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Credible evidence of June 30, 2013, "friendly fire" incidents in the Sesame / Shrine Corridor area?

Contributing Author - Douglas Fir


Views expressed to "the public at largeand "of public concern"

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This YHFR post derives, in part, from our 2020 Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) conference paper titled:  Credible evidence continues to surface regarding a likely "friendly fire" incident along the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area on June 30, 2013. The abstract follows with the full paper below.

On June 30, 2013, nineteen Prescott F.D. Granite Mountain Hot Shots (GMHS) were entrapped and killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire, an Arizona State Forestry wildfire. The Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) conclusion published in the Serious Accident Investigation Report (SAIR) (September 2013) unbelievably stated they found “no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol.”


Discussed in the SAIT-SAIR, a planned firing operation along old roads relying on previous fuel mitigation and new dozer line to backfire from was concluded as no longer an option. Mid-afternoon wind shear, caused more active fire behavior with spotting. The two-mile flanking fire became more head fire-like and moved southeasterly. Based on video-audio footage and WF-FF Hearsay Exceptions, evidence is presented that several independent WF-FF groups likely fired off this corridor without communicating these actions, while the GMHS vacated their Safety Zone and hiked downhill toward the supposedly threatened Ranch. “Destructive goal pursuit” is the single basic error attributed to all catastrophes, because seemingly unrelated elements interacting with others, the side effects and outcomes never assessed, soon become problems never considered possible. Notwithstanding mounting evidence that it was unattainable, why would the GMHS continue to pursue their precariously dubious Ranch attempt?


Research indicates the greater insecurity a group feels of their chance of achieving goals, the harder they try. The more likely they considered failure, the more entrenched their behavior became. As they observed adverse fire weather and fire behavior - they interpreted conditions more negatively than reality, searching for further evidence to suggest the failure likelihood, while the indicators caused them to put even more effort into goal achievement. The GMHS, stressed and distracted, must have felt their only option was to vacate their Safety Zone. Research of audible and visual tests on adult humans, measured acuity loss while engaged in attention-narrowing activities. Under stressful conditions while focused intently on visual tasks, auditory stimuli decreased significantly. Conversely, when the subjects focused on spoken messages, the visual image activity diminished. Therefore, when attention is focused to one event, it essentially detracts from another task. Furthermore, a person intently listening to audible cues, (e.g. radio or cell phone) could have diminished visual performance, and someone intently visually focused on something could have diminished hearing. Thus, tunnel vision and auditory exclusion are real, dangerously impacting the way wildland firefighters do their jobs.


This tragedy demonstrates remarkable recklessness in the face of a desperately planned goal. It seems they only cared about getting down to the Helm’s Ranch. They knew better yet wanted something badly enough to ignore their gut feelings, defined as destructive goal pursuit. Goal setting, critical thinking, and other decision-making and leadership characteristics are addressed, as well as goal-setting, single-mindedness, and poor leadership dysfunctions often resulting in disaster; what can happen when goals are placed above all else, concealing possible dire consequences. Some human behavior details are covered attempting to draw leadership lessons from this tragedy to avert similar future similar circumstances wildfire tragedies, of the going-too-far goal setting perils.

Citing former Special Forces soldier turned Investigative Journalist, Jack Murphy, "At the end of the day, you can't make everyone happy, and why would you even want to? Part of being a man means that you make enemies because you stand for something. ... The truth is horrifying, and people will hate you for telling it." Find some other profession besides investigative journalism if you want to be well liked. (p. 251) (emphasis added)


"There is a double standard, and powerful individuals want to control the overall narrative and claim credit for operational events without people like us getting in their way. (p. 255) (emphasis added)


"Covering scandals in the military has made me an unpopular individual. People are angrier that a former member of the special operations community writes about things ... groupthink is strong in the military and many will never break free from it." (p. 219) Adversity is a great way to find out which of your friends are the real deal and which are just superficial pretenders. Real soldiers don't run from the truth, even if it's ugly." (p. 220) (emphasis added)


"People engage in groupthink to create a consensus mentality. If you step outside of their moral guidelines, they use shaming techniques to disconnect you from your network." (p. 254) (emphasis added)

"Friendly fire" in military combat actions is, and has been, a common, albeit ignored or discounted occurrence, since the very beginnings of warfare. In this post, we will utilize military warfare as an analog for wildland firefighting, and then use burning out, firing, and /or backfiring operations resulting in near misses and / or deaths as an analog for military operations resulting in friendly fire. We may make occasional references to the word "backburn" - a hybrid FF weasel word term that seems to have gained some sort of debatable acceptance in the wildland firefighting world when it is / was used by regarding a FF in context.

Given that, we will now consider, several germane, paraphrased excerpts used as analogues for wildland fire incidents of friendly fire, from the book titled: "Amicicide: The problem of Friendly Fire in Modern War" by Lt. Colonel Charles R. Shrader, US Army Command and General Staff College. Fort Leavenworth, KS (2005 - reprinted from the 1982 edition) (all emphasis below is added)


( https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=2ahUKEwiU24vcjI_pAhU_HjQIHXQeDVIQFjAHegQICBAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapps.dtic.mil%2Fdtic%2Ftr%2Ffulltext%2Fu2%2Fa211713.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0Y8tsSrsAtriURYCna9qLH )


Let the analogs begin. In sum, this Yarnell Hill Fire Revelations (YHFR) post claims only a narrative exposition of selected examples of "separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) revealing a wildland firing operation. " Therefore, its conclusions must be considered highly speculative and tentative in nature. (p. viii)


Inasmuch as speculation on such slim and slippery data is likely to be misleading, it is perhaps better to turn our attention to the less finite, but more satisfying, narrative description of specific instances of friendly fire. (p. xii)


The key factor in wildland friendly fire, as in other types, is the ever-present element in battle, human error. ( p. 1)


Direct human error seems to be the most significant causative factor.

(p. 25) In view of the potentially negative drastic effects of friendly fire incidents on wildland fires, it should remain an actively sought goal.


Given the dearth of literature on the subject, ... So far, that has been the case for the YH Fire as well as military friendly fire incidents as well.


While it is possible to discern cases of amicide [friendly fire] in individual near miss and fatality reports, ... We have accomplished this in some cases using the WLF LLC Incident Reviews or WF anecdotes included below.


Friendly fire incidents on wildland fires are the natural product of the fog of battle. In every wildland fire, inexperienced and nervous WFs and FFs, poorly planned or inadequately coordinated operations, and occasionally poor firing discipline or true mistaken identification result in friendly forces inadvertently engaging each other with friendly fire. (p. 101) In at least two of the separate firing operations, the personnel were, in fact, hybrid FFs with little wildland fire experience, much less firing operations experience. And one was an inexperienced wildland Engine Boss that was told to fire their way out by an unknown alleged fireline supervisor ... and so they did.


By far the most causative factor in all wildland firing operation incidents have been some lack of communication and / or coordination between units was the primary cause. (p. 102) Exactly what occurred on one of the the firing operations when there was no communication or coordination between / among adjoining forces, both Engine Crews igniting and the GMHS failing to communicate their intentions and positions.


The measures required to prevent them are also simple in concept and easy in achievement. Firing operations must be planned and thoroughly coordinated with detailed attention given to the possible occurrence of friendly fire possibilities. (pp. 102-103)


While human error cannot be eliminated from wildland fire operations, its incidence and effects can be attenuated somewhat if the attention is given it by those charged with the responsibilities of the safety and welfare of the lives of WFs and FFs and the fates.


This post, limited though it has been by the time available for its preparation and the inadequacies of the available evidence, nevertheless permits some tentative conclusions to be drawn, and each incident, standing by itself provides some insight into the rare, yet possible, problem of friendly fire incidents on wildland fires.


Given the obvious weaknesses of the actual numbers, these quantities must be viewed as a rough estimate of the order of magnitude. Errors due to direct human error predominated. The largest number of incidents (due to lack of adequate coordination). (p. 118)


Paraphrasing Regan, 'while there have been many different reasons for individual accidents in battle, human error consistently has been present in all of them, and this is something that everyone ... must learn to accept. In order to reduce the number of friendly fire incidents, we must learn to gain acceptance, to come to terms with the existence of the problem, rather than attempting to hush it up or sweep it under the carpet.' (emphasis added) (Regan 1995)


Sound familiar? Like the YH Fire and the email regarding the YH Fire Staff Ride, between BRHS Supt. Frisby and the USFS Human Dimensions Joseph Harris regarding so much of the evidence "swept under the rug."


According to BRHS Supt. Frisby the "human factors ... were ... off the charts ... that day" according to Frisby. Furthermore and even worse, "there was so much that went on that day that is being swept under the rug."Frisby realized the value of the June 30, 2013, events fearing that they may be lost or discounted, he hopes for the best with this statement: "I would love the opportunity to talk about it. believe there is a lot to be learned from this event and if we are to adopt this as an agency we need to get it right." (YHFR Part 3 of 5 - Figure 61. Dec. 21, 2019)


Figure 2. April 12, 2016, email regarding the YH Fire Staff Ride, "Human Factors!" from BRHS Supt. Brian Frisby to the USFS alleged Human Dimensions specialist Joseph Harris regarding "so much that went on that day that is being swept under the rug. Source: ??


There is obviously a conflict of evidence between the official, alleged SAIT-SAIR "Factual" report and the evidence available and given by those actually involved that fateful day. "This conflict of evidence is so wide that one is left with no other conclusion than that someone is lying as part of a cover-up." (Regan 1995)


"Truth may be the first victim in [wildfires], but there is no reason that truth should continue to be denied once the [fire] has ended. Many WFs and FFs and civilians know the truth of the events that led to the deaths of these men. Nothing is gained by cover-ups except delay, the truth cannot be permanently suppressed." (emphasis added) (Regan 1995) This has been occurring in the military since early warfare in Greece and now in the wildland fire world. And the truth being suppressed? That's been going on since the Mann Gulch Fire. (1949)


"With regard to leadership capabilities, his inflexibility was to be both his own undoing and almost his entire command. Discipline was one thing, but a closed mind was no adequate response to the crisis that would unfold. And one is and will be for a long time struggling for an explanation of what happened here." (emphasis added) (Regan 1995)


Address this about EM using post from commenters



Consider now a couple of recent WLF LLC posts titled: Has Nothing Changed? and What We Learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire Deaths (November 2018) Has Nothing Changed? November 1, 2018 / wildfire lessons - By Wildland Fire LLC Travis Dotson

( https://wildfirelessons.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/has-nothing-changed/ )

Pay particular attention to the insight of commenter "alex" who obviously speaks from experience, with some authority, with a fair amount of knowledge about the YH Fire debacle, the GMHS tragedy, working around / with some Hot Shot Crews, and the causal human factors that is counter to the SAIT-SAIR. Kudos to you "alex" and thank you for speaking your mind and sharing your thoughts.

"What We Learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire Deaths"

alex - November 2, 2018 at 10:05 am

"What we learned from Yarnell Hill. As an industry we learned that Arizona state OSHA and the Arizona Dept. of Forestry have very different interpretations of what needs changed and who might be to blame. We also learned that absolutely no one knows what actually happened. By now we have learned that people want to put a sticker on their hardhat, lament the tragedy and pretend like it never happened." (emphasis added)

On the contrary, there are plenty of WFs and FFs and Supervisors that were there that day that know exactly what actually happened ... and why.

And they "know exactly what actually happened" that day, and that include yourselves - those reading this post. You do know exactly what happened, you just don't exactly know why!They were just firefighters. This is not what they were trained [to do]. Hotshots are never “just firefighters”. Hotshots are the elite of firefighting. They answer to no one below a division supervisor on the hill, they make decisions affecting the entire fire, they communicate with adjoining resources when they deem it necessary, they are completely independent of the fire to the point that they don’t even stay in camp with the 'just firefighters'. All of this culminates into a culture of machismo and elitism so strong that 19 people died and no one has any clue why they moved, where they were going or even what their intention was. How is it that we have hundreds of people operating on the line every day who have no accountability and are given such amazing leeway to make whatever decision they want without any outside input that 19 people died with the entire fire thinking that they were in a safety zone up to the moment they futilely tried to break through the radio chatter to try to get support." (emphasis added)

The guy is actually more on point than he realizes in many respects from the WFs and FFs that engage in wildland firefighting that I have talked to over the years since this tragedy occurred. And the "19 people died and no one has any clue why they moved, where they were going or even what their intention was" is classic GMHS pattern under the GMHS leadership.

"I know that if I took my crew out of a safety zone to march through decadent brush, without communicating with anyone, on a day when shifting, strong winds were expected. If I survived, I would be prosecuted." (emphasis added)

Prosecuted may be a bit much but chastised for sure. And more than likely you would not do that nor hopefully, have you done that.

"The fire culture of elitism allows crews to operate with no oversight and little accountability as long as the word “hotshot” is written across their vehicles." (emphasis added)

There is some truth to his claim about the fire culture of elitism allowing crews to operate with no oversight and little accountability as long as the word “hotshot” is written across their vehicles.

"This isn't about the inherent danger of the industry." (emphasis added)

Except for the Draconian punishment for foolishly marching through decadent brush without communication during strong winds, alex once again, is more on point than he realizes. It is a rather foolish and quite dangerous habit to hike through the unburned that fits right into the "Normalization of Deviance" and the "Bad Decisions With Good Outcomes" category worthy of some serious correction. And prosecuted for sure for being responsible for killing your men.

Whether alex or anyone else likes it or believes it or not, it really is "about the inherent danger of the industry" because wildland firefighting in general and Hot Shot Crews in particular, are key components of the wildland fire industry; so they are just gonna have to get over it and deal with it ... unless they want to be a part of changing it in order to reduce WF and FF wildfire fatalities.

alex - November 21, 2018 at 10:43 am "Please forgive me if this comes off as argumentative or insensitive. The impression that hotshot crews operate independent of instruction comes not only from decades of working next to them but also from the fact that 19 of them died and even now, no one has any idea what they were doing or why they left the safety of the black. Yes Eric Marsh was assigned as the Div. Sup. and this led to even less communication outside of that crew and no oversight whatsoever as the only overhead assigned to supervise that was part of the crew. Obviously the plan formulated by boots on the ground was bought (sic) into by the Div. Sup. because he was a crewmember and probably helped to create it. This is not independent? Who did he run that plan by that was his supervisor?" (emphasis added)

As stated above, on the contrary, there are plenty of WFs and FFs and Supervisors that were there that day that know exactly what they were doing. And a pretty good "idea why they left the safety of the black." And that includes yourselves - those reading this post. For one, no one held a literal gun to their heads and forced them to leave the black. They left of their own free will. Figuratively, they may have succumbed to the "perception is reality" fallacy so often bandied about and therefore, they may have felt emotionally compelled to obey an unsafe order.

Under stress, perception can have the force of reality. Make reality the reality."The point that I am trying to make is that while hotshots may be “problem solvers” or “the tip of the spear” ,they are still given more latitude than any other resource outside of smokejumpers. This is viewed as carte blanche to operate any way they feel. I have personally seen the results of this in having backburns lit under my crew by hotshot crews that no one knew were in the area, having aerial resources currently In (sic) use redirected by hotshots without any communication whatsoever, having hotshot supervisors give direction to my crewmembers without any recognition of chain of command and literally countless times that my crew has had to work adjacent to them only to have them pretend like we didn’t exist and I receive nothing but condescension, disdain and impatience from the supervisor when I make an attempt to communicate with adjoining resources (talk to the hotshots). Nothing has changed in regards to this behavior. I received that exact condescension, and disdain this season even." (emphasis added)

Once again, Mr. alex is actually more on point than he realizes in many respects from the WFs and FFs that engage in wildland firefighting that I have talked to over the years concerning his views on HS Crews, albeit somewhat jaded or maybe just experienced.

"Nowhere is this more obvious than the example of Yarnell. 19 people died, no one has any idea what they were doing or where they were going. There was no attempt to inform anyone of their movements or their intentions. No one seems to find that strange. It’s just part of how hotshots operate.. Where I work, operating adjacent to a hotshot crew is the 19th watchout situation." (emphasis added)

On the contrary, there are plenty of WFs and FFs and Supervisors that were there that day that do, in fact, have many ideas what they were doing and where they were going. And their Watch Out #19 is Death From Above includes overhead because after all, they are known to make bad decisions from time to time, (i.e. Holloway Fire 2012).

"There was no attempt to inform anyone of their movements or their intentions" is very accurate because that is the way the GMHS were known to do things. The same applies to the WFs and FFs performing the likely Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area firing operation." (emphasis added)

There were many Structure / Municipal FFs, often referred to as "Hybrids," on the June 30, 2013, YH Fire that performed quite well. And there were others not so much. These "others" may have been the ones involved with the likely firing operation. And the fact that alex use the colloquial term "backburn" reveals to me that he (or she) is possibly a "Hybrid" FF and not a "real" WF. As stated above, on the contrary, there are plenty of WFs and FFs and Supervisors that were there on the YH Fire that fateful that day that knew exactly what they were doing and where they were going; and none of them were entrapped, deployed fire shelters, or died.

( https://wildfirelessons.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/has-nothing-changed/ )


Credible Evidence Continues to Surface Regarding a likely “Friendly Fire” Incident along the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor Area on June 30, 2013

Fred J. Schoeffler², Lance Honda², and Joy A. Collura²

¹ Sheff LLC Pine, United States of America

² Prineville, United States of America

³ Yarnell Hill Fire Revelations, Congress, United States of America

dougfir777@yahoo.com


Abstract. On June 30, 2013, nineteen Granite Mountain Hot Shots (GMHS) perished on the Yarnell Hill Fire. The Serious Accident Investigation Team - Report conclusion states: “no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol.”(emphasis added) Was an unfeasible firing operation dismissed? Video-audio and Hearsay-Exception evidence indicated uncollaborated independent action while GMHS hiked downhill through unburned fuels. Was there a concurrent rogue firing operation? Indications of an unfeasible goal pursuit continued with everything contradicting a sound plan. Contemplated failure led to more entrenched behaviors. Weather deterioration and increased fire behavior were interpreted unrealistically. Both visual and auditory stimuli decreased significantly under stress; listening to cues weakened vision - intense visual cues diminished hearing triggering tunnel vision and auditory exclusion. Fixated goal setting, non-critical thinking, indecision-making, single-mindedness, and leadership dysfunctions concealing possible dire consequences resulted in disaster. “Friendly Fire” decisions and actions are discussed for lessons to reduce similar tragedies.

Keywords: Wildland Fire ∙ Hearsay Exception ∙ Tunnel Vision ∙ Auditory Exclusion ∙ Destructive Goal Pursuit ∙ Friendly Fire


Introduction


On June 30, 2013, nineteen Prescott F.D. Granite Mountain Hot Shots (GMHS) were entrapped and killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire. The Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) conclusion published in their Report (SAIR) (Sept. 2013) questionably stated they found “no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol” (emphasis added) [1]. A firing operation along old roads in the Sesame Street - Shrine Corridor improved with a dozer to backfire from was unfeasible [1]. This paper posits evidence of several independent WF-FF groups likely firing off the Corridor area - without collaborating their actions - while the GMHS left their Safety Zone (S/Z) and hiked downhill toward a supposed “at-risk” Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR) [1-5].


Destructive goal pursuit is deemed the single basic error credited to all disasters [6]. Seemingly unrelated elements interacting with others when their side effects and outcomes are unassessed, soon become problems never considered possible. Research indicates the greater insecurity a group feels of their chance of achieving goals, the harder they try [6]. Despite mounting evidence that it was unfeasible, why would the GMHS continue to pursue their BSR attempt? Surely, they observed adverse fire weather and fire behavior – yet, they unrealistically interpreted those conditions, seeking more evidence implying failure as likely. These signs would ultimately influence them to put even more effort into their fatal BSR goal pursuit that surely seemed counterintuitive [6]. Being so totally leader-dependent was detrimental to the GMHS.


The GMHS - dehydrated, tired, stressed, distracted – somehow felt the need to vacate their S/Z. Research indicates that under stressful conditions while focused intently on visual tasks, auditory stimuli decreases significantly [7]. Conversely, when focused on spoken messages, the visual image activity diminishes. So, a WF intently listening to audible cues, (e.g. radio or cell phone), could have diminished visual performance; a WF intently visually focused could have diminished hearing. Notable hastiness in the face of a desperately pursued goal, they focused on the BSR. They knew better, ignored their training, logic, and gut feelings because of destructive goal pursuit [6]. Hence, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, and the bizarre destructive goal pursuit are bona fide, potentially critical threats that pose unusual hazards for wildland firefighting [6-7].


Wildfire Rules - Firing Operations - Friendly Fire - Hearsay Rules

Former U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Fire Director Jerry Williams stated: “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“ [8].


“Wildland fire is a high-risk, high-consequence business. …[often] surrounded by uncertainty and danger. … [T]he tragedies at Dude, South Canyon, and Thirtymile and the accident at Cerro Grande remind us of the danger that is always present in our world. Entrapment avoidance must be our primary emphasis and our measure of professional operational success" [8].


This “Yarnell Hill Fire - 2013” (4-30-19 - WTKTT) video reveals three GMHS performing a minor firing operation near their “lunch spot” from a photo taken from near Deertrack Drive at 1036 to “get the fire squared up with the two-track road” [1]. The three GMHS, (left - Steed in red hardhat) working as a firing group began an 'indirect' burnout Sunday. The one on the right is pointing with his arm outstretched or possibly using a flare gun.

( https://youtu.be/b3KShvWbbl8 ).

Figure 3. Video of GMHS FFs performing a mid-morning firing operation in the chaparral. Source: Anonymous By Request provider, YouTube, WTKTT


Escape Routes are the paths WFs / FFs take from unsafe present locations to safer ones; it is the most elusive safety prong due to its ever-changing status [9], performed by the abstract GMHS fatal escape route. A recent WF study found key portions of entrapment potential lies in human factors, prior WF entrapment investigations have similar reviews and proposals, weak entrapment investigation process and reporting systems, and a likely sizable under-reporting of entrapments [10]. Why did the GMHS skillfully pursue a true E/R to get to a S/Z, pervert that term, leave their viable S/Z - and then fatally hike downhill in chimneys / chutes of unburned chaparral [1-2]?


Wildland Firing Operations Tactics and Strategy - Fighting Fire with Fire


Burning out and backfiring are dissimilar firing operations, often misunderstood and substituted. Burning Out is setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the fire edge and the control line strengthening and straightening them by eliminating fuel between the fire edge and the control line; considered direct attack [11]. A Single Resource Boss (CRWB, ENGB, etc.) has authority to initiate burnouts with Division Supervisor approval, usually an on-going part of line construction. Backfiring is a fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a fire or to change the fire’s direction, approved by the Incident Commander (IC) or the Operations Section Chief (OPS) and put into effect at the Division level [11]. Adhering to basic wildland firefighting rules and guidelines with informing adjoining forces as critical [11]. Some groups justly question whether “extensive backburning” (slang for firing operations) is “a cause or consequence” of large wildfires posting greater WFs / FFs risks than usually sensed. “It is easy to understand … why suppression firing may be the dominant form of fire use today” [12].


Wildland Firing Operations and Friendly Fire


The notion of Friendly Fire, (aka fratricide or amicicide) is atypical, presented here from a unique wildland fire perspective. Consider now a short account of the phrase based in historic military passages and quotes to propose as an analog for wildland fire incidents. According to retired Army Colonel turned academic, Scott Snook extensively researched a friendly fire incident in Iraq when two U.S. Air Force fighters by mistake shot down two Army Blackhawk helicopters [13]. "Friendly fire-casualties unintentionally inflicted on one's own forces-is not a new problem in the history of warfare. However, until quite recently, little explicit attention has been paid to studying its causes and possible solutions” (footnote omitted) with certain cases frequently revealing that the fratricide was the final link in a chain of mistakes [13]. Retired Army Lt. Colonel Charles Shrader refers to it as “amicicide.” He wrote "… in the 'fog of war' friendly fire casualties are inevitable ... 'fog of war' is an oft-mentioned, if imperfectly understood, ...” [14]. With few sources, researchers are left with scattered, cryptic, notes found in general operational histories or official combat records [14]. The authors can duly relate to the notion of few sources.


Rare wildland "friendly fire" incidents are most often fatal as documented and recounted by many experienced WFs and human factors researchers that firmly believe that the Mann Gulch (MT-1949), Loop (CA-1966), Battlement Creek (CO-1976), Mackenzie (AZ-1994), Cedar (CA- 2003), and Yarnell Hill Fires (AZ-2013) were the result of likely "friendly fire" [5, 15]. These are discussed in some detail on InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) [15] and incompletely recorded (read “official” records) in the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Incident Reviews. Likewise, the WF brother of a deceased GMHS that was unsuccessful getting a GMHS position, acknowledged and agreed that his brother had died "from fratricide" on June 30, 2013. He conceded that to cope with losing his brother, he accepted they were adults with many options that day. Contrary to the SAIT-SAIR, groupthink poor choices caught up with them, resulting in the fatal outcomes [2, 3].


Consider the AZ State Forestry (ASF) video (6-30-13), YH Fire with a USFS Type 3 Engine and two WFs with torches, steadily firing off one of the spur roads in the Peeples Valley area [15] on the fringes of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area verifies that Engine Crews decided to perform fairly assertive burnouts despite the intense conditions. This Engine correctly follows behind the lighters, compared to the naive Municipal FFs firing operation with the Engine in front of the lighters [4]. The relevant video segment is from 00:00 to 01:25. Later segments reveal separate and distinct smoke columns, indicative of a firing operation, from about the 1:30 to 4:17 timeline with some notable, aggressive backdrop fire behavior, including some clear, relevant radio transmissions throughout the video






( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UVL8pxSBJc&feature=youtu.be ) [16]. The authors contend that these videos are foundational to undergirding the Corridor firing operation prospect.


Sesame Street / Shrine Road Corridor Area Likely Firing Operations Evidence


The Sesame Street to Shrine Corridor area likely firing operation is sustained by at best seven (7) suggestive proofs: (1) three SAIT-SAIR excerpts [1]; (2) photos that the YHFR site posted, based on separate and distinct smoke columns [2, 3, 5]; (3) over twenty WFs, FFs, citizens saw firing operation videos in several places [3-5]; (4) mentions of burnt fusees and "accelerants" [3-5]; (5) InvestigativeMEDIA posts about a “back burn” [5, 15]; (6) the ASF / IFE video noted above; and (7) WF hearsay evidence regarding at least three separate Corridor firing operations [4, 15].


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