have been unable to locate even one wildland fire mishap and / or investigation report where they followed the "10 and 18" and LCES and were entrapped, deployed fire shelters, injured, or killed.
In 2002, Jerry Williams, the former Director of Fire and Aviation Management, USDA Forest Service, Washington Office, Washington, DC, wrote an article for Fire Management Today (Issue 62, pp. 31-35) that specifically addresses the value of the Fire Orders. What follows is based on remarks made by the him at the National Fire and Aviation Management Meeting from February 25 to March 1, 2002, in Scottsdale, AZ. It is most unfortunate that so many in the wildland firefighting culture have strayed far and wide from this sage counsel.
In other words, this germane wildland fire information and these valuable lessons learned that Mr. Williams offered in 2002, were clearly available to ALL WFs and FFs engaged in wildland firefighting in 2013, including the GMHS. Apparently, all others on the YH Fire that day followed Mr. William's sage advice. And literally tens of thousands of WFs and FFs engaged in wildland firefighting effectively and safely utilize them every single fire season. This is factual and NOT hindsight bias!
“Firm Rules of Engagement
“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) Unfortunately, many of today's WFs and FFs engaging in wildland firefighting do not subscribe to this professional advice. And worst of all, the Investigation Teams or Learning Reviews refuse to utilize these as a template or standard any longer.
“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) For "complete" lessons learned, the proactive "entrapment avoidance" training should be mandatory instead of the alleged "factual" SAIT-SAIRs of all the historical wildland firefighting mishaps - fatal and otherwise - that disingenuously and falsely conclude no fault, no blame, no violations of policy, protocol, or procedure.
“Conditions on the fireline can rapidly change. In the pressure of the moment, it is easy for people to overlook something important. That is why we must encourage our firefighters to speak up when they notice safety being compromised. As Weick and Sutcliffe point out, 'people who refuse to speak up out of fear enact a system that knows less than it must to remain effective. We must promote a working environment where even our greenest firefighters feel free to speak up." (emphasis added) (Williams 2002) The system is already in place to speak up, however, the actual results are mixed, inconsistent, and discouraging, thus promoting non-compliance.
“Following an accident, a “stand -down” should be an accepted practice for those involved, until the facts can be sorted out. However, it is a shame that our focus on accountability too often occurs after an accident. Culturally, we must shift the weight of accountability to the time before an accident takes shape. We must embrace the rules of engagement as a way of doing business—as a professional standard. Violation of any Fire Order must prompt management or supervisory intervention and, unless rapidly corrected, be unargu - able grounds for release from the fireline, release from the incident, or - if egregious - serious personnel action. (emphasis added) (Williams 2002) Unfortunately, this "culture" has long been abandoned by management.
“However, we must not adhere to the Fire Orders for fear of punishment. We must embrace the Fire Orders because we owe it to one another. In that sense, the Fire Orders must become a shared obligation, where the leader’s situational awareness depends on participation by the entire crew and where the crew’s participation is tempered with respect for the leader’s responsibility. Borrowing from the aviation community’s model of Cockpit/ Crew Resource Management, we must focus fireline operations more on what is right than on who is right.” (emphasis added) (Williams 2002) This is basically the "Old School" way of wildland firefighting. And unfortunately, we fail to learn "complete" lessons because we are told that there was no blame, no fault, and no indications of any of these due to human factors.
And once again, the challenge is still out there to all you WFs and Smokejumpers and FFs engaged in wildland firefighting to provide even one wildland fire where the Fire Orders, LCES, were followed, and the 18 Watch Outs were utilized and mitigated, and a WF or FF was entrapped, deployed a fire shelter, or was killed by the wildfire.
This “FAILURES IN WILDLAND OPERATIONAL LEADERSHIP – 2006 through 2007” paper discusses, from an experienced USFS WF Supervisor's perspective, four wildland fires (including Little Venus Fire) from 2006- 2007 where “failures in judgment and faulty application of principles of fire suppression operations have been documented in review findings.” (emphasis added) He discusses the "incomplete" application of LCES, human factors, situational awareness (MOSTLY LACK OF), and leadership (or lack of) that result in unplanned, unanticipated burnovers and fire shelter deployments.
( http://www.fireleadership.gov/toolbox/staffride/local_staff_rides/alabaugh_canyon_fire/info_sources/r2_fam_en trap_briefing_paper_oct_2007.doc )
The following research paper is a fairly excellent one that was written by a USFS Smokejumper that turned academic. However, I disagree with at least this assertion: "It has been understood for some time that the number of firefighting rules and regulations imposed upon the line firefighter has become unwieldy." He then posits his, what I feel, quite complicated TEFF proposal as a viable replacement for the basic WF Rules.. Patrick Withen (2005) TEFF: THE TEN ESSENTIAL FACTORS IN FIREFIGHTING. Butler, B.W and Alexander, M.E. Eds. 2005. Eighth International Wildland Firefighter Safety Summit- Human Factors - 10 Years Later; April 26-28, 2005 Missoula, MT. The International Association of Wildland Fire, Hot Springs, SD. Patrick Withen is/was an Associate Professor of Sociology and Organizational Studies and Chair of the Dept. of Social Sciences at the University of Virginia at Wise, and was a Smokejumper for the U.S. Forest Service, out of McCall, ID. ( https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?
DocumentFileKey=06446a2f-7dff-4fbe-8677-4032063067fd&forceDialog=0 ) Unable to hyperlink this one, so you'll need to cut and paste the link to locate it.
Wildland firefighting functions as a quasi military operation with both a vertical and horizontal chain of command, somewhat fixed formal and informal authorities and responsibilities, following orders, etc. There has been a favorable movement afoot, with some WF Supervisors, for some time now, delving into what is referred to as "shared leadership" covered in some of the papers listed below. Similarly, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) "Tenth Man Rule" is well worth looking into. It advocates a "Devil's Advocate" role to counter the insidious known hazardous attitude of Group Think that is endemic to small, cohesive groups like military special operations and wildland firefighters.
( http://risingkashmir.com/news/the-10th-man-rule ) ( https://codeanddagger.com/news/2018/3/21/4-highlights-from-israels-secret-operation-in-syria ) Unfortunately, yet unsurprisingly, according to experienced WFs, there are NO research papers SPECIFICALLY that I know of on the subject of following or (dis)obeying orders dealing specifically with Wildland Firefighting. All are about and from a military perspective. Ask any experienced WF or FF engaged in wildland firefighting, and they will have at least one experience of "being shipped to Division Siberia" (somewhere the fire edge is out!) and/or being sent home for refusing an unsafe, illegal, immoral, or unethical order while offering more tenable alternative options.
Osiel, M.J. (1998) Obeying Orders: Atrocity, Military Discipline, and the Law of War. California Law Review Volume 86, Issue 5 Article 1.
Osiel wrote an excellent paper considering its age because he covers a lot of the history and background on the subject.
To Obey, or Not to Obey?
"So, to obey, or not to obey? It depends on the order. Military members disobey orders at their own risk. They also obey orders at their own risk. An order to commit a crime is unlawful. An order to perform a military duty, no matter how dangerous, is lawful as long as it doesn't involve the commission of a crime.
"You can’t just decide not to disobey an order because you don’t want to — you have to be confident that you are doing so in accordance with the ethics of your profession. And you had better be prepared to face the consequences if you are wrong." (emphasis added) What to Know About Obeying an Unlawful Military Order
"Military leaders must have the courage to speak truth to power and insist on access to the decision maker."
"'In war the first principle is to disobey orders. Any fool can obey an order. He ought to have gone on, had he the slightest Nelsonic temperament in him.' (emphasis added) So wrote First Sea Lord Jacky Fisher in angry critique of Capt. H.M. Pelly, a cruiser captain under Adm. Beatty at the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915." When decision makers placed in these circumstances, they must accept the risk of audacity. This is an interesting historical narrative dealing with communications and human factors worth researching.
The wildland firefighting realm firmly endorses the "How To Properly Refuse Risk" with such sources as this: Refusing Risk (NWCG IRPG and 6-Minutes For Safety - July 2019) (https://www.nwcg.gov/committee/6mfs/refusing-risk)
Please recall that WFs and FFs must follow orders UNLESS they are: (1) Illegal; (2) Unsafe; (3) Unethical; or (4) Immoral. Stupid doesn't count. Often, however, WFs and FFs must follow "stupid orders" while staying within the safety realm of the WF Rules in order to prove the point that the orders are in fact stupid, a waste of time, effort, money, opportunity, and much more. Please take the time to read The Morality of Obeying Stupid Orders by John Reed. ( https://johntreed.com/blogs/john-t-reed-s-blog-about-military-matters/68973251-the-morality-of-obeyingstupid-orders )
Figure 7. PDF JPEG image of the classic Swiss Cheese Model by James Reason (Manchester, England) and directed generally toward the YH Fire and specifically to the GMHS. Source: Reason, Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
'The Swiss Cheese Model is frequently referred to and widely accepted in human factors circles. However, because there is no clear evidence that the Swiss Cheese metaphor is understood in the same way by all concerned, a brief refresher follows.
'The vertical Swiss cheese blocks indicate barriers within an organization and the holes within each block of your organization indicate weaknesses, so that when the holes line up, it means one weakness carried over into another weakness and so on, thus it creates a single hole throughout the organization with the potential to cause an accident.
'The idea of successive defense layers being broken down helps in understanding that things are linked within the system, and intervention at any stage - particularly early on - could stop a disaster from unfolding. Reason designed the model after years of in-depth research into the nature of accidents, which led him to the following insights:
'(1) Accidents are often caused by the confluence of multiple factors; (2) Factors can range from unsafe individual acts to organizational errors; (3) Many contributing factors to an accident are latent errors – they’re lying dormant waiting to be triggered by any number of active errors; and (4) Humans are prone to operational errors which require properly designed systems to mitigate the errors humans inevitably commit.'
Reason then determined that there were both active and latent failures, (i.e. the holes within the cheese). Other research indicates that nearly all adverse events involve a combination of these two sets of factors.
'Active Failures - Active failures or active errors are the unsafe acts committed by people. An example of an active failure would be an employee who chooses not to follow safety procedures like failing to wear sleeves rolled down on their fire shirts (PPE) while on the firelines. And worse yet, their supervisors setting a poor example by following suit with their sleeves rolled up and /or failing to comply with their supervisory responsibilities and failing to correct the infractions in the first place.
Latent Condition - Loosely equivalent to causal factor or contributing factor. Latent conditions or latent errors include contributory factors that lie dormant for days, weeks, months, or even years until they contribute to the accident. They are the failures built into procedures, systems, by the labor force or management. Latent conditions 'are failures waiting to be triggered by an active error'.
As stated above, an example of a latent condition would be supervisors failing to correct errant behavior or faults of those they supervise and ultimately responsible for their safety and welfare. If you combine this latent condition with the example of an active failure - failing to correct PPE safety infractions or failure to set a good leadership example wearing PPE - you eventually could get into a serious wildland fire accident.
The author points out that the Swiss Cheese Model does have a few weaknesses. He notes that it is great for looking backwards at ‘what caused the failure’, but of limited use for predicting failure(s).
Source: The James Reason Swiss Cheese Failure Model in 300 Seconds (May 30, 2018) by WhatsthePONT ( https://whatsthepont.com/2018/05/30/the-james-reason-swiss-cheese-failure-model-in-300-seconds/ )
Here is another research paper on the Swiss Cheese Model from a wildland fire perspective titled: "Use of Human Factors Analysis for Wildland Fire Accident Investigations" by Michele Ryerson and Chuck Whitlock for the Eighth International Wildland Fire Safety Summit, April 26-28, 2005 Missoula, MT.
Figure 8. PDF JPEG image of Arizona Rule 803. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay - Regardless Whether The Declarant is Available. Article VIII. Source: Westlaw, Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Due to the current lack of individuals willing to comfortably and safely come forward to openly share their first-hand accounts, the Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay are a major component concerning the firing operation that occurred on June 30, 2013. Other than the July 2013 video of the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area operations seen at the Yarnell, AZ Library, and later one on YouTube, witnessed by as many as twenty (20) individuals, including us, the two YH Fire Eyewitness Hikers, several experienced WFs and FFs, and local citizens, we must rely on hearsay evidence. First off - the video tape has disappeared and the YouTube video as well - gone without a trace, like so many other evidences related to the YH Fire.
Therefore, we highly encourage anyone and everyone that was involved in and / or photographed the likely Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area firing operation to come forward and share their experience and any records you may have. Your anonymity is guaranteed and promised.
Likely, there were several individual WFs and FFs (Federal, State, and Municipal) that participated in the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area firing operations at multiple levels and capacities and in various sectors within this area, However, for the time being, they fear coming forward with their stories because of Agency regulations and statutes and / or policy, threats and intimidation from the various current and / or former Government employers and /or family members, friends, and loved ones.
This later included these individuals recounting their participation to others in other wildland fire forums when the YH Fire came up in discussions. These individuals also fear coming forward with their stories because of threats and intimidation from the various current and / or former Government employers and /or family members, friends, and loved ones.
Therefore, because of the dearth of individuals willing to comfortably and safely come forward to openly share their first-hand accounts of actual Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area firing operations, we must instead rely on "Arizona Rule 803. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay - Regardless Whether The Declarant is Available."
Below are the AZ and Federal statutes, as well as Law Review and legal articles on the Hearsay Exceptions subject that will better clarify what this rule means and how credible and essential the evidence is or may be to prove a key point. It is worthwhile to examine the CASEMINE examples that contain numerous legal precedential court cases from various States and Circuits throughout the U.S. as relevant examples.
( https://govt.westlaw.com/azrules/Document/N1331F4D0E7DB11E0B453835EEBAB0BCD? contextData=%28sc.Default%29&transitionType=Default ) This link must also be cut and pasted to find the document.
Arizona law basically mirrors the Federal Rules on this same subject as indicated in this Cornell Law School link.
Foster, T.E. (1979) Present Sense Impressions: An Analysis and a Proposal, 10Loy. U. Chi. L. J.299 ( http://lawecommons.luc.edu/luclj/vol10/iss3/3 )
CASEMINE Rule 803 Exceptions ( https://www.casemine.com/search/us?q=rule+803+exceptions )
Figure 9. PDF JPEG images of wildland fire investigations in general and the YH Fire SAIT in particular. Includes a Facebook thread between an experienced USFS WF Fire Supervisor and Jay Kurth, one of the lead YH Fire SAIT Investigators. Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Every time I read what SAIT Investigator Kurth says in Figure 9 above, from an alleged "leader" I feel nauseated. I hope the man is retiring soon, truly retired and stays away from the fire industry. We need honest investigators to talk about what happened and why instead of leaving it to the readers to come to their own conclusions. That shoddy work is unfair to the less experienced WFs and FFs.
Obviously, Mr. Kurth did not read the popular leadership book titled "Extreme Ownership" by former Navy SEALS Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The book details that when you are the supervisor in charge of anyone, then you own every decision - no matter what. Additionally, it is well worth looking into the escaped Caples Prescribed (RX) Burn turned wildfire on the El Dorado NF (CA) in October 2019 in a major watershed that had experienced no fire since 1908. His USFS employees lit the hand-pile project KNOWING that Red Flag conditions were forecast with strong Cold Fronts days behind. Fire Order # 1 specifically covers those key areas. Check out the several Wildfire Today Caples (Prescribed Burn) Fire / Wildfire Archives articles (October 2019) in the link below on this very controversial, very preventable debacle, virtually unknown to most WFs, FFs, and certainly, the general public.
The Figure 9 (above) PDF JPEG image obviously indicates the focus of investigations are to find where people went wrong and why their actions seemed proper at that time, and utilizing the concept of Sensemaking - Why did it make sense for them to do what they did at the time? Unless, disingenuously, the investigation is to actually find no fault and no blame and no causal factors because, according to PFD Wildland Battalion (former Fire Chief) Chief Willis, "it was an accident, just one of those things that happens." Kurth called it a "Learning Review ... not an investigation" even though it is publically labeled as an "investigation" throughout AZ State Forestry records and archives.
Former USFS Human Factors investigator Dr. Ted Putnam, in his 2011 International Association of Wildland Fire ( IAWF ) research paper titled "Accident guides, Accidents, Stories, and the Truth" correctly points out how partial and predetermined these so called "investigations" really are. “Sometimes investigators deliberately distort or do not report all the causal elements which lead [wildland] firefighters to distrust the reports, hampering our efforts to stay safe." (all emphasis added) (YHFR website or Academia.edu or WLFLLC links)
Carrie Dennett, an Arizona State Forestry Division fire-prevention officer declined to say when the firefighters died. ... She said the state agency’s investigative team should begin taking shape today. “It will be designed so we can learn from this and teach up-and-coming firefighters, if there are any lessons that can be learned,” Dennett said. “A lot of firefighters died. We have to do this right and get the right team here. It will take some time.” (emphasis added) Say what? "IF there are any lessons that can be learned?" The "right team" - you mean like the team that will compliantly falsify data and establish a foregone conclusion(s)?
Consider the narrative that follows about an icon in investigative journalism and what he had to say about it.
Gerard O’Neill, Spotlight editor who defined investigative reporting in Boston, dies at 76 (Bryan Marquard Globe Staff, August 23, 2019, 10:58 a.m.)
Some 30 years ago, a 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,” Mr. O’Neill said. (emphasis added)
“The greatest lesson we learned from him is this notion that when we go out to gather information, and run into all these obstacles, we will get frustrated,” Lehr added. “Gerry would say, ‘We just have to keep going. They think we’ll move on to the next story, but we’re not going away. We’ll do what we have to do.’ ” (emphasis added)
In the above referenced link for the Arizona Republic Pulitzer Award document they stated: " We filed nine public records requests to a half dozen local, state and federal agencies. Our demands included deployment logs, work schedules, command duties, training records and more. ... We were relentless. In the days immediately following, as the fire was contained, local officials cut off media access to Yarnell. This was not a safety issue, as utility workers and others were allowed in. This was an issue of media control. We fought aggressively, asserting our rights in the field and working with legal counsel to demand access through the county attorney’s office. ... After this story published, a county sheriff threatened to arrest any reporter found in town. We fought back hard, with reporters and photographers stand to intimidation from authorities as they continued to seek access. Ultimately, the road-blocks came down, but the fire-scene information available before then came only because of our team. ...
“You can talk about how wind shifts occur and maybe how the thunderstorms come overhead, but it’s a completely different thing when you’re there actually seeing it and experiencing it,” said Rick Swan, a retired deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “When the wind starts changing direction, you see that. If you’re trained, you’re paying attention.
”Some of the procedures firefighting crews follow today grew out of the 1990 Dude Fire near Payson, which killed six firefighters when flames exploded amid a rapidly developing thunderstorm. The fire has been studied intently by fire experts and government agencies. The lessons drawn from it still guide wildland firefighting. ...
“Those things are ingrained in our head,” Swan said. “No matter where you’re at, you’re constantly re-evaluating oyur situation, the wind, the topography, the fuel types. You’re always reassessing where you are, where you have to be, the amount of time you have to get there, all to make sure you’re safe.”
And then there is the forever etched-in-our-mind conclusion from the self-proclaimed "factual" Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) and Serious Accident Investigation Report (SAIR): “NO INDICATION OF NEGLIGENCE, RECKLESS ACTIONS, OR VIOLATIONS OF POLICY OR PROTOCOL” (emphasis added) The SAIT also concluded that "the judgments and decisions of the incident management organizations managing this fire were reasonable, ..." (all emphasis added) (Sept. 2013) page 4.
So then, even citizens and other non-WFs or FFs, including WFs or FFs that work on wildland fires, ask this question because those conclusions are ever so incredulous: How is it possible to do everything right and yet kill 19 Hot Shots in one fell swoop?
"Why are the conclusions of the Yarnell Hill Fire investigation so timid?" by Cally Carswell Oct. 1, 2013. High Country News article, link here: ( https://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/why-are-the-conclusions-of-the-yarnell-hill-fire-investigation-so-timid/ )
In this same High Country News article above the author states some disturbing, yet unsurprising facts: "Recently, [Wildfire Today author] Gabbert reports, federal guidelines for producing reports on these investigations were changed, likely out of fear of lawsuits. They now call for a public report detailing the factual information -- who went where and when -- but not drawing any "inferences, conclusions or recommendations." A separate report, not to be made public, would take those second steps. "The guide tells investigators to avoid analyzing whether basic fire-safety protocols were violated and to destroy draft documents after the inquiry is done," according to USA Today. Gabbert predicted that the new policy would result "in public reports that are much different from those we have seen in recent years," and would inhibit the public's and firefighters' ability to learn lessons that could prevent future fatalities. (all emphasis added)
Troubling indeed! This statement of the Government's actions and talk is rife with irksome doublespeak according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice talking about being the custodians of records (link below). How can one detail the "factual information" and then not draw any inferences, conclusions or recommendations if that is your duty as an assigned investigator? And why would you have a separate report, not to be made public, to take those second steps, unless you were concealing something? And to have the investigators "avoid analyzing whether basic fire-safety protocols were violated" makes absolutely no sense when these are the mainstay of safe and effective wildland firefighting as noted in some detail above ( Figure 6. ) in the Jerry Williams paper on the subject.
The destruction of draft copies mentioned above is akin to the California Division of Forestry (CDF and CalFire) tactic of labeling their "Red Sheet" (high-level investigation reports for the top tier of CDF management only) as "Drafts" which somehow excludes them from Records Requests. Additionally, this would preclude any and all investigative journalists and others their First Amendment right of speech and / or redress because there would be no historical, archive data.
And to actually "destroy draft documents after the inquiry is done" all but ensures that those of us that want and seek to know the truths of these matters will be forever forbidden from doing so. Several of these seem to be very clear violations of 18 U.S.C. §641 (taking of a public record or document is prohibited), 18 U.S.C. § 1361 (destruction of such records prohibited), 18 U.S.C. § 1663 (Protection Of Government Property - Protection Of Public Records And Documents), and 18 U.S.C. § 2071 (essentially three types of conduct are prohibited by 2071) (DOJ link below) according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ), as well as a clear-cut violation of our First Amendment rights to seek redress. 18 U.S. Code § 1001. (Statements or entries generally ... whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully - (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry ...) and 1663. Protection Of Government Property -- Protection Of Public Records And Documents. ( https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1663-protection-government-property-protection-publicrecords-and )
I think it is a permissible inference that our SAIT Government officials, posing as alleged "Investigators," may be complicit (read "involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing") in the above Federal 18 USC criminal violations (e.g. 18 U.S.C. § 641, 1361, 1663, 2071, 1001) involving the YH Fire Public Records in order to ensure that "we will never know" (mentioned SIX TIMES in the SAIT-SAIR) to buttress their forgone conclusion of finding: “NO INDICATION OF NEGLIGENCE, RECKLESS ACTIONS, OR VIOLATIONS OF POLICY OR PROTOCOL” (emphasis added)
Consider now this interesting, informative, and somewhat contentious Facebook thread concerning the YH Fire SAIT and SAIR with one of the SAIT "Investigators" trying to defend their actions. Well worth reading.
FACEBOOK account may be needed to search the FB archives for the following FB thread
To further clarify how the alleged YH Fire "investigation" was handled, it's as if YH Fire SAIT member Jay Kurth and the rest of the SAIT were strictly following the new Federal guidelines described above in the High Country News article. In a May 19, 2016, Facebook post, Don Feser, an experienced and well respected USFS Wildland Fire Supervisor with a post thread from SAIT Investigator Jay Kurth remarking on the SAIT-SAIR provides some newfound clarity and future focus:
Kurth posted: “It was a learning review, not an investigation. They weren’t findings. It was a statement of the story as best as could be put together from the information provided. … It was as factually accurate as could be at the time. It was intentional to not draw suppositions or make bullshit assumptions about Marshes [sic] or Steeds [sic] thinking when it could not be backed up except with hindsight arrogance. Oh not everyone tells the whole story when asked either….” (all emphasis added)
Kurth posted: “Does it make you feel better to bash the dead? … We left it to the firefighters to learn from what was written … and draw their own conclusions. All of you who relish in blame and revile [sic] in your own glory by bashing the system and slandering the review team should consider your own motivation. It certainly does not appear to be learning.” (all emphasis added)
On the contrary Mr. Kurth, our motivation is mainly truth-seeking, however, it also includes learning complete lessons from those truths. So then, SAIT "Investigator" Kurth, clearly appears to be outright ignoring the fact that the purpose of an investigation is to "to find where people went wrong and why their actions seemed proper at that time" while utilizing the concept of Sensemaking being true to their duty as "Investigators." Instead, it readily appears that Kurth relegates himself and the entire SAIT to the task of being mere "storytellers." And that places the onus on the readers and those interested in what actually occurred and why. As former Yarnell Fire Chief Pete Anderson (RiP) asked: "Why did they even have a SAIT in the first place if they are going to have that kind of approach?" (emphasis added)
Former Yarnell Fire Chief Pete Anderson (RiP) forthrightly stated in an Oct. 8, 2013, video interview (Figure 33 in Part 2 of 5) regarding the alleged SAIT "investigators" and "investigation" making several statements and asking many questions that deserve answering: And whitewash that there was no wrongdoing on anybody's part as far as the report went but we're not here to point fingers. Well what are you here for? You're investigators. Investigators are supposed to investigate. They're supposed to point fingers. They're supposed to say 'what [it] is that had happened. ...'" (emphasis added)
Consider now "The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" of the Fatalistic SAIT Rhetoric of "we will never know."
"A self-fulfilling prophecy refers to the phenomenon of making a prediction or expectation of something and this “prediction” becomes true because "of one belief that it will." ... and behaved in a manner that created this. This suggests that a person’s belief can influence their actions. The principle of this phenomenon is that people create consequences regarding people or events, based on their previous knowledge towards that specific subject. Additionally, self-fulfilling prophecy can be applied to negative and positive outcomes." (emphasis added and footnote omitted) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selffulfilling_prophecy )
Fear not because there is a viable successful solution to this dangerous attitude at the conclusion of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy section (i.e "Psychological Reactance Theory")
Figure 10. PDF JPEG image SAIT-SAIR 'We will never know ...' Why not" followed by a quote from a YH Fire SAIT Subject Matter Expert (SME) to an experienced WF supervisor in August 2013 regarding "all the evidence that we have that we cannot and will not ever release” about theYH Fire and the GMHS. And six (6) SAIT-SAIR quotes confidently asserting that "we will never know" any of the details surrounding the who, what, when, where, and why surrounding the GMHS deaths. Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Ominously, it is significant to note that an experienced, high level former USFS WF Supervisor serving as one of the many YH Fire SAIT Subject Matter Experts (SME) made this revealing remark to a contributing author in August 2013: "We have so much evidence that we cannot and will not ever release” about the YH Fire and the GMHS. This illuminating, yet disturbing, SME statement shows me that the SAIT's sinister plan was intended for their supposed "we will never know" investigation focus and what follows below. It is addressed in some detail in Figure 59? titled: "Unaccounted for YH Fire and GMHS evidence" in Part 3 of 5 of this post.
Additionally, they never asked any of us two eyewitness hikers. We had to reach out to them in July / August 2013 even though our photos were in the media. OPS Musser and BRHS Frisby also had to reach out to the SAIT to be interviewed months later.
Regarding the (1) "SAIT-SAIR - we will never know" (Figure 10) and the (2) "Unaccounted for YH Fire and the GMHS Evidence" (Figure ??) and the (3) "Securing the scene?" (Figure 37) and (Figure 58 - Part 2 of 5) images and sections, please consider the select Yavapai County Sheriffs Office Deputy Report for Incident [Yarnell Hill Fire] 13-021744 link below excerpts below, dealing with all three (3) areas of concern and consternation. You will discover some amazing, yet unsurprising, things in that link below as you read through the entire document.
The fatalistic SAIT-SAIR rhetoric of "we will never know" and the damage done by advancing the defeatist and fatalistic claim that "we will never know" certain details about the GMHS tragedy makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy. SIX times! Yes - SIX TIMES - the SAIT unequivocally asserts "we will never know" - each time stating with more certainty than ever that "we will never know." The fatalistic rhetoric of the SAIT, a professional "Investigative Team," merely gives up as to why the entire GMHS that was on top of The Weavers safely ensconced in their Safety Zone and then hiked downhill through unburned chimneys and chutes and into a bowl to their deaths. Other than a few cursory mentions in the SAIT-SAIR of us, "Tex" Harold Eldon Gilligan (Sonny) and me, Joy A. Collura, the SAIT completely failed to include any of my numerous photos of the GMHS, the GMHS crew carriers parked in the unburned, Div A Eric Marsh, "Mystery Man" talking with Eric Marsh, the fire behavior, and much more, We also were up there on the peak of the Weaver Mountains, and we made it out safely without the benefit of radios or Air Attack or a supervisor.
The repeated "we will never know" assertion smacks of resignation, which is another way of saying giving up; and "resigned" is one of the identified Hazardous Attitudes in the IRPG, merely in a different tense ("Resigned – We can’t make a difference") on page xii. (emphasis added)
Providing the truth about the YH Fire and GMHS causal factors to the WF and FF world and in the media is essential for closing the "we will never know" gap and creating effective and necessary changes to reduce WF and FF deaths. Without knowing the causal factors, and thus the possible solutions, the world's readers and investigators are more likely to reject the threat of being forced to learn "incomplete lessons" as concluded by author and researcher Dianne Vaughan regarding the NASA Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster. Moreover, the process and mechanisms behind the "normalization of deviance" make gradual change difficult to detect until it’s too late. It seems that many in the younger WF/FF Community view the YH Fire as their figurative "gold standard" to examine other fires and fire experiences know nothing of the human factors of the Mann Gulch, South Canyon, Thirty Mile, Cramer, or Esperanza Fires, much less former wildland fire fatality investigator, Dr. Ted Putnam. And they seem to have drank the SAIT-SAIR kool-aid as well. Therefore, many of them are unknowingly headed on that same YH Fire trajectory, unless we change course and address the truths (and lies) about the YH Fire. We must do our best to effectively reduce the inevitable future WF and FF deaths.
Borrowing from Vaughan, 'Framing WF and FF safety in a fatalistic assertion of never knowing why as a solution-less problem may create a scenario where that is and will in the future, become true.' Vaughan, D. (2005) "System Effects: On Slippery Slopes, Repeating Negative Patterns, and Learning From Mistake?"; cited in "Organization at the Limit. Lessons from the Columbia Disaster." Eds. Starbuck, W.H. and Farjoun, M.
The well known and now "accepted" and endorsed practice of first establishing a "conclusion" and then finding the "facts" to fit their conclusion has shamefully and tragically been the norm all the way back to the Mann Gulch wildfire fatalities in 1949. It all sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. Could it be based on the fact that the SAIT and / or its sycophant minions altered, destroyed, fabricated, and /or removed a lot (read most) of the valuable evidence / records (e.g. cell phone records, videos, cell phone videos, AFUE records. etc.) and coerced and / or pressured employees to destroy them and /or not discuss the YH Fire and the GMHS debacle to ensure that "we will never know"?
In the YH Fire case, many, if not most, of the WFs and FFs and public hoping for complete lessons learned, instead rise to the level of the SAIT's expectations of "we will never know" and merely quit looking any further. What's the use of even trying to find out about anything except what is in the alleged "Factual" SAIT-SAIR because the experts on the SAIT have already told us six times that "we will never know." So then, they want you to just shut up and drink the Kool-Aid.
"The self-fulfilling prophecy inherent in such procedures hinders the investigative process by decreasing the chances of finding any answers, including surprising and counter-intuitive results." (emphasis added) (Mark Van Vugt, a Dutch organizational psychologist - "Self-interest as self-fulfilling prophecy" (2001)
Therefore, it should be clear, based on author Van Vugt's conclusion above, that the SAIT fully intended to "hinder the investigative process," especially the part about "finding any answers, including surprising and counter-intuitive results" as repeatedly revealed in this post and on this website as well as from your own intuition and permissible conclusions and inferences, based on your training and experiences and time-in-grade, bearing in mind that all inferences must be drawn quite cautiously.
This is a pretty good article on the positive aspects of the self-fulfilling prophecy concept. "The Impact of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies - Attitudes and Performance" (December 1, 2010) Dr. Fitch ( email@example.com )
( https://leb.fbi.gov/articles/featured-articles/attitudes-and performance-the-impact-of-self-fulfilling-prophecies )
Another link that must be cut and pasted to locate the document.
Further research from Nuberg, Judice, Virdin, and Carrillo (cited in Tauber, 1997, p. 14) define self-fulfilling prophecy in the following way; "The literature suggests that self-fulfilling prophecies are often mediated by expectancy-revealing perceiver behaviors; behaviors that suggest to a target how a perceiver feels ... communicated both nonverbally and verbally, either intentionally or not. Importantly, expectations influence such expressive behaviors, and these behaviors influence the action of others." (emphasis added)
Okay, I think I get it now - just because the SAIT tells us that "we will never know" - we are expected to dutifully, in lock-step, just give in and give up and concede that "we will never know"? Okay, I'll just drink the Kool-Aid and give up while watching this YouTube video! ( https://youtu.be/y51kYjVhm7g ) This is a good one that makes our point.
Here is an interesting public comment, supporting the "we will never know" quote from the PFD Wildland Battalion Chief Willis, the direct supervisor of the GMHS on June 30, 2013. "I believe there were circumstances that occurred and decisions that were made that we do not have facts on [what] contributed to their deaths," Chief Willis told ABC News. "We will never know what they were thinking or their decision process." (emphasis added) ( https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/deaths-granite-mountain-hotshots-exposes-fight-airtankers/story?id=20424310 )
On the contrary, I believe we absolutely do "have the facts on [what] contributed to their deaths." It was years of bad decisions with good outcomes, "the Rule of 99," and the normalization of deviance. In October 2013, at a SW Area HS YH Fire AAR, an experienced HS Supt. concluded during the refelctive Integration Phase: "This is the final, fatal link in a long chain of bad decisions with good outcomes, we saw this coming for years," with as many as eight HS Supts. and /or Assistants stating that they had all tried peer pressure to alter their unsafe behavior, to no avail. And we do "know what they were thinking" and what "their decision process" was. They were thinking and discussing their options of whether to stay in their safety Zone or relocate elsewhere while watching the increasing fire behavior for almost an hour according to this WFSTAR poster titled: "52 Minutes - Blow-up to Burnover" at Figure 18. And "their decision process" was clearly intuitive and mission-biased, adversely influenced by a multitude of stressors and certainly faulty and fatal!
Furthermore, one of the SW Hot Shot Crew Supts. at the 2013 GMHS Memorial Service in Prescott, AZ, suggested to 'Honor the Fallen' collaborator, Curtis Heaton, that 'we as a Hot Shot community and as a wildland fire culture, needed to look deeply into the YH Fire GMHS tragedy human factors to determine why this occurred to lessen wildfire fatalities.' The 'Honor the Fallen' lapdog Heaton's response to this concerned HS Supt. was "we will never know."
Absolutely refusing to drink the Kool-Aid here on this "we will never know" feculence! Indeed, I think it is safe to say that possibly many of us ("we") know exactly "what they [GMHS] were thinking" and "their decision process." On the contrary, it was the YH Fire SAIT alleged "Investigators" that were lacking in that critical area of responsibility. The individual GMHS were obviously thinking different things at different times depending on their responsibilities and status or even location. GMHS Steed was probably thinking that it was a bad idea to leave their safe black, with many of the the others thinking the same thing - all based on their access to their "Discussing our options" discreet Crew Net radio conversation. The Rookies - the true heroes - were thinking that they should trust their Bosses to do the right thing. And DIVS A Marsh probably was thinking he wanted the GMHS to do exactly what he possibly told them to do - leave their Safety Zone and hike down into the unburned at the worst possible time. And unfortunately, due to the intense stress factor at that time, the GMHS "decision process" was simply to fall back on one of the hazardous actions that they were most familiar with - and that was to avoid letting any overhead know their intentions, their location, or what they were doing.
And what was the GMHS most familiar with? According to German psychologist, researcher, and author Dietrich Dorner, the GMHS fell right in line with his remarkable conclusions: “... the violations of safety rules were by no means exceptions committed for the first time. They had all been committed before – if not in this precise sequence – without consequences. They had become established habit in an established routine. The operators did things this way because it was the way they had always done them before.” (emphasis added) (1998)
Pissed off? Incredulous? Giving up or giving in? Stay the course. There is hope! All is not lost.
You've finally made it to the solution to all this nonsense! There is hope with the "Psychological Reactance Theory."
An article in Psychology Today states that "Most of us don’t like it when people tell us what to do. According to psychological reactance theory, we desire to have freedom of choice and therefore have a negative, aversive reaction (called “reactance”) to having some of their [own] options taken away by other people or by external forces. Reactance produces three main consequences. First, it makes you want the forbidden option more and/or makes it seem more attractive. Second, reactance may make you take steps to try to reclaim the lost option. Third, you may feel or act aggressively toward the person who has restricted your freedom ... . Consistent with reactance theory, research has shown that labels designed to warn consumers about potentially objectionable material in TV programs, films, video games, and music often have the opposite effect of making them more interested in the 'forbidden' media." (emphasis added and footnote omitted)
So then, step right up and join the negative, aversive reaction movement today and refuse to believe in or drink the "we will never know" Kool-Aid. ( https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-psyched/201302/why-do-people-denyviolent-media-effects )
How many of you were aware of this public DropBox gold mine of photos given to the SAIT? The images that I, Joy A. Collura, freely and transparently shared with the SAIT investigators ended up in their own special folder in the SAIT documentation. And only minimal photos including the GMHS hiking up the two-track road that morning were the only one to make it into the SAIT-SAIR. That folder is still here:
( https://www.dropbox.com/sh/02ue6bnjp6nazkm/AAAQHmeW4AtE4acHagKGrrcSa/Photos%20and%20Video/ Hiker%20Photos%20Videos/Reduced%20Photo%20Images?dl=0 ) This link also requires cut and paste to access the DropBox.
My photos show "where" fire behavior, vehicles, WFs and FFs, Air Attack, and other aircraft were on June 30, 2013.
"Impact Human Performance, Human Performance, Leadership, Organizational Performance, Safety Performance, and Situational Awareness" to businesses and other interested groups. What in the World Were They Thinking? Ron Ragain - The Rad Group - April 19, 2016 ( http://www.theradgroup.com/the-rad-group )
Figure 11. PDF JPEG image of The Big Lie about "every FF deserves a safe assignment" and how the truth counts. Source: Mark Smith
Mr. Smith of Mission Center Solutions makes some very valid statements and those are captured as bullet points in the PDF JPEG image above titled: Honoring the Fallen" or Disrespecting the Dead?
I especially liked the one about the truth as a worthy anchor point to begin to honor the living and the dead. The truth is always a good place to start particularly when discussing how and why 19 young FFs died.
Mission Centered Solutions (MCS) Fall 2016 - The Big Lie - June 16, 2016 "Honor the Fallen Essay Introduction" "The [Big Lie] that wildland firefighting is safe. Young firefighters and their families are told that they have a "right" to a safe work environment. It is explicit in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations 'Every individual has the right to turn down unsafe assignments.'"
"The lie is so insidious that it permeates the thinking of many fire managers and agency administrators to the point of denial, despite a steady flow of coffins standing as evidence to the contrary." (emphasis added)
“One of the few acts of free will that tragedy leaves within our control is the chance to grow. Our brothers have given us such a precious and hard won opportunity to learn new knowledge and apply lessons. We realize and seek to highlight that cultural and other human factors risks are just as profound and potentially deadly as physical risks on any incident." The "our [GMHS] brothers have given us such a precious and hard won opportunity to learn new knowledge and apply lessons" statement is a bit hard to accept. Their lives were taken from them, they didn't "willingly give their lives" as so many news articles and news releases spout the hero mantra.
"The results WILL be repeated unchecked unless we commit to looking inside, to looking deeper at how we think, how we talk and how we perceive ourselves." Agreed completely here.
"Our end state is that the group’s efforts became a catalyst for continued cultural introspection into how human factors affect our decisions. The engagement generates a watershed event from the fire, having provoked thought, dialogue, questions and explorations in all corners of the wildland fire community. Yarnell Hill leads to a stronger, more self‐aware and more resilient wildland fire culture."
"The [Big Lie] that wildland firefighting is safe. Young firefighters and their families are told that they have a "right" to a safe work environment. It is explicit in the Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations 'Every individual has the right to turn down unsafe assignments.'
"The lie is so insidious that it permeates the thinking of many fire managers and agency administrators to the point of denial, despite a steady flow of coffins standing as evidence to the contrary."
“One of the few acts of free will that tragedy leaves within our control is the chance to grow. Our brothers have given us such a precious and hard won opportunity to learn new knowledge and apply lessons. We realize and seek to highlight that cultural and other human factors risks are just as profound and potentially deadly as physical risks on any incident."
"The results WILL be repeated unchecked unless we commit to looking inside, to looking deeper at how we think, how we talk and how we perceive ourselves." Agreed completely here.
"Our end state is that the group’s efforts became a catalyst for continued cultural introspection into how human factors affect our decisions. The engagement generates a watershed event from the fire, having provoked thought, dialogue, questions and explorations in all corners of the wildland fire community Yarnell Hill leads to a stronger, more self‐aware and more resilient wildland fire culture."
This YH Fire conclusion is true, if and only if, the complete truth of the human factors that influenced the GMHS fatalities are objectively examined and revealed.
"Our effort was perceived as having rendered due honor and respect to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.” (italics emphasis original and all other emphasis added)
Perceived by yourself or by the entire the Hot Shot and wildland fire community?
Hear ye - hear ye ... read all about it! ( http://wildlandfireleadership.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-big-lie.html ) Did the PFD FFs and as many as thirty (30) WFs total, that spent the June 30 night to early morning July 1, 2013, night at the GMHS deployment / fatality site with their Hot Shot "Brothers" really make "a PACT" to avoid discussing what they had witnessed and talked about that night truly "honor the fallen?" (Figure 38) Or was it something else? Clearly, in their efforts to "honor the fallen" the "crime scene" was definitely disturbed prior to the SAIT and ADOSH investigators thoroughly examining, photographing, and cataloging the fatality scene when the GMHS bodies were placed into body bags and moved in order to be transported to Phoenix, AZ to the Maricopa County Medical Examiners Office. Is or was that truly the right thing to do?
Or was it merely the reactionary, emotional response of the traditional right thing to do by municipal FFs that engage in wildland fires based on this historic 1908 FDNY structural / municipal FF quote below that they were merely doing what was required of them as FFs? "Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.” Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY 1908 (emphasis added)
Figure 12. PDF JPEG image of "Mystery Man" and GMHS Eric Marsh photos Source: Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
Mystery Man is the WF/FF standing on the ridgeline alongside GMHS Marsh in the top left of this photo - anyone have a good pixel enhancer and / or experience to figure it out in more detail? It's important to point out that the alleged SAIT "Investigators" told me that the Mystery Man did not exist even though I have a photo of him and GMHS Marsh.
As far as I know, the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy is the ONLY wildland fire in history, that had two eyewitnesses that watched, photographed, videoed, and / or talked with the WFs, for two days prior to and including the fatality day by going the full distance to tell the true story of what occurred. For the sake of transparency, there was the July 9, 2001, Thirty-Mile Fire on the Okanogan / Wenatchee NF in Washington where two citizen camper eyewitnesses were entrapped in fire shelters along with the WFs (three in one fire shelter) on that fatality fire where four WFs were killed. So, please let me know if you are aware of any other similar wildfire tragedies if I am incorrect.
This is a comment made by me for the October 4, 2014, Wildfire Today article statements correcting Gabbert's incorrect statements in his article: "... Eric Marsh and the mystery man in Joy’s photos with Eric Marsh still never noone [sic] has come forward naming themselves they are that person with Eric and not in the reports that I have seen yet ..." (emphasis added) from October 4, 2013, Wildfire Today "Granite Mountain Hotshots, in videos." Our numerous (Sonny 'Tex' Gilligan and Joy A. Collura) Wildfire Today comments are well worth reading. ( https://wildfiretoday.com/2013/12/24/granite-mountain-hotshots-in-videos/ )
The following is my response in green as I explain to the InvestigativeMEDIA participant Fire20+ team in orange text from a March 2019 text message on the subject.
Please take the time to review each of the photos in the links below. Here is my public declaration - I, Joy A. Collura, matter-of-factually photographed this 'Mystery Man' on June 30, 2013, sometime between 0915 and 1015 AM using a Kodak Easyshare camera capable of 26mm wide angles to 624mm (24X) optical zoom; not what was being told in the Hotshot Industry from Fire Author, John MacLean's, researcher Holly Neill's good friend and InvestigativeMEDIA participant using the avatar of "Fire 20+" team. On March 7, 2019, 12:23PM, after viewing the Mystery Man and Eric Marsh photo, Fire 20+'s team arrogantly and incorrectly stated: "it was taken at 6:39 AM ..." (detailed below in Figure 11a) NOTE - on the contrary, at that time (6:39 AM) I was on my cell with my mother at that time arguing with Sonny about going up that box canyon at the same GPS coordinates that later is where the men died versus scaling boulders around the base; so I was not taking a photo nor can you see the ridgeline where these men were standing on ( in the old mine areas ) when we were down below in the box canyon. That is where I was at 6:39 AM.
What was your agenda there Fire20+ team players by placing this further false information out into the Wildland Hotshot and WF / FF Industry?
Figure 12a. Google Earth Ruler Line image of where Eyewitness Hiker Collura saw and watched GMHS Marsh talking with Mystery Man at about 0915 (9:15 AM) to 1015 (10:15 AM) best estimate on June 30, 2013, on the ridgeline at a distance of about 189 to 193 feet. Collura later photographed Mystery Man and Marsh from a distance (Figure 11) Source: Google Earth and Joy A. Collura
Consider now the verbatim cellphone text message below from Fire20+ on March 27, 2019 at 12:33 PM in ORANGE regarding the Mystery Man photo in Figure 11 above.
"Here's the photo. It was taken @ 639am on June 30. They didn't even run into Marsh until an hour and a half later at 808 am, coming up the trail below them!
The two guys on the hill are from the overnight IA/Moki [Helitack] and Lewis [Type 2 Inmate Crew Boss] and neither has a red hard hat. Oh and photo was taken with 57.7 mm Zoom, they weren't even close to the ridge at this point."
NOTE - Are you ready as to why and how that photo was taken? When Eric Shane Marsh came down for the last time to speak to us YH Fire eyewitness hikers, he alerted us in a "fatherly" tone that we were not properly geared up and so they would not drop any retardant until we left the area. Marsh stated that it was better him (Marsh) than the man up there (Mystery Man) to tell us.
Moments before Marsh walked down, I was trying to scope the best place to use the bathroom (not the "squat and go" kind but the - coming on feel - of Heat Stroke abdominal cramps kind) because "that" week I walked from the Prescott DMV to Wilhoit, plus the two days prior hikes on the Weavers in hot weather alerting prospectors. When Eric arrived to tell us about leaving the area - I still had to "go" - and I knew I had those two men above; Eric and this "Mystery Man," plus Air Attack hovering above, and the Crew and the many vehicles down below who have a good "eye" on the two track ridge.
Obviously, there were more than one in the air that day as seen in the numerous links of my photos from June 30, 2013, below.
( https://photos.app.goo.gl/84YGXseEg1UQU2LR9 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/iWQ7Vuay3PpnwU6i9 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/aYWwsCuo3JpiuqGx8 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/xjXXGK8yYGLXYA3AA ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/DCbU7Riw1uPY2t4g8 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/CyK4Mx8yXGMLWkSd9 ) and
Additionally, from our view point on the top of the Weavers, the GMHS looked like tiny ants - and remember, I had to "go" and wondered how long it was going to take this single-lined Crew to get up there. NOTE: we did not know these were the GMHS until the Daily Courier reporter Joanna Dodder Nellans informed us in the YH Fire evacuation that the photos we had were of the GMHS.
( https://photos.app.goo.gl/eaahyTpPrc4qJgmy7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/b3BhdQXxDzA2PXtM7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/RzMGXVTCkdotHBqT7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/LCRwRQkNwUFp7ecD9 )
I was thinking about the area Eric flagged earlier and if that was a good area to go and would I have the time to take care of things because the GMHS were coming up still:
( https://photos.app.goo.gl/uWrgGvS7EEgow4ko7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/dgC9h3xggejbSAwo9 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/a4JcAKN29Na5msRN7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/66EES5aF3eBN2bHF7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/Swhm634o4fyVDmxK7 ) and ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/wjrQUW9D5mjC38qFA ).
It was brushy with some open areas and I still had many men coming up; and I had pains and I had to "go" -Meanwhile, Sonny told me: ' take this picture and that picture' when I was in my mood or mode to"go." So, that's when I took the GMHS crew head-on video setting and photos. And as noted in previous posts, these were stolen from me at our 'Hiking Headquarters' in Yarnell while we were in evacuation mode. These consisted of about two dozen photos and the video. It was also Sonny in his loud tone (because he is hard of hearing), said 'these men look as though they are on their "death march" because he felt they were looking 'too spent, too tired' to even be on that two track ridge, much less a wildfire.
I think it is rather ironic that the "Marsh's death march" phrase was also used on the "Student of Fire" (SoF) website and that there were ironically "19 comments" on the "On the Road: Yarnell" - January 18, 2017, post by studentoffire - 19 Comments (emphasis added)
Student of Fire himself posted: " ...I ... wondered why the hell they decided to make that mad dash, to go on Marsh’s death march. Nobody knows." (emphasis added)
And be sure to read through the SoF comments as well because a couple family members appear, one gracious and one rebuking,. including BRHS Brian Frisby's sister. And then there is Matt, the final comment 19, on January 27, 2017 at 7:55 pm, was spot on with his views about the human factors and the investigation and much more:
"... It is unforgivable that we allow sentiment and tradition prevent us from learning anything from the human factors surrounding Yarnell because we continue to be blinkered and sentimental in our eagerness to “not speak ill” of the dead. It is nothing short of astonishing that the official conclusion was that everybody involved in the Yarnell Hill Fire did everything right – despite the incineration of the 19 hotshots by flames so hellish that granite boulders fractured. Covering up facts because they make us uncomfortable dishonors the dead, and ensures the same mistakes will be made in the future." (emphasis added) SoF Commenter Matt at comment #19
SoF commenter Matt knows that the YH Fire and GMHS debacle, including that the SAIT-SAIR was a complete joke.
Sonny wanted me to take photos of the men - Eric and the Mystery Man - when I was right below them, but I was still in that mood to "go." Finally, I got to hide and "go" in this view of the boulderous area link and photo below:
Here is a Google Earth view (below) of the ridge top two-track road photo with Sonny in the photo sitting in this boulderous area with Highway 89 on the left as seen in the link above.
Figure 12b. Google Earth image of the ridge top two-track road photo where Sonny is in the photo sitting in this boulderous area with Highway 89 on the left (https://photos.app.goo.gl/rWxmPgT3XmYik59t8 ) road is visible from left (lower corner) to right (middle) across the lower half of the image. The boulderous areas discussed above are also visible. Source: Google Earth and Joy A. Collura
After I was up looking where Air Attack was and doing my business ... I finished covering my hole and washed my hands ... Sonny asked if I got the "pics of the planes and the two men." It was a little over 20 minutes after we last left Eric - I then took the "Mystery Man" photo and this photo of Eric Shane Marsh alone on the top of the Weavers wearing a red hard hat. ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZbKCefzwqe18owry7 )
NOTE: Contrary to the "Social Media" world and the Fire20+ team, I do, in fact, have GMHS Eric Shane Marsh in my photos in the links above and below. It matters little how much you all want to distract and narrate a "new story" of my eyewitness account of June 30, 2013, Eric Marsh before I saw him walk to "Mystery Man"
Please remember people, my EasyShare Z980 Digital Camera fell down with me ages ago down a 15-foot mine shaft, so my camera "dysfunctionally" worked and professionally was determined that the metadata is unknown, So, if the Fire20+ team went by the 'Cameraƒ/41/80057.7mmISO125' metadata on the Google links - it is also incorrect. And so, she validated my point.
NOTE: I am absolutely clear on the time frames of my account of June 30,2013, from notes taken proximate to the event and memory.
Shown here in the following link is the Mystery Man and Eric Marsh in the center left of the photo in this link below:
I am firm that this "Mystery Man" photo was not taken at 6:39 AM as the Fire 20+ team stated - this "Mystery Man" with Eric Marsh photo was taken more like 9:15 AM to 10:15 AM. The photo was taken a little under three quarters (3/4) of a mile in distance - and both photos containing these men, clearly show in one of them, Eric Marsh wearing a "red hard hat."
For those of you who so much like to discount these facts, especially stating it was not Eric Shane Marsh wearing a "red hard hat" and that there was never a "Mystery Man" - The photos clearly and unequivocally reveal the truth. Once again, I saw and photographed Eric Shane Marsh wearing a red hard hat talking to Mystery Man.
This link that follows shows the actual distance and if you "zoom in" up on top of the ridge on the Weavers above the flames to the right of flames is Eric Shane Marsh. ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/TcKuEyx62QmJ956S9 ) To the ones ill-minded and doing such, "Get over it" - your narratives and fabrication attempts to alter or change history are feckless.
Eric Shane Marsh and Mystery Man were talking on the Weaver Mountain peak on the morning of June 30, 2013. Tex Harold Eldon Gilligan (Sonny) and I witnessed that and photographed it.
Even if you all wish to twist my eyewitness account, the funny part is that none of you were even there that day. Are you all trying to do the ol' Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to me, telling me that I did not witness factual events, like you tried with the Thirtymile Fire survivor, Thom Taylor, where four young firefighters died in Washington on the July 10, 2001, tragedy? The alleged "Investigators" told him the same thing, that he did not hear those that died, and that it was him instead. I will not reveal the graphic details recounted to me. Did you catch in these two photos in the links below, the "black hard hat" GMHS, or do they not exist as well? Just curious.
In the SAIT interview below, the Moki Helitack Crewman Nate Peck addressed this "Mystery Man" and stated that he "spoke with authority" - therefore, maybe something he said may have influenced Marsh with 'their' plans for the day and Marsh's subsequent actions forcefully attempting (and succeeding) in getting the GMHS to leave their Safety Zone at the worst possible time, resulting in their ultimate deaths. Nonetheless, it is worth considering.
NOTE: However, one of the SAIT "Investigators" told me that this person speaking to Eric Marsh "didn't exist" and you never talked with him, hence he was given the name "Mystery Man." Even though I have a photo proving it?
What follows is Nate Peck's interview on July 13, 2013, with SAIT SAIR Team Leader Jim Karels and Co-Team Leader Mike Dudley.
NOTE: I find this extremely significant to have both of the SAIT Team Leader Jim Karels and SAIT Co-Team Leader Mike Dudley together interview Nate Peck. Was it because of 'Mystery Man' and his time talking with GMHS / DIVS A Eric Marsh?
Peck was IQCS qualified as an ICT4 - FFT1 and temporarily assigned to the Moki Helitack; he was regularly assigned to the NE Washington - Colville NF as an Asst. Engine Operator.
Peck stated: "I saw someone standing by sling location. I thought he spoke with EM [Eric Marsh] at that time. He was asking excellent questions about conditions. Someone made the comment that he's really on it. Mentioned that the fire had really blown up yesterday afternoon." (emphasis added) "The question[s] asked by EM [Eric Marsh] were well thought out, he was painting a picture for himself."(emphasis added)" I have struggled with the IC and process." (emphasis added)
Mystery Man was wearing a white full brim hardhat. The color white usually designates a supervisor. Once again, how did 'Mystery Man' and his time with GMHS / DIVS A Eric Marsh fit into the day's tragic outcome? And how about the fact that both of the SAIT Team Leaders together interviewed Nate Peck. Was it because of 'Mystery Man' and his time talking with GMHS / DIVS A Eric Marsh and the final outcome of the day?
SPECIAL NOTE: Sonny said "take the picture" and so, I did take the picture of two men on the ridgeline (Figure 12) ... but keep in mind this was not when I was 188 feet away but around the bend at a distance when the photo in Figure 12 was taken. I was at this spot in this link: ( https://photos.app.goo.gl/rWxmPgT3XmYik59t8 ).
So then, one can be left with the "what ifs" and that is okay and natural... what if there were were two new set of folks up there and that was not Marsh like some like to believe who were never on the Weavers that day yet the bottom line is that "Mystery Man" was a real live human being that day in whatever capacity he was working and clearly existed on June 30, 2013. as seen in the photo in Figure 12 above. And he was with Marsh and we stood less than 200 feet away from that moment because Marsh stated later on to me saying: 'it is better coming from me than from him to you' as he looked up at this man on the ridgeline wearing full brimmed white hardhat as we all looked up in that direction at "Mystery Man."
Clearly, we do deserve to know who he was and in what capacity he was working, what his position, and intentions were that morning. Some have felt they obviously see the tan-colored Kevlar style fire pants in the photo. In reality, the bottom-line takeaway is Sonny and I did, in fact, see and hear these two men talking less than 200 feet away; and one can debate the photo until the end of time Matter-of-factly, on June 30, 2013, someone wearing a full brimmed white hardhat spoke to Marsh near us (the two eyewitness) hikers. Sonny and I both know and believe that is what is in picture I took that morning.
Figure 13. PDF JPEG images of (left) June 30, 2013, 10:40:20 (10:20 AM) Blue Ridge Hot Shots (BRHS) photo of increasing fire behavior with what are two separate and distinct smoke columns and (right) photo of increasing fire behavior with what are two separate and distinct smoke columns photographed by an Anonymous-By-Request citizen. Source: (left) Blue Ridge Hot Shots (BRHS) and (right) Anonymous-By-Request citizen and Schoeffler, Honda, Collura
This pair of photos above in Figure 13 above represents the same separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) emerging from the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area and the BSR respectively, from two separate locations photographed 54 seconds apart.
Figure 14. PDF JPEG images of two GMHS Christopher MacKenzie photographs approximately two minutes apart. The left photo (IMG_2736.JPG) was taken with an Apple iPhone4S Smartphone at 1551:58. The right photo (IMG_0889.JPEG) was photographed with a Canon PowerShot SD 1400 IS Digital camera at 1533:56 (3:15:56 PM) Southwest winds are increasing the fire behavior and pushing the fire in a Northeasterly direction. The small opening with the dark dot in the middle (lower third-middle of photo) is the "Old Grader" site where their lookout was positioned until retrieved by the BRHS. Source: GMHS Christopher MacKenzie (RiP), dCourier; KPHO
These photographs (Figures 13 & 14) represent documented evidence of the GMHS, ready to move, wearing their full PPE and fire gear as if they are ready to go, ready to work, ready to do something, once their supervisors conclude their "discussing our options" discreet radio channel conversation. This radio conversation was whether they were going to stay in place in their Safety Zone or whether they were going to leave and head elsewhere, into the unburned fuels with obviously increased fire behavior from the adverse winds from the forecast outflows.
Figure 15. PDF JPEG images of GMHS Mackenzie (RiP) photo June 30, 2013, series from (approx.) 3:51 to 3:55 PM facing N to NW Source: YCSO Drop Box
The GMHS Mackenzie (RiP) photo June 30, 2013, series above from (approx.) 3:51 to 3:55 PM facing North to Northwest is contained within a Drop Box account from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) given to the SAIT asquoted below in the initial image from the Drop Box."Christopher MacKenzie, a member of the Granite Mountain IHC, took these photos on June 30, 2013 withhis cell phone. The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office provided them to Randy Okon, member of the Accident Investigation Team."
What is occurring here (above) during this series of photos depicted in Figure 15, and covered in a 2015 AZCentral newspaper article (link below) by R. Anglen, D. Wagner, and Y.W. Sanchez titled "Yarnell fire: new account of hotshot deaths" is an integral part of what is commonly referred to as the "Discussing our options" GMHS discreet Crew Channel radio transmissions video. Woefully, there are key portions of the radio transmissions that were likely altered and removed (by the SAIT and / or others) from the GMHS MacKenzie video clip.
Typically, the Figure texts are placed beneath the images and photos, however, due to the six (6) PDF JPEG images below, the Figure 15 a-f series will be posted above the images. The article is readable in this format and a summary is provided below from a research paper as well.
Figure 15a. PDF JPEG images of R. Anglen, D. Wagner, and Y.W. Sanchez April 3, 2015, article titled "Yarnell fire: new account of hotshot deaths" page 1 of 6, including snippets of portions cut off from the bottom of three pages. Source: AZ Central.com
Figure 15b. PDF JPEG image of R. Anglen, D. Wagner, and Y.W. Sanchez April 3, 2015, article titled "Yarnell fire: new account of hotshot deaths" page 2 of 6, including snippets of portions cut off from the bottom of three pages. Source: AZ Central.com
Figure 15c. PDF JPEG image of Snippet of missing / blocked off portion above from April 3, 2015, article in Figure 15b. above. Source: AZCentral.com
Figure 15d. PDF JPEG image of R. Anglen, D. Wagner, and Y.W. Sanchez April 3, 2015, article titled "Yarnell fire: new account of hotshot deaths" page 2 of 6, including snippets of portions cut off from the bottom of three pages. Source: AZ Central.com
Figure 15e. PDF JPEG image of Snippet of missing / blocked off portion above from Figure 14d. above Source: AZ Central.com
Figure 15f. PDF JPEG image of R. Anglen, D. Wagner, and Y.W. Sanchez article titled "Yarnell fire: new account of hotshot deaths" page 2 of 6, including snippets of portions cut off from the bottom of three pages. Source: AZ Central.com
If interested, please consider the following summary of the AZ Central article above in Figures 15a-f. from a 2018 AHFE paper titled: "Epic Human Failure on June 30, 2013" (Schoeffler and Honda)
Figure 16. "Granite Mountain Hot Shot last video by Christopher MacKenzie" altered by the SAIT and now posted on YouTube. Source: dCourier videos and YouTube
The YouTube video has these remarks: "Granite Mountain Hotshot Christopher MacKenzie shot these last two video clips shortly after 4:00 p.m. on June 30, 2013. These are the last images of the hotshots before theytragically died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire at approximately 4:50 p.m." ( https://youtu.be/omfw_Unt_VQ ) "Granite Mountain Hotshots last video by Christopher MacKenzie" dCouriervideos - Published on Sep 28, 2013
NOTE: Typical of many June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS records, the dCourier.com link has been removed from the link in the remarks provided on YouTube, and is no longer available.
This video, as posted on YouTube, is only 18 seconds. There is credible analytical evidence that this video was deceptively altered, with portions removed making it two nine-second videos taken 39 seconds apart. GMHS Crewmember Chris MacKenzie captured a fragment of a crucial radio conversation between Marsh and Steed. The 18-second video was edited into two parts after his video camera was recovered. We are supposed to believe that Christopher only took two separate 9 seconds videos at 4:02 that afternoon. In the video, Marsh’s voice can be heard coming from a radio held by Steed. “I was just saying, I knew this was coming when I called you and asked what your comfort level was,” Marsh said in the first short video. “I could just feel it, ya know.”
The video fades and then picks up with Steed saying: "The fire has almost made it to the two-track road” on which they had hiked in that morning. Steed was using what is commonly referred to in Human Factors literature as "Hinting" or "Mitigating" speech rather than using direct speech with Marsh, instead of pressing the point with Marsh on his (Steed) and the overall GMHS comfort level. One of the GMHS Crewmembers can be heard saying something to the effect of: "We haven't felt comfortable all day" immediately after Marsh is heard talking about Steed's "comfort level."
The mysterious 18-second video reportedly was made available to Forestry’s Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) in July, but it was not included in the SAIT-SAIR publicly released on September 28. The Prescott Courier, however, posted the video on its website the same morning that the report was released.
In depth InvestigativeMEDIA Yarnell Hill Fire commentary follows in these links directly below. Use "Ctrl-F" to search. Sometimes these hyperlinks work and sometimes they don't, so you may have to cut and paste or even Google search them.
It is well worth reading ALL of the following paraphrased excerpts of what WantsToKnowTheTruth (WTKTT) provided in the InvestigativeMEDIA comment (4510) link above. The published MacKenzie video was, in fact, edited by the Prescott Daily Courier using YouTube Video Editor (i.e. "... the published version of the MacKenzie video was edited using YouTube’s own online video editor.")
"The original video was ‘published’ by the The Prescott Daily Courier one hour before the SAIR report was released to the public on September 28, 2013.
YouTube account name: dCouriervideos YouTube account owner: The Prescott Daily Courier Total videos uploaded as of 11/23/13: 77 videos. Total subscriptions to this channel as of 11/23/13: 107 subscriptions Video Title: Granite Mountain Hotshots last video by Christopher MacKenzie Published: Sep 28, 2013 Video statistics Through Nov 22, 2013 Total Views 28,353 Total Time watched: 7 days Total Subscriptions driven: 5 Total Shares: 9
The following comment information is provided: "Granite Mountain Hotshot Christopher MacKenzie shot these last two video clips shortly after 4:00 p.m. on June 30, 2013. These are the last images of the hotshots before they tragically died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire at approximately 4:50 p.m. Published on Sep 28, 2013."
"See related story on dCourier.com (clickable link). But just to the right of that commentary, in small print, is also the following: (Unable to locate any "clickable link.") "Created using: YouTube Video Editor Source videos: none View attributions ( clickable link )
"NOTE: If you click the ‘View attributions’ link all you get is this: (Unable to locate any "attributions link.") Granite Mountain Hotshots last video by Christopher MacKenzie by dCouriervideos
So then, it readily appears that someone from the Prescott Daily Courier uploaded either one original video clip, or two separate clips, and then used the online YouTube video editor to create the actual public release version of only 18 seconds
. "The ‘original upload(s)’ used to create this ‘edited’ video are no longer present on the ‘dCouriervideos’ site. Either the one original upload or the two separate uploads were DELETED after they got done using the YouTube editor to create the public release version that we can see.
"The online ‘YouTube’ video editor can’t do much, but it can certainly be used to either just ‘combine videos’ or ‘edit out portions’ before that ‘combine’ operation or be used to ‘chop out’ sections of just one single video and then tie them back together with a small ‘fade’ between the remaining sections (as seen in the publishedMacKenzie video).
"Here is the full feature list for the online YouTube editor: (Combine videos, Add music, Trimclips, Insert transitions, Rotate clips, Stabilize clips, Add text effects)" NOTE: The slight ‘fade’ seen between the two 9 second MacKenzie videoclips in the published (YouTube) version MAY have been automaticallyinserted during just a simple ‘combine videos’ operation (this seems to be the default for that option) OR it could have been done manually with ‘Insert Transitions’ option.
"I still believe there has to be more than just these two ‘edited’ 9 second video clips. No one just shoots 9 second video clips, especially when there are (apparently) just a few moments separating the two. If you really are trying to ‘capture a moment’ with video and audio then you would hold your finger down on that shutter button and capture the entire conversation moment."
"The 'hunker and be safe' directive from OPS1 (Abel) to Marsh is referenced in BOTH the SAIR and Jim Karel’s notes. That’s the point. Karel’s notes say that the only reason they can be sure Abel said that to Marsh is because they “have it in the VIDEO,” however, Karel’s notes contradict his statement because they also say Abel did not specifically recall saying that when he was interviewed." Which one is it then?
"So, for them to “run the quote” and post it anyway in the SAIR, is further proof that Karels was telling the truth in his notes and that the SAIT DOES have a ‘video recording' of Abel actually saying that. "As noted above in the Figure 15 a-f. series above, we normally place the "Figure" designation below the images, however, in this case, three You Tube GMHS Christopher MacKenzie cross-fade video links (Figure16a-c.) and one GMHS Robert Caldwell cross-fade video link (Figure 16d.) and the two ABC News 15 crossfade videos (Figures 16e-f.) all with detailed explanatory and informative comments all thanks to WTKTT will be placed above each video link (Figures 16a-f.) to make you better aware of them as they are presented below. Viewing the GMHS and YH Fire crossfade videos will, hopefully, reveal the anomalies and allow you to conclude that altering and removing of data and such occurred in the various videos.
Consider now Figures 16a-d. You Tube GMHS Christopher MacKenzie cross-fade video links follow BELOW Source: YouTube and WantsToKnowTheTruth (WTKTT). What follows is a series of mostly paraphrases from WantsToKnowTheTruth (WTKTT) and his excellent work on a series of related YH Fire crossfade GMHS videos and it might be the best photographic evidence yet of the moment the YH Fire was actually entering the deadly box canyon that the GMHS were hiking down into, just a few minutes before all the GMHS would be burned over.
Figure 16a. ( https://youtu.be/bolQm3uYx2E ) IMG-2736-and-MVI-0888 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. Source: GMHS MacKenzie (RiP), YouTube, WTKTT
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 BOTH of MacKenzie's 9 second long videos had to have been shot sometime between MacKenzie cellphone photos IMG_2736 ( taken at 3:51.58 PM ) and IMG_2737 ( taken at 3:55.20 PM ).
See the 'other' video in this account folder that does the same kind of comparison between this same +6 second 0888 movie still frame and MacKenzie cellphone image IMG_2738.
Figure 16b. The 'other' video ( https://youtu.be/-MC2RQwroQo ) 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. Source: GMHS MacKenzie (RiP), YouTube, WTKTT
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. In that crossfade the reason the annotated still frame for Mackenzie's MVI-0888.MOV video clip just says "Mackenzie Video 0888 @ +6 sec" is because those of us working on the actual time offset for Mackenzie's CANON Powershot camera still weren't sure what the EXACT time offset was ( yet ). That 'crossfade' was done as part of that process to simply PROVE that despite what the SAIT idiots thought. (emphasis added)
Mackenzie's video could NOT have been shot AFTER his iPhone image IMG-2738.The smoke ADVANCES ( to the south and east ) between that video stillframe and Mackenzie's iPhone image IMG-2738. It was shortly after these 'crossfades' were done that [IM] Calvin, Marti, myself ( and others ) finally nailed down the actual time offset for Mackenzie's CANON Powershot camera to 8 minutes and13 seconds AHEAD of the 'real' time on June 30, 2013.
The original ( embedded ) CANON Powershot timestamp in Mackezie's MVI-0888.MOV movie clip was 1601:31
( 4:01:31 PM ). Subtracting 8 minutes and 13 seconds gives 15:53:18 ( 3:53:18 PM ). So, the actual START of Mackenzie's MVI-0888.MOV video clip was 15:53:18 ( 3:53:18 PM ) Plus 6 seconds ( the still frame used in the crossfade ) gives 15:53:24 ( 3:53:24 PM ) So, since Mackenzie's iPhone image IMG-2738.JPG was taken at 3:55:31 PM,and the +6 second still frame from his MVI-0888.MOV video has a real time of 3:53:24 PM, you are looking at an actual time separation of 2 minutes and 7 seconds in that CROSSFADE video.
Figure 16c. ( https://youtu.be/KCB1mcS22Ys ) This YouTube crossfade video from Christopher MacKenzie's iPhone 4S image IMG-2738.JPG, taken at (1555:31) 3:55:31 PM on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at the Yarnell HillFire, into the equivalent Google Earth terrain view. The YELLOW line represents the right-side edge of the image. Source: Google Earth, You Tube, and WTKTT
Figure 16d. ( https://youtu.be/B9emH4nYzs ) This YouTube video clip FADES between the Wade Parker texted photo and a still frame from +6 seconds into the Robert Caldwell video. Source: GMHS Caldwell (RiP), You Tube, WTKTT
Notice the FLAMES on the left hand side of the video as it fades between the two photos. The FLAMES ADVANCE in the Caldwell video photo and would appear to prove that the Wade Parker photo was shot before Robert Caldwell shot his video.
Figure 16e. ( https://youtu.be/fmz6HpmzXEs ) ABC News chopper 'Air15' YouTube video clip 01. This is the first clip of the 'Air 15' raw footage posted to YouTube. It was taken from the SOUTH side of the Yarnell area looking NORTH at the fireline circa 4:00 PM and coincides with the MacKenzie photos and video. The north side of the box canyon can be seen at the start of the video in the lower left corner of the video frame, before it ZOOMS into the fireline. The EAST side of the fireline has already reached the WEST end of the 'Harper Canyon' area. Source: Google Earth, YouTube, and WTKTT
Figure 16f. ( https://youtu.be/0Cj3ErMUl4c ) This is YouTube video clip 04 from the ABC15 'Air 15' Helicopter footage. It crossfades into the equivalent Google Earth ground location and then 'pans back' to show that this is a video clip of the fire encroaching on the west end of Harper Canyon circa 4:00 PM. Source: Google Earth, ABC15, YouTube, WTKTT
Figure 17. PDF JPEG images of numerous consecutive photos from numerous Anonymous-By-Request sources in time sequence from 1348 to 1624 indicating (1348) dozer working the "two track road ... an old fuel break ... in the Sesame Street and Shrine area; (1437) the Peeples valley FD Water Tender (WT) and a Central Yavapai FD Engine with the BRHS in the trees behind the WT; (1555) aggressive fire behavior taken from the radio tower East of Yarnell; (1604) separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes); (1608) increasing fire behavior embedded within the smoke column (plume) in the Glen Ilah Lakewood and Fountain Hills Drive area; (1624) separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) indicating increasing fire behavior in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area and spur roads taken from above Pat Bernard's place. Source: Peeples Valley FD; Anonymous-By-Request contributors; Yarnell FD FF Chuck Kristensen, and Sun City West FD.
Yes, of course, I have had some private sector wildland fire experience and now the basic wildland firefighter (S-130 & 190) training now, and other than my June 28-30, 2013, weekend on the Weaver Mountains and the YH Fire, lacking any actual bona fide on-the-ground fire experience, I have to rely on what experienced WFs and FFs share with me. From the perspectives of many WFs and FFs trained and experienced in wildland firefighting, these separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) that follow below definitely indicate some type of a firing operation is occurring; whereby the fire is intentionally ignited using a variety of pyrotechnic firing devices, (i.e. drip torches, fusees, and the like). Several WFs and FFs involved in the firing operation(s), have told me that "18 minutes before" the GMHS died is when at least one of the firing operation(s) took place in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area.
During the March 2019 AZ Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, the June 30, 2013, Lewis Dept. of Corrections (DOC) Crew Boss Jake Guadiana, who was working on the YH Fire and commented: "we watched those [smoke] columns all through the day." Guadiana was performing as a Group Supervisor for the M-410, Facilitative Instructor course, and told that to one of our contributing authors while discussing the YH Fire firing operation.
In other words, it is fairly safe to say that these several recurring, separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) visible in photo after photo, are and were NOT the result of spot fires from flying embers as some so desperately and obstinately want to believe. So then, were they instead the result of intentional firing operation(s)? Based on the totality of the photographic evidence and suppport from experienced WFs, I feel that there is support for that conclusion.
Figure 18. PDF JPEG two images of the same June 30, 2013, 1544 (3:44 PM) photo, from the Anonymous-By-Request, AZ State Forestry (ASF), and SAIT (left) and the one with inset (right) comments about being in GMHS Parker's (RiP) folder from a Public Records Request by Collura. The SAIT was unsure if GMHS or ASF Inmate Crew Carriers parked in a clearing in the Sesame Street area with very active fire behavior clearly visible in the background. This photo was never utilized or included in the SAIT-SAIR. Source: Anonymous-By-Request, AZ State Forestry, SAIT, Collura
These two photo images are the same photo. This photo on the left is from an Anonymous-By-Request homeowner and the one on the right is from a fulfilled Public Records Request by Joy A. Collura; and the right photo was mysteriously buried within the GMHS Wade Parker (RiP) folder. The specific explanatory details in the right margin were added by Collura. The faint, and yet legible, SAIT caption at the bottom of each photo reveals that this was likely a proposed SAIT-SAIR exhibit with the question mark "?" after the word "Figure" with bold emphasis added ("Figure ?"). The SAIT caption notes also that the SAIT was unsure whether they were the GMHS Crew Carriers or two of the many AZ State DOC Crew's Crew Carriers.
Unsurprisingly, neither of the two (identical) revealing photos on the subject of the GMHS Crew Carriers, specifically referred to within the SAIT-SAIR, ever made it into the SAIT-SAIR. Was that mere coincidence? ... Incompetence? ... A mere oversight? Not very likely. Or was it more likely intentional prevarication, fraud, falsification, misrepresentation, and / or malfeasance to fit the foregone conclusion? What do YOU think?
Consider now the five (5) enumerated, quoted, and page-referenced excerpts directly from the SAIT-SAIR referring to the GMHS Crew Carriers (Buggies) on June 30, 2013. (1) "The Granite Mountain IHC parks their crew carriers in a clearing about three-quarters of the way down Sesame Street." (p. 17) (2) "At about 1550, Air Attack tells DIVS A the fire is heading quickly toward Yarnell and ... the Granite Mountain IHC’s crew carriers may be in the path of the fire." (p. 22) (3) "BR Supt drops GM Lookout off at the Granite Mountain IHC Supt truck at about 1555 and then heads around the corner to get some of his crew to help move the Granite Mountain crew carriers." (p. 24) (4) "As BR Supt is en route to pick up drivers to move the Granite Mountain crew carriers, SPGS1 contacts him 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." (p. 24) (5) "Between 1530 and 1545, ... Around this time, drivers arrive at the Shrine area with the Granite Mountain crew carriers, and soon they are loading the Blue Ridge crewmembers and leaving the area." (p. 25) (emphasis added)
There you have it ... at least five (5) separate references to the GMHS Crew Carriers in the SAIT-SAIR, within the timeframes mentioned, without even one photo or reference to a photo of the GMHS Crew Carriers "in a clearing about three-quarters of the way down Sesame Street" or being "in the path of the fire ... [b]etween 1530 and 1545." Even though they had the photo revealing the GMHS Crew Carriers at that time and in that place with the active fire behavior in their SAIT file they clearly failed to post it in the SAIT-SAIR. Why did they fail to publish it in the SAIT-SAIR? Was it because this YH Fire was the third documented occurrence that the GMHS Crew Carriers had been threatened by active fire and someone else had to "save their Crew Carriers"(e.g. 2011 Sunflower Fire - TNF - AZ and the 2012 Holloway Fire - BLM - NV)?
In other words, a June 30, 2013, 1544 (3:44 PM) GMHS Crew Carriers photo would have been nigh perfect to augment the SAIT-SAIR with visible evidence of BOTH the fire behavior AND the GMHS Crew Carriers. Importantly, the GMHS Crew Carriers are clearly visible in the Sesame Street clearing at 3:44 PM (1544 hrs.), And earlier that morning, I took a photo of the of the GMHS Crew Carriers from the two-track road above on The Weavers; so you tell me - how is it that an experienced Hot Shot Crew in the same vicinity that I was in that day made the decision to hike down off the hill with aggressive fire behavior clearly visible ... and we made the decision to leave the area?
And now to add more fuel to the GMHS Crew Carriers parked in a clearing in the green, here are two Daily Courier links to an article and another link below to several of my photos, one of which is my own photo of those same GMHS Crew Carriers as shown in Figure 18 above. The first Daily Courier link strangely takes you to a lot of other links, so just scroll down to the article. The second link brings you to the article but you must first subscribe and pay in order to read it: "Heroes off to battle: Hikers' photos capture Hotshots' final hours"
( https://www.dcourier.com/news/2013/jul/21/heroes-off-to-battle-hikers-photos-capture-hotsho/ ) Joanna Dodder Originally Published: July 21, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Consider now some of the relevant excerpts from the above Daily Courier article:
"But they still had dozens of images of the fire and about 10 of the Hotshots. Hoping the unique photos might help with the investigation into the firefighter deaths, Joy and Sonny brought photos to one of the Prescott fire stations.
"There they saw a photo of Eric Marsh and realized he was the same person they talked to in the Weaver Mountains on that fateful June 30.
"They also sent an email to state fire spokesman Jim Paxon about the photos. 'Those will be marvelous photos for the investigative team to have,' Paxon told The Daily Courier.
"When Joy and Sonny later retraced their hike, Joy said a strong breeze went dead silent as they passed the spot where they had talked to the hotshot crew. ''Even to this day, it's surreal to me,' Joy said." (all emphasis added)
So then, how many of those Jim Paxon, State Fire mouthpiece "marvelous photos for the investigative team to have" did the SAIT actually both have ?? and factually consider ?? because only the one of the GMHS hiking up the two-track on the morning of June 30, 2013, actually made it into the SAIT-SAIR.
My photos are in the Yarnell 19 Blog Post link below.
"A simple compilation of images and documents from the Yarnell Hill Fire, June/July 2013, Yarnell, AZ.
"Wednesday, July 10, 2013
"Photos from the incident" ( http://yarnell19.blogspot.com/2013/07/ )
Figure 18a. June 30, 2013, Joy A. Collura photo of the same two GMHS Crew Carriers in the same Sesame Street clearing from a different angle as revealed in Figure 18 above. Source: Collura
NOTE ON FUELS: that area in the GMHS Crew Carrier photos above had some of the densest chaparral that I have seen in much of Arizona.
How is it that in the above ASF 1544 (3:44 PM) photo above in Figure 18, there is active fire behavior near the Sesame Street clearing but in the MacKenzie lower right photo above in Figure 15 there is no active fire behavior underneath the smoke column approximately 10 minutes later? And why is it still green (unburned) in the Sesame Street clearing area? Is this the same fire from a different angle or is it a totally different near Sesame Street clearing? Anyone?
Figure 19. PDF JPEG image of "Blowup to Burnover" Historical Fatality Wildfires and times for each.Fire behavior video links and clips in right magin are listed below. Source: WFSTAR, Schoeffler, Honda, Collura, WTKTT
YH Fire (second from bottom) was "52 minutes." Crossfade videos in right margin treated separately in Figures 20 and 20a below. The source:is the Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR) "Analysis of Burnovers - Twenty years of numbers shows us surprising statistics of categories of firefighter deaths. This module analyses the statistics of burnover fatalities." (NWCG)
"We complied data from as many burnover fatality fires as possible, going back to the 1930's and focused on two specific pieces of information; Time of Blowup and Time Of Burnover. Sixteen burnover fatality fires occurred between 1400 and 1630. On 15 of those fires, the burnovers occurred during this same timeframe. The average time spent from blowup to burnover, after removing anomalies, was 24 minutes." National Interagency Fire Center Published on Mar 26, 2014 ( https://www.nwcg.gov/publications/training-courses/rt-130/operations/op801 )
NOTE: No, none, zero, nada SAIT alleged "Investigators" or SAIT SMEs hiked any of the June 30, 2013, YH Fire Eyewitness Hikers' hiking routes or any of the YH Fire ground with either of them. The only ones that did were the ADOSH Investigators! Please recall that several WFs and FFs involved in the firing operation(s), have told me that "18 minutes before" the GMHS died is when at least one of the firing operation(s) took place took place in the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area. So, clearly, the YH Fire (and a few other wildland fatality fires) were TWICE the amount of time from blowup to burnover! As the saying goes: "What were they thinking?"
Figure 20. Local resident and Yarnell FD FF images of separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) from various Yarnell locations and email from photographer to ADOSH Investigator regadring his June 30, 2013, photos. Source: YFD Chuck Kristensen and Collura
Figure 20a. YouTube video titled: Arizona couple raises 75,00 spiders at their home. Published November 1, 2019. This video is by Yarnell FD FF Chuck Kristensen, a scientist with an analytical mind and thought process. Source: YouTube and Kristensen
An email from the Yarnell FD FF photographer to ADOSH investigator Krotenberg. It is significant that a trained and experienced Yarnell FD FF would recognize what his photographs represent with his rhetorical question / statement to the ADOSH Investigator: "I was wondering if the southerly plumes [smoke columns] were the ones that expanded to take out the firefighters and attack Glen Ilah.” (emphasis added) Even though it may appear that he was mincing his words with what he was suggesting to the ADOSH Investigator, this YFD FF knew exactly what he had witnessed and photographed and exactly what he was saying.
Figure 21. Cross-fade of ABC 15 News Helicopter video #18 of the YH Fire. Source: YouTube, Google Earth, WTKTT
This is a very good, overall cross-fade video revealing helicopter news video footage and locations of WFs, FFs, and specific other resources as the fire behavior increases and progresses. Well worth watching. This screenshot is during the 5:05 to 7:15 video segment with Northwesterly winds shifting almost 90-degrees to Northeasterly winds and associated fire behavior as the (simulated) fire front passes over the GMHS Deployment Zone / Fatality Site area topographically influenced by the ridgetop saddle and the large vertical sloping bowl above the Deployment Zone / Fatality Site upslope to that saddle.
Significantly, Bravo 33 John Burfiend (former USFS Hot Shot Supt., FMO, and Fire Staff) commented at the April 2016 GMHS Family Staff Ride, while standing at that site, that he had never seen fire behavior so extreme during his wildland fire career, as when the fire overran the GMHS and roared upslope through the ridgetop saddle.
Figure 21a. WTKTT Cross-fade video clip of the SAIT-SAIR "Figure 19" show the fire cresting the ridge top as seen near Congress, Arizona. Image courtesy of Matt Oss Photography" (SAIT-SAIR page 78) Source: Google Earth, YouTube, and WTKTT
This video provides fire behavior views from the Congress as well as the Yarnell sides of the YH Fire and where WFs and FFs and equipment were located.
Figure 22. PDF JPEG images of ongoing June 30, 2013, YH Fire photographs - from various locations in Yarnell - indicating several separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) and increasing fire behavior along the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area. Source: PVFD and Anonymous-By-Request contributors
Figure 23. PDF JPEG images of numerous consecutive photos from numerous Anonymous-By-Request and Fire Department sources in time sequence from 1504 (3:04 PM) to 1646 (4:46 PM) indicating either increasing fire behavior or separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) or both. (1504) Sun City West FD Type 6 Engine in Shrine area; (1511 & 1528) PVFD Water Tender in the Shrine area; (1556) numerous WFs and FFs and vehicles along Hwy. 89 in Yarnell; (1645 & 1646) FFs and WFs in the Peeples Valley area. Source: PVFD and Anonymous-By-Request contributors
Several photos (above) from two Anonymous-by-Request Yarnell, AZ residents on June 30, 2013, mid- to late PM denoting separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) in three of the four photos of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area. NOTE: the upper middle photo text comments observing that: "spot fires quickly developed ahead of [the] main fire" from the "last house at the end of Westward Dr. near [the BSR]."
Figure 23a. Google Earth image with the photgrapher's position in black circle (Happy Way and Crest Way) at the bottom center and sight of line view with various inserts. Source: Google Earth and Joy A. Collura
The lower right photo insert it states: pay attention to the two obvious separate and distinct [smoke] columns and look on [the] map again and follow the sight of line for the photographer which the time matters - please pay attention to the gap between Harper Canyon, where they state the big bad fire came from - where the man in this photo - his son was the "lookout" over in that Shrine / Harper Canyon area
Figure 23b. Google Earth overlay from a higher perspective of Figure 23a above. Source: Google Earth
When I was at United Way is when I first met the "REDACTED" Family and their story and I do remember them sharing about Steed's family helping them in the clearing of their property. Before the YH Fire, the only time I heard the "REDACTED" name was tied to the American Legion in Yarnell and Kirkland Mines. Bill Monroe, KQNA News, 1130 AM stated 21 December 2013: "REDACTED", were the first uninsured homeowners to break ground after the fire.
Figure 24. Figure 24. "After the Yarnell Fire" video screenshots and snippets of aggressive fire behavior in the Harper Canyon and Sesame Street / Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor. Source: 12 News and YouTube
Regarding Figure 24. PDF JPEG image of the "After the Yarnell Fire" video screenshots and Snippets of aggressive fire behavior in the Harper Canyon and Sesame Street / Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area. Source: 12 News and YouTube
After receiving a Yarnell resident's letter and with the request of our legal counsel, the Figures 23, 23a, and the two above 24 Screenshot Snippets, obtained from the "After the Yarnell Fire" (12 News and Peter Scholz) video, detailed in the Figure 23, 23a, 24 caption above, this "REDACTED' and 'REDACTED ONLY' text above has replaced the screenshot Snippets with explanatory text originally located on Figures 23, 23a, and 24, respectively on this post.
The source of the two respective screenshot Snippets can be seen in the "After the Yarnell Fire" video at these respective times (left at 1:28) and (right at 1:30) and had the video times indicated in the lower left corners of the screenshot Snippets. The resident's quotes from the video were inserted onto the screenshot Snippets and indicated that the intense fire behavior in the video came "right through that [Harper] Canyon from up on the hill" and "that little [Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area] draw there." I have added the actual geographic locations in brackets because I am very familiar with the areas talked about in the video, which is provided in the following link ( https://youtu.be/TUNeCgHRY8g ).
I want the world aware that the "REDACTED" family had zero involvement in Part 1 of 5. If anything they prefer to "live in the present and not relive that horrible tragic day of loss over and over." Factually, when I inform people before a draft becomes "live" to the world I never want people to feel like I "hood-winked" them. I send notes that their stories are due out. It is a difficult path always because some cannot be informed because where they lay in this but I do make every attempt to share before writing unless you are already all over Google search return but say people like the locals I do try and let them know- Some thank me and appreciate the "heads up" and some do not- the "REDACTED" are ones who were not appreciative to be informed because did I base how they would feel ??? Indeed and always I try to consider the emotions of each person as I begin to tell the rest of the Yarnell Hill Fire events (except 3% will come out in another way) -
However, their response was very well written and straight forward and I really cannot omit their story based on emotions then I become another biased person which has been the causal factor on the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill Fire when sharing its realisms. It seem direct and firm they do not give permission for me to share as I did on this Part 1 of 5. It will remain because it is all "public information" just re-done to make sense to people learning who is who and what is what to this fire. They feel strongly this was "personal" June 30, 2013. My apologies again to anyone by me sharing the way I do but I have to follow God's plan to begin to show more in depth the Shrine to Sesame Corridor and its spur roads. I was not at all bullied from post 1 of 5 but I did get solid clarification the "REDACTED" family do not approve of it.
If we all were to share about "wrongdoing(s), whether it’s done to you or me or to someone else, more times than not bringing the problem(s) to public awareness - people want to "hold on to it" like it is their own ("personal") but God has our plans. I know as the eyewitness to YH Fire people were okay with us but a shift happened when I began to gather the FOIAs and Public Records early on and I remember a mid-size world municipality executive level public official told me ages ago to watch out for one specific law professor for she tried to discredit the eyewitness in their talk and this official really thinks the hikers are a breath of fresh air sharing humbly our moment never asking for any gains just photo credit. He liked our "common sense" -
I have been more attacked and vilified in the aftermath of this tragedy - for trying to bring out a very confusing level of entities to the front. My personality and personal and professional history has been a target for so many who never even knew me so I will show more about me in Part 4 and 5 so at least you can learn who I am.
Have you ever noticed anyone who goes against the grain - people look to see what is wrong with that person or make shit up to fit their comfort levels to their own ways of thinking- Criticism comes with the territory when I began to share my eyewitness account I learned that early on. I think this: "human factor" is real. I remember each generation that has happened we were taught not to "tattle" - we go through life building a resentment to those who do -
I have to share the reality of our society and I have to bring the documents to the front. Many times I am asked "Do you have the undeniable proof that firing operations occurred? Any photos of the actual ignition? Or first hand knowledge?" First off I am unwilling to discuss that on an un-encrypted line or in person until I properly place this all out the way it needs to organically. I can tell you this I would NEVER place words out to intentionally or unintentionally have ill-intent or harm and I am in this to ensure "human factors" are a focus and really to awaken others how important their safety means to me. I would not drop my "housewife hiker" easy way to living life to engage if I did not feel God's message is crucial to not just Yarnell but so many prior, current and future fires.
The above screenshot snippets, obtained from the "After the Yarnell Fire" video at the respective video times (left at 1:28) and (right at 1:30) indicated in the lower left corner timelines. The resident's quotes from the video are inserted onto the screenshots and indicate that the intense fire behavior in the video came "right through that [Harper] Canyon from up on the hill" and "that little [Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area] draw there." ( https://youtu.be/TUNeCgHRY8g )
These two June 30, 2013, photos in Figure 25 (below) are the 1629 (4:29 PM) (left) and 1631 (4:31 PM) (right), respective photos and are fairly key to the dramatic exponentially increased fire behavior that resulted from the likely firing operation in the Sesame Street and Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor area. This exponential fire growth phenomenon is addressed in more detail below at Figure 49b.
The above screenshot snippets, were obtained from the "After the Yarnell Fire" video at the respective video times (left at 1:28) and (right at 1:30) indicated in the lower left corner timelines. The resident's quotes from the video indicate that the intense fire behavior in the video came "right through that [Harper] Canyon from up on the hill" and "that little [Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area] draw there." ( https://youtu.be/TUNeCgHRY8g )These two June 30, 2013, photos below from Figure 25 (1629 and 1631, respectively) are fairly key to the exponentially increased fire behavior that resulted from the firing operation in the Sesame Streetand Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor. This exponential fire growth phenomenon is addressed in more detail below at Figure 49b.
Figure 25. PDF JPEG images of YH Fire on June 30, 2013, 1629 (4:29 PM) photo on left taken by Brian Lauber (ASF) from near the Ranch House restaurant along Hwy. 89, indicating very aggressive fire behavior from the north. The left side of the image contains Google Earth overlay of the GMHS MacKenzie video & photo spot, GMHS final rest spot, and GMHS departure point from their Safety Zone, turned Deployment / Fatality Site (RED icon); midslope two-track road (YELLOW line); GMHS Descent point (RED icon); GMHS Descent path (GREEN line); GMHS Deployment Zone (RED icon); and the Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR) (ORANGE icon). And the 1631 (4:31 PM) image on the right also exhibits very aggressive fire behavior from the north with the GMHS Deployment Zone behind and below the rocky ridge indicated by the vertical RED line. Source: Brian Lauber and WTKTT (left) and ABC News (right)
The GMHS were hiking downhill (from above) within a deadly bowl, from their descent point (Figure 25) down into this aggressively increasing fire behavior from below, (1) without posting a lookout; (2) without DIVS A notifying his supervisor of this major tactical move after being told by OPS to "hunker and be safe;" and (3) without notifying Air Attack of their intentions, changing location(s), and /or their action(s).
This article and the link below contain a slide show where the ABC News 15 (Figure 25 - right) June 30, 2013, 1631 (4:31 PM) image resides. "Tribute center for Granite Mountain Hotshots ready to open. It's a new way to remember the Yarnell 19." Author: Jessica De Nova - Published: 5:51 PM MST June 25, 2018.
The ABC News 15 photo was taken on the afternoon of June 30, 2013, few hundred yards south of the Ranch House Restaurant, on the East side of Highway 89 and looking out towards the box canyon and the GMHS deployment site. The ABC News 15 photo was taken at exactly 1631 (4:31 PM), just 8 minutes (480 seconds) before GMHS Steed’s first emergency radio call that they were cut off, recorded at exactly 4:39 PM. taken with a network-connected iPhone 4S that always obtains accurate date/time information directly from the cellular network. The original photo had all that (accurate) EXIF metadata embedded within itself. These photos show exactly how and when the fireline was entering the box canyon, and it also appears to disprove a number of claims made in the original SAIT-SAIR, regarding their fire above and fire below fabrication, that allegedly trapped the GMHS.as depicted in the SAIT-SAIR Figure 18. idealized image on page 77.
This 1631 (4:31 PM) photograph was used to create a through the looking glass’ crossfade video from the photograph itself into the absolute equivalent ‘Google Earth’ view. After the crossfade, it ‘flies around’ the Yarnell/Glen Ilah area showing exactly where the fireline was at 1631 (4:31 PM) as seen in the photo. The video ends back where it starts (right where the photo was taken) and then ‘crossfades’ back up into the original photo again. That photo ‘crossfade’ and ‘fly-around’ is here. Video Title: Yarnell-1631-crossfade-1
( https://youtu.be/_p6h5m6_W0k ) And here is just some of the (relevant) EXIF Metadata embedded in the original photograph if interested (below).
Filename: MARY NGUYEN 13 photo_1467319342345_3610850_ver1.0.jpg Item type: JPG File Size: 752 KB Date taken: 6/30/2013 4:31 PM Program name: ProCamera 4.1 Color representation: sRGB Camera maker: Apple Camera model: iPhone 4S F-stop: f/2.4 Exposure time: 1/40 sec. ISO speed: ISO-50 Focal length: 4mm
Considering some of what Prussian Field Marshall Moltke had in mind about “strategic thinking,” this instance of “discussing our options” and whether to abandon the safety of good black comes to mind. After all, they had gotten away with something similar before on the 2012 Holloway Fire in Nevada and Oregon according to PFD Public Records. And another relevant quote by Dorner: “A sensible and effective measure in one set of circumstances can become a dangerous course of action when conditions change.” (emphasis added) (1998)
Likely capitulating to the insidious forces of Groupthink, it looks like the GMHS experienced the following according to Dorner: “Furthermore, the violations of safety rules were by no means ‘exceptions’ committed for the first time. They had all been committed before – if not in this precise sequence – without consequences. They had become established habit in an established routine. The operators did things this way because it was the way they had always done them before.” (emphasis added) (1998)
Dorner is right on point regarding the GMHS Normalization of Deviance and unsafe past practices. The GMHS "violations of safety rules were by no means ‘exceptions’ committed for the first time. They had all been committed before ... without consequences. They had become established habit in an established routine. The [GMHS] did things this way because it was the way they had always done them before."
A retired HS Supt. shared with me about the October 2013, SW Region Hot Shot After-Action-Review (AAR), when a YH Fire "site visit" was included. During the Integration Phase, one of the long term HS Supts. stated: "This is the final, fatal link, in a long chain of bad decisions with good outcomes, We saw this coming for years." He said about eight (8) HS Supts. and Assistants spoke up and said they had all tried peer pressure unsuccessfully for years to address the problem with the GMHS.
Dorner once again: “People are most inclined to insist they are right when they are wrong and when they are best by uncertainty. (It even happens that people prefer their incorrect hypotheses to correct ones and will fight tooth and nail rather than abandon an idea that is demonstrably false) … most individuals in the thick of complex situations are not, or not yet, wise.” (emphasis added) (1998) It certainly appears that this was one of the many causal factors with the GMHS on June 30, 2013.
Everyone can see things far off but is blind to what is near.– Sophocles
The GMHS was certainly blind to what was near and "courting disaster" while engaged in "destructive goal pursuit" when they hiked down into this Friendly Fire along the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area firing operation inferno. "Destructive Goal Pursuit" refers to the "negative and potentially disastrous consequences of the non reflective pursuit of ambitious goals. ... [the 1996 Mt. Everest] mountain climbing accident is a vivid example of what can happen when people focus on accomplishing narrow goals at the expense of learning. ... When narrow goals force learning to take a back seat in the minds of leaders, they are courting disaster. … the explanation for what went awry seems to be as elusive today as it was in 1996." (emphasis added) Source: Hayes, D.C. (2006) Destructive Goal Pursuit. The Mount Everest Disaster.
In the search for answers, why would a leader continue to pursue a goal despite mounting evidence it could not be obtained? When goals replace learning as a primary motivator, the destructive pursuit of goals begins to take form. Recall the October 2013 YH Fire site visit Integration Phase comment by on the experienced SW Area HS Supts: "This is the final, fatal link, in a long chain of bad decisions with good outcomes, We saw this coming for years."
Click on this link to reveal the five clues that God is changing your course.
1 You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily Fon the road revealed by God.
2 You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.
3 That's right - you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.
4 You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it.
5 Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set;
6 Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.
7 I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
8 I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me.
Notwithstanding computer glitches, including the Windows 10 'gift that keeps on giving,' we did our best to address some of the "Underneath every simple, obvious story about human error,’ there is a deeper, more complex story - a story about the system in which people work" portions of our post. And the same goes for answering some of the question of: "Will these formerly unrevealed public records change the account of what occurred on June 30, 2013?" We sincerely apologize for any delayed and /or unexpected downtime and frustrations you may have unfortunately experienced. Thank you for visiting and please pass it along to others
Please proceed to Part 2 of 5 Formerly Unrevealed Public Records Should Change the Account of What Occurred on June 30, 2013. (November 28, 2019 -Happy Thanksgiving- within the week we should be back to working on Part 2 for publishing it - it is still in "draft" mode.) Sorry for this week's webpage glitches.
UPDATED near and below Figure 12 because of the topic of the photo - I added comment in response to recent texts today. Site is in DRAFT mode 11-26-19 3PM for a few hours to allow contributing author to fix font size on figures.
UPDATED November 27, 28, 29, 2019, with various edits on fonts, figures, images, hyperlinks, factual or typographical errors, and text.