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  • JOY A COLLURA

Was the June 26, 1990, Dude Fire a precursor for the "incomplete" lessons learned on June 30, 2013?b

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Figure 65. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 43 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 66. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 44 ) Source: Schoeffler


This next page contains the 1400 and 1415 "total absence of winds, a calm was noted in Walk Moore Canyon ..." (emphasis added) and gust front and downbursts and downslope winds excerpts.

Figure 67. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 45) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 68. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 46) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 69. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 47) Source: Schoeffler


"(6-30-90 1415) [OPS] Cooke says the fire was 200 to 300 yards from the line near Perryville burning downslope in light winds presenting no apparent problem for the burnout and no indication of a run like the one which occurred."

Figure 70. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 48) Source: Schoeffler


Consider now the LaTour peculiar comments and narrative regarding him as the alleged Perryville "Lookout" in page 48 (Figure 70. - above) and page 49 (Figure 71. - below). "(6-30-90 1415) LaTour had gone up the hill ... to look for spots. He would walk around to get a better view, where foliage interfered, never getting more than 100 to 200 yards from the crew."

An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. Proverbs 14:5


Interesting - we say slightly disingenuous - statements here within the Dude Fire Chronology (6/26/90 1415) from LaTour (Deposition pages 55, 59-60, 71-73, 77-78, 88-93, 98-99, 101, 168, and 203) regarding the alleged Perryville Crew lookout(s) total numerous pages: "LaTour acted as a lookout, primarily for spot fires, and from time to time Terra, Bachman, Hatch, Denny were sent out to watch for spots, so that someone was doing so at all times. LaTour had gone up the hill while they were working on the powerline to look for spots. He would walk around to get a better view where foliage interfered, never getting more than 100 to 200 yards from the crew. He can't recall who, but someone was designated to watch for spots while he was above the crew when the blowup started. They used the more experienced people for lookouts. Where they were working when the fire blew up was no reasonable place to post a lookout who would have had a better view of the fire." (emphasis added)


The PACM minimally responded to this with: "I believe that's why Jeff Hatch was above me. He was up with a Navajo crew Lookout."


During the initial Dude Fire Staff Ride in 1999 - at the Deployment Site - I (DF) specifically asked who the Perryville Crew Lookout was. LaTour said 'It was me. I would hike up and down the hill during the day to check on the fire.' I told him that a designated Lookout was one who remained in place, not hiking up and down the hill.


Interesting statements here below too: "They [Overhead] found to their surprise that the [Bonita Creek] subdivision was surrounded by fire." (emphasis added) WTF do you mean, to their surprise! How are you surprised as the fire surrounds you?

Figure 71. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 49 ) Source: Schoeffler


"(6/30/90 1415) ... helicopter N-40MC ... carrying a sling load about 8000 feet [elevation] he experienced a downdraft and dropped several thousand feet at 3000 feet per minute. ... he flew the Rim several times ... and was jostled around by turbulence while dropping the load." (emphasis added)


"(6/30/90 1415) Helicopter N49673 made a [bucket] drop and filled his bucket on top of the Rim. During the 5 minutes he had left and returned the wind had shifted and was blowing smoke over the fireline. ... The smoke was about 50 feet above the treetops. There was a wall of flame between the treetops and smoke as far as he could see [in] either direction. ... The subdivision was no longer visible because of the smoke." (emphasis added)


Here we have documented evidence of the fire weather in the form of aggressive downdrafts at the 8000' level above the WFs on the firelines on the Dude Fire. Were these ever heard by or relayed to the WFs and FFs on the firelines below by these helicopter pilots or anyone else?

Figure 72. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 50 ) Source: Schoeffler


Consider the page 50 above Horizontal Roll Vortices (HRV) references - "An unburned strip of timber near the top of the ridge West of Walkmoore Canyon indicates that the Horizontal Roll Vortex might have occurred. However, no other indicators were found. ... Similar strips exist to the SE of the subdivision per [OPS] Leech and aerial photo. ... The needle set indicates the fire spread to the east, but in one location near the deployment site the needle set of the overstory was to the East while the leaves of the shorter trees and bushes pointed West." (emphasis added)


Since there are no known copies of Dude Fire HRV "Needle Set" photo images, due to USFS malfeasance, we had to resort to other sources to depict what we are referring to. We located some from the June 28, 2016, Cedar Fire in Figure 73a. and Figure 74a. below.


Additionally, these are some worthwhile Southwest and Tonto NF dates that should alert WFs and FFs: June 26, 1990 (Dude Fire) and June 28, 2016 (Cedar Fire) and June 30, 2013 (Yarnell Hill Fire).


Figure 72a. This sequence of six images, taken 0.75 seconds apart, looking down on a horizontal vortices within a fire. Source: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Inframetrics Thermacam, The COMET Program


Consider now these images and text below from The COMET Program S-290 Unit 11: Extreme Wildland Fire Behavior online course.

( http://stream1.cmatc.cn/pub/comet/FireWeather/S290Unit11ExtremeWildlandFireBehavior/comet/fire/s290/unit11/navmenu.php_tab_1_page_6.2.0.htm )


"The brightest yellow areas represent the hottest temperatures. FOD in each image refers to the 'Finger Of Death.' In frame 1, the arrow points to the starting point of the FOD in the upper right shoulder of the fire at the beginning time of 0.00 seconds. Frame 2 has arrow pointing to the FOD, which is beginning to form and burst forward at 0.75 seconds. The next image, frame 3, has the arrow showing that the FOD progresses further by 1.50 seconds. Frame 4 shows further elongation of the FOD at 2.25 seconds. By frame 5, the arrow shows that the FOD has extended to approximately 100 meters or 109 yards in just 3.00 seconds. Frame 6 shows the regression of the FOD to the main fire by 3.75 seconds."


"This sequence shows that a 'finger' of fire burst forward about 100 meters from the head of the fire at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, and then retreated back into the fire within three seconds. Seven horizontal rolls and capping vortices are also identified in the third frame."


"Horizontal rolls within fires have been hypothesized as occurring with crown fires. However, actual documentation has been limited." (emphasis added)


"(6/26/90 1418) The fire behavior intensified rapidly and the fire began a major run towards the east and Bonita Creek Subdivision. Rates of spread were in excess of 200 chains per hour (13,200 feet per hour, 2.5 mph) with flame length of 300 feet observed by people at the scene. The fire continued with intense rapid spread in all directions. By 2100 it had spread 1.5 miles to the East and South, 2 miles Southwest and 1.75 miles Northwest. By 2100 the fire was 8-9 thousand acres." (emphasis added)


(6/26/90 1418 + 1149) Putnam determined a possible rate of spread of 18 mph at the deployment site based on time to run distances. Andrews calculated a predicted max spread rate of 5.2 mph with crown model at only 40 mph maximum sustained windspeed. Her report also recognizes the fire flashed across the canyon at a greater rate than this. A 60 mph wind would put the predicted spread rate above 9 mph which is [off] the chart. TV 12 video shows 11+ mph spread rate between [the] deployment site fire location at 1423 and [the] road into the subdivision at 1425.


Dr. Putnam goes into a lot of detail on run speeds and fire rates of spread. His analysis of the running Fitness Scores and times and the ability to outrun the rapid rates of spread is well worth reading.


"(6/26/9 1418) When Latour was a little over 100 yards above Perryville checking spots the wind became strong as it had not done before, and he ran back down to his crew." (emphasis added).


During the 1999 Fire Behavior Analyst Conference in Phoenix, the first Dude Fire Staff Ride, which was also the first USFS Staff Ride was initiated. I (DF) remember, at the Fatality Site, this series of remarkable statements by CREP LaTour: "The Perryville Crew Rep stated that the 'Navajo Scouts had run through their Crew telling them to get out, the fire was upon them.' Yet, they ignored that warning. Next, he stated that he had 'burning bark plates bouncing off my fire shirt' and ignored that too. Next, he stated that he had 'burning pine cones, sticks, and twigs bouncing off my fire shirt' and ignored that as well." And yet, they were still there, counting on the quasi-leader to do the right thing. And yet, he was ignoring it all!


Figure 73. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 51 ) Source: Schoeffler


Consider these HRV references on the Dude Fire Chronology page 50 (Figure 72. above) and page 52 (Figure 74. below) respectively that contain comments regarding the evidence of extreme HRV fire behavior that occurred in Walk Moore Canyon during the outflow, downdraft winds.


The following photos in Figures 73a. Snippet images of "Needle Set" when hot gases warp the vegetation. Note the roll effect of the HRV forcing the needles downward and laterally. These are Snippets from the Cedar Fire Entrapment (June 28, 2016 at 1615 hrs.) Video (link below).



Figure 73a. Snippet images of "Needle Set" when hot gases warp the vegetation. Note the roll effect of the HRV forcing the needles downward and laterally. These are Snippets from Cedar Fire Entrapment (June 28, 2016 at 1615 hrs.) Video. Source: Wildland Fire LLC, YouTube


Consider the source for the above "needle set" images in Figure 73a. above and below in Figure 74b. contained within the Cedar Fire Entrapment Investigation Briefing Video ( https://youtu.be/Yeprtvo2xsY ). The Wildland Fire LLC Cedar Fire Serious Accident Investigation Report is in the link below. ( https://www.wildfirelessons.net/orphans/viewincident?DocumentKey=46244496-12cf-4333-84f6-3b3084d06c34 )



Figure 74. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 52 ) Source: Schoeffler


This page 52 (Figure 74. above) contains comments regarding the extreme Horizontal Roll Vortices (HRV) fire behavior that occurred in Walk Moore Canyon during the outflow, downdraft winds.


Figure 74a. "Snippet images of "Needle Set" when hot gases warp the vegetation. Note the roll effect of the HRV forcing the needles downward and laterally. These are Snippets from Cedar Fire Entrapment (June 28, 2016 at 1615 hrs.) Video. Source: Wildland Fire LLC, YouTube



I (DF) allege that Perryville Crew Boss Terra is lying throughout all this and /or AUSA Johns (RiP) has allowed it. He knew that Terra was lying to him and just shrugged it off ("what can I do" he said).


"(6/26/90 1419) The wall of fire on the East was advancing faster than the front on the West. ... One of the crewmembers' shovels caught on fire as he ran under the wall of flame, and they had to pitch the burning shovel out of the back of the truck as they escaped."


"(6/26/90 1419) A scenario consistent with all the evidence to date is at 1419 [Navajo Scouts] Notah shouted his warning while LaTour was running down to his crew. LaTour could see the lower crewmembers were running out when LaTour arrived. LaTour said 'Let's go' and the upper crewmembers grabbed water and tools and walked fast for a few seconds and began running. They ran until [cut off], covering about a thousand feet at rough 6-7 mph. The fire approached diagonally (from the NW to SE) to the dozer line at 9+ mph to reach the same cutoff point. This puts the crew close to where Hoke deployed. The main deployment site was reached at about 1422.75 with the flame front having already [cut off] Hoke below and above him. LaTour reached Scopa on the radio, counted to eleven (he was counting crewmembers who were deploying), Scopa then reached [OPS] Cooke who recorded the deployment time at 1423. Those who escaped reached the Control Road at 1423 to 1425 covering 3500-4000 feet in 5-6 minutes at 6 to 9 mph, a pace of a 9 to 7 minute mile. This is consistent with Putnam's experience, downhill running with gear at 6.7 mph, and with 'Fitness and Work Capacity', a 45 scorer running 1 1/2 miles at 7.3 mph, unfatigued on a track without gear. (Putnam then goes into similar detail for Springfield and Bachman). They were both [cut off] with the rest of the crew. Fire spread rate could not have been much slower than 9 mph and was probably faster in some locations."


"The fire was only 250 to 300 yards from them but Notah saw the flame front still inside the fire atop the ridge."


"(6/30/90 1419) Edison Notah could see the fire backing down the ridge to the west of them along the saddle, and could see it torching as it came up the steep nose of the ridge further Northwest of them. Flame lengths along the ridge were low except for the torching in steep terrain on the nose to the north. The fire was a few hundred yards across the canyon from them. He stepped back from the work and walked around to get a better view of the fire to the North and to the West. As he was standing above the dozer line looking at the fire to the West along the saddle of the ridge he saw a rolling crown fire come up the back of the ridge and roll over and down the ridge where before there the ground [surface] fire had been backing down. He then began shouting for everyone to run." (emphasis added)


(6/30/90 1419) Terra falsely claims he "received 2nd degree burns on the back of his neck, along with upper airway thermal damage and smoke inhalation as he ran out." I (DF) confidently allege that Terra self-inflicted the burns on his neck and threatened the inmates regarding him and Hill going for water.


How is it possible for Crew Boss Terra to both be with his crew in Walk Moore Canyon during all this and yet be seen and talked with on the Control Road and the Fuller Creek junction and admit twice to witnesses on that spot: "I should have never left my crew." And the SAIT stated that they knew three days after the fatalities that he was gone from the crew. How is that f**king possible?


Figure 75 Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 53 ) Source: Schoeffler


What follows are two maps for the Perryville individual Crewmember's position, locations, movements (left), and the other indicating their scattered fire equipment and gear indicating panic and pandemonium (right) in Figure 75a. below.


Figure 75a. Perryville Crew WF locations image (left) and tools and equipment locations image (right) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 76. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 54 ) Source: Schoeffler


"(6-30-90 1419) The fire was increasing rapidly and running parallel on the slope adjacent to them as they ran, crowning the tops of the trees. Dennison and his Crew Boss. Some of the Perryville Crewmembers passed them on the way down. They reached the road and the fire swept over them to another ridge across the road. They got into [onto] some engines and left until they saw their bus and left with all thier (sic) crewmembers." ... There were high winds and burning debris was falling and he could no longer see the fire itself. They could hear the fire but not see it ..." (emphasis added)

Figure 77. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 55 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 78. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 56 ) Source: Schoeffler


(6/30/90 1419) "Guy Jirrels, Chandler Fire Department ... when the fire blew he was above Perryville Crew and Alpine. He could not see Perryville. A hot blast of air came up into his face and then shifted and he could feel it on the back of his neck. They then left up the line." (emphasis added)

Please note the number of LaTour interviews and depositions referenced in the AUSA Dude Fire Chronology at the bottom of page 56 in Figure 78.

Figure 79. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 57 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 80. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 58 ) Source: Schoeffler


I (DF) allege that DIVS Whitney, on one of the Dude Fire Staff Rides, falsely claims that he was a Branch Director on the Dude Fire instead of a DIVS.


I, Joy A. Collura, (fact check and verified) contacted Whitney by email June 17, 2020, and he replied at 8:39 PM when asked directly by email- "I'm not interested."


Figure 81. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 59 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 82. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 60 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 83. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 61 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 84. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 62 ) Source: Schoeffler


What follows during the (6/30/19 1422) timeframe in the next several pages are Prescott HS excerpts noticing the changing fire weather and the Perryville Crew fire shelter deployments and burnovers.

Figure 85. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 63 ) Source: Schoeffler

Figure 86. Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael A. Johns (RiP) Dude Fire Chronology ( page 64 ) Source: Schoeffler


What follows are USFS employee (the one hauling the drinking water in Walk Moore Canyon by ATV) Hanna's excerpts regarding loading his ATV and the Navajo Scouts and Perryville Crewmembers alerting him and utilizing his trick as an Escape Route