October Journal - 2
Credible Evidence Continues to Surface Regarding a Likely “Friendly Fire” Incident Along the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor Area on June 30, 2013
To complement and strengthen our revised post title, we want to address this question: Did the lead ADOSH investigator discount or write off PFD Willis' May 5, 2014, email evidence of a 'backfire' claiming "there is a whole new story about what happened on June 30th"?
Authors: Douglas Fir and other contributing authors
Views expressed to "the public at large” and "of public concern"
DISCLAIMER: Please fully read the front page of the website (link below) before reading any of the posts ( www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com )
The authors and the blog are not responsible for misuse, reuse, recycled and cited and/or uncited copies of content within this blog by others. The content even though we are presenting it public if being reused must get written permission in doing so due to copyrighted material. Thank you.
Figure 1. June 30, 2013, between approx. 1630 (4:30 PM) and 1710 (5:10 PM) timeframe - very aggressive fire behavior in Glen Ilah area. Source: Collura Records
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Proverbs 3: 5-7 (NKJV)
This post is based on the Eleventh Global Virtual Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) and the Affiliated Conferences, USA, July 16-20, 2020. Advances in Safety Management and Human Performance Arezes, Pedro, Boring, Ronald L. (Eds.); New Findings and Methods in Human Performance. Tile: Credible Evidence Continues to Surface Regarding a Likely “Friendly Fire” Incident Along the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor Area on June 30, 2013. Primary and Co-Authors are: Fred J. Schoeffler, Lance Honda, Joy A. Collura; pp. 353-361
Due to 2020 AHFE restrictions, all of the accepted authors' papers were limited to nine (9) pages, including references. So, in this post, we will examine the photos and videos and emails that support the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor likely firing operations and expand on those abbreviated or truncated issues that need further clarification and information. This includes a recently acquired germane email from PFD Willis to ADOSH investigator Krotenberg.
The Sesame Street to Shrine Corridor area likely firing operation is sustained by at least ten (10) suggestive proofs as follows: (1) three SAIT-SAIR excerpts; (2) photos and videos (some with metadata) that we posted on the YHFR site, based on separate and distinct smoke columns; (3) over twenty WFs, FFs, and citizens that saw a Corridor firing operation video in July 2013 at the Yarnell, AZ Library and on YouTube; (4) the following year (2014) "burnt fusees" and "accelerants" were located (by special local hounds) along the Corridor area during separate site visits; (5) several 2014 and 2019 Investigative MEDIA posts (D. Pfingston) about a “back burn;” (6) the Institution of Fire Engineers. Intl. Org. for Fire Professionals video noted in Figure 6. below; (7) an experienced WF and Academy instructor hearsay evidence regarding at least three separate Corridor firing operations; (8) former Yarnell Fire Chief Pete Anderson (RiP) You Tube Investigative Media interview discussing the Corridor and firing operation; (9) the June 30, 2013, Lewis Dept. of Corrections (DOC) Crew Boss Jake Guadiana, who was working on the YH Fire and commented: "we watched those [smoke] columns all through the day;" and (10) the recently discovered May 7, 2014, email thread from PFD Wildland Battalion Chief Willis to lead ADOSH investigator Krotenberg regarding new evidence ("Yarnell Hill Discovery") about a possible 'backfiring' operation that would result in "a whole new story."
Regarding the 2014 GMHS Memorial Anniversary, Co-Author Collura posted on the YHFR website on December 15, 2019: "That same day, before they arrived, there were two Honor Guard people that played the bagpipes, dressed in formal uniforms, that I overheard state "what happened on this [Shrine] road will die with us." The reason I never placed this information publicly on IM or elsewhere, until now, was due to sensitivity for the loved ones. However, a select few in person have always known about this. So then, these two Honor Guard men were either there or know who was there that day involved with the firing operation." (emphasis original)
On April 24, 2019 at 12:57 AM (Comment 478080 of IM Chapter XXVI), WTKTT stated: "The only mysteries have always been what HER [DP] 'original sources' were ... and if she ended up discovering things herself that are still not ( yet ) publicly known." My disappointment is when listening to all these PODCASTS she placed out there on the Internet, there are other firefighters who said they know from her that there are other vital areas on the "backburn" subject omitted from and / or not discussed / posted on those PODCASTS. So then, in order to find the "complete" truth - something we all want - do I question what she claims she knows about the "backburn" or do I question what the firefighters have told me? Furthermore, and more importantly, we need to address this and present this privately as well as the public at large so that we can fulfill our shared goal. We both agree that "We will learn lessons from this only when the truth is complete. ..." (emphasis added)
Burning out and backfiring are dissimilar firing operations, often misunderstood and more often incorrectly substituted one for the other. Burning Out is a regular means of line construction by setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the fire edge and the control line, to strengthen and straighten them by eliminating fuel between the fire edge and the control line; it is considered as part of direct attack. A Single Resource Boss (CRWB, ENGB, etc.) has authority to initiate burnouts with Division Supervisor or other supervisory approval, usually an on-going part of line construction. Backfiring is a fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a fire or to change the fire’s direction, approved by the Incident Commander (IC) or the Operations Section Chief (OPS) and put into effect at the Division level . Adhering to basic wildland firefighting rules and guidelines with informing adjoining forces as critical. The authors are firm that during the several June 30, 2013, firing operations, this required communications was hit-and-miss at best and nonexistent at worst which proved to be fatal for the GMHS. It is interesting that some Advocacy Groups and like-minded individuals justly question whether “extensive backburning” (slang for firing operations) is “a cause or consequence” of large wildfires posting greater WFs/FFs risks than usually sensed. “It is easy to understand … why suppression firing may be the dominant form of fire use today.” (emphasis added)
Consider now some additional corroborating evidence of a firing operation. Check out this May 7, 2014, email thread between PFD Willis and ADOSH lead investigator Krotenberg admitting to having come "across some evidence" about a Yarnell Hill Fire "backfire" operation that may have "added to the fire front and increased the intensity of the fire that ultimately over ran the Granite Mountain Hot Shot Crew" (GMHS). It is posted in this link ( https://www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com/post/page-4-these-are-my-city-of-prescott-public-records-requests-descending-order )
It is located near the bottom of that post in the link above.
From: Willis,Darrell To: CC: Willis Darrell Date: 5/7/2014 12:55:20 PM
Subject: Yarnell Hill Discovery
Dear Marshall, I would like to inform you of some evidence we have come across that may have an impact on the AZDOSH report and citations relating to Yarnell Hill. We have come across some evidence that we believe is residue and slag from flares in the area of Yarnell along some roads in the area. This evidence, if verified by laboratory tests, would indicate that someone (crew, engine, individual(s) or independent resources may have added to the fire front and increased the intensity of the fire that ultimately over ran the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, by conducting a backfire. I have found no evidence of this discussion in either the AZDOSH report or the Serious Accident Investigation Report. If this proves to be true, there is a whole new story about what happened on June 30th. I would be glad to discuss this with you at your convenience and provide you with the evidence and documentation for your review. I look forward to hearing from you.
Darrell Willis, Division Chief
Figure 2. Email thread between PFD Willis and lead ADOSH investigator Krotenberg regarding new discovery of likely (fusee) firing device residue and slag in the Yarnell area along some roads. JPEG image. Source: PFD, Collura
Consider now the Serious Accident Investigation Team (SAIT) - Serious Accident Investigation Report (SAIR) references to a firing operation along a two-track road to be improved by a dozer for a proposed firing operation.
"The Blue Ridge IHC [BRHS] parks their crew carriers next to the Granite Mountain IHC [GMHS] carriers. The Superintendent (BR Supt) and Captain (BR Capt) unload their utility task vehicle (UTV) and continue along Sesame Street. They encounter SPGS1 who requests a Heavy Equipment Boss (HEQB) to manage a dozer and clear out the two-track road on both sides as far as possible to provide access and to prepare for possible backfire. [BRHS] assigns one of their squad leaders, who is qualified as an HEQB, to help." (p. 18) (emphasis added)
"As BR Supt and BR Capt continue to scout, HEQB takes the dozer as far as an old abandoned grader to push a clear area around it. He then heads in the direction of the saddle near [GMHS] anchor point. Following this, his plan is to turn around and clear out the two-track road (an old fuel break) between Sesame Street and Shrine Road. Meanwhile, the rest of the Blue Ridge IHC stays with the crew carriers where they have “good eyes on the fire.” (p. 18) (emphasis added)
"As BR Supt is en route to pick up drivers to move the [GMHS] crew carriers, SPGS1 contacts him to ask if they still have the option to burn out from the dozer line. BR Supt tells him no. DIVS A, hearing the [radio] transmission, agrees and says he believes the fire is almost as far as the [GMHS] vehicles. A moment later, DIVS A says, 'I want to pass on that we’re going to make our way to our escape route.'” (p. 24) (emphasis added)
"A task force with Structure Protection Group 1 is working in the area. They are cutting a piece of indirect line from the area near the youth camp on Shrine Road eastward to a boulder pile, expecting that they may need to burn off this line overnight. This piece of indirect line connects to the dozer line between Shrine Road and Sesame Street, which the [BRHS] have been prepping since about 1500." (p. 25) (emphasis added)
"Between 1530 and 1545, winds pick up and gradually shift direction from the southwest to the west-northwest, and the fire becomes very active. There is some spotting, and heavy ash is falling onto fire personnel working in the youth camp area. By this time, the two-mile flanking fire
looks more like a head fire and is starting to move southeasterly." (p. 25) (emphasis added)
"At the [GMHS] location near the anchor point, wind shifts began at approximately 1550. Before that, the fire was moving generally
northeast. Around 1550, the fire shifted to moving southeast and aggressively pushing toward Yarnell. The outflow boundary itself had not arrived yet. It did not hit the southern perimeter of the fire until 1630. When the outflow boundary hits, winds drastically increase and drive the fire south." (p. 25 - Inset) (emphasis added)
"By 1622, the firefighters in the Shrine area recognize the fire has reached the second trigger point and they start moving out toward Highway 89. Blue Ridge has left and they try several times to contact SPGS1 about getting the rest of the firefighters out of the area. Some of the firefighters do not share their sense of urgency, so BR Supt and BR Capt drive back in to hurry them, urging them out of the Shrine area. As they follow the last firefighters out, the smoke column above brings darkness. Embers fall and ignite numerous spot fires, which quickly burn together. By 1630, the fire is bearing down on them. The last firefighters reach Highway 89 at 1640 and they call SPGS1 on Tac 1 to confirm they are out. They drive south a few minutes, to the Ranch House Restaurant to regroup and to determine if it is a safe area or if they need to continue further south." (p. 25-26 ) (emphasis added)
"At approximately 1600, ASM2 overhears a comment on the radio referencing a crew and a safety zone. ASM2 calls OPS1 and clarifies, “I heard a crew in a safety zone, do we need to call a time out?” OPS1 replies, 'No, they’re in a good place. They’re safe and it’s Granite Mountain.'
They talk about flying over to check on the crew, but for now, they think the crew is safe in the black." (p. 27) (emphasis added)
"'Following this conversation, ASM2 hears DIVS A announce on the radio, 'We’re going down our escape route to our safety zone.' ASM2 asks, 'Is everything okay?' to which DIVS A replies, 'Yes, we’re just moving.'” (p. 27) (emphasis added) A verbal distortion is present here. They already traveled from danger to their Safety Zone.
Wildland Firing Operations Tactics and Strategy - Fighting Fire with Fire
Burning out and backfiring are dissimilar firing operations, often misunderstood and substituted. Burning Out is setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the fire edge and the control line strengthening and straightening them by eliminating fuel between the fire edge and the control line; considered direct attack . A Single Resource Boss (CRWB, ENGB, etc.) has authority to initiate burnouts with Division Supervisor approval, usually an on-going part of line construction. Backfiring is a fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a fire or to change the fire’s direction, approved by the Incident Commander (IC) or the Operations Section Chief (OPS) and put into effect at the Division level . Adhering to basic wildland firefighting rules and guidelines with informing adjoining forces as critical . Some groups justly question whether “extensive backburning” (slang for firing operations) is “a cause or consequence” of large wildfires posting greater WFs/FFs risks than usually sensed. “It is easy to understand … why suppression firing may be the dominant form of fire use today” .
Indeed, the IMT burnout was planned for and pressed by the IMT and other overhead, including those engaged in "Independent Actions," in order to complete the task. We contend that there were several separate firing operations by Agency as well as Hybrid Municipal FDs and others. And that this is a main focal point of the SAIT and other "interested entities" to keep hidden from WFs, FFs, the GMHS family, friends, and loved ones, and of course, the public.
Escape Routes are the paths WFs/FFs take from unsafe present locations to safer ones; it is the most elusive safety prong of LCES due to its ever-changing status, as evidenced by the actions of the GMHS on June 30, 2913, when they performed their distorted and subsequently fatal "escape route." A recent "review of US wildland firefighter entrapments" noted by Dr. Butler et al,
"Typically, only during the infrequent alignment of fire environment conditions that promote high rates of spread (i.e. extreme fire behaviour) and large fire growth ... do firefighters lack the time required to adapt or escape, potentially owing to a combination of the unexpected nature of the increase in fire behaviour ... and the inability to quickly utilise escape routes." (emphasis added) pp. 551-552. (Citations omitted)
Butler et al also found that, among other things, key portions of entrapment potential lies in human factors and there is a likely sizable under-reporting of entrapments. So then, we can certainly add the YH Fire and GMHS debacle to this list for future research. In addition, in the meantime, we must ask - Why did the GMHS correctly and skillfully pursue a true Escape Route to get to a viable Safety Zone "in the black," then pervert that term, leave their worthwhile Safety Zone - and then fatally hike downhill in chimneys and chutes of unburned chaparral into a deadly bowl?
Notwithstanding the fact that "bowls" are not specifically mentioned, it went against all that we (and they) are trained to avoid as emphasized in the NWCG instruction publication! "Keep away from narrow draws, chutes, and chimneys. They tend to funnel smoke, flames, and hot gases that can damage your shelter." (p. 6 - emphasis added) Astonishingly, during the July 2013 GMHS Deployment Site News Conference video, PFD Wildland Fire battalion Chief Willis does state that they"protected themselves as a last resort … they picked the best location in this bowl."
Taking a slight diversion into human factors and psychology, American journalist Sebastian Junger, in the 'Tribe' chapter dealing with "moral courage" noted a clear how and why difference in risk taking between men and women. "[Women] tend to act heroically within their own moral universe, regardless of whether anyone else knows about it. ... Men, on the other hand, are far more likely to risk their lives at a moment's notice, and reaction is particularly strong when others are watching, or when they are part of a group." (emphasis added) (Junger; 2016; pp. 57-58)
Wildland Firing Operations and Friendly Fire
The notion of Friendly Fire, (aka fratricide or amicicide) is atypical, presented here from a unique wildland fire perspective. Consider now a short account of the phrase based in historic military passages and quotes to propose as an analog for wildland fire incidents. According to retired Army Colonel turned academic, Scott Snook extensively researched a friendly fire incident in Iraq when two U.S. Air Force fighters by mistake shot down two Army Blackhawk helicopters . “Friendly fire-casualties unintentionally inflicted on one’s own forces-is not a new problem in the history of warfare. However, until quite recently, little explicit attention has been paid to studying its causes and possible solutions” (footnote omitted) with certain cases frequently revealing that the fratricide was the final link in a chain of mistakes . Retired Army Lt. Colonel Charles Shrader refers to it as “amicicide.” He wrote “… in the ‘fog of war’ friendly fire casualties are inevitable … ‘fog of war’ is an oft-mentioned, if imperfectly understood, …” . With few sources, researchers are left with scattered, cryptic, notes found in general operational histories or official combat records . The authors can duly relate to the notion of few sources.
Rare wildland “friendly fire” incidents are most often fatal as documented and recounted by many experienced WFs and human factors researchers that firmly believe that the Mann Gulch (MT-1949), Loop (CA-1966), Battlement Creek (CO-1976), Mackenzie (AZ-1994), Cedar (CA- 2003), and Yarnell Hill Fires (AZ-2013) were the result of likely “friendly fire” [5, 15]. These are discussed in some detail on InvestigativeMEDIA (IM)  and incompletely recorded (read “official” records) in the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Incident Reviews. Likewise, the WF brother of a deceased GMHS that was unsuccessful getting a GMHS position, acknowledged and agreed that his brother had died “from fratricide” on June 30, 2013. He conceded that to cope with losing his brother, he accepted they were adults with many options that day. Contrary to the SAIT-SAIR, groupthink poor choices caught up with them, resulting in the fatal outcomes
The mostly unreliable YH Fire SAIT utilized many individuals to assist them in their alleged "Factual" investigation, including a Support Team and so-called Subject Matter Experts (SMEs ), in their examination and alleged "investigation" of the YH Fire and GMHS debacle. We think it's safe to say that most of them were Party Liners, dedicated "Team Players" willing to eagerly "Go Along to Get Along" and willingly drink the Kool-Aid.
Note in Figure 3a. (below - right) that one of the SME's stated to me in August 2013:
"We have so much evidence that we cannot and will not ever release to the public."
I would hazard a guess that a lot of that evidence would have been regarding the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor firing operation.
Figure 3. SAIT member list (left) and Support Team list (right). Source: SAIT-SAIR
Figure 3a. SAIT Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) list (left) and PowerPoint slide (right) regarding SME statement about YHF and GMHS evidence and "we will never know" statements in the SAIT-SAIR. Source: SAIT-SAIR, 2019 AHFE PowerPoint
Relevant to the firing operation examination, what follows are two "YH Fire Lab Test - Sinclair et al email threads" (Figure 3. and Figure 3a.) regarding some awaited laboratory test results for some substance, (i.e. "white stuff") that these individuals 'discovered' in the Corridor area that turned out to be "slag" or residue from common wildland firefighting fusees often used in firing operations. They are basically customized road flares that are longer and therefore burn longer.
Figure 3b. (left) CDF video on firing mechanisms. Source: CDF, YouTube
Figure 3c (above). Email thread between Alan Sinclair and others regarding Yarnell Hill Fire Lab Test. JPEG image. Source: PFD, Collura
Consider this email (January 2015 - re: any ideas) excerpt from D. Pfingston to a group o0f current and retired WFs and FFs researching the YH Fire. She is quite confident that a "back burn" occurred referring to it as a "fact." I placed these excerpts here because she is included in the laboratory email below. It is a good segue into the YH Fire and GMHS firing operation discussion because fusees are a common tool used to burn out with. Persistently, wildland firing operations are erroneously referred to as "back burns" by the inexperienced and uninformed.
“I stand firm that there was a back burn that came up that canyon. It was this fact along with the weather change that the IC never sent out because they were busy evacuating that caused the death of Granite Mountain. Yes there were all the facts that your group has so brilliantly shown but please lets not lose sight that we are still fighting for the complete truth.” (emphasis added)
Figure 3d. Email thread between Alan Sinclair, PFD Willis, PFD Harwood, H. Neill, D. Pfingston regarding "any ideas" and Yarnell Hill Fire Lab Test. JPEG image. Source: PFD, Collura
Once again, the above email excerpt in Figure 3a. (above) is regarding some substance, (i.e. "white stuff") that these individuals discovered in the Corridor area that turned out to be "slag" or residue from common wildland firefighting fusees used in firing operations.
What follows in Figure 4. (below) is an email excerpt from D. Thompson to PFD Willis regarding further inquiry into FBAN Bruce Olson because he is "totally under the radar and yet was on the YHF the entire time. ... he may have some had some input into operations and strategy and tactics." And also requesting further inquiry into "the Glendale FD guys who were working for Cordes in Yarnell and Glen Ilah. ... who have never been interviewed." (emphasis added) It appears that she may be inquiring about his involvement in and knowledge of the firing operations.
Figure 4. Email thread snippet between PFD Willis and D. Thompson regarding BLM FBAN Bruce Olson and his knowledge of YH Fire tactics and strategy. And Glendale FD resources on Engine 156 (Nine plus personnel never interviewed) working for SPGS Cordes in Glen Ilah and Yarnell areas. JPEG image. Source: PFD, Collura
She persists. What follows in Figure 4a. (below) is an email excerpt (1/27/2015 RE: Mystery Engine) from D. Thompson to PFD Willis regarding further inquiry into a "Mystery Engine" (E-156) and what they were "doing in at the Helms (BSR) area for two hours? What did they hear" What did they see" ... This Engine was also with them in [the] Shrine with everyone else. ..." (emphasis added) Once again, it appears that she is inquiring about their involvement in and knowledge of the Shrine firing operations.
Figure 4a. Email (January 27, 2015 - Mystery Engine) thread snippet between PFD Willis and D. Thompson regarding nagging questions what Glendale FD Engine 156 resources and TFLD (T) Esquibel were doing while working in the Helms and Shrine areas. JPEG image. Source: PFD, Collura
At this point, in more-or-less chronological order, we delve into the visual, photographic and video evidence we have garnered regarding the Sesame Street and Shrine Firing operations. we have based this on our 2020 AHFE paper titled: Credible Evidence Continues to Surface Regarding a Likely “Friendly Fire” Incident Along the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor Area on June 30, 2013 ( https://rdcu.be/b5BXG ).
Consider this short YouTube video titled: “Yarnell Hill Fire - 2013” (4-30-19 - WTKTT) reveals three GMHS performing a minor firing operation near their “lunch spot” on the Weavers. The photo was taken from down below, near the Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR), near Deertrack Drive at 1036 (10:36 AM) to “get the fire squared up with the two-track road." There are clearly three GMHS, (left - Steed in red hardhat) working together as a small firing group to begin an ‘indirect’ burnout Sunday, June 30, 2013. The GMHS on the right is pointing with his arm outstretched or possibly using a flare gun, often used in firing operations.
Figure 5. Yarnell Hill Fire - June 30, 2013, approx. 1036 (10:36 AM) cross-fade video revealing a small GMHS firing operation contingent Source: YouTube, WTKTT, Anonymous Source by Request
Consider now (Figure 6. and Figure 6a.) the AZ State Forestry (ASF) video of a firing operation on June 30, 2013, 1534 (3:34 PM) based on the upper left video file name (0630131534), typical of other similarly saved YH Fire records. The video depicts a USFS Type 3 Engine and two WFs with torches, steadily firing off along one of the spur roads in the Peeples Valley area on the fringes of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area. This verifies that Engine Crews decided to perform fairly assertive burnouts despite the intense conditions. This USFS wildland fire Engine correctly follows behind the lighters, compared to the naive Municipal FFs firing operation with the Engine in front of the lighters, as noted in one of the WF's testimony. This indicates a lack of wildland firefighting experience in general, and a lack of firing operations experience in particular. The Figure 6a. relevant USFS Type 3 Engine video segment is from 00:00 to 01:25.
The Figure 6a. video segments that follow the USFS Type 3 Engine firing operation above, during the Engine Staging Area segment (the scene visible on the video screen image), clearly reveal separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes), indicative of a firing operation. These are during the 1:30 to 4:17 timeline with some notable, aggressive backdrop fire behavior, including some clear, relevant radio transmissions throughout the video concerning aggressive fire behavior, tactics and strategy based on the fire potential they are witnessing.
Figure 6. June 30, 2013, 1534 (3:34 PM) based on upper left video file name (0630131534) - Yarnell Hill Fire. (0630131534) Firefighter Safety. Video clip of USFS Type 3 Engine firing operation along spur road area. Source: Institution of Fire Engineers. Intl. Org. for Fire Professionals.
This USFS Engine Boss revealed that this was his "first Engine Boss assignment and [he] was very nervous because of the fire behavior and chaos ..." He also said that there were "other USFS Engines that took off on the road lighting to the South." He said he was "told by a SGS [Structure Group Specialist] to fire on their way heading South away from the structures to try and stop it and square the fire off." He admitted that he "knew that they added much more steam to the already large flame front."
This is an InvestigativeMEDIA (IM) comment (July 28, 2020) with some additional, corroborative information on this. "I spoke to one of the type 3 engine crews that abandoned structure protection by the order of their division supervisor and burned miles of spur roads before they came out and went into town. That division supervisor or SGS ... told them to bail and light on their way out " (emphasis added)
( https://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxxi-here/#comment-484219 )
Figure 6a. 30th June 2013 - Yarnell Hill Fire, Arizona. Firefighter Safety.Video clips of firing operation. Source: Institution of Fire Engineers. Intl. Org. for Fire Professionals.
The authors maintain that these respective Figure 6. & Figure 6a. (above) videos are essential to revealing and undergirding the likelihood of the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor firing operations. The authors believe there is evidence of at least three firing operations.
Please consider this Drop Box for additional ADOSH Supporting Photos & Maps - ASFD.pdf (ADOSH)
( https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=2bf4c658-af5d-43fe-aa87-7d8ad0bcdb56&forceDialog=0 )
Figure 7. Google Earth image, looking Northwest (using "Snipping tool") indicating up-slope alignment of the Sesame Street To Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor (upper center black horizontal arrows) to the parallel chimneys / chutes / washes mid-image (twin vertical curved black lines) leading up to the GMHS Deployment Zone. Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR) / Helms in the center right. Source: Yavapai County Records Request 7-9-14\Audio video recordings\Video Files; FA42 IMG_1584.MOV July 4, 2013, 2:34pm, Paint
Consider now (below) a Google Earth Vertical Profile image (Snippet) in Figure 7b. based on the Google Earth (image in Figure 7a. from right to left) pathway and respective yellow place markers indicating the Sesame Street - Shrine - Uphill Aligned Twin, Parallel Chutes - GMHS Deployment Zone Alignment - This vertical profile basically represents an EXTREMELY DEADLY VIRTUAL SLINGSHOT!
Figure 7a. Google Earth Snippet of Sesame Street - Shrine - Uphill Aligned Twin, Parallel Chutes - GMHS Deployment Zone Alignment. The Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR), not labeled is the opening just below the DZ - Fatality Site label. Source: Google Earth
Figure 7b. Google Earth Vertical Profile Snippet of Sesame Street - Shrine - Uphill Aligned Twin, Parallel Chutes - GMHS Deployment Zone (DZ) Alignment. The DZ is in the upper left corner Source: Google Earth
Consider now the following photos (Figures 8. to ) from a former Yarnell FD Firefighter (FF) that took these photographs on June 30, 2013. Here is a transcribed email (August 19, 2013) excerpt from him to ADOSH investigator Krotenberg: "I’ve got more but these photos appear to be the most interesting. The first were taken at the top of W Happy Way, at S Crest Way, with two smaller plumes starting to develop NWW from town. The last photo (16:04) was taken from the N end of N Crest Way, from above the Presbyterian church and shows the larger plume N-NW of town. It also appears that the other plumes are growing in that photo." (emphasis added)
YFD FF Chuck Kristensen's comment below is most instructive being that it comes from a local experienced FF that witnessed and photographed the fire behavior and smoke columns and came to this accurate conclusion.
"I was wondering if the southerly plumes were the ones that expanded to take out the firefighters and attack Glen Ilah."
Figure 8. View of smoke columns (plumes) on June 30, 2013, at 15:51:39 (3:51:39 PM) from Crest Way and Happy Way looking Westerly. Note the obviously separate and distinct smoke column left of the telephone pole which clearly suggests a firing operation is taking place. Source: Chuck Kristensen
Figure 8a. View of smoke columns (plumes) on June 30, 2013 15:51:58 (3:51:58 PM) at Crest Way and Happy Way looking westerly. Note the obviously separate and distinct smoke columns both left and right of the telephone pole which clearly suggests a progression of the firing operation taking place when compared with Figure 7. above. Source: Chuck Kristensen
Figure 8b. View of smoke columns (plumes) on June 30, 2013, at 15:52:45 (3:52:45 PM). This is the triangle that connects Fountain Hills to Lakewood Drive looking toward the Sesame Street to The Shrine areas. These smoke columns (plumes) of somewhat faint separate and distinct smoke columns continue to suggest that a firing operation is taking place. Source: Chuck Kristensen
Figure 9. Video of June 30, 2013 at 1555 (3:55 PM) taken from the towers on Antelope Peak in Yarnell, AZ. Very active fire behavior in the Sesame/ Street and Shrine areas. Source: Anonymous-by-request persons
Figure 10. View of smoke columns (plumes) on June 30, 2013, at 16:04:36 (4:04:36 PM) near Crestway and Tabletop Way looking between The Shrine (not visible), Harper Canyon, and the U-Stow-It. Source: Chuck Kristensen
Figure 10a. Google Earth Street View image from Crest Way, noting specific June 30, 2013, YH Fire WF / FF activity areas of interest (i.e. BRHS vehicles, GMHS Mackenzie photo spot, Deployment Site, etc.) minus actual fire scenes in the above photos. Source: WantsToKnowTheTruth (WTKTT)
Figure 10. reveals the same Kristensen photo areas as Figures 8, 8a., 8b., and 10. except this Street View Google Earth image above has more 'annotations' and shows more specific YH Fire-related locations of personnel and equipment. Note that according to the red sightline, the 'fireline' had not yet crossed the 'Old Grader' location out in the 'bowl' area. This clearly complements other photographic evidence already in the Public Record for this 1551 (3:51 PM) timeframe. (paraphrasing WTKTT) Also notice that whatever fire behavior was happening 'out there' at 1551 (3:51 PM), the GMHS had a clear, unobstructed view of it from that 'Last Rest Spot' and the place where GMHS Christopher Mackenzie and the other GM Hotshots (RiP) were all taking their own photos (looking back East in this same 1551 (3:51 PM) timeframe. (paraphrasing WTKTT)
The following ADOSH comment is worthy in that it provides a good segue to the sequential, separate and distinct smoke column (plume) photos: “Fire behavior was extreme and it occurred early in the day... There was a line of fire a mile and a half long ... There were 40 to 50 foot flame-lengths at 1030 in the morning ... It was moving early that morning. This is unusual for Arizona.” ~ ADOSH interview with SPGS2 (emphasis added) (Wildland Fire Associates p. 11)
Consider now the link for the IMG_1898.jpg photo and others to follow. This is a Drop Box link for the following photos from FF Jerry Thompson with the Sun City West FD photos and videos and texts shown in Figure 11 to Figure 15. ( https://www.dropbox.com/sh/02ue6bnjp6nazkm/AACjXUZXUTol5xdSHlORGsTqa/Photos%20and%20Video/Jerry%20Thompson%20Photos%20Videos?dl=0&preview=IMG_1898.jpg&subfolder_nav_tracking=1 ) Dropbox link below **
The four individual video clip transcribed narratives from this Dropbox are listed immediately below and below each respective figure. See Dropbox link above **
Video IMG_1101.3gp (18 seconds) June 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM video footage of a SCW FD FF sitting on a boulder watching the fire behavior and smoke column with other background FF radio traffic overheard. Lots of wind in the microphone of the videographer.
Video IMG_1134.3gp (1:04 seconds) 4:27 PM video of very active lateral fire behavior in chaparral fuels. Narration with another FF talking in the background: "Look at those flame lengths Matt ... on the ridge; those are 200 foot flame lengths easy, those middle flames are 200 foot, 300 foot flame lengths in this stuff, Over here we got smoke that looks like it's trying to push itself down, heavy column above us, pretty good activity in here. So, we had thunder[storms] in here earlier. We were talking about plume dominated fire ... It really doesn't seem to be pushing off, it seems to be pushing right at us all of a sudden, ... all the signs and symptoms of ah, ... multiply that times ten and it's time to get out of here. ... holy Jesus."
Video IMG_1135.3gp (19 seconds) silent video footage of active lateral and downslope fire behavior left to right
Video IMG_1136.3gp (10 seconds) video of active fire behavior with OPS Todd Abel radio transmissions overheard regarding moving tactical resources to "Cordes, ... down in Yarnell, he's getting pushed hard right now." FFs in the video saying "we're getting lot of ash" and another FF saying "It's coming right at us, we gotta hike to the [trucks]."
The following three .txt messages are included in the Dropbox of the Sun City West FD for the videos/photos indicating documentation including times.
Note "who" they gave their photos and videos to as well.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light. Ephesians 5:11-14 (NKJV)
Consider the (README.txt at 4:24PM) text message regarding the SCW FD FF videos and photos given to the SAIT Co-Team Leader Mike Dudley.
Jerry Thompson, who was on a brush rig during the fire, gave these June 30, 2013, photos to Mike Dudley, a member of the Accident Investigation Team. Jerry included text files with time stamps for each file. He also included this text file: 4:24pm Mike, this is Jerry Thompson from Sun City FD, I have time stamps to photo's and video. (emphasis added)
"4:30 pm I took this last pic right before hiking to our truck and out to our safety zone, we are approx 3/4 mile south of Blue Ridge Hotshots at this point, they where working NW of the [S]hrine, and believe GM is 3/4 of a mile southwest of us." (emphasis added) (README.txt) text message regarding the Sun City West FD photo (IMG_5682.txt ) See Dropbox link above **
Figure 11. Jerry Thompson photo IMG_9446.jpg at 3:57 PM looking north-northwest; confirmed, indicating separate and distinct smoke columns, suggesting a firing operation Source: Jerry Thompson Photos Videos (Sun City West FD).
Figure 12. YH Fire IMG_8567. June 30, 2013, 1608 (4:08 PM) indicating aggressive fire behavior in the Harper Canyon area. Source: Jerry Thompson Photos Videos (Sun City West FD)
Figure 13. YH Fire IMG_8573. June 30, 2013, 1613 (4:13 PM) indicating aggressive fire behavior in the base of Harper Canyon toward the Shrine area. Source: Jerry Thompson Photos Videos (Sun City West FD)
Figure 14. YH Fire IMG_1898. June 30, 2013, 1624 (4:24 PM) looking north-northwest; confirmed, indicating separate and distinct smoke columns, suggesting a firing operation Source: Jerry Thompson Photos Videos (Sun City West FD).
In Figure 14. the right smoke plume is Harper Canyon; to the left is a gap with unburned fuel, which is the Youth Camp. It shows two separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) which leads to a second smoke column in the Sesame Street to Shrine Corridor area. From a WF perspective, these separate and distinct smoke columns clearly suggest a firing operation.
This is the transcribed SCW FD Drop Box README.txt at 4:24PM, text message regarding the SCW FD videos and photos given to the SAIT Co-Team Leader Mike Dudley. "Jerry Thompson, who was on a brush rig during the fire, gave these June 30, 2013 photos to Mike Dudley, a member of the Accident Investigation Team. Jerry included text files with time stamps for each file. He also included this text file: 4:24pm Mike, this is Jerry Thompson from Sun City FD, I have time stamps to photo's and video." (emphasis added) See Dropbox link above **
Figure 14a. Explanatory detail-enhanced photo IMG_1898 indicating June 30, 2013, 1624 (4:24 PM), active fire behavior, looking north-northwest, with two separate and distinct smoke columns suggesting a firing operation along the Sesame - Shrine Corridor; unburned, clear-air gap in the middle is the Shrine Youth Camp; Harper Canyon area on the right. Source: Jerry Thompson (Sun City West FD) and Joy A. Collura and Paint
Figure 14b. June 30, 2013, 1600 to 1700 est. (4:00-5:00 PM est.), active fire behavior with as many as three separate and distinct smoke columns (plumes) suggesting a firing operation within the Youth Camp in the Shrine. PVFD Water Tender news article titled: "A Narrow escape: Peeples Valley [FD] firefighters recount that frightening day" (Snippet) Source: Daily Courier originally published June 30, 2014
Figure 15. YH Fire IMG_5682. June 30, 2013, 1630 (4:30 PM) hazy view of the Sesame Street and Shrine areas. indicating lowering, compressed smoke columns, suggesting that outflow, downdraft winds may be imminent. Source: Jerry Thompson Photos Videos (Sun City West FD).
JT IMG_5682 text - June 30, 2013, 1630 (4:30 PM): "I took this last pic right before hiking to our truck and out to our safety zone, we are approx 3/4 mile south of Blue Ridge Hotshots at this point, they where working NW of the shrine, and believe GM is 3/4of a mile southwest of us." (emphasis added)
Figure 15a. Crossfade video of a photo taken at 4:24 PM on June 30, 2013, at the Yarnell Hill Fire. Source: Jerry Thompson Photos Videos (Sun City West FD), YouTube, WTKTT
The 4:24 PM photo in Figure 14. was taken by firefighter Jerry Thompson. He and his Sun-City-West Engine BR131 Crew were serving as 'lookouts' at a location just West of 'Westway' in Yarnell. The yellow line that appears in the crossfade video represents the Sesame Street and Shrine dozer line. The photo shows that, circa 4:24 PM, the fire was definitely coming into the town of Yarnell from out in the 'middle bowl' area, but there was no 'fire' or 'smoke' actually emanating from the Youth Camp or the dozer line itself.
Figure 16. IMG_3954 photo on Sunday, June 30, 2103, 1629:40 (4:29:40 PM); View of active fire behavior on hillside in the Sesame/Shrine area with FFs, FF vehicles, and UTVs visible in the center of the photo. Source: Thomas Woodley Records Request 9-10-14\A08-20130630 Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos Videos
Figure 17. IMG_3955 photo on Sunday, June 30, 2013, 1629:42 (4:29:42 PM); View of increased active fire behavior on the same hillside in the Figure 16. photo above in the Sesame/Shrine area with FFs, vehicles, and UTVs visible in the center of the photo. Source: Thomas Woodley Records Request 9-10-14\A08-20130630 Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos Videos
Figure 18. IMG_3956 photo on Sunday,June 30, 2103, 1629:48 (4:29:48 PM) View of increasing fire behavior on hillside above in the Sesame/Shrine area with two Glendale (AZ) FD vehicles pictured, the left one is a Type 6 engine and the right one is a Battalion Chief Command vehicle. Source: Thomas Woodley Records Request 9-10-14\A08-20130630 Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos Videos\Yarnell-Wardemups
Figure 19. Blue Ridge Hotshots ( Mccord ) photo.This is the view on Sunday, June 30, 2013, 1627:23 (4:27:23 PM) of smoke columns (plumes) with dark smoke indicative of increasing and/or intense fire behavior from somewhere in the Shrine area. Metadata included: File Size: 2.3 MB Camera Make: NIKON Camera Model Name: COOLPIX S01 for June 30, 2013.
Source: Thomas Woodley Records Request 9-10-14\A08-20130630 Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos Videos
Figure 20. (IMG_1334.JPG photo) View looking westerly from Yarnell, AZ traveling North on Highway 89, North of the Ranch House restaurant (the building on left is Assembly of God church) on June 30, 2013, 16:29:39 (4:29:39 PM) showing aggressive fire behavior and associated smoke column (plume) advancing toward the Helms / Boulder Springs Ranch (BSR) area. Source: Brian Lauber (AZSF)
Figure 20a. (IMG_1334.JPG photo) with Google Earth overlay image of Figure 20. (above) The uppermost red icon on the ridge is the GMHS Mackenzie photo spot, the curved yellow line is the ridgetop and/or midslope road, the middle red icon in the saddle on the ridgetop is the GMHS "descent point" down to the next red icon at the GMHS Deployment Zone; the lowest red icon is the Helms, BSR. Source: Brian Lauber (AZSF) and WTKTT
It is noteworthy that this IMG_1334.JPG photo was given to SAIT self-proclaimed Human Factors Lead Investigator Brad Mayhew - Predictably and likely by design, it was never included in the SAIT-SAIR!
As painful as it may be to some, bear in mind that the GMHS have supposedly left their Lunch Spot / Safety Zone without notifying anyone and they are hiking right down into some serious danger. Regarding Figure 20. & Figure 20a. - just to the left of the smoke column (plume) and the line of fire in both of these photos is the ‘hazy’ mountain ridge seen in the background which was the exact ‘southern route’ that the GMHS took to reach the saddle and then drop into the box canyon. Even though the line of fire out in the middle-bowl is approaching the mouth of the box canyon, there are only supposedly 540 seconds before GMHS Steed’s first Mayday.
Significantly, there is NO EVIDENCE in these photos that the line of fire was also simultaneously ‘crawling up’ those back ridges towards the saddle as the SAIT-SAIR (Figure 18 - p. 77) suggested in their idealized image reposted here in Figure 21. below. It’s just not happening.
So then, that puts a big damper on the ‘theory’ that the GMHS saw fire both ahead of and behind them (up on the saddle they descended from) at 4:39 PM when the first Mayday went out. The above Figure 20. & Figure 20a. photos are from the AZ Department of Safety and Health (ADOSH) ASFD misc. photos file, taken with an ‘iPhone 4′ on 30 June 2013; time-stamps can be considered ‘Network times’ and ‘accurate.’ These pictures show the main fireline as it approached the mouth of the box canyon circa 4:29 PM, actually just a few seconds shy of 4:30 PM.
Consider now the insidious SAIT-SAIR pattern of first establishing a conclusion and then finding the alleged "facts" to support it method of unethical "investigation" using this phony idealized image in (Figure 21. below) instead of the real photo of the real event in Figure 20. (above).
Figure 21. Idealized image of SAIT-SAIR Figure 18 on page 77 that falsely concluded: "Fire splitting with south head entering the middle bowl and north head moving toward the entrapment bowl." Source: YH Fire SAIT-SAIR ( https://www.wildfirelessons.net/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=4c98c51d-102c-4e04-86e0-b8370d2beb27&forceDialog=0 )
Figure 22. Purdy photo taken on June 30, 2013, at 1630 (4:30 PM) from along Deer Track above the BSR. The two cross-fade videos were made from this photo. Source: Purdy, AZ Central
Figure 22a. Yarnell Hill Fire - 2013 - Purdy Photo 1; This photograph was taken circa 4:30 PM on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at a residence on the far western edge of Glen Ilah. Source: Purdy, YouTube, WTKTT
Escape from Yarnell - Published 6:53 p.m. ET April 1, 2014 | Updated 7:01 p.m. ET April 1, 2014 ( https://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/story/behind-the-lens/2014/04/01/escape-yarnell-forest-fire-arizona/7178687 )
This link takes you to an article and a video with some good fire behavior,. including some from Ms. Purdy's house (0:24 to 0:33) from which WTKTT made these two cross-fade videos in Figures 21. ??
Figure 22b. Yarnell Hill Fire - 2013 - Purdy Photo 2; This photograph was taken circa 4:30 PM on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at a residence on the far western edge of Glen Ilah. Source: Purdy, YouTube, WTKTT
Figure 23. June 30, 2013,1631 (4:31 PM) photo of aggressive fire behavior and smoke column (plume) along Hwy, 89 behind Mountainairre market Source: Tham (RiP)
Figure 23a. June 30, 2013,1631 + (4:31 + PM) photo of much more aggressive and increased fire behavior and smoke column (plume) along Hwy, 89 behind Mountainairre market Source: Tham (RiP)
Figure 24. MARY NGUYEN Channel 12 News photo of June 30, 2013. 1631 (4:31 PM) of very aggressive fire behavior advancing toward the Helms and BSR area. This is a full two minutes after the 1629 (4:29 PM) Brian Lauber photos above in Figure 20. Source: Channel 12 News photo
Next, consider this KPNX 12 News article titled "Tribute center for Granite Mountain Hotshots ready to open" by Jessica De Nova. It was published and updated on June 25, 2018. ( https://www.12news.com/article/news/local/arizona/tribute-center-for-granite-mountain-hotshots-ready-to-open/75-567450256 )
The Channel 12 News article has an informative slide show located in the middle of the article with 30 photos of the YH Fire from their original archives, including their photo number 16 (Figure 22) is particularly instructive. It appears to be a new one (at the time), recently released in 2018. In a word, it is IMPORTANT. It may be the best photographic evidence yet of the YH Fire movement entering the box canyon minutes before all the GMHS would be burned over. (paraphrasing WTKTT)
The photo was taken the afternoon of June 30, 2013, just south of the Ranch House Restaurant, on the east side of Highway 89 and looking out towards the box canyon and the deployment site. It was taken at exactly 4:31 PM, just 8 minutes before the GMHS initial emergency radio call was recorded at exactly 4:39 PM.
WTKTT interpreted the photo metadata and is pretty confident with "exactly 4:31 PM" because this particular photo was taken with a network-connected iPhone 4S that always obtains accurate date/time information directly from the cellular network and the original photo sitting on the ’12 News’ server still has all that (accurate) EXIF metadata embedded in the photograph itself. This particular photo is also important because it appears to disprove a number of claims made in the original SAIT-SAIR.
This June 30, 2013, 1631 (4:31 PM) photograph (Figure 24) was used to create the cross-fade video below from the photograph itself into the absolute equivalent ‘Google Earth’ view in Figure 23. That photo ‘cross-fade’ and ‘fly-around’ is located at: ( https://youtu.be/NSYpnPMfPmc )
The KPNX 12 News article posted at InvestigativeMEDIA post June 27, 2018 at 11:41 pm ( https://youtu.be/_p6h5m6_W0k ) and (http://www.investigativemedia.com/please-begin-yarnell-hill-fire-chapter-xxvi-here/#comment-474595 ) http://dffm.az.gov/sites/default/files/YHR_Data_092813_0.pdf )
Figure 25. Yarnell Hill Fire cross-fade video of June 30, 2013 at 1631 (4:31 PM) of Figure 11, Channel 12 News photo above. This is a ‘through the looking glass’ cross-fades from the photograph itself into the absolute equivalent ‘Google Earth’ view. After the cross-fade it ‘flies around’ the Yarnell/Glen Ilah area showing exactly where the line of fire was at 4:31 PM, as seen in the Figure 11 photo. The video ends back where it starts where the photo was taken and then ‘cross-fades’ back up into the original photo again. Source: Channel 12 News, Google Earth, and IM contributor WTKTT
Figure 26.(left) IMG_3956.jpg photo on Sunday, June 30, 2013, 1635:06 (4:35:06 PM ) view of an increasing smoke column (plume) along Sesame Street heading toward the Helms / BSR. Blue/grey colored house in Yarnell, AZ next to the Assembly of God church to the right (outside photo) off of Hwy. 89. Source: Thomas Woodley Records Request 9-10-14\A08-20130630 Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos Videos\Yarnell-Wardemups
Figure 26a. (above - right) IMG_3956 photo. the yellow oval was added by SAIT investigators and shows the general location of the GMHS Deployment Zone area. Source: Thomas Woodley Records Request 9-10-14\A08-20130630 Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos Videos\Yarnell-Wardemups
Figure 26c. BRHS Wardemups Crossfade 1. video between BRHS Wardemups IMG_3957 taken at exactly 4:35:06 PM from the passenger side of one of the BRHS Crew Carriers as it was about to pull into the Ranch House Restaurant parking lot and a photo taken by Joy A. Collura from the exact same location shortly after Wardemups took his photo. It shows fire progression into the Glen Ilah area. The yellow circle was added by SAIT investigators and does, in fact, show the general location of the GMHS Deployment Zone area. Source: Wardemups, Collura, YouTube, WTKTT
Figure 27. June 30, 2013, 1631 (4:31 PM( aggressive fire behavior near the Yarnell Library street and Community Garden area. Source: Tham (RiP)
Figure 27a. June 30, 2013, 1631 + ((4:31 + PM ) progression of aggressive fire behavior as seen in prior photo above near the Yarnell Library street and Community Garden area.Note the White VW bug Source: Tham (RiP)
Figure 27b. June 30, 2013, 1642 (4:42 PM) further progression of aggressive fire behavior viewed from above Hwy 89 near Crest Way. White VW bug is same as above prior photo Source: Tham (RiP)
Figure 27c. June 30, 2013, 1646 (4:46 PM) aggressive fire behavior occurring between the Yarnell Library and the Post Office. Source: Tham (RiP)
Figure 28 (above - left). IMT Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) Byron Kimball public records photo (unknown if Kimball was photographer) indicating fire behavior in the Sesame Street to Shrine Fuel / Fire Break Corridor, on the YH Fire on June 30, 2013, 1705 (5:05 PM ) in the metadata insert. However, consistent with the YH Fire labeling pattern, metadata Snippet in Figure 28a. (above - right) the "Name :1647 Fire at Structures Yarnell North End 06_30 Properties" suggests that the photo was actually taken at 1647 (4:47 PM). Source: Yavapai County Records Request 7-9-14\SAIT Report and Documents\F-Photos And Videos\A14-20130630 Byron Kimball Photos
Figure 29. June 30, 2013, 1649 (4:49 PM) View is Northwesterly from the gate at Hwy. 89 and the entrance to at the Pack Burro Trail junction, leading to Pat Bernard's place, where Hybrid Sun City West FD Jerry Thompson June 30, 2013, 1624 (4:24 PM) fire behavior videos were taken (Posted Jan. 24, 2019). The very active, aggressive fire behavior in the background along and within the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor. Source. YH Fire Tham (RiP) pics (Photo #267)
Clearly, Mr. Tham (RiP) was a very busy man during this short time period (1630 to 1650) as he was driving around and taking all these photographs to document for the Public at Large, the fire behavior that was occurring during the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor firing operations period. Thank you Sir!
Figure 30. Former Yarnell Hill Fire Chief Peter Andersen (RiP) Interview (Oct. 8, 2013) describes the Arizona Forestry Division's response to the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013. Source: YouTube, InvestigativeMEDIA.
This is an interview from an experienced - locally knowledgeable (Watch Out #4) - politically incorrect Fire Chief confidently and honestly speaking his mind about that day and the feckless SAIT and SAIR; even validating that a Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area likely firing operation took place, (i.e. "Like they did here").
As former Yarnell Fire Chief Pete Anderson (RiP) asked: "Why did they even have a SAIT in the first place if they are going to have that kind of approach?" (emphasis added)
Former Yarnell Fire Chief Pete Anderson (RiP) forthrightly stated in an Oct. 8, 2013, video interview regarding the alleged SAIT "investigators" and "investigation" making several statements and asking many questions that deserve answering: "And whitewash that there was no wrongdoing on anybody's part as far as the report went but we're not here to point fingers. Well what are you here for? You're investigators. Investigators are supposed to investigate. They're supposed to point fingers. They're supposed to say 'what [it] is that had happened. ...'" (emphasis added)
Consider now the "Blue Ridge Hotshots 6:30:2013" video by Marti Reed
Figure 31. "This is a compendium of the Blue Ridge Hotshots Photos, (time-synchronized by me [Marti Reed] ) from the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire, which killed 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, released to John Dougherty of InvestigativeMedia website, via his FOIA request. Source: Marti Reed, InvestigativeMEDIA, YouTube
Figure 32. Rock wall 3 photos of a rock wall on Shrine Road, about 100 yards west of where the pavement of Shrine Road ends and the dirt part begins. The red balloon seen in all in the satellite images represents that 100 yard distance. Source: YouTube, WTKTT
This rock wall seen in this video in Figure 32. (above) was clearly visible in the video of the Sesame Street Shrine Corridor firing operation we all watched in July 2013, at the Yarnell, AZ Library and to those that viewed it on YouTube before it vanished..
Figure 33. ABC15-clip-18-crossfade video.between ABC15 Helicopter Raw Video Footage clip number 18 ( taken at the Yarnell Hill Fire on Sunday afternoon, June 30, 2013 ) and the equivalent 'Google Earth' imagery. The 'orange firelines' in 'Google Earth' views only represent the fire that is clearly visible in the video footage and does not represent the totality of the fire that was on the ground when the clip was shot. Source: ABC News 15, YouTube, WTKTT
Figure 34. Yarnell-Fire-Time-Lapse-Video-Yarnell-View-1. The 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire time-lapse video as seen from both the original Congress location and from the Yarnell side. Source: Matt Oss Photography, YouTube, WTKTT
Consider these documented quotes and audio captures from the BRHS and other WFs regarding the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor firing operations: "... the fire's been ... a lot's been happening these past 20 minutes, the fire's been pounding us real hard ... I think we're gonna start losing some structures in the next few minutes ... [BRHS True Brown] "Making sure idiots aren't burning themselves up ... goddamn" ... (M2U00264.MPG) ( https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ipv8to6ih7gmzbq/AAC82U3UuheEtc8GPHFn91vea?dl=0&preview=M2U00264.MPG )
BRHS True Brown's comment about "Making sure idiots aren't burning themselves up" is very informative and revealing, supporting the Sesame Street and Shrine Corridor area likely firing operation - the premise of this website.
According to amazing photography buff and metadata master Marti Reed, in the video above in Figure 31. - "images with a 39xx file number are from Blue Ridge Hotshot Papich. Images with a 19xx file number are from Blue Ridge Hotshot Ball. Images with a yarnell-xxx file number are from Blue Ridge Hotshot McCord. There are three media images at the end. They have no time-stamps, but I think they are important in this image-based narrative of what the Blue Ridge Hotshots, who deserve medals for all they did, were involved in that tragic day. RiP Granite Mountain Hotshots" (emphasis added)
Marti Reed on IM re: RM and CC involvement
"I spent some time, periodically, contemplating the fact that, as I 'looked at,' in various ways, where the crews were during that crucial 3:30ish to 4:30ish time period, I mostly couldn’t come up with anybody that’s on the official rosters (or even the unofficial ones, i.e. the 'Prescotteers'), who would/could have been on the ground in a place where they could / would have been doing any back-burning." (emphasis added)
"Except, as I have been really hesitant to say this, the two fire-fighters by the name of Rance Marquez and Cougan Carothers, which is WHY I have, periodically, written that it really bothers me that their testimony to ADOSH doesn’t match the EVIDENCE that I have been able to discern via the visual files." It is significant that Marti Reed has issues and suspicions about Rance Marquez and Cougan Carothers, because "their testimony to ADOSH doesn’t match the EVIDENCE that I have been able to discern via the visual files." (emphasis added)
"Those are the only people in the corral of people involved in this fire whose locations at that time are, in my humble opinion, questionable. I’m not saying they decided to go somewhere and light a back-fire. I’m just saying that, since their testimony doesn’t match the visual records we have at this point. I’ve been, all along, wondering about that." (emphasis added)
There is credible evidence to fully support that Marti Reed's assumptions and insight are correct. They were both there. They were either there supervising all or part at least one of the operations or observing it without speaking up while acquiescing in the process or both. For years afterwards, Carrothers was somewhat of a basket case according to friends and neighbors.
The notion of Friendly Fire, (aka fratricide or amicicide) is atypical, presented here from a unique wildland fire perspective. Consider now a short account of the phrase based in historic military passages and quotes to propose as an analog for wildland fire incidents. According to retired Army Colonel turned academic, Scott Snook extensively researched a friendly fire incident in Iraq when two U.S. Air Force fighters by mistake shot down two Army Blackhawk helicopters. “Friendly fire-casualties unintentionally inflicted on one’s own forces-is not a new problem in the history of warfare. However, until quite recently, little explicit attention has been paid to studying its causes and possible solutions” (footnote omitted) with certain cases frequently revealing that the fratricide was the final link in a chain of mistakes. Retired Army Lt. Colonel Charles Shrader refers to it as “amicicide.” He wrote “… in the ‘fog of war’ friendly fire casualties are inevitable … ‘fog of war’ is an oft-mentioned, if imperfectly understood, … .” With few sources, researchers are left with scattered, cryptic, notes found in general operational histories or official combat records (sources omitted). The authors absolutely and regrettably relate to the notion of few sources. The sources are there, it's the courageous and willing sources that are lacking.
Rare wildland “friendly fire” incidents are most often fatal as documented and recounted by many experienced WFs and human factors researchers that firmly believe that the Mann Gulch (MT-1949), Loop (CA-1966), Battlement Creek (CO-1976), Mackenzie (AZ-1994), Cedar (CA- 2003), and Yarnell Hill Fires (AZ-2013) were the result of likely “friendly fire” [5, 15]. These are discussed in some detail on InvestigativeMEDIA (IM)  and incompletely recorded (read “official” records) in the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Incident Reviews. Likewise, the WF brother of a deceased GMHS that was unsuccessful getting a GMHS position, acknowledged and agreed that his brother had died “from fratricide” on June 30, 2013. He conceded that to cope with losing his brother, he accepted they were adults with many options that day. Contrary to the SAIT-SAIR, groupthink poor choices caught up with them, resulting in the fatal outcomes [2, 3].
From June 26, 2014, Santos "Money Splits a City Still Mourning Its Firefighters" NYT article "Wednesday’s lawsuit by the families, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, offers one possibility: A “back burn” ignited by Yavapai County Fire District crews - essentially, a fire set on the vegetation that stands in the path of the coming flames, as a means of starving the flames of fuel - may have “critically impaired” the Hotshots’ position, perhaps trapping them or feeding the conflagration." (emphasis added) As of the wring of this post, I have been unable to locate the lawsuit record she refers to here. ( https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/us/money-splits-a-city-still-mourning-its-firefighters.html )
I searched for the lawsuit, however, was unable to locate the actual lawsuit referred to in this article, so until we can locate and post it, you are on your own.
August 24, 2013 - 8/7/2013 6:00:00 AM Wayback Machine link
"Brendan McDonough believes everything happens for a reason"
( https://web.archive.org/web/20130825030231/http://dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=1&ArticleID=122030 )
The news article has several interesting McDid-Not statements and quotes that are worthy of examinin..
"Brendan has seen plenty of news articles about the hotshots, but he doesn't want to talk about them." (all emphasis added)
"I'll make it known that I was there that day and I know what happened. ... there was a lot of people there that day and knew what happened ... it was just an accident."
"I'll make a statement that I'll always stand behind my 19 brothers and support them, and I'll make it known that there was no bad decision made," he said. "That no one's at fault for what happened."
I will concede to the fact that everything happens for a reason. However ... are you f**king kidding me? "... there was no bad decision made.' He also said: 'That no one's at fault for what happened.'" How is it that 19 men die in one fell swoop and yet he believes that nobody made any bad decisions, nobody did anything wrong, and nobody is at fault for this epic human failure in wildland fire history!
Figure 35. YHF AFUE Collage of images into a video revealing fire behavior, fire progressions, smoke columns (plumes) and, and radio traffic. Source: Marti Reed, YouTube
Yarnell Fire Behavior Timelapse Redo ( https://youtu.be/6Il4vUrOYHU ) Marti Reed - "This is a video I made of a sequence of images of the behavior of the Yarnell Hill Fire just before, during, and after the Deployment of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was made from screen-shots of the Eric Panebaker crew's Air Study Videos, from their camera recording the Air to Air Channel. I have tagged some of the images with important events that were happening at that time. Thank you to Eric Panebaker and his crew for being there and taking these priceless videos."
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. Psalm 127.1 (NIV)
Dekker, Sidney. Human Factors: A system view of human, technology and organisation, Maastricht, the Netherlands: Shaker (2010).
However, he does make this one debatable statement: "Formal, government-sponsored accident investigations enjoy this aura of objectivity and truth ..." (emphasis added) We disagree with this statement regarding government-sponsored investigations being objective and truthful. But then he may be talking about his own Government and certainly not our Government, which has a totally different impression of objectivity and truth. This is discussed in some detail in this post and elsewhere in other research papers and books, and on this YHFR website.
Dekker states: "The consequence for the ethics of failure is that there can be only one true story of what happened. In Newtonian epistemology, the “true” story is the one in which there is no more gap between external events and their internal representation. (i.e. those who, without any bias that distorts their perception of the world, will consider all the facts) are better poised to achieve such a true story." (emphasis added) In the system view of human factors, we are attempting to discover who is accountable for failure and success.
We need to address the subtitle question: "Did the lead ADOSH investigator discount or write off PFD Willis' May 5, 2014, email evidence of a 'backfire' that would establish "a whole new story of what happened on June 30th"?
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) - Yarnell Hill Fire Entrapment Fatalities (2013) ( https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=1a2dac92-1d79-420f-be0e-1aa616a40a70 )
Figure 1. Source: Yavapai County Records Request 7-9-14\SAIT Report and Documents\F-PhotosAndVideos\A52-HelmRanchPhotosPreFire
Yavapai County Records Request 7-9-14\SAIT Report and Documents\F-PhotosAndVideos\A47-20130709FuelBurnPatternPhotosPetrilli. Tuesday, July 09, 2013, 3:58:36 PM
Someone who has been a serious thorn to my life and Fred J. Schoeffler's- I peaked at their Public Record's file...I find it quite interesting the hate manners we saw, but they had zero issue using my image for their lawsuit and what written permission or courtesy credit did they do...none...
October 8, 2023: I worked on paper Public Records Request today- organizing. Watched dvds from the library- RR stopped by. Sonny called.