How are the Historical Fire Writer and YH Fire Investigator Both Off Track About June 30, 2013?
How are the Alleged "Historical Fiction" Writer John Maclean and the Alleged YH Fire "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew Both Off Track About the June 30, 2013, YH Fire?
Author Fred J. Schoeffler and other contributing authors
Views expressed to "the public at large” and "of public concern"
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Abbreviations used: Wildland Firefighters (WFs) - Firefighters (FFs).
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. ... Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)
“What is needed is the right to print what one believes to be true, without having to fear bullying or blackmail from any side.” George Orwell (1946)
This Wix-[How are the Alleged "Historical Fiction" Writer John Maclean and the Alleged YH Fire "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew Both Off Track About the June 30, 2013, YH Fire?] post's author certifies the “Historical Fiction” moniker regarding Mr. Maclean is from a personal conversation with Mr. Maclean at one of his many conferences or book signings over the decades. Attempting to better understand and discuss the alleged "historical fiction" writer Maclean's methods and mindset, borrowing here from an American Thinker (AT) article about free speech on our college campuses and general scholarship, and this Wix-post author (this author) will rarely - only when necessary - integrate some select facts, ideas, and quotations from the writing of others and then blend them within this author's own dialogue and ideas as discussed in the following article here by Clarice Feldman (April 30, 2023) Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace" - "The forces determined to monopolize the public square through censorship, lies, and social pressure have devastated universities and scholarship generally, [which has] allowed a corrupt [wildland fire] bureaucracy to ravage both our [personal and professional] lives, and stuck us with the most incompetent and corrupt [wildland fire] leadership in our history."
"One of the biggest forces behind the shifting tide is Elon Musk, who spent a fortune to unlock Twitter from government control." Mr. Musk speaks for us here ...
This is a real risk to the Rule of Law.
We should be extremely concerned about anything that undermines the First Amendment
"It's bizarre that we've come to this point where free speech used to be a liberal value. And yet we see from the 'left' a desire to censor. That seems crazy. I think we should be extremely concerned about anything that undermines the First Amendment ... We must protect free speech, and free speech is only relevant when it's someone you don't like saying something you don't like because, obviously, free speech that you like is easy. We must protect free speech, and free speech is only relevant when it's someone you don't like saying something you don't like because, obviously, free speech that you like is easy. The thing about censorship is that for those who would advocate it, just remember at some point that will be turned on you."
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." Ephesians 5:11 NKJV
The Whole Duty of Man
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil."
Ecclesiastes 12: 12-14 (NKJV)
Figure 1. (top left) alleged Historical Fiction author John Maclean Source: Missoulian; (top right) alleged Maclean's Investigator Holly Neill Source: 2015 (Issue 85) Smokejumper; (middle left) GMHS Supt. Eric Marsh Source: Natl. Fallen FF Foundation; (middle right) YH Fire SAIT Lead Investigator Brad Mayhew; Source: LinkedIn; (bottom right) 19 GMHS (2013) (RiP) Source: USA Today; (bottom) GMHS "Survivor" and alleged "Lookout" McDonough Source: Wildfire Today
Figure 1a. Plato quote on wise men vs. fools speaking Source: FaceBook
Plato's statement in the Figure 1a. image above that 'fools speak because they have to say something' allegedly applies quite smartly to Brad Mayhew, as you will soon find out as you continue reading Part 2.
This YHFR post is Part 1 of 2 and is very nearly accurate about how the following two authors and so-called alleged truthful "investigators" - John Maclean and Brad Mayhew - under the guise of transparency, know that "individuals tend to consume information that is consistent with their vision of the world and accept it as true" (Lewandowsky et al., 2012). And, Pennycook et al. (2018) showed that "even a single exposure to misinformation contents increases perceptions of accuracy and overall believability through an ‘illusory truth effect''" And, of course, those statements could and would likely be made by some persistent naysayers regarding our YHFR posts or any of this post's author's AHFE articles on the YH Fire and GMHS tragedy as well. Part 1 of 2, and is very nearly accurate about how the following two authors and so-called alleged truthful "investigators" - John Maclean and Brad Mayhew - under the guise of transparency, know that "individuals tend to consume information that is consistent with their vision of the world and accept it as true" (Lewandowsky et al., 2012). And, Pennycook et al. (2018) showed that "even a single exposure to misinformation contents increases perceptions of accuracy and overall believability through an ‘illusory truth effect''" And, of course, those statements could and would likely be made by some persistent naysayers regarding our YHFR posts or any of this post's author's AHFE articles on the YH Fire and GMHS tragedy as well.
Given those premises, in this present- Wix author's (this author's) professional opinion, those naysayers and Party Liners are allegedly often duplicitous, misleading, allow all manner of interviews, with some also being podcasts, give presentations that instead embellish, distort, exaggerate, fabricate, falsify, misstate, and clearly obfuscate the alleged truth while writing and publishing about the June 2013 YH Fire and Granite Mountain Hot Shot (GMHS) debacle as if they are the only ones "allowed" that privilege. In addition, they insist upon, or are given 'special' graces by others either blinded by their alleged popularity or drinking the Kool-Aid or both; by-and-to-themselves; through the fawning and obsequious media; by government fiat; and of course, other wildland fire entities and forums. And they are allowed, enabled, have demanded, or outright been given special authority, power, or privileges. This especially applies to the alleged self-proclaimed "historical fiction" author John Maclean (including his alleged "Lead Investigator" Holly Neill) special status as the alleged sole authority, sole mouthpiece, sole spokesperson, and/or the sole source of what is supposedly true (and false) about the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire and GMHS debacle. And this also all applies to the alleged YH Fire and GMHS debacle “Lead Investigator” Brad Mayhew as well. This was readily apparent at the 2018 Southern California Foresters and Fire Wardens Conference (SCA FFW) to keynote speaker John Maclean and alleged "Lead Investigator" Holly Neill for their "Yarnell Hill - Five Years Later" presentation. Brad Mayhew was present for the conference and exhibited an especially pandered to and dramatic display of immature emotions, and his special blend of histrionics - TWICE - witnessed by about fifty WFs, FFs, and SCA FFW Board of Directors, vendors, and others about Neill's "30-minute gap" assertion and Mayhew's immediate (ir)rational decisions and (re)actions - TWICE!
Consider now the Thursday, May 3-4, 2018, SCA FFW agenda Snippet below in Figure 1b. with John Maclean and Holly Neill. And note that there is nothing explicitly indicating that Brad Mayhew was even present or one of the presenters, as an observer, a casual participant, or most likely, schmoozing and sucking up to the high-level Keynote Speakers and participants, i.e. USDA Fire & Aviation Mgmt. Director Robert Baird who notes in official USFS emails that he knows all about the missing AFUE hard drive, rather than for the keynote "Yarnell Hill Fire An Extended Inquiry" presentation,
Figure 1b. 2018 SCA FFW agenda Snippet Source: SCA FFW
Consider this 2015 Wildfire Today (WFT) article below titled: Errors in a review of a book about the Yarnell Hill Fire, written by John N. Maclean and Holly Neill. Their original title is "The Wall Street Journal and Fire" and it is a somewhat convoluted scathing critique of author and former Tahoe Hot Shot Kyle Dickman and his book titled "On the Burning Edge;" and then a further Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Review by Mark Yost. Several of the comments to the Yost review below by Holly Neill and Grant McKee - father of GMHS Grant McKee (RiP) are worthy of several distinguishing characteristics that will surely pique your interest. From past articles and posts, we know for a fact that "Investigator" Neill is referring here to John Dougherty's InvestigativeMEDIA, Yarnell Hill Fire chapters, and Collura's and Schoeffler's Yarnell Hill Fire Revelations website. And it is so typical that Neill's articles, posts, rants, etc. point directly back to her and fall well within the bounds of her own "error" and "further and further from truth" accusations. In reality, she's actually talking about herself and Maclean. Neill also stated: "A couple of the errors we identified in Yost’s book review can be traced back to Dickman’s book, and several are Yost’s alone." Dickman's mixed contributions will be addressed further in this post.
Furthermore, Neill makes these accusatory comments, which also clearly apply to her and Maclean and Mayhew alike: “If one-sided accounts are taken at face value, we run the risk of over simplifying and making shortsighted insinuations. In this case, the importance of fact checking should be clear. I believe that we can and should be better.” IM post (Neill) This is an interesting applicable read in regard to Neill's statement above. Projection: When Someone Accuses You Of Doing What They’re Doing;
Psychopaths in Life - Written by admin in Abuse Tactics.
Regarding the alleged gift that keeps on giving or was supposed to have been written by now for that purpose by Holly Neill in Wildfire Today, on May 29, 2015: "It is worth noting again that John Maclean will address the book itself in a review for the Journal of Forestry, but it won’t be out for several months. Thank you, Bill Gabbert [RiP], for facilitating this dialog and debate!" We are all still waiting ... many years later.
Figure 2. GMHS hiking photo June 30, 2013, AM Source: Collura, WFT
A faithful witness does not lie,
But a false witness will utter lies.
Proverbs 14:5 (NKJV)
Speaking of Proverbs 14:5, this GMHS McDonough related issue must also be addressed at this juncture because the lines separating his memory from his myths have blurred unrecognizably over time because he did, in fact, hear everything that was said over the GMHS Crew Net radio conversation "discussing our options" and much, much more on the afternoon of June 30, 2013. According to several WFs, FFs, and legal entities, this included Marsh repeatedly verbally threatening Steed, a former Marine - the Acting GMHS Supt. - while Marsh was serving as DIVS A. And these have all been removed from the Public Records, except for what is left on the Sept. 28, 2013, (dCourier.com) YouTube video in Figure 2a. below titled: Granite Mountain Hotshots last video by Christopher MacKenzie. It is now, two 9.24-second video clips that are 43-seconds apart. And who takes 9.24-second video clips 43-seconds apart anyway? Visit WantsToKnowTheTruth's (WTKTT) YouTube channel for several detailed videos on the illegally altered Public Records. Consider the Federal Dept. of Justice (link) public record or document laws and regulations. "The necessary measure of protection for government documents and records is provided by 18 U.S.C. § 2071. Section 2071(a) contains a broad prohibition against destruction of government records or attempts to destroy such records."
Figure 2a. GMHS last video by GMHS Christopher MacKenzie (RiP) Snippet Source: GMHS MacKenzie
Consider this germane research: Psychology Today. 14 Signs of Psychological and Emotional Manipulation. How to spot a manipulator.
Preston Ni M.S.B.A. Communication Success (10/1/15)
Consider the following key points from this psychology research article above that especially relate to our subject post title and awe-inspiring “YH Fire and GMHS debacle "Lead Investigator," Author, Human Factors Researcher, Fireline Factors; Learning, Risk and Human Factors in Fire; Learning From deceiver Mountain; American Saga; Anchor and Flank; all alleged Public Records and FOIA records elimination manipulator, storyteller, deceiver, fabricator, pretender, actor, and outright whatever-audience-it-is-at-the-time entertainer and/or mystifier.
In this author’s professional opinion, over the past 10-15 pre-YH Fire and GMHS and post-YH Fire and GMHS debacle years, the psychological subject research area and topics noted and discussed below definitely apply to this most self-aggrandizing and awe-inspiring individual, especially after attaining this notoriety without ever acknowledging that this author, a fellow former USFS Hot Shot 'Brother,' with a common former Hot Shot Supt. mentor, who helped him in the earliest, ground-floor stages of all of this. Never once. And that, My Friends, is considered by many of us as an outright betrayal!
Consider the following key points from this article that especially relate to our subject post title and awe-inspiring YH Fire and GMHS debacle "Lead Investigator," Author, Human Factors Researcher, Fireline Factors; Learning, Risk and Human Factors in Fire; Learning From Granite Mountain; American Saga; Anchor and Flank; all alleged Public Records and FOIA records elimination manipulator, storyteller, deceiver, actor, fabricator, pretender, and outright whatever-audience-it-is-at-the-time entertainer and/or mystifier.
Moreover, because we Truth Tellers are basically - sans the most crucial truth telling majority of it all - on the same path of reducing the number of inevitable FF and WF deaths, Mr. Mayhew has a lot of very useful information that is well worth researching and utilizing, if he'd only allow us Truth Tellers to benefit from it in pursuit of our mostly common goal, of reducing the number of inevitable FF and WF deaths.
Therefore, in this author’s professional opinion, over the past 10-15 pre- and post-YH Fire and GMHS debacle, the subject psychological research area and topics noted and discussed below definitely do apply and have been experienced with and witness to this awe-inspiring individual, especially after attaining this notoriety without ever acknowledging that this author helped him in the earliest, ground-floor stages of all of this.
"Psychological manipulation can be defined as the exercise of undue influence through mental distortion and emotional exploitation, with the intention to seize power, control, benefits and/or privileges at the victim’s expense. Below is a list of 14 ‘tricks’ manipulative people often use to coerce others into a position of disadvantage" with references listed in the source link provided. We experienced and were subjected to many of these in March 2023 at the San Diego Wildand Fire Safety Summit.
(1) Home Court Advantage (2) Let You Speak First to Establish Your Baseline and Look for Weaknesses (3) Manipulation of Facts (4) Overwhelm You With Facts and Statistics (5) Overwhelm You With Procedures and Red Tape (6) Raising Their Voice and Displaying Negative Emotions (7) Negative Surprises(8) Giving You Little or No Time to Decide
(9) Negative Humor Designed to Poke at Your Weaknesses and Disempower You (10) Consistently Judge and Criticize You to Make You Feel Inadequate (11) The Silent Treatment (12) Pretend Ignorance (13) Guilt-Baiting (14) Victimhood
Given that decision and action, a slight digression is necessary at this juncture because, of course, true-to-form for the alleged Brad-Mayhew-led-SAIT and his eventual SAIR, that specific GMHS "discussing our options Crew Net radio conversation and evidence" Public Record radio transmissions were summarily illegally removed and/or caused to be removed, and therefore hidden from the public view, a clear violation of AZ State Records Law and Federal Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) statutes, such as Unlawful removal, destruction of records (18 USC § 3106) and Concealment, Removal, or Mutilation of Records (18 U.S.C. § 2071). It's posted elsewhere on this website in other posts. This is a good legal overview in an American Bar Association paper for your perusal dealing with evidence and records: "The Duty to Preserve Evidence."
And now pay particular attention to Mr. Grant Scott McKee's notable critique of former Hot Shot and author author Kyle Dickman and the numerous liberties Dickman allowed himself (e.g. no inquiring contact with and/or about any of the GMHS family, friends, or loved ones, wholly making things up, embellishing, etc.) to write about his Son, Grant Quinn Mckee, toward his goal of achieving bragging rights of being the very first "published" GMHS book.
Dickman would further publish articles - both beneficial and questionable - in Outside Online: "What We Learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire Deaths - One of the worst tragedies in the history of firefighting prompted little change to a culture that regularly puts young lives at risk. A few seasoned veterans are working to fix that." (this author alleges that Dickman would willingly drink the GMHS Kool-Aid and wholly endorse the 2018 manipulation movement with the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (WLF LLC - Has Nothing Changed?) and (WLF LLC - What We Learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire Deaths), in order to discredit the tried-and-trued Rules of Engagement - willingly with this Party Line assertion: "Over time, the relationship between tragedy and rulemaking sewed into the culture the belief that firefighters die only when they break rules."
On the contrary, it is an accepted fact that the GMHS died because of their failure to follow the wildland fire Rules of Engagement. Additionally, true beyond a reasonable doubt, the following two separate Fire Orders and Watch Out Situations links: NWCG link and NWCG link which lists and mentions the Fire Orders, however, it unfortunately provides this narrative quoted below without listing the Watch Out Situations. Instead, it only includes the ever-present and consistent use of the odious idealized cartoonish images. And so, what is reason for that and that kinda makes sense? Those so-called "experts" tell us: "People learn in different ways - some might be visual learners while others prefer a more analytical text-based approach. Presenting data in multiple formats will ensure that people can digest the information in the way that best suits their needs." (Harvard University - Digital Accessibility)
10 Standard Firefighting Orders, PMS 110
"The 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and the 18 Watch Out Situations, as referenced in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461, provide wildland firefighters with a set of consistent best practices and a series of scenarios to be mindful of when responding to a wildland fire. The 10 Standard Firefighting Orders are organized in a deliberate and sequential way to be implemented systematically and applied to all fire situations. The 18 Watch Out Situations are more specific and cautionary, describing situations that expand the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders with the intent that if firefighters follow the Standard Firefighting Orders and are alerted to the 18 Watch Out Situations, much of the risk of firefighting can be reduced." (IRPG 2022 & NPS 2017)
If firefighters follow the Standard Firefighting Orders and are alerted to the 18 Watch Out Situations, much of the risk of firefighting can be reduced.
One of this author's all-time favorite relevant wildland fire human factors articles is by former Southwest Hot Shot Hannah Coolidge and her most awesome paper titled: Rules and Risk in Wildland Firefighting. Hypocrite Reader, (link) Issue 52; May 2015. "Wildland firefighting is one dangerous game that is heavily mediated by rules of engagement"
Wildland firefighting is one dangerous game that is heavily mediated by rules of engagement
And here is a 2022 Canadian paper titled “Why Do We Still Not Know How to Prevent Firefighter Entrapments?—Thoughts and Observations from a Few Perplexed Fire Practitioners” surprisingly without any mention whatsoever of the YH Fire or GMHS debacle in this otherwise notable 2022 Swiss MDPI publication journal. And then another research paper in somewhat the same vein with no mention whatsoever of the YH Fire or GMHS debacle with one author actually a Southern CA Hot Shot Captain stating: "We conclude that the safety culture shift within the federal wildland firefighting community largely implemented post-1999 is associated with a significant reduction in the probability of entrapments on a national basis. Further, there appears to be a spillover effect in entrapment reductions to non-federal agencies. These reductions in entrapment probabilities are estimated after accounting for the seasonal variation in acres burned and number of fires." [Emails to this HS Captain author and his Supt. asking why have gone unanswered as of this posting.]
Encouragingly, here is an excellent one by a former R-1 USFS Hot Shot Supt. turned Regional Risk Manager that specifically mentions the YH Fire several times titled: Common Denominators on Tragedy Fires – Updated for a New (Human) Fire Environment. Wildfire 25, (2016) 26–34.
And another comprehensive one titled: A review of US wildland firefighter entrapments: trends, important environmental factors and research needs. International Journal of Wildland Fire (IAWF) 2019, 28, 551–569. This one mentions the YH Fire eight times, four in their references.
In addition, Dickman was the one author that thought his changes to the fatal event were quite justified, or at least an interesting idea, and so he took a lot of liberties that would upset a lot of GMHS families, friends, and loved ones. He was also initially sought out by National Public Radio in June 2015 for this article and interview below. It has an excerpt focusing on GMHS Grant Quinn McKee (RiP) titled: "Two Years After Deadly Wildfire, Are There Lessons In The Ashes?" and an article Wildfire Today (2015): Interview with author of book about Yarnell Hill Fire with at least "44 thoughts" that run the gamut as insightful, educated, debatable - both legitimately and willfully ignorant and emotional as of May 7, 2023. Gabbert (RiP) sums it up well here"The truth is, until people who were there are willing and able to talk about what they saw and heard that day, we may not know why the crew left the safety of the black, a previously burned area, and walked through unburned brush where they were overrun by the fire."
Another Dickman Burning Edge Book Review below by John Maclean and his comments are worth reading cutting him little slack including the eternal "why" questions: (2015) Society of American Foresters, Journal of Forestry (Volume 113): Hotshots, Missed Shots, and Where's The Fire?
"A book written quickly in the wake of a major disaster, in this case, the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013, should be a first draft of history, a skeleton on which the reading public can rely, with adjustments as time brings more insight, reflection, and information.
"The Yarnell Hill Fire, which cost the lives of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the worst disaster for an organized wildland fire crew in over a century, back to the Big Burn of 1910. Two years later, many questions remain unanswered: Why did the hotshots leave a safe place and descend into a box canyon where they were overwhelmed by a flame front? Why wasn't the fire controlled in its early stages? Were supervisory personnel negligent? Why are the two official investigations, both by the state of Arizona, so radically different: one says there were no major mistakes; the other says there were many willful and serious ones."
With quite a few typos, a rightly pissed off Grant Scott McKee says: October 20, 2015, at 4:31 pm. "Well , this comment might come pretty late in the game people, but I’m the father and the uncle of 2 of the members in that crew of 19 heros (sic). I’m Grant Quinn Mckee’s dad……Grant Scott McKee. It has taken me along (sic) time to finish the book (at 2-3 pages a day), because it’s that painful. I was never contacted by Mr. Dickman . I had no knowledge he was writing such a book, and as most people can see, he used my son as the focal point in the story line. The first 2 words in the book, chapter 1, is my son and my name. The story should have had more about ALL 20 guys in the crew, and he definitely took liberties on the events of the history of my sons (sic) life. My son was NEVER a latch key kis (sic) and that was quit offensive. ... That’s just a few things, as there are many more details that are not factual. One would think that if a person is going to write about someuone’s (sic) child, that they would take the time to ask the people who raised him. ... Lastly …. I will add that it’s pretty much a no class move that he never even sent a copy to the families he wrote about. I guess that says a lot about his compassion and appreciation for making a living on this tragity (sic) and disrespecting the families by add lobbing (sic) on his facts. There is a word for that… A few words come to mind….. Cheap, selfish, and stupid. ... Thanks to all that took the time to read this novel. I do apologize."
And, of course, here is one more comment from Holly Neill allegedly sucking up to WFT author Bill Gabbert (RiP) - "Holly Neill says: October 20, 2015, at 11:11 pm. "Thank you Mr. McKee. It is good to hear your voice. I am sorry about this additional grief." Seriously, one must ask yourself - Did she really "talk" to him or was she delusional and just hearing voices?
And then there is this most astute and instructive comment from Marty H.: October 23, 2015, at 11:37 am, - a seemingly knowledgeable former LP NF Dispatcher that speaks with some authority about the fire weather and fire behavior that day. "Re Yarnell fire behavior and weather: The RAWS data for the nearest station to the Yarnell [Stanton] was available for anyone to view online on the day of the fatalities and afterward. The RAWS date for the prior days was also posted online. I hope that that data has been reviewed by everyone who writes about the incident. Four WX parameters stand out; Wind speed, wind direction, temperature and solar radiation. The changes in those four changed in the same pattern each of the two days before and on the day of the fatality incident. I didn’t copy and save the charts but they were so significant I remember them very well. Each afternoon at roughly the same time each day the wind shifted almost 180 degrees and increased in speed. Shortly after that the solar radiation measured by the RAWS dropped abruptly. It seems very likely to me that the RAWS was located where the smoke column from the fire shifted in the afternoon to obscure the panel – causing the reduction in solar radiation recorded by the instruments. Given two previous days of shifts in rate of spread and direction of fire spread at the same period of the afternoon every firefighter should have been aware of the dangers on the day of the fatalities. I’m terrifically saddened by the tragic loss of firefighters lives – especially in a situation that I feel was so completely unnecessary and preventable."
A worthy digression is necessary here to address the notable fire weather indicators because they are our first Fire Order - Keep informed on fire weather forecasts and conditions" and fire weather determines fire behavior. The wildfire conditions described and detailed above by former USFS Dispatcher Marty H. are quite accurate. And the experienced and knowledgeable FFs and WFs will readily note that he is also focusing on Watch Out No. 4 dealing with weather and local factors influencing fire behavior, something the local - supposed experienced and trained - GMHS should have known about, since they were on the Doce Fire a week before!
Consider below in Figure 3. the Stanton, AZ RAWS data Snippet for June 30, 2013, discussed above. Note the shifting, strong winds discussed above and especially the telling high nighttime temperatures indicating blow-up to explosive fire behavior conditions holding that 'the day after the highest nighttime temperature has the potential for critical to blow-up conditions' posted on this website numerous times before according to former Tonto NF, Payson RD, District Ranger Robert Bates' (1961) article titled: "A Key to Blowup Conditions in the Southwest?"
Figure 3. Snippet of the Stanton RAWS data for June 30, 2013. Source: Western Regional Climate Center - Desert Research Institute (DRI)
And now back on track again addressing another prong of the YH Fire and GMHS Investigation debacle. This also and most especially applies to the alleged official Fireline Factors and YH Fire and GMHS debacle "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew as the alleged self-proclaimed respective sole authority, mouthpiece, spokesperson, and source of whatever is supposedly true (and false) about the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire and GMHS debacle. And now he is attempting to profit from all this with a series of books for sale for profit. This author and concerned others feel that it is entirely acceptable, respectful, and humble to write one book, but a series of books is impertinent and over-the-top! Mayhew's grandstanding actions at the 2018 Southern California Foresters and Fire Wardens Conference were also quite revealing in response to some of Neill's opening statements that would trigger Mayhew into a rant TWICE!.
It is important to acknowledge and note that even though John Maclean has allegedly referred to his own works in the past as "historical fiction" he has done a great deal over the years to interview and research wildland Firefighters (WF), Smokejumpers (SJ), and other wildland fire personnel on the Mann Gulch (MT-1949), South Canyon (CO-1994), and Yarnell Hill (AZ-2013) Fires. However, it is apparent to this author and many others involved in wildland fire research - especially about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle, that he could and should go much further.
And therefore, this author believes that Mr. Maclean has, at times, apparently somewhat clouded his judgement and allowed his pride to intervene and seep in. Additionally, at times, rather than constructing a 'history of ideas', where the emphasis is on the logical structure of certain arguments that are seen as only conditional and almost always relevant, even though they are located in the past. Maclean's informing aspiration has been to write an 'intellectual history' which tries to recover the thought of the past in its complexity and, in a sense as far as possible in its own terms.' (Intellectual history - Stefan Collini - Making History)
This author and many others allege that the June 2013 YH Fire and GMHS debacle is - and will continue to be - the biggest cover-up, lie, and whitewash in wildland fire history. Unfortunately, this will be the case as long as the ongoing unprecedented unlawful secrecy and manipulation that the AZ State Forestry, the USFS, the associated and vindictively-driven Unions, the media, and those individuals John Maclean and Brad Mayhew continue to astonishingly endorse it and spew the Party Line of no blame, no fault; all the while endorsing the Federally-funded Sept. 23, 2013, USFS Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) and Report (SAIR) (SAIT-SAIR p. 4) "conclusion" that they found “...no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol.”
Given that the SAIT-SAIR declaration is phrased negatively, you must ALWAYS ask yourselves this question in the positive: How is it possible to do everything right and yet kill 19 Prescott FD GMHS FFs in one fell swoop? It is posted here on our website: YHFR February 13, 2022
Consider now these comments directed at John Maclean on his FaceBook (FB) page from YH Fire Eyewitness and co-author Joy A. Collura, of several Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) papers and YHFR website.
Joy A. Collura says: "John Norman MacLean: I enjoyed our hike and [your] fatherly gentle manners, November 2013. I disliked hearing from (RiP) Johnny [Kirkley], (RiP) Charlie [Mosely], Dr Ted [Putnam] and [your] assistant Holly Henderson Snyder Neill. What disgust JOHN NORMAN MACLEAN and even they were appalled - [how you] presented the hikers at a Smokejumper Conference after the YHF 13' when [you were] sharing about the fire I almost died on. ... am bewildered how when someone reads [your] material, and they formally want it corrected in future books - John disregarded it. Most likely/possibly his ancestors are buffaloed by the level of allowance of ill manners and unprofessionalism done by him as I feel on all this."
The reference to someone reading his book titled: Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire, notes Dr. Putnam formally wanting errors corrected in Mr. Maclean's book, and Maclean disregarded them. They allegedly entailed over forty errors, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies that were acknowledged by Mr. Maclean in writing to Dr. Putnam but never corrected. This is addressed in Dr. Putnam's perceptive, and somewhat elusive and hard-to-come-by IAWF(2011) paper noted below.
Consider now several of Dr. Putnam's and other's bold research efforts dating back to the often-ignored, yet renowned 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, which then segued to the 1994 South Canyon Fire, and finally thoroughly infected the alleged 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire "investigations" to understand the genesis of the human factors and psychology of his emblematic saying: "predictable is preventable" (Gordon Graham) applied to historical wildfire fatalities falsely labeled as "Hindsight Bias."
Fire Safety - Up in Smoke (1999-2000) (ttps://www.investigativemedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/fire_safety_up_in_smoke.pdf)
"What is needed organizationally is truthful fire investigations, ..."
Consider now some of Dr. Putnam's excerpts from the Safety Summit proceedings listed here and below: Proceedings of 11th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit, [link] April 4-8, 2011, Missoula, MT, USA. Published by the IAWF, Missoula, Montana, USA (1) Accidents, accident guides, stories and the truth. Ted Putnam, PhD.
Accident Investigation Concerns
"Although it seems obvious that accident investigations should strive to uncover the actual causes and conditions that led to the accident, this is seldom attempted let alone advocated in the relevant agency investigation guides used by wildland fire and other organizational (Airlines, NASA, Military, etc.) accident investigators. Failure to look for all discoverable causes and conditions leads to accident reports that are superficial in understanding or missing vital information on what really occurred as well as why it occurred. It is relevant for individuals and organizations to look at what accident guides investigations are focusing on compared to what they could and ought to be focusing on. Specifically, we ignore the impact of the individual’s cognitive processing on accident causation."
No current accident guide recommends that fire fighters tell the truth and that what they say be made publically (sic) available. This information is crucial for determining human factors causal factors. ...
Fictitious concerns for firefighter’s protection. 'Firefighter’s won’t tell the truth if everyone knows what they have said.' Firefighters actually say they are willing to tell the truth and accept responsibility for their decisions...if others, including management do the same on a level playing field.
"In accident investigations, as with examining our own lives, it is cheaper, quicker, and less immediate stress on us to use blame and punishment than on more costly, longer term, and farther reaching techniques using rewards and mental enhancements to improve decisions and understanding."
"No formal documents clarify firefighter rights during an accident investigation. There is a need to explore choices and rights during testimony and how to take actions against investigators who distort or lie about the investigation procedures or processes."
Therefore, putting away lying, 'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:25-27 (NKJV)
There should be steps taken against supervisors and manager[s] who apply blame and punishment indiscriminately as is now the case in the wildland community.
Too often experts are left off the team or brought in well after the data collection and initial interviews are finished. This process results in skewed data collection and the experts miss the most accurate witness comments which are most truthful just after the events occurred.
Days or weeks later the Truth has already gravitated towards Stories in the minds of those involved. This trend is not deliberate lying but more deceptively, occurs automatically because that is the natural way our minds react to such involvements.
In the reading of Maclean's book I was aware of many fire behavior points he made that were fictional elements as opposed to factual elements.
Dr. Ted Putnam
"In the reading of Maclean's book I was aware of many fire behavior points he made that were fictional elements as opposed to factual elements. For example saying people will be burned breathing in 140º F air when research shows people have breathed in air temperatures up to 450-500º F. This indicated that Maclean did not have the advice of a fire accident expert at the time of collecting the book materials who could skillfully interpret the relevant evidence or more importantly, notice the lack of it.
My summary points are that Mann Gulch was an elaborate cover-up from the start, did little to help future firefighters and mostly protected upper level managers and the Agency’s images.
[T]he Mann Gulch investigation set the pattern for later fatality investigations, namely that it is ok to cover-up the truth and blame firefighters and fire behavior than mental errors, cultures, managers or organizations.
Dr. Ted Putnam
Dr. Putnam continues: "I invite readers to go back and take a more thorough look at the available evidence and to realize, like I have, that the Mann Gulch investigation set the pattern for later fatality investigations, namely that it is ok to cover-up the truth and blame firefighters and fire behavior than mental errors, cultures, managers or organizations.
"If our accident investigations don't promote finding and telling the Truth then Lessons Learned, firefighter safety and High Reliability Organizations are just convenient buzz words; lullabies numbing us out rather than keeping us awake to underlying conditions and causal elements which best account for our collective firefighter realities.
South Canyon [F]ire 1994
"On the South Canyon Fire July 6, 1994, fourteen firefighters were entrapped by a wildland fire near Glenwood Springs Colorado, not far from the 1976 Battlement Creek Fire. The entrapment investigation was conducted under an SAI type of procedures and protocols. True to such protocols the investigation mostly sought to determine what had happen and to blame those responsible. From the beginning there was more emphasis on speed to get the report out than on a quality factual report. Much was made about firefighters failing to follow the Ten Standard Fire Orders or to adequately use the Eighteen Watch Out Situations. As said earlier these accident elements follow behavioristic interpretations of accident causes. Early in the investigation someone on the team leaked information to the press that the firefighters had too much of a “Can Do” attitude. I pointed out the whole fire culture reinforces a Can Do attitude as a positive trait but it had already become a convenient way to blame the dead firefighters. As a team member I then felt that the leak was clearly designed to shift most of the blame downhill onto the firefighters and away from local BLM management miss-directions that preceded the fire ignition and continued throughout the fire suppression efforts well after the fourteen died. Months later the federal OSHA investigation brought some blame back to the Grand Junction District of BLM as did John Maclean in his story version of the South Canyon Fire: “Fire On the Mountain”. (black-bolded emphasis of the word "story" in original) Despite these and my own efforts to get the larger Truth out, several years after the South Canyon Fire most of the blame was still on the firefighters themselves. I was the only team member who did not sign the South Canyon report and was ordered to say why in a letter to the Chief of the Forest Service...my Chief. I said much in the report was incorrect, misleading and contradictory so should have been changed. However I said my biggest reason was that we had stopped at reporting what had occurred and said almost nothing about why it had happened. Our Agency heads were all too willing to let the investigation end without knowing other, more fundamental causes." (black-bolded & underlined emphasis of "what" & "why" in original) [Re: the “Can-Do attitude” comment, a former HS Supt. familiar with the 1994 South Canyon
Fire Investigation stated that the original significance of that phrase was intended for a negative, competitive manner (i.e. “we’re HS, so better than you; we’re Smokejumpers and better than you.”) rather than as a positive.]
NOTE: A clarification is required here: This author and others note that it is possible to "fail to follow the Ten Standard Fire Orders." However, with the Watch Out Situations that we experience on all wildfires. one is unable to "violate" or "fail to follow the Watch Out Situations" as they are strictly guidelines. This is a common grammatical and semantic error. You can fail to know them, recognize them, and then mitigate them. He correctly states that they failed to "adequately use the Eighteen Watch Out Situations."
"Many causal factors for the deaths at South Canyon were never mentioned in the official report. This was not a direct reason why I did not sign the report. I did not sign the report mostly due to it being poorly written as stated above. Too many errors were present which would lead readers into false conclusions; ..."
"Many causal factors for the deaths at South Canyon were never mentioned in the official report. This was not a direct reason why I did not sign the report. I did not sign the report mostly due to it being poorly written as stated above. Too many errors were present which would lead readers into false conclusions; likely by design to shift blame away from BLM managers onto the dead firefighters.
NOTE: A clarification is necessary because this author disagrees with Dr. Putnam's assertion that they were "likely by design to shift blame away from BLM managers onto the dead firefighters." Critically think about this for a bit. Who were the WFs and SJs and where were they working while actually on the fireline? And where were the BLM managers, on the fireline or in their offices far from the firelines?
How could or would these BLM managers be responsible for the supposed causal factor decisions made by these WFs and SJs physically there on the firelines? So, there is no way these absent BLM managers are responsible!
Dr. Putnam continues: "I had marked up three pages that were more of what most people would consider “editorial” in nature. The causal factors being covered up were not part of refusing to sign the report because our team leaders told us that the report being printed for “public analysis” was the best we could do in the allotted 45 days. Team leaders assured other team members that the final report would include all the casual factors after we better understood them by continued analysis. ... Historically I do not know if this was an up-front lie or if the decision to axe the final report came later. Thus the South Canyon report has elements of deliberate cover-ups like Mann Gulch and elements of partial cover-ups, with the promise that another report is coming and “trust us to fix the problems later.” No later team report was written. Had I known that no further report was going to come out then the primary reason for not signing the report would have been the failure to report all the prime causal factors for the fourteen deaths. ... Many causal factors for the deaths at South Canyon were never mentioned in the official report. This was not a direct reason why I did not sign the report. I did not sign the report mostly due to it being poorly written as stated above. Too many errors were present which would lead readers into false conclusions; likely by design to shift blame away from BLM managers onto the dead firefighters. I had marked up three pages that were more of what most people would consider “editorial” in nature. The causal factors being covered up were not part of refusing to sign the report because our team leaders told us that the report being printed for “public analysis” was the best we could do in the allotted 45 days. Team leaders assured other team members that the final report would include all the casual factors after we better understood them by continued analysis. Historically I do not know if this was an up-front lie or if the decision to axe the final report came later. Thus the South Canyon report has elements of deliberate cover-ups like Mann Gulch and elements of partial cover-ups, with the promise that another report is coming and “trust us to fix the problems later.” No later team report was written. Had I known that no further report was going to come out then the primary reason for not signing the report would have been the failure to report all the prime causal factors for the fourteen deaths. ... and was later contracted to the TriData Corporation in 1995 and the results are now known as the Wildland Firefighter Safety Awareness Study. Because I had not signed the South Canyon report I was "blackballed" from attending most meetings for the rest of my career. The group putting the B-1 contract together would call me at night at home and ask for my opinions on how to write the contract. However they could not allow me to come to their location to help them write the work statement face to face. This contract team could not decide what the contract work statements should be so "lifted" them out of the recommendation section of a February 1995 article I had written on South Canyon. I received hundreds of positive emails from the (p. 19) article which introduced Human Factors to wildland firefighters. With such overwhelming positive feedback, in early 1995 I asked and received funding to sponsor a Human Factors Workshop in Missoula in June (see USDA USFS, 1995). Both studies have been instrumental in keeping HFs [human factors] present in the collective consciousness of the wildland fire community. Later I asked fire experts at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula if they could provide clarity to the physical aspects of the fire that overran the firefighters. In a cooperative venture we produced the most accurate fire behavior or “What” account of South Canyon Fire to date (Butler et al, 1998). Most of these extra efforts arose because I did not sign the report but much has been lost by not telling a Truer Story of South Canyon from the beginning. ... I was ready to 'go public' by telling what I knew to a willing press source. I was asked by a Deputy Chief to wait and give the Agencies a chance to improve. As part of waiting I insisted the Agencies support an in-depth look at the entire fire safety culture. This became the B-1 initiative."
Consider also the Findings From the Wildland Firefighters Human Factors Workshop USDA Forest Service, Technology & Development Program, 5100 Fire, November 1995, 9551-2855-MTDC, Updated July 1996
We begin with an interesting and very insightful Canadian research paper excerpts by author and researcher Jules Leboeuf (link) of the Govt. of Alberta, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development - Forestry Div. that is most relevant to about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle titled: "Aspiration: The Weak Link in the Safety Chain of Organizational Learning"
Putting Theory into Practice
"Being able to speak to the truth of the situation – everyone’s truth – is of vital importance. The concept is simple yet difficult in application. Developmental practices in dialogue must be in place to support the movement of a greater organizational awareness.
"Dialogue is an essential foundation to any initiative implemented by a human system. It is a primary building block in transforming an organization in its ability to identify root causes of issues and the follow through that is required to remedy the issues Organizations admit that they do not have a shared understanding on how to consistently engage in this form of dialogue.
"Ultimately change is a choice and with it a requirement for a resilient practice of dialogue. Without it, we will continue to create results we no longer desire or afford."
It has become increasingly clear that wildland firefighters are experiencing collapses in decision making and organizational structure when conditions on the fireline become life-threatening.
"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes."
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theater director, and critic.)
Consider now Dr. Ted Putnam, as he minces no words in his hard-to-find paper titled: Accidents, Accident Guides, and the Truth from the Proceedings of 11th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit, April 4-8, 2011, Missoula, Montana, USA; Published by the International Association of Wildland Fire, Missoula, Montana, USA.
"Once firefighter and investigator lies about fatality fires get written into official reports, staff rides only turn the lies into dramas. Even if the Truth later seeps out, the staff rides keep regurgitating the same original lies. Net effect is firefighters keep dying for the same reasons thus NWCG and all its ilk are truly guilty of negligent homicide. We lie to protect our imaginary personal, crew and agency images and real firefighters keep suffering and dying to nourish those collective fragile egos."
"Both [COF Happy Jack Hot Shots] Gary Olson and I told the real truth at the [CO 1976] Battlement Creek Staff ride and none of it ever got incorporated into that staff ride. There is very little learning at the Lessons Learned Centers. Calling NWCG a ship of fools is an act of kindness...after all they were once firefighters. Same old shit but still stinky, disgusting and deadly. " (all emphasis added) Dr. Ted Putnam
Consider now below Joy A. Collura's recounting the unruly YH Fire Lead Investigator Brad Mayhew's reaction to the 2018 SCA FFW Keynote presentation by John Maclean and Holly Neill titled "Yarnell Hill Fire - Five Years Later" and her recollection of Self-proclaimed YH Fire Lead Investigator Mayhew's clearly childish, disrespectful, and most unprofessional outburst following Maclean's Investigator Holly Neill mentioning the alleged YH Fire SAIT-SAIR "33-minute gap of no communication." Collura, as usual, accurately documented all of Mayhew's childish, assertive tantrums two times within about a ten to fifteen minutes period, proximate to the event.
"Brad Joseph Mayhew: thank you for your service as a Navy Midshipmen and your families. I appreciate your time. However, I find it very peculiar if you were a lead on to the tragedy where I almost died but 19 did die- how come it took you coming up to me years later at a [San Diego Wildland Fire] Safety Summit conference you wanted to hike with me but then after that at the Five Years Later at the SCAFFW you spoke up publicly when MacLean and Holly did their presentation in a disrespectful manner then buddied up soon after the three of you at same conference. I felt it was unprofessional and most likely could border as an emotional outburst in likely a possible setup situation to stir others in the audience to speak up and out too. I felt that because FJS [this author] whispered to me that Maclean and Holly warned the hosts to this event about me in a negative fashion and I never did anything but present truths and documented truths over time. So yes, I do find it very odd that if you were the lead on an investigation then why did you never reach directly me, the eyewitness who took some of the last photos of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and was with those men on the Weaver Mountains. I also state firmly you did a piss poor job on your investigation to the fire I almost died on- I have done far more than any of those investigators and prior Wildland Fire Investigators would and have agreed to that. Thank you for your internship with John Mondy Shimkus who is an American politician who served as a U.S. representative from 1997 to 2021, representing the 20th, 19th and 15th congressional districts of Illinois. Shimkus is a member of the Republican Party. I am glad you delved into the political spectrum because in my humble opinion much of Wildland Fire and how it rolls is political[,] yet to this date Brad has failed to show "Human Factors" about the fire I almost died on in the way it possibly should be shown - "its true form" vs. narratives.
"In my humble opinion I find both M-boys [Maclean and Mayhew] to be most likely display distractions on the aftermath of the fire I almost died on but 19 did versus solutions which is much needed and founded in the ten standard firefighting orders and eighteen watch out situations. The Granite Mountain Hotshots deserve their truths told vs being suppressed as we have seen on so many fires." (all emphasis added)
It is this author's professional opinion that this Joyism (i.e. "MacLean and Holly did their presentation in a disrespectful manner") more accurately reflects Mayhew's "disrespectful manner" instead of Maclean or Neill.
Shifting back to Mr. Maclean - First off, check out these specific forums and interviews dealing with John Maclean: (1) Update from John Maclean about Yarnell Hill Fire, (2) Stand down from Western wildfires, (3) 2 experts dispute Arizona wildfire findings, (4) The collapse of sensemaking at Yarnell Hill - Chaos, (5) Episode 04: Firefighter Safety and The History of Hotshots With John Maclean (In this episode, we talk with renowned author John Maclean about the decades he's spent investigating and writing about fatality wildfires in the West, as well as his latest project, a book about hotshot history and the Yarnell Hill Fire), and (6) Wildfires 'going to get worse,' says writer John Maclean.
Figure 4. Alleged self proclaimed "historical fiction" writer John Maclean. Source: Helena Independent Reporter & The Missoulian "John Maclean: Fire and death. John Maclean comes to grips with his role as a writer."
From the linked Missoulian article Sep 14, 2018. Updated Oct 7, 2019, titled: Fire and death: John Maclean comes to grips with his role as a writer (Note: both the Helena Independent Reporter and Missoulian require subscriptions to access their papers and articles).
From the Missoulian article photo caption in Figure 4.: "It was almost two decades between the last "really horrifically big" wildfire disasters, says John Maclean, who'll be talking Saturday about his latest book, "River of Fire," at the National Museum of Forest Service History. Increased safety consciousness and improving technology point toward ever longer intervals. "You're doing a lot more stuff in the air. You don't know how it's going to work out, but drones are going to be a big deal in 10 years. It's hands-back-off-the-fire firefighting. I would be surprised if there's another humongous one in the next 20 years." Tom Bauer, Missoulian
Mr. Maclean's statements almost border on the Logical Fallacy of False Authority: When People Rely on the Wrong Experts from both the Science Exposed and Effectivology linked research articles. Specifically, here is one about authors in general titled: "Why do authors use appeal to authority?" from Study.com
Consider now the Fifty7 Media (October 31, 2019) Facebook page giving a rather boastful Mr. Maclean far too much "expert" and “court of last resort” credit in this author's professional opinion: Award winning author and journalist, John N Maclean, has a conversation in Missoula, Montana with Ryan McNeice.
"In the last almost quarter-century, Maclean has become the “court of last resort” for families and survivors of fire disasters who turn to him when they find official investigations inadequate."
"It happened most recently after the 2013 Yarnell Hill [F]ire in Arizona, in which 19 firefighters from the City of Prescott hotshot crew were killed. The disaster spawned the 2017 feature film “Only the Brave,” starring Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges."
Maclean and his “team,” including an on the-ground researcher from New Mexico, are two years away from publishing the Yarnell Hill story. The sources are much different from those he tapped in “River of Fire.”
“They’re not trying to make it a memorial,” he said. “They’re trying to deal with psychological after effects that are very severe in some cases, partly because of what happened and partly because they were ignored.” [This was true at the time of this interview, however, things changed]
"From his father’s “Young Men and Fire,” through his own five books, and on to whatever the Yarnell Hill book becomes, “you [referring to himself] have a sequence of reconstructions of a major fatal natural disaster world that is without parallel anywhere in the literature of nonfiction natural disasters,” Maclean said.
“It covers virtually a century — we talk about the 1910 fire — but certainly from 1949 to Yarnell Hill in 2013. It’s instructional. These books are used in classes. It’s also available and acceptable to the general readership. It gets out of that textbook feel. It is in essence a way to pass on a whole history in a useful manner, not just a stagnant memorial.”
"After all these years, Maclean said, he can sum up his theme as a writer and researcher of wildfire disasters in three words: Passing it on. 'And it took Don Will to tell me what I’ve done.'”
So then, the question remains: Is Maclean passing on what is accurate and truthful as it was passed on to him? Or is it merely his alleged "historical fiction" version? Consider now the copy-and-pasted-post to this author from Maclean's FB regarding this author's comments about a conversation with a former wildland FF (anonymous source) regarding a five year injunction against him publishing his YH Fire book at the prior May 2018 Southern CA Foresters and Fire Wardens Conference near Beaumont, CA. This was where Maclean and Holly Neill were the keynote speakers for their "Yarnell Hill - Five Years Later" presentation. They chose to forgo the video recording option; unfortunate due to Brad Mayhew's alleged histrionics that day.
Consider now the alleged Investigator Holly Neill's December 19, 2020, FB posted "Update on Rumors" comments below from our transcribed text because we were unable to locate his original FB post. Apparently, Mr. Maclean had awkwardly or intentionally removed the ability to retrieve his archive FB posts regarding his December 19, 2020,
"UPDATE ON RUMORS
"Unfortunately, the posting from a few days ago -- see below- about a false rumor concerning Holly Neill's and my work on the Yarnell Hill Fire has produced another false rumor, this one by someone commenting on a share of that first post. The latest one is particularly delusional. The person claims he overheard a remark at a fire conference in California in 2018, where Holly and I presented. He wrote that "due to an alleged injunction" we would be "delayed five years" in our work on the book about the fire. What? There is no injunction and never has been. Can you imagine that one slipping by us unnoticed? Some people work on books, others promote false rumors. John and Holly"
Transcribing above this author's removed from YouTube comments from the "Home Waters, a chronicle of families and a river" screenshot video below and as confirmed still today (May 2, 2023) on this YouTube link.
Figure 5. John Maclean video and this author's YouTube comments Screenshot Source: YouTube
Schoeffler stated: "Mr. MacLean, I'm curious why my comments keep being removed or failing to post on this video, and I plan to screenshot it for documentation."
"We've talked a number of times over the years at conferences and such.
You once told me that you wrote 'historical fiction.' You stated in this video that you 'ad worked on a project for eight years on the Yarnell Hill Fire and it just fell apart.' What happened for it to just fall apart after eight years?"
"I was at the Foresters and Fire Wardens Conference in  for you and your alleged investigator Holly Neill's 'Yarnell Hill Fire - Five Years Later' presentation debacle. Here it is nine years later and we are still learning new facts and truths and more on a regular basis. It must be kinda frustrating for you to have to continually wait on us to post on our YHF website. (www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com) to get more facts and truths so you can use our research to do your 'investigation' for your up-to-now ongoing book."
The post below is from the "Author, John Maclean, has a conversation with Ryan McNeice on the Fifty7" YouTube video (2020, discussed above, by this allegedly deceived, fawning, and grovelling admirer doing his best to interview John Maclean. They discuss his new book about the historic Rattlesnake Fire (CA-1953) and the Mission Boys. The Figure 6. below Snippet was only able to accomodate some of the men's names, so their names are provided below from the Wildland Fire LLC Incident Reviews website or the Wildfire Today Rattlesnake Fire John N. Maclean releases new book about the Rattlesnake Fire link that has a great deal of information and links.
Figure 6. Author, John Maclean, has a conversation with Ryan McNeice Snippetts of Rattlesnake Fire men (RiP) Source: On the Fifty7, YouTube
An Explanation of Meteorological Conditions Which Probably Caused Unexpected Behavior of the Rattlesnake Fire, Mendocino NF, July 9, 1953, by W.R. Krum, Fire Weather Meteorologist, Missoula MT. Source: NWCG Rattlesnake Fire Staff Ride Information Sources
Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints
(Psalm 115.18 (NKJV)
More from interviewer Ryan McNeicc: "In the history of the US Forest Service, the nation's dominant fire agency, counting Norman Maclean's Young Men [in Fire] and throughout three decades and nearly three decades of writing about these catastrophic fires, that tragedies your new book is a great book. I really enjoyed it. I'd recommend anybody to go out and buy it. I'm also excited about the forthcoming book for the Yarnell Fire."
Maclean interjects: "It's going to take some time."
Interviewer McNeice: "Mr. Maclean, absolute pleasure, and I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for coming over. The Maclean legacy. The Literary and personal history of the Maclean family is deeply embedded in Montana and the history of the US Forest Service, the nation's dominant fire agency, Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire the classic account of the Mann Gulch Fire of 1949. And the younger Maclean's five books with another in the works, father and son have compiled a narrative series grounded in field research chronicling the great wildland fire tragedies of the modern era. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the literature of natural disasters. Both men took inspiration from their ties to Montana, which became their essential Field Station. The two most closely linked books, Young Men in Fire, and Fire on the Mountain describe the core of Forest Service fire history, and both are linked to Montana."
The Maclean legacy. The Literary and personal history of the Maclean family is deeply embedded in Montana and the history of the US Forest Service the nation's dominant fire agency ... compiled a narrative series grounded in field research chronicling the great wildland fire tragedies of the modern era. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the literature of natural disasters.
Interviewer Ryan McNeice:
"In the history of the US Forest Service, the nation's dominant fire agency ... throughout three decades and nearly three decades of writing about these catastrophic fires ... I'm also excited about the forthcoming book for the Yarnell Fire.
Maclean: "It's gonna take several more years.
McNeice: Mr. Maclean, absolute pleasure, and I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for coming over. The Maclean legacy. The Literary and personal history of the Maclean family is deeply embedded in Montana and the history of the US Forest Service the nation's dominant fire agency ... compiled a narrative series grounded in field research chronicling the great wildland fire tragedies of the modern era. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the literature of natural disasters. Both men took inspiration from their ties to Montana, which became their essential Field Station. The two most closely linked books, Young Men in Fire, and Fire on the Mountain describe the core of Forest Service fire history, and both are linked to Montana."
Maclean: "I've been doing it all along. I've been creating something in pieces that ,combined with my Father's book. Young Men in Fire is without parallel in the non-fiction natural disaster literature. It's multi-generational. It covers and recreates fires for over a century, if I finish the one I've got going on Yarnell Hill. It covers most of the big ones, not all. (Transcript with 98% accuracy was generated by https://otter.ai)
" ... if I finish the one I've got going on Yarnell Hill."
Figure 7. John Maclean and Ryan McNeice video clip Snippet; Maclean stating "if I finish the one I've got going on Yarnell" Source: FaceBook
Figure 7a. Albert Einstein value quote Source: FaceBook
It’s hard to correct a misconception once someone starts believing it, so it’s better to prevent misconceptions from taking hold in the first place if possible.
Consider now this very in-depth, germane analytical article that directly relates to the bogus June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS SAIT-SAIR "alleged "investigation" with predetermined conclusions" and misperceptions (here condensed to save space). Effectivology (April 4, 2023) article: "This week's email is about how people judge whether information is true or false. The information here comes from a research article on the topic (open-access). Here are the key practical points you should know: Various biases and heuristics (mental shortcuts) can influence people’s judgment of the truthfulness of information, especially when people rely on their intuition, rather than analytical reasoning. One heuristic is that people rely on the base rate of truthful statements in their environment when judging statements, so those who usually encounter true statements tend to assume that new statements they encounter are true, whereas those who usually encounter false statements tend to assume the opposite. (Note: Though not discussed by the researchers, I expect that considerations of base rate are influenced by situational factors, like the average truthfulness of the source of a claim.) People are more likely to rate a statement as true if it’s easy to process, especially if they encountered the statement repeatedly before. People generally reject information that’s inconsistent with what they already know, but there can be various issues with their preexisting knowledge, like it consisting of false facts, or of true facts that people misremember. It’s hard to correct a misconception once someone starts believing it, so it’s better to prevent misconceptions from taking hold in the first place if possible. ..."
Part 5 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? (Dec 22, 2019)
From the YHFR post above Joy A, Collura asks is to: "Please spend the time to read through this June 23, 2013, Facebook thread with author John Maclean and others discussing fire behavior and human factors and such ... I have heard many other WFs and FFs engaged in wildland firefighting state to me that they believe that Maclean considers himself to be the self-proclaimed, sole, or ultimate authority author on the YH Fire. He is also considered by the same professionals that way because when they provided him with the "facts and documents" on the YH Fire and other fatality wildfires, they feel that he never fixed or amended those areas needing corrections in books that he has written and had published. Another complaint these same professionals had was they believed that he always wants to place the blame on management instead of on those that actually and factually make the bad decisions that got them killed."
"And I also want to know how and why his "Maclean Research Team" has had special privileges accessing the YH Fire Deployment / Fatality Site areas when it was restricted to everyone but SAIT and ADOSH investigators. So then, ... what is the so-called "Maclean Research Team?" Because they certainly are NOT certified investigators!"
Consider now a Snippet from Holly Henderson Neill from the above FB link responding to a "SMK Fire Shelter" comment. It is transcribed below for easier reading and comprehension. She continues to wave the banner that the GMHS did nothing wrong on June 30, 2013, with Maclean dutifully
cheering her on.
Figure 8. FB Snippet re: the YH Fire and GMHS Source: YHFR (12/22/19)
Holly Henderson Neill FB post Snippet: "Commenting on why GM didn't use 'safety fire' : Yarnell is looking more like an entrapment in a box canyon, with fire possibly above and down in front of the crew, and unable to use 'safety fire ' ; it could have drawn the fire in front toward the fire behind/above even quicker...plus fire ROS estimated at 1 mi/5 min or faster = not enough time to burn out a 'cool enough' deployment area in dense chaparral...shelters were their last resort, and, obviously ineffective against the severity, which equals no 'standard' way out after dropping down in there [the unburned box canyon/bowl] ..."
John N. Maclean: "Keep on keepin' on Holly...We need good questions and good answers and the day is young."
The Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute felt that a September 15, 2018, Facebook post was worth quoting the alleged "historical fiction" writer John Maclean regarding a specific Missoulian.com article (need a subscription) titled: "Fire and death: John Maclean comes to grips with his role as a writer." However, unfortunately the noteworthy Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute (WFGI) (In honor of the 19 brave Granite Mountain Hotshots, Truth - Transparency - Accountability - Change) is no longer viable per the GoDaddy website: (wfgi.org) This domain is available for sale!" From the WFGI FB (August 19, 2021) page: "PLEASE BE ADVISED... After prayerful consideration, the Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute (WFGI) has decided to close down. Our journey has been one of valor, passion, dedication to change, and a desire to serve those in a community we dearly care about. We wish to sincerely thank everyone who has shown graciousness and generosity through giving of time, energy, and financial support. You have made a difference in the lives of so many.Furthermore, all of the WFGI's remaining funds will be equally distributed between two organizations whom we highly endorse: 1. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation; 2. Grassroots Wildland Foundation. Should you wish to continue in your charitable giving and service in the wildland community, please consider standing behind those groups. May God bless you all and keep you well! THANK YOU AGAIN FOR 7 WONDERFUL YEARS! - WFGI board of directors"
Figure 9. (left) Isaiah 43:2 quote (right) Sense of Humility quote Source: WFGI FB page
Reconsider now the WFSTAR image below (Figure 10.) to remind everyone that the amount of time (52 minutes from the time of the blowup to the burnover) the GMHS observed the deteriorating adverse fire weather and increasing fire behavior from the best vantage point of everyone on the fire except all of the many Air Support resources and the two Eyewitness Hikers during their ongoing "discussing our options" Crew Net radio conversation. This was heard and recorded by many, yet criminally and illegally removed from the key GMHS radio conversations Public Records.
Figure 10. WFSTAR Escape Route Blow-up to Burnover poster. YH Fire - 52 minutes) Source: WFGI FB page
Consider now the honorable and insightful WFGI FB page Figure 11. June 26, 1990, Dude Fire collage because of the many similarities to the YH Fire and the related GMHS investigation questions and answers asked of the alleged GMHS "lookout" McDonough regarding this well-known former AZ fatality fire.
Figure 11. June 26, 1990, Dude Fire collage Source: WFGI FB page
The Figure 12. June 30, 2013, YH Fire Shrine fire behavior photo below is from the former WFGI FB page and strongly suggests they knew about the Shrine firing operation (i.e Deborah Pfingston InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) posts and elsewhere}. Deborah Pfingston (Ashcraft's Mother) "Deborah Pfingston says on IM: "Thank you for doing this digging for me. I have [a] theory – of which I have had many but discover they won’t work – I really think there was a back burn set possibly by the trailers. Thoughts!" (April 12, 2014, at 8:11 am) The trailers referred to here are in the Shrine and Sesame Street areas.
This July 2013 "ABC15 Taking Action" article was removed from the internet, typical of all things about the YH Fire and only available through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (link here). Yarnell Fire: Mother of fallen firefighter Andrew Ashcraft shares her story. The last two red-bolded comments below strongly support 'The Shrine' area firing operation discussed elsewhere throughout the YHFR website: "They wanted to protect, they wanted to help. They wanted to go out and be strong together,' Deborah said. And as a team, they stuck together to protect hundreds of homes in Yarnell. Andrew texted his mom on Sunday, 'Yarnell wants to burn down,' but his mother had no idea it would be the last time she would hear from her son. The fire moved fast and showed no mercy. 'For this to have happened to them, I know something had to have quickly happened,' said Deborah."
I knew we needed to find the truth and make changes ...
Nineteen men don’t die for no reason, accidentally. And I think too much information had been lost along the way
“When our family hiked to the fatality site, I knew we needed to find the truth and make changes to make sure that no other mother will hear the words that her son is not coming home. It has been two long years of questions, discovery, frustration, discovery and education." -- Deborah Pfingston, mother of Hotshot Andrew Ashcraft, one of the 19 firefighters who lost their lives in the June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire. Rachael Le Goubin / The Republic (Aug. 25, 2015)
“When 19 guys die, even on the job, there should’ve been… a criminal investigation. Nineteen men don’t die for no reason, accidentally. And I think too much information had been lost along the way." - David Turbyfill, father of fallen Hotshot Travis Turbyfill. Tom Tingle / The Republic
Figure 12. June 30, 2013, YH Fire Shrine fire behavior photo Source: WFGI FB page“
And consider the numerous WTKTT (WantsToKnowTheTruth) link amazing investigative journalism, using Google Earth images and Cross-fade videos and such putting the YH Fire and GMHS debacle into a more discernible perspective and formats. The classic "Granite Mountain Hotshots last video by Christopher MacKenzie" on YouTube "September 28, 2013, 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."
Fortunately, the Internet Archive Way Back Machine link reveals yet another removed dCourier article posted as four separate Snippets below in Figure 13. and titled: "Final photos, videos of Granite Mountain Hotshots come to light." The article is worth reading because unfortunately, the stepdaughter photo/video images referred to in the missing article are among many in a long line of missing YH Fire and GMHS Public Records.
Figure 13. Final photos, videos of GMHS come to light Snippet Source: dCourier (9-28-13), IA Wayback Machine
This YouTube commenter is spot on: "Blacktree TV (9 months ago) "Edited bullshit video. One crew member clearly states that they hadn’t been comfortable all day. This edit clearly supports the bullshit SAIT findings. You should be ashamed of yourselves."
"At some time, Mr. McDonough may or may not choose to publicly describe what he saw, what he heard that day. The idea that the federal government is withholding information ... speaks to the lack of understanding and empathy that they should have for these families. So, we would publicly call for ... the ]USFS] to let their people talk.” --attorney Patrick McGroder. Source: Rachael Le Goubin / The Republic (Aug. 25, 2015)
"As a state, we don't measure our success in wins and losses. We measure our success in whether justice was done for the victims." -- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Emmanuel Lozano / The Republic
Former Yarnell Fire Chief Peter Andersen (RiP): The question of why the men were there haunts Andersen. And, he says, the lack of substantive conclusions in a report issued September 28 after a state-commissioned investigation into their deaths has left him unsatisfied. "I think it's a big cover-up, a big snow job," he says. "It tries to take any semblance of blame off anybody." Consider now the very comprehensive "Yarnell Hill Fire investigation ignored major mistakes by state" Tucson Sentinel article (Oct. 18, 2013).
"The state Forestry Division's Roy Hall, incident commander in charge of the fire at the time the hotshots perished, praised the report for finding "no smoking gun," according to published news reports. The inherent contradictions in a report that assigns no blame for the deaths of so many young men reveal what murky standards wild-land firefighters must work under.
"On one hand, the National Interagency Fire Center website instructs them always to obey the 10 "Standard Fire Orders" and 18 "Watch Out" situations developed to protect firefighters in the field. Indeed, the center states that the rules are to be strictly followed: "We don't bend them, we don't break them."
"On the other, the same agency adopted a policy earlier this year that states the "10 and the 18″ are merely "guidelines" that should be incorporated into decision making by experienced wildfire leaders making split-second judgments in an environment with many variables that could change suddenly.
"The result is a system that makes it virtually impossible to hold anyone accountable for fatal accidents, that leaves firefighters with no clear directives about how to operate in the field. "Everybody's lawyering up … That's why the report's written that way." — [Doug] Campbell (RiP).
"There appears to be a kinder, gentler, and softer approach" to enforcing the 10 Standard Fire Orders, says Dick Mangan, a retired wildfire accident investigator who has participated in many high-profile, wildfire-fatality reviews — including ones concerning the 1990 Dude Fire near Payson that killed six firefighters and the 1994 South Canyon fire in Colorado that claimed 14 lives.
"I have a hard time understanding that everybody did everything right, and 19 people died," he says.
"Regardless of whether the Granite Mountain crew violated orders / guidelines, leading wildfire experts say the state-commissioned investigation report primarily is a diversionary tactic to protect the Forestry Division and other government entities, including the city of Prescott. They say the report seeks to innoculate (sic) wildfire managers overseeing Yarnell Hill operations from potential liability from lawsuits and possible criminal charges." "Everybody's lawyering up," says Doug Campbell, a retired Forest Service fire-management officer who's widely respected for developing a wildfire-prediction system used in more than 20 European countries but not formally adopted in the United States. "That's why the report's written that way."
Mangan, who had hoped before the report was released that it would "let the chips fall where they may," says the Yarnell Hill investigation fails to deliver clear lessons that could be used to prevent future fatal accidents. The report, he says, didn't analyze adequately the state's management of a complex series of events leading to the fatal incident to determine factors that contributed to it.
"There's usually a chain of events — things that happened that shouldn't have happened" — that contribute to fatal wildfire incidents, he says. "If you break the chain of events, then the accident doesn't happen."
The Yarnell Hill investigation report, Campbell and other experts say, fails to adequately address what was a clear lack of situational awareness by the state management team from the start of the fire. Instead, it focuses almost exclusively on dead firefighters whose actions and decisions cannot be explained.
The report "is a shell game in so many ways that it does a disservice to what we know about fire management," says Paul Orozco, a retired U.S. Forest Service fire-management officer who participated in the investigation into the deaths of four firefighters in the 2001 Thirtymile Fire near Winthrop, Washington. ... It was up to Hall's understaffed Type 2 Short team to handle a fire that was rapidly overwhelming available resources. "They were behind the curve," says expert Doug Campbell. The state's scramble for personnel required it to make a crucial decision that directly affected the [GMHS]. The lack of sufficient management personnel forced the state to assign Granite Mountain Superintendent Eric Marsh as division supervisor for the southwest flank of the fire. Granite Mountain Captain Jesse Steed assumed immediate command of the crew.
Wildfire accident-investigation expert Mangan believes this was a pivotal mistake that weakened fire managers' control and understanding of the hotshots' actions. Marsh, Mangan says, still was in direct charge of the crew as the Division A supervisor and wouldn't need to report to an independent division supervisor who may have challenged his decisions.
"You have taken one link out of the chain of command," Mangan says. ...
This later would prove critical to when the Granite Mountain crew descended from the safe, burned-over area on top of the mountain into the box canyon filled with live fuel. The crew apparently was headed to the Boulder Springs Ranch, which had been designated during a morning briefing as a safety zone. ... Expert Mangan, who offers training courses for safety officers, says Marsh's announcement that Granite Mountain was moving from its safe zone in the charred area should've prompted a safety officer, if one was present, to request that Marsh provide more information and possibly stop the crew from moving off the ridge.
"The more people you have involved in a decision like that, the better chance you are going to come up with a better decision," Mangan says. ...
Basic "situational awareness" of wildfire behavior, Orozco says, didn't occur in regard to the Yarnell Hill Fire.
Sonny "Tex" Gilligan and Joy Collura began their hike up the Weaver Mountains at 4 a.m. on Sunday, June 30. The avid hikers and part-time cave dwellers wanted to get a close look at the fire atop the mountain. They knew the back-country inside out and were very familiar with the difficulty of hiking through dense desert shrubs.
On their way up the mountain, they bushwhacked through the box canyon where the Granite Mountain crew later perished. The hikers already were at the top of the mountain when they saw the Granite Mountain Hotshots coming up a two-track trail about 9:18 a.m.
Gilligan, an experienced outdoorsman and former cowboy and miner, was shocked at the hotshot crew's condition.
"What I saw was a group of men [who] were totally spent. They looked like they were tired. They weren't somebody you would want to fight a fire," Gilligan says. "They needed rest." [Because most of them were hungover! See IM YHF articles (12/9/15) and (12/16/15) titled: (1) After years of delay, the Granite Mountain Hotshot autopsy records are released and (2) Key evidence in Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy never provided to official investigators.]
GMHS McDonough would have been the near-perfect “Control Group.” Was this intentional to avoid interviewing him Mayhew? "The autopsy and toxicology reports raise questions as to the condition of McDonough on June 30, 2013. McDonough was not tested." (IM 12/16/15)
The hikers stayed on the mountain until about 2 p.m. with temperatures hovering about 103 degrees. They observed the crew from time to time throughout the day. The crew, they said, didn't appear to be doing much active work.
Gilligan says their inactivity led him to believe that the fire was a "controlled burn." It appeared "they were actually trying to let it go, and they just wanted to clear this brush off this mountain," he says. Gilligan and Collura saw the fire take off about 12:30 p.m. as it swept over a hill below the mountain in about 14 minutes. Gilligan estimates that it covered about 300 acres in just a few minutes.
"We were looking at . . . rolls of fire, fire jumping up 40, 50 feet in the air," Gilligan recalls. "No way are we were going to hang around there."
Throughout the morning, the hikers watched thunderstorms building to the northeast, near Prescott. Gilligan knew the storms could affect the fire.
"When there's a thunderstorm in an area like this, that wind can change quickly, and it can change fast," Gilligan says. "That's where the danger is."
The investigation report doesn't mention what Gilligan and Collura observed about the fire's behavior or about the crew's condition, even though the hikers were the last people to see the Granite Mountain Hotshots alive. Nor does the report provide any details of the crew's workload the previous month, mention that June 30 was the crew's scheduled day off, and that the crew had worked 28 days in June.
"We don't know the condition of the crew [from the report]," says wildfire expert Campbell, noting that this is a crucial missing element in the investigation. ... he state Forestry Division's dispatch log, however, shows that an Arizona dispatcher requested at 6:21 p.m. on June 29 that the SWCC send two hotshot crews to Yarnell by 6 a.m. the next day. A SWCC dispatcher responded four minutes later, stating, "I can fill one with Blue Ridge. That will be the only [hotshot crew] I have for tomorrow, though."
Karels says the SWCC never turned down a request for Granite Mountain to be sent to the fire, but instead the SWCC "kicked it back" to the state and instructed the state to fill it "internally" with Granite Mountain.
Yet no such exchange between the SWCC and the state Forestry Division appears in Arizona dispatch logs.
Former hotshot supervisors suggest that one reason the SWCC initially stated that only Blue Ridge was available was because Granite Mountain would be working its 13th consecutive day on its scheduled day off. By doing this, the crew would've been unavailable later in the week for an assignment out of the area.
In any case, there's no question that Granite Mountain had only two days off in June and that the Yarnell Hill fire was its 26th day in the month on a fire line. The hotshots spent two days working at the crew station or on "fuels reduction." The crew often worked 16-hour shifts, SWCC records state.
Campbell believes fatigue may have been a major factor in the crew's decision to come off the mountain rather than remain in "the black." Campbell suggests that Marsh and Steed knew that the crew was tired, hungry, and low on water. The option of staying on the mountain all night wasn't appealing, nor was following the long trail down to Yarnell that the two hikers had taken safely a few hours earlier.
Campbell believes the Granite Mountain crew concluded that its best course of action — one that would allow members to rest and be ready to re-engage the fire the next day — was to get off the mountain as soon as possible by hiking through the box canyon to the ranch safety zone.
"They knew the rules were against them when they were going downhill in the green," Campbell believes.
But, he says, rules don't always stop hotshots from attempting to accomplish a mission. "The culture of a hotshot crew is a problem," Campbell says. "They aren't one to hold back. They are braver than they ought to be."
Figure 14. Former USFS Hot Shot Supt., District FMO, creator of the Campbell Prediction System Doug Campbell (RiP) Source: Yarnell Hill Fire investigation ignored major mistakes by state, Tucson Sentinel, Posted Oct 18, 2013
“From the faraway lookout of hindsight, it’s clear that the great tragedy fires smolder for generations, long after they’ve burned out on the ground,' Maclean begins a single-paragraph summary. 'The embers of remembrance, tamped down by time but not extinguished, glimmer deep in the lives of those who carry on, until something occurs to fan them back to vibrant life.'"
Here is a rather sappy - and DANGEROUS - Sept. 18, 2014, FaceBook comment by one of "historical fiction" writer John Maclean's fawning, yet clearly uninformed, fans (Santa Fe Fire Chief Erik Litzenberg): "This man - the depth of technical knowledge, the ability to put into words the missteps, the wrong places at the wrong time, and the blood sweat and tears of effort -is equally matched with the ability to reach into the soul of lives after the turmoil smolders. His books allow the rest of us to understand the eternal heat of what fire is to generations of families, friends and landscapes. The bootprints of firefighters will be embedded on the landscapes through eternity. But John Maclean's will be the extra set of prints as he brings us through the story, breathing the hot thick air and feeling the blunt everlasting trauma of unsung heroes. Thank you, John. Thank you firefighters for your unwavering service and sacrifices." OMG!
"A lot of what we do, locally, is thanks to what we've learned from these valiant individuals, and from what they have done with their [GMHS] program."
Santa Fe Fire Chief Erik Litzenberg (July 1, 2013)
"Hotshot firefighters killed in AZ helped battle NM fire"
The following link and article above was retrieved from an Internet Archive Wayback Machine link. The Santa Fe Fire Chief's comments are quite telling, actually unbelievable; glorifying the alleged GMHS safety protocols and adopting them as their own FD policies. You've got to be kidding, right? This speaks volumes about this Fire Chief and his FD''s safety attitude and policies. Posted at: 07/01/2013 7:46 AM | Updated at: 07/01/2013 11:06 AM by Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com
"The elite hot shot crew that lost 19 firefighters in Arizona also helped fight a fire in New Mexico, according to the state forestry's Facebook page.
Santa Fe Fire Chief Erik Litzenberg confirmed that the Granite Mountain Hot Shots helped battle the Thompson Ridge Fire last month in Jemez. He said leaders within the Hot Shots also helped train and mentor many members of the City of Santa Fe's Fire Department.
"They've been a big support to us, and this hits very close to home," Chief Litzenberg wrote in a statement. "A lot of what we do, locally, is thanks to what we've learned from these valiant individuals, and from what they have done with their program."
Chief Litzenberg explained his department uses safety, program development and even budgeting tactics cultivated by the Granite Mountain Hot Shots. He spoke to the team’s commander last night offering any assistance the SFFD could provide.
Lightning sparked the Yarnell Hill fire on Friday and the blaze grew to 2,000 acres by Sunday due to hot, dry conditions, according to the Associated Press.
"This is a reminder that this is very dangerous work, and we have thousands of men and women on the front lines in New Mexico today," Gov. Susana Martinez wrote in a statement. "As we prepare for our Fourth of July celebrations, it's important to keep our fire crews and first responders in our prayers. We want them to return safely to their loved ones."
Figure 15. Loyalty quote Source: FaceBook
Figure 16. Samuel Johnson fraud, falsehood, truth quote Source: FaceBook
"And over the last 30 years ]"historical fiction"] author John Maclean] has written five books on wildland forest fires essentially cornering the market on the humanity and the experiences involved in ... not only fighting the wildfires but in the tragedies that have occurred over the last thirty years and provided through those works and opportunity for those families to understand the experience and potentially learn lessons in moving forward."
Consider now the Facebook Fifty7 Media transcription (Ottter.app) of the following: (October 1, 2019) "Award winning author and journalist, John N Maclean, has a conversation in Missoula, Montana with Ryan McNeice" (https://www.facebook.com/fifty7media/videos/541014709794174) Due to the historical significance and weight of this tragedy, this author understands that the level of detail necessary for accuracy depends upon the aims of the YHFR post, while striking a balance between readability and accuracy following strict measures utilizing edited, full verbatim, and subjective decision-making during the process, to the best of this author's abilities.
"Maclean is the author of the book, 'River of Fire' and four other books documenting and investigating wild land fires and tragedies. ... And over the last 30 years has written five books on wildland forest fires essentially cornering the market on the humanity and the experiences involved in ... not only fighting the wildfires but in the tragedies that have occurred over the last thirty years and provided through those works and opportunity for those families to understand the experience and potentially learn lessons in moving forward.
Rattlesnake Fire discussion "... and onto other fires discussing the "humanity" that Maclean provides: "and that's the humanity ... and I want to quote ... 'over the past 25 years it was argued that you are the court of last resort for families and survivors that potentially have inadequate investigations' and not so much the inadequate investigations but rather an opportunity to bring humanity to the families and the fallen." MacLean "I think that story is true because in the case of the Rattlesnake Fire, we tested the fire investigation. By we, it was a group that included me, but more than 30 California FFs put together for the book. We went back and did timing, pacing, and all the rest. We took the report and said 'is this thing good or not.' And it was good. So it was not an inadequate report at all, and it was a very good one. I've found many inadequate reports." Reporter: "and it was not one of them." John Maclean: "I kept adding these things ..."
Figure 17. Listen with your heart quote Source: Welcome Native Spirit Stories, FaceBook
Now the June 1, 2018, Brad Mayhew Firehouse Magazine online article link content (immediately below) with Holly Neill and Schoeffler comments.
Figure 18. Brad Mayhew image Source: LinkedIn (Fireline Factors, Learning, Risk and Human Factors in Fire; Learning From Granite Mountain; American Saga; Anchor and Flank)
Consider now the originally posted Holly Neill and Fred J. Schoeffler June 1, 2018, comments (below) article by Fireline Factors Brad Mayhew in Firehouse magazine "Learning from Yarnell Hill" posted in Firehouse magazine
“It is nothing strange, that men, who think themselves unaccountable, should act unaccountably.”
Cato's Letters No. 33. Saturday, June 17, 1721.
Brad Mayhew article Firehouse magazine June 1, 2018
(Learning from Yarnell Hill)
Brad Mayhew offers training exercises for developing yourself and your crew for the future. "Learning from Yarnell Hill" (June 1, 2018) Brad Mayhew offers training exercises for developing yourself and your crew for the future in the hopes of preventing another tragedy like the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 hotshots."
NOTE: This author alleges that Mayhew does post on his Fireline Factors website this Firehouse article minus any of this author's original article comments.
This author and most informed others refuse to believe the YH Fire and GMHS debacle Kool-Aid Drinkers and Party Liner "Fairy Tale" that the GMHS were all heroes, the big, bad fire killed them, and there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent it. Indeed, this author and informed others believe the four GMHS Rookies were the real heroes because they knew only to trust their leaders, who ultimately betrayed them. Moreover, it is impossible to "prevent" fatalities in all work groups for several reasons. All we can do is perform our best to reduce those numbers.
Figure 19. GMHS Christopher MacKenzie (RiP) photo Snippet of GMHS in Safety Zone approx. 1600+ (4:00 PM +) indicating increasing fire behavior with a SW wind Source: Firehouse Magazine (6/1/18)
It is interesting to note that in Lead Investigator Mayhew's own image from his April 1, 2016, Firehouse article referenced above in Figure 19. that he states "This photo of the [YH Fire] was recovered from the phone of Christopher MacKenzie, who took the photo shortly before the crew left the black" and yet this author alleges that he instead utilized his Figure 21. idealized image that his very own SAIT-authorized and the SAIR publicized. And this author alleges that he further used it to manipulate reality and the truth in place of the realistic Figure 20. Lauber photo IMG 1334. And that he did this in order to intentionally buttress the SAIT-SAIR predetermined conclusion and GMHS cover-up, lie. and whitewash.
Compare and contrast the following: Figure 19. and Figure 20. and Figure 21. images revealing the alleged depths of deception by Brad Mayhew and his SAIT and SAIR to conceal the truth about the fire’s and GMHS location Figure 19. was taken by GMHS Chris MacKenzie (RiP) from their Safety Zone along a two-track road on top of the Weavers. Figure 20. IMT Lauber photo, indicating aggressive fire behavior at 4:29 PM was given an IMT evidence number IMG 1334 and provided to Brad Mayhew's IMT but was never used by the SAIT in their deceptive SAIT-SAIR. Instead, the SAIT used Figure 21. an idealized image to manipulate and replace reality and the truth in place of the realistic Figure 20. Lauber photo IMG 1334. This author contends that they did so to intentionally buttress the SAIT-SAIR predetermined conclusion and GMHS lie of alleged "fire above and fire below" espoused by PFD Wildland BC Darrel Willis in various forums.
Figure 20. IMT Lauber photo, indicating aggressive fire behavior at 4:29 PM was given an IMT evidence number IMG 1334 and provided to Brad Mayhew's IMT but was never used by the SAIT in the SAIT-SAIR with Google Earth overlay. Source: IMT Lauber, Google Earth, WTKTT
Figure 21. SAIT-SAIR Figure 18. idealized image of alleged fire behavior. Source: Brad Mayhew, SAIT and SAIR.
Consider now Collura’s photos below in Figure 22. of Eric Marsh scouting the firelines below about 0800 to 1500 and Marsh talking to Mystery Man on the ridgetop around 0915 to 1015. The SAIT denied that Mystery Man existed and hence his moniker.
Figure 22. Photo of GMHS Marsh and Marsh talking with Mystery Man on the ridge on the morning of June 30, 2013 Source: Collura
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? (YHFR Dec. 12, 2019)
Consider now the original June 1, 2018, Firehouse online magazine by Brad Mayhew article titled: Learning from Yarnell Hill. Brad Mayhew offers training exercises for developing yourself and your crew for the future in the hopes of preventing another tragedy like the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 hotshots.[Yes, indeed, they are in fact, "training exercises for developing yourself and your crew for the future in the hopes of preventing another tragedy like the Yarnell Hill Fire." But are they based on fact and the truth of what happened and why on June 30, 2013? No, they are based on the predetermined conclusion that the SAIT “found no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol”
And regarding Brad Mayhew's questionable decisions and actions, Joy A. Collura states: "I did find it funny that to share five years later  on YH Fire as keynote “speakers” [Maclean and Neill] and then to have Brad Mayhew interrupt cost the organization $ two grand $ and I have this blog freely sharing yet [it] is not free to run it or to gain these records and interviews sharing documents. I am not making a book or movie which in the end these speakers are doing just that. I think making any monies on the tragedy is beyond messed up."
When we stop listening to anything
other than our own questions:
You see well enough. But you stop listening.
No one cares about your excuses as much as you do. In fact, no one cares about your excuses at all, except you. When people’s actions have outcomes that don’t line up with how they see themselves, they tend to insulate their egos by blaming other people or unfavorable circumstances. Phrases like, “It was a great idea just poorly executed,” ... “We did the best we could,” and “We never should’ve been in this situation in the first place,” are often manifestations of this self-preserving tendency. Here’s the thing: it might be true. Maybe it really wasn’t a bad idea, just bad execution. Maybe you really did do the best you could. Maybe you never should have been in that situation in the first place. It doesn’t really matter. No one cares. None of it changes the outcome or solves the problems that still remain. Just because something happened that was outside of your control doesn’t mean it’s not your responsibility to deal with circumstances the best you can.
Focus on the next move. The next move makes the future easier or harder." (Farnam Street Brain Food No. 519 April 9, 2023)
Figure 23. George Orwell Truth quote Source: FaceBook
Consider now an excellent speech from a university lecture on legal studies from Liza Hall (FaceBook Dec. 4, 2022) relevant to our ongoing Yarnell Hill Fire and GMHS debacle truth telling
Kicked out of the university lecture Subject: Legal studies. First lecture.
The professor enters the lecture hall. He looks around. "You there in the 8th row. Can you tell me your name?" he asks a student. "My name is Sandra" says a voice. The professor asks her, "Please leave my lecture hall. I don't want to see you in my lecture." Everyone is quiet. The student is irritated, slowly packs her things and stands up. "Faster please" she is asked. She doesn't dare to say anything and leaves the lecture hall. The professor keeps looking around. The participants are scared. "Why are there laws?" he asks the group. All quiet. Everyone looks at the others. "What are laws for?" he asks again. "Social order" is heard from a row A student says "To protect a person's personal rights." Another says "So that you can rely on the state." The professor is not satisfied."Justice" calls out a student. The professor smiling. She has his attention. "Thank you very much. Did I behave unfairly towards your classmate earlier?" Everyone nods. "Indeed I did. Why didn't anyone protest? Why didn't any of you try to stop me? Why didn't you want to prevent this injustice?" he asks. Nobody answers. "What you just learned you wouldn't have understood in 1,000 hours of lectures if you hadn't lived it. You didn't say anything just because you weren't affected yourself. This attitude speaks against you and against life. You think as long as it doesn't concern you, it's none of your business. I'm telling you, if you don't say anything today and don't bring about justice, then one day you too will experience injustice and no one will stand before you. Justice lives through us all. We have to fight for it." “In life and at work, we often live next to each other instead of with each other. We console ourselves that the problems of others are none of our business. We go home and are glad that we were spared. But it's also about standing up for others. Every day an injustice happens in business, in sports or on the tram. Relying on someone to sort it out is not enough. It is our duty to be there for others. Speaking for others when they cannot.”
Figure 23a. Working environment quote Snippet Source: Wendi Jade, FaceBook, Yellow Seed Consulting
And now to address and answer the post title question: How are the Alleged "Historical Fiction" Writer John Maclean and the Alleged YH Fire "Lead Investigator" Brad Mayhew Both Off Track About the June 30, 2013, YH Fire?
John Maclean and Holly Neill have special status as the alleged sole authority, sole mouthpiece, sole spokesperson, and/or the sole source of what is supposedly true (and false) about the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire and GMHS debacle. And this also all applies to the alleged YH Fire and GMHS debacle “Lead Investigator” Brad Mayhew as well. This was readily apparent at the 2018 Southern California Foresters and Fire Wardens Conference (SCA FFW) to keynote speaker John Maclean and alleged "Lead Investigator" Holly Neill for their "Yarnell Hill - Five Years Later" presentation. Brad Mayhew was present for the conference and exhibited an especially pandered to and dramatic display of immature emotions, and his special blend of histrionics - TWICE - witnessed by about fifty WFs, FFs, and SCA FFW Board of Directors, vendors, and others about Neill's "30-minute gap" assertion and Mayhew's immediate (ir)rational decisions and (re)actions - TWICE!
From the outset, this author alleges that Lead Investigator Mayhew's convoluted stratagem of inform, education, confuse, defend, protect, and downplay.
In Part 2 of this post, this author will focus more on the alleged Pastor Brad Mayhew because of his leading role in the tragedy. It should be obvious that this author and hopefully others take exception to both John Maclean's and Brad Mayhew’s characterization of their quasi professional practice of intellectual historians in general, present company included. Nevertheless, I am glad for the opportunity to share his perspective with our readers. This author has provided a fuller account of mine and other's experiences over the years with Mayhew’s rage against us opposing his machinations and revealing his alleged lies and untruths about the June 2013 YH Fire and GMHS debacle. And that his smarmy, curious, and obnoxious blend of friendly banter and histrionics, combined with his assertive and boastful expressions. He is well known for this and so it should be seen as at odds with who he really is and what he really does when confronted with real challenges to his June 2013 YH Fire and GMHS debacle worldview being proselytized in the curious and informed wildland fire world. This further suggests that we ought to be skeptical about his frequent, albeit universal practice in his possessive self-proclaimed intellectual history: swallowing ideas whole without even scrutinizing what they actually translated it into reality.
Figure 24. April 9-11 2019, CA Interagency Wildland Fire Risk Management Conference agenda Snippet Source: CA IWFRM Conference
From the outset, this author alleges that Lead Investigator Mayhew's strategy has been a convoluted stratagem to praise someone, especially someone in authority, in a way that is insincere, in order to get some advantage for yourself while occasionally informing and educating, confuse, defend, protect, and downplay others with his suspiciously sincere mannerisms to those he attempts to propagandize, and yet rants and raves when anyone challenges or questions him and/or his motives in public wildland fire forums (e.g. San Diego Wildland Fire Safety Summit, Southern CA Association of Foresters and Fire Wardens), And ignoring what us Truth Tellers would say in respectively ignoring her response to his request for "comments, questions, and smart remarks" (Joy A. Collura) and then immediately stated something to the effect of 'Mr. Mayhew, you originally stated that you had successfully interviewed all the YH Fire witnesses. I was one of the two eyewitnesses that day and you never interviewed me.' Mayhew outright ignored Joy A. Collura and then instantly rejected this author's attempt to respond to his subsequent request while merely raising his hand. Mayhew's next request to everyone there was for "any comments or questions" with his assertive, loud, immediate, and non-inclusive response "not you Fred" immediately followed by one of the SDWFSS administrator's response something to the effect of "that's it, you're/we're done" spearheading this author with his assertive response and basically shutting down Mayhew's presentation, thus foreclosing anyone else's opportunity to respond. It was quite obvious to many of the SDWFSS participants that even though invited - this author and Collura - one of the two YH Fire eyewitness hikers receive much closer scrutiny. The legacy of Mr. Mayhew's alleged prejudice toward Truth Tellers is quite discernible in the tendency in some quarters to require only his ideas to have influenced the political and organizational elite before any of us are even allowed to be deemed worthy of historical attention. It is as though there were some nefarious reasons why we that have a different worldview of the YH Fire and GMHS debacle are somehow of less interest and significance even though our YHFR website analytics consistently indicates high visitation and read-time numbers worldwide, and it is listed as an Information Source for the US Hot Shot Association ?top 100 significant wildfire fatalities??. Thus, the clearly fabricated and false YH Fire and GMHS debacle histories, particularly in the form of the claim that ideas of any degree of systematic expression or formal sophistication did not merit detailed historical scrutiny because they were, by definition, only held by a small, supposedly 'educated' and 'informed' minority (e.g. the SAIT and most all of the Subject Matter Experts (SME) that they utilized. (Intellectual history - Stefan Collini - Making History)
Hopefully, by now, you are much more informed on the issues at hand here, especially those related to Brad Mayhew with his over-the-top efforts to maintain his "status" and his ongoing prideful path of aggrandizement, as well as Ad Hominem attacks on anyone that disagrees with him or opposes his efforts. His alleged agenda-driven propaganda as if it were truth, while his Kool-Aid drinking allies throttle down, demonize, shadowban, or flat out censor anything that conflict with his narrative. One of his alleged faults is the facade of objectivity; the entire American media establishment, online and offline, has been complicit in allowing the spreading of lies and concealing the truth; despicably, stigmatizing anyone and everyone who ever supported we, the Truth Tellers, Sheepdogs versus Sheep; or anyone who defended some of our actions against the Wolves.
And at least a little more related to "historical fiction" author John Maclean. In this author's professional opinion, Mayhew Mayhew having established himself as the YH Fire and GMHS debacle "Lead Investigator" must continue to assert himself as such along with his predetermined "conclusion" of the SAIT-SAIR (p. 4) stating that they found “...no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol”
"When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, ,,," Deuteronomy 20:1 (NKJV)