• Doug Fir 777

Why Has the Wildland Fire LLC Lost Its Ethical Compass Defending The YH Fire SAIT-SAIR?

Authors Fred J. Schoeffler and other contributing authors

Restating the more worthy post title beyond the limited WIX title allowance: Why Has the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Lost Its Ethical Compass Defending The Federal USFS-Funded June 30, 2013, SAIT-SAIR Conclusion of No Wrongdoing?

Figure 1. From the US Military Academy Cadet Prayer Source: Quotemaster

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Abbreviations used: Wildland Firefighters (WFs) - Firefighters (FFs).


For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 1 Corinthians 14:8-9 (NKJV)

The Hellenistic philosopher Epictetus warned us many years ago to “Be selective about whom you take on as friends, colleagues, and neighbors. The world is full of agreeable and talented folk. The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. But remember that our moral influence is a two-way street, and we should thus make sure by our own thoughts, words, and deeds to be a positive influence on those we deal with. The real test of personal excellence lies in the attention we give to the often neglected small details of our conduct. Make it your business to draw out the best in others by being an exemplar yourself.” Epictetus (Greek Stoic philosopher; Teachings recorded in his Discourses and Enchiridion)


The West Point Academy Cadet Prayer briefly cited above is in its entirety at this juncture in order to complement the image in Figure 1:

"O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of Human hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.

"Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.

"Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.

"Guard us against flippancy and irreverance (sic) in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer.

"Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country.

"All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of all."

Source: West Inspirations (emphasis added)

Figure 2. Thomas Jefferson integrity quote Source: WLF LLC

The above Thomas Jefferson quote and the associated WLF LLC article titled: "You are the Example" (May 3, 2022) contain the following quotes by WLF LLC author Travis Dotson: "Who’s watching you? Somebody is. Whether you know it or not, someone is learning from how you behave. What do you want them to learn? ... Eventually you’re going to have to deal with the behavior you’ve modeled." (emphasis added)

Yes, indeed Mr. Dotson. Does that include all of you at the WLF LLC as well as the "Underground Honor the Fallen (HTF) Group"? And included in its couple dozen members were some of the highest-ranking firefighters from the various agencies in the wildland fire business: the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Park Service. Their goal was to make sure [the] Yarnell Hill [Fire], the most publicized event in wildland firefighting history, forced some much-needed changes to the job’s outdated culture. Three years later, they tried to spark “an age of enlightenment” in wildland fire.

And while you are revealing and/or failing to reveal the truth about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle, the entire world - especially WFs and FFs - are watching and reading, analyzing, and accepting as if it was credible what the WLF LLC posits and posts! However, if it deals with anything at all about the June 30, 2013, Yarnell Hill Fire and GMHS debacle, then caution, utmost due diligence, and extreme discernment are in order and necessary for what is required to seek the truth; because this author alleges that the WLF LLC would much rather discuss and publicize the "official" and alleged "Factual" truth as it is duly published in the Federally-funded SAIT-SAIR in order to curry favor with them or as directed by them.

This post will be a logical extension of our April 28, 2022, YHFR post titled:

What Are the Underground Honor the Fallen Group Ulterior Motives For Defending the GMHS Decisions? Our goal is to tie in the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (WLF LLC) with the Honor the Fallen (HTF) Group and attempt to show their alleged concerted, controlling connection and their Federally-funded leadership in the cover-up, lie, and whitewash of the June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle. And this includes an all-out, albeit subtle at times, effort to discredit the established Fire Orders and Watch Out Situations and other Rules of Engagement; all in order to justify the Federally-funded SAIT-SAIR predetermined conclusion of no blame, no-fault, and no wrongdoing.

So then, why would the WLF LLC instead prefer to justify mistaken beliefs, behavior, numerous mistakes, misjudgments, or misfortune and practices about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle rather than positively change them for more truthful reliable ones for the benefit of the many WFs, FFs, and interested and discerning public?

To answer that, this is a suitable relevant quote from a subchapter on the 1996 Mt. Everest mountaineering disaster that applies quite well to the YH Fire and GMHS debacle and how the WLF LLC is accomplishing this with fullfledged intent. "In the absence of post-event processing and reflection, organizations likely fail to capture lessons learned in order to build the capacity of individuals and teams to meet future challenges." (emphasis added) Citing from the book titled: "Extreme Leadership - Leaders, Teams, and Situations Outside the Norm" (Editors C. M. Giannantonio and A. E. Hurley-Hanson) in the subchapter "Leadership at the edge of the summit" (B. S. Coffey and S. E. Anderson) p. 81.

In other words, there is nothing in that "likely fail" phrase about it. This author and others allege that the WLF LLC successfully ensured there are "incomplete lessons to be learned" that must square with the YH Fire SAIT-SAIR no-blame, no-fault conclusion in order to complete their ruse.


In the absence of post-event processing and reflection, organizations likely fail to capture lessons learned in order to build the capacity of individuals and teams to meet future challenges.

Extreme Leadership: Leaders, Teams and Situations Outside the Norm (2013)

Elgar Online


In all fairness, the authors and many others believe that the WLF LLC has, with some exceptions supporting the various alleged means of reviews or faux "investigations," done an excellent job of providing mostly valuable information to reduce WF and FF tragedies.

However, there has been a very noticeable, and ever-increasing shift away from their mandated stance ever since the June 30, 2013, Federally-funded YH Fire SAIT-SAIR and GMHS debacle. One of their justifying "reasons" is likely to validate the untenable SAIT-SAIR conclusion: "The judgments and decisions of the incident management organizations managing this fire were reasonable. Firefighters performed within their scope of duty, as defined by their respective organizations. And found no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol." (p. 4) (emphasis added) It is generally accepted as fact in the WF, FF, and non-HTF communities that this would have been an impossible feat.

Based on that conclusion reframed in the positive, our prior February 13, 2022, YHFR post is worth visiting: How was it possible to do everything right and yet 19 PFD FFs died in one fell swoop on June 30, 2013?

Consider now some excerpts from a research paper titled "The Dark Side of Organizations" by Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003) space shuttle disasters author: she "examine[s] three types of routine nonconformity with adverse outcomes that harm the public: mistake, misconduct, and disaster produced in and by organizations. Searching for analogies and differences, I find that in common, routine nonconformity, mistake, misconduct, and disaster are systematically produced by the interconnection between environment, organizations, cognition, and choice." (emphasis added)

You may recall from our April 28, 2022, YHFR post titled: What Are the Underground Honor the Fallen Group Ulterior Motives For Defending the GMHS Decisions?: "... the general consensus of the SW Area HS Crews during their October 2013 Fall After Action (AAR) Review at the Prescott NF Fire Center, Helms BSR, GMHS lunch spot, and fatality sites that had worked with Marsh ... revealed during a YH Fire and GMHS Deployment Site Visit Integration Phase statement from a senior USFS NM HS Supt., i.e 'This was the final fatal link in a long chain of bad decisions with good outcomes, we saw this coming for years' - with about a dozen others stating they had attempted peer pressure with the GMHS to change their ways for years and were unsuccessful." (emphasis in original)

Vaughan defines the Normalization of Deviance phrase in The Dark Side of Organizations: Mistake, Misconduct, and Disaster (1999) as: "An event, activity, or circumstance occurring in and/or produced by a formal organization that deviates from both formal design goals and normative standards or expectations, either in the fact of its occurrence or in its consequences and produces a suboptimal outcome as organizational deviance." (italicized emphasis in original)

In the 1986 Challenger Launch Decision, "Vaughan explains how an organization like NASA socially embraced errors, oversights, and flaws, considering such items normal over time; and how such complex social systems can influence and alter groups, and summarizes the normalization of deviance within NASA during the shuttle program. Related to the Challenger catastrophe, Vaughan explored how the recognition of industrial deviation was discovered and interpreted in a way that was 'normalized' at NASA, and 'then finally officially labeled an acceptable risk.'”

Figure 2a. Snippet of organizational deviance from the Dark Side of Organizations Source: Vaughan


According to "Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me" by authors Tavris and Aaronson: "The engine that drives self-justification, the energy that produces the need to justify our actions and decisions - especially the wrong ones - is the unpleasant feeling that Festinger called 'cognitive dissonance.' Cognitive dissonance is a state of tension that occurs when a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent with each other. ... Dissonance is disquieting because to hold two ideas that contradict each other is to flirt with absurdity." (emphasis added) pp. 17-18. See also a 2017 Skeptical Inquirer article by the same authors as well on the subject titled: "Why We Believe —Long After We Shouldn’t."

And one should always consider George Orwell's 1984 as he ventures quite a bit further with his credible notion of Doublethink - grasping onto two opposing thoughts as being true at the same time. (Changing Minds) This author feels that this is actually so prevalent in many areas of the wildland fire realm that many will unknowingly, unquestionably, and thus willingly accept these alleged "factual" investigations and other "review approaches" based on their predetermined conclusions bolstered with convenient alleged "facts" to support them. And they do it because the ostensibly trustworthy WLF LLC promotes them, fostering Kool-Aid Drinkers.

The authors and many more actively concerned, informed, and interested others allege that anything and everything to do with the YH Fire and the GMHS debacle is skewed in favor of supporting the false predetermined no-blame and no-fault conclusion paid for by the USFS as attested to by one of the SAIT "Investigators" (i.e. 'what do you think about Tom Harbor and the USFS paying for the SAIT investigation?') and one of the ADOSH Investigators stated that 'it was obvious that the USFS was controlling the investigation.'

The crowning hypocrisy of this is that the so-called "Underground" Honor the Fallen Group - through the venue of the Federally-funded WLF LLC - is actively engaged in discrediting the Rules of Engagement that have stood the test of time until the June 2013 YH Fire. In the blink of an eye, that trend was reversed while blatantly ignoring them in their listening and responding only "Reading, Reflecting, and Changing Behavior" PodCast. It was a real struggle to listen to because there is no way to stop and go back or any of those functions as on YouTube or Vimeo.

And remind me - why is there a need for the WLF LLC to be "Changing Behavior" when the Rules of Engagement were - and will continue to be - working just fine? Along those same lines, a Safety Matters member, a retired smokejumper and National Park Service manager similarly noted: “For better or worse, NWCG [National Wildfire Coordinating Group] has taken the position that the 10 Standard Fire Orders are now to be considered guidelines and not absolute orders. ... No explanation ... why rules that have been in place for 50 years are suddenly guidelines (emphasis added) (Thuermer, 2014) This is a most telling statement.


“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln


According to authors Tavris and Aronson in "Mistake Were Made But Not By Me (2020): "We need a few trusted naysayers in our lives, critics who are willing to puncture our protective bubble of self-justifications and yank us back to reality if we veer too far off. This is especially important for people in positions of power. ... Abraham Lincoln was one of the rare presidents who understood the importance of surrounding himself with people willing to disagree with him." (emphasis added) p. 91

Unless it is the WLF LLC totally on its own, it's fair to say that the WLF LLC and those who hold "positions of power" over them have directed them to continue with the cover-ups, lies, and whitewash of the YH Fire and GMHS debacle. You may recall from a December 11, 2019, YHFR post: "Instructors at National USFS Wildland Fire Apprenticeship Academies, various quasi-private / municipal Wildfire Training Academies, and local USFS Ranger Districts were required to cite and utilize, and therefore, follow only the SAIT-SAIR "conclusions" and what is presented in the associated YH Fire SAIT PowerPoint and "briefing video." And USFS Apprenticeship Instructors were required to provide lesson plans for "Regional Office and Washington Office approval" if they were to discuss anything at all about the Yarnell Hill Fire while instructing at the USFS National Apprenticeship Academy in CA. (only italicized emphasis added)


Figure 3. Snippets of WLF LLC Mission Statement (left) WLF LLC HRO Mission Statement (right) Source: WLF LLC, National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)

The Fall 2007 WLF LLC Mission Statement that follows differs from the one in Figure 3. above: "Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center actively promotes a learning culture to enhance and sustain safe and effective work practices in the wildland fire community. The Center provides opportunities and resources to foster collaboration among all fire professionals, facilitates their networks, provides access to state-of-the-art learning tools, and links learning to training." (emphasis added)

The name of their WLF LLC website including the words "Lessons Learned" refers to the idea that if lessons are shared and learned from, they can change behaviors that enhance wildland firefighter safety. That is all well and good, however, this author alleges that they are disguising and outright hiding most of those lessons. And for the most part, the lessons that we do "learn" are "incomplete" and therefore of little value.

Moreover, the utilitarian word "collaboration" they use has some interesting definitions. The one we're all most familiar with is pretty benign: "the action of working with someone to produce or create something." However, the more sinister one is defined as: "traitorous cooperation with an enemy" and synonyms such as: "fraternizing, collusion, consorting, conspiring", etc. The authors and others allege that the latter definition is likely more accurate for what has been occurring after the YH Fire and GMHS debacle and the SAIT-SAIR "conclusion." This includes the discrediting of the solid Entrapment Avoidance protocols and Rules of Engagement, i.e. the "10 & 18."

In the book "Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me" author Tavris states: "There are plenty of good reasons for admitting mistakes, starting with the simple likelihood that you will probably be found out anyway." (emphasis added) The WLF LLC has failed to admit any "mistakes" regarding the YH Fire and GMHS debacle. And yes indeed, they have been "found out."

Tavris and Aronson write this about organizations such as the WLF LLC and their public responsibilities: "[A]t least public-interest groups, watchdog agencies, and independent scientists can eventually blow the whistle on bad or deceptive research." (emphasis added) However, the second half of their statement is more telling and aligned with what the WLF LLC is more likely doing. Paraphrasing, the greater danger to the public comes from the self-justifications of well-intentioned individuals, who because of their need to reduce dissonance, truly believe themselves to be above the influence of those that fund them. (emphasis added) (p. 66) Based on the Federally-funded WLF LLC stance on the June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle for the past several years, it's safe to say that this is a fairly accurate statement by Tavris and Aronson.

You will readily note that the WLF LLC Mission Statement has included nothing whatsoever about accuracy or the truth. In their Disclaimer below they state: "No warranty or guarantee is implied because much of the data provided is beyond the control of the center." (emphasis added) That latter highlighted statement may have been true in 2002 when they started, but after the June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle it is highly questionable; and actually much more disingenuous. Consider now several quotes and excerpts detailing the genesis of the Wildland Lessons Learned Center (WLF LLC) and its participants.


Here is a Federal Outreach for a "Fire Management Specialist (Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) Manager) Department of the Interior (2020) by the American Geosciences Institute for the WLF LLC Center Manager position revealing some telling requirements. The primary one in this author's professional opinion is directly related to integrity involving one of the primary components of the WLF LLC regarding the production of "accurate knowledge products containing lessons learned and effective practices" for this managerial position. (emphasis added)

"Major Duties

"The primary purpose of this position is to provide senior level professional wildland fire management expertise to, and management of, the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) program functions. This entails providing strategic and operational direction, fire management advice, and leadership for the LLC as well as developing, requesting, and managing the LLC budget. All activities are conducted in an interagency environment. The incumbent provides direction and maintains effective processes for gathering, verifying, and analyzing observations and information from a variety of sources to produce accurate knowledge products containing lessons learned and effective practices. The LLC Manager provides technical oversight to interagency employees and the full range of supervisory responsibilities to other NPS staff at the LLC. The incumbent oversees the management of contracts in cooperation with federal land management agency contracting officers. The LLC Center Manager participates in workshops, seminars, conferences, fire meetings, and other venues to transfer applicable lessons and effective practices. The incumbent may participate in wildland fire and all hazard response activities based on qualifications and availability." (emphasis added)

So then, how is it that the WLF LLC Reading, Reflecting, and Changing Behavior" PodCast professionals responsible for "gathering, verifying, and analyzing observations and information from a variety of sources to produce accurate knowledge products containing lessons learned and effective practices" fails to mention anything at all about the June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle? Because there is an alleged clear intent to deceive. They did, in fact, cover both the "gathering" and "analyzing" portions, however, they completely missed the boat on the most important one - "verifying" - the truth and acknowledging the YH Fire and GMHS debacle which is completely absent from the WLF LLC PodCast.


The incumbent provides direction and maintains effective processes for gathering, verifying, and analyzing observations and information from a variety of sources to produce accurate knowledge products containing lessons learned and effective practices.


This author had a direct involvement in the creation and inception of the WLF LLC in 2002 when he hand-delivered about 60-80 hard copy wildland fire investigation reports of burnovers, entrapments, shelter deployments, and fatalities to then-Center Manager Paula Nasiatka. There has never been any public acknowledgment of this fact by the WLF LLC. Former Center Manager Brit Rosso would acknowledge me privately one-on-one at a conference or meeting but never publicly nor anywhere on their WLF LLC website. Do you think it had anything to do with being Politically Incorrect or a Truth Teller ... or both?


Figure 3a. Snippet of original WLF LLC Center Manager Paula Nasiatka extolling the virtues of HRO at the 2007 Wildland Fire Workshop Source: NWCG, WLF LLC


"How We Got Here" "The year 2012 marked the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center’s (LCC) tenth year of operation. This milestone became an opportunity to remember and reflect on how our LLC journey began. We should never forget the 1994 South Canyon Fire that killed 14 wildland firefighters. This tragedy triggered the interagency TriData Firefighter Safety Awareness Study that recommended a permanent “lessons learned” program be established for wildland firefighters: Wildland Fire Safety Awareness Study Phase III, Appendix A." (emphasis added)


Created as a result of the 1994 South Canyon Fire tragedy, "the LLC’s primary goal continues to be striving to improve safe work performance and organizational learning for all wildland firefighters." (emphasis added) They have the "lessons learned program" part down, however, they are seriously lacking in the "organizational learning" portion as they relate to the accuracy and truth about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle.


Figure 4. Snippet of South Canyon Fire photograph of Investigative Report Figure 10. revealing WFs and possibly SJs working in the thick Gambel Oak. Source: USFS RMRS-RP-9, Sept. 1998

SJ Pettreli

Figure 4a. Snippet of South Canyon Fire photograph revealing Smokejumper looking downslope at dense brush and intense fire behavior running upslope. In their goal of sensitivity, the cloudy, milky white areas are airbrushed-out WFs attempting to escape the approaching fire. Source: WLF LLC - The View From Here

USDA USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-RP-9, Sept 1998 Fire Behavior Associated with the 1994 South Canyon Fire on Storm King

Mountain, Colorado by Bret W. Butler, Roberta A. Bartlette, Larry S. Bradshaw, Jack D. Cohen, Patricia L. Andrews, Ted Putnam, Richard J. Mangan


"Consequently, in 2002 the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center was created. Today [2012], the LLC operates as a national, interagency, federally-funded organization with interagency staffing. The LLC’s primary goal continues to be striving to improve safe work performance and organizational learning for all wildland firefighters." (emphasis added)

This is all well and good, however, we need to ask ourselves - are they really continuing to "improve safe work performance and organizational learning for all wildland firefighters" when they fail to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle?


High-Reliability Organization (HRO) Discussion

Figure 5. Snippet of Five HRO Principles Source: NWCG, WLF LLC

Figures 5a., 5b., 5c. Snippets of NWCG sponsored Wildland Fire Workshop HRO Introduction Conference (2008) cover promoting the concept (left); WLF LLC shield promoting HRO (upper right); WLF LLC Fall 2007 HRO and Organizational Learning stance (lower right) Source: NWCG, WLF LLC

In the NWCG-sponsored Wildland Fire Workshop HRO Introduction Conference (2008) publication (58 pp.), the term "HRO" is cited 145 times.

The following was an interesting find while searching specifically for the WLF LLC and High Reliability Organizations (HRO) on the internet based on the WLF LLC statements made above. And what turned up was that the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center (LLC) in a 2010-2012 proposal sought out a "Next Generation Knowledge Management System (2010 – 2012) Challenge" from the "Working Knowledge CSP"- a very small, very obscure consulting group. (emphasis added). They are located in the heartland region of the United States - Washington, DC.

From "dun & bradstreet" website Company Profile

Doing Business As: Working Knowledge Csp, LLC

Company Description: Working Knowledge Csp, LLC is located in Camas, WA, United States and is part of the Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services Industry.

Working Knowledge Csp, LLC has 1 [one] total employee across all of its locations and generates $114,780 in sales (USD). (Sales figure is modeled).

Key Principal: William S Kaplan

"The 'op tempo' for fighting fires required an ability to easily and rapidly transfer knowledge within teams and across teams.

"The fire management leadership and its workforce were dealing with an increasing risk of personnel turnover as the workforce ages presenting an unacceptable risk of critical knowledge loss that will severely impact successful fire management outcomes.

"Improvement in a consistent and disciplined process for 'capturing, adapting, transferring, and reusing' critical fire management knowledge that is part of the fire management processes and practices essential for protecting natural and personal resources, the lives of those being protected, and those providing the protection.

"Recognized need for an evolutionary change in the management of critical and relevant knowledge while maintaining the focus necessary to operate as a High-Reliability Organization (HRO).

"Challenges in making change happen and the desire to evolve into a benchmark learning organization where people share what others need to know to improve overall individual and fire management team operating performance while reducing risk of harm and loss.

Solution "As part of an 8a Joint Venture delivery team, the Working Knowledge CSP solution deployed “fit for purpose” KM technology, providing the fire community with an improved ability to learn and adapt quickly, improve collaboration within and across fire teams, and continue to build bridges across the vast number of agencies and organizations that form the greater fire management community. This provided for continuous feedbak (sic) loops of engagement and knowledge flow."

"There were several interrelated projects that comprised the effort:

"Technology project component was accomplished in three phases:

"Improve the quality and visibility of the content

"Optimize the search capability

"Enable a leading-edge user interface and functionality.

"Learning project component:

"Learning processes already in place were evaluated and evolved by engaging the end users of this knowledge

"Critical and highly relevant knowledge was identified and captured or created

"Sustainment of the Working KnowledgeCSP Operationalizing Learning© Concept.

"Collaboration project component:

"Communities of Practice were enhanced and sustained including outreach to the greater fire community." (all emphasis added above)


So then, why is it that the WLF LLC professionally sought out guidance that revealed the utilization of the High-Reliability Organization (HRO) principles? However, based on negative GTS (Google That S**t) search results, this never appears to have been truly adopted and promulgated by the WLF LLC in spite of the highly efficient and effective style of HRO-like "organizational learning" that they suggested exists. Why is that?

Consider now some recent (May 12, 2022) Snippets of GTS searches for the WLF LLC and HROs. The only one that shows up is this obscure consulting firm but never the WLF LLC itself.

Figure 6. HRO Google search results without the WLF LLC being mentioned Source: Google


"A lesson is learned when we change our behavior"


This author holds that endorsing, maintaining, and promoting the tried-and-true "10 and 18" Fire Orders and Watch Out Situations as designed and utilized safely and successfully for years would be a great start. This includes all those other WFs and FFs on the June 2013 YH Fire. That would certainly improve WF and FF safety. However, since the established pattern anymore is the odious Facilitated Learning Analysis (FLA), Coordinated Response Protocol (CRaP), or Learning Reviews (LR), it militates toward "incomplete lessons learned" per author and researcher Diane Vaughan coined that term to describe the Challenger (1986) and Columbia (2003) NASA shuttle disasters debacles.

In the link provided, please consider this valuable human factors collection (409 pp.) by Farjoun and Starbuck (2005) titled "Organization at the Limits" where Vaughan also wrote quite a lot on the notions of "incomplete learning processes" and "incomplete lessons learned."


Consider now the National Advance Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI) (and by default the WLF LLC as well) FLA Introduction and Welcome:

"The Facilitated Learning Analysis (FLA) is a process progressive leaders can utilize to treat accidents and other unintended outcomes as opportunities to learn and better understand how employees perceive and manage risk. This view may also offer a safe opportunity for those involved to share their story. The FLA process demonstrates to employees, through their own words, what they can learn from unintended outcomes and how they may reduce the possibility of them happening again." (emphasis added)


WLF LLC FLA video. "This video introduces the Facilitated Learning Analysis (FLA) history, key concepts and processes which are used to review many accidents and incidents. The video is intended to relieve the concerns and fears of employees and supervisors who need to participate in an FLA as well as to educate all firefighters on how FLAs are used for sharing lessons learned. The video was produced by the USFS National Technology and Development Program – Missoula."

Figure 7. Snippet of Closed Caption text of Randy Draeger. Former Marine with Hotel Management skills promoted to Region 4 USFS Regional Safety and Health Manager. Source: WLF LLC, MTDC, YouTube, FLA

Figure 8. Snippet of Closed Caption text of Randy Draeger, skills promoted to Region 4 USFS Regional Safety and Health Manager. Source: WLF LLC, YouTube, FLA

Figure 9. Snippet of Closed Caption text of Steve Holdsembeck,"promoted" from District Ranger to Region 4 USFS Regional Safety and Health Manager, then FLA Coordinator. Source: WLF LLC, YouTube, FLA

This author alleges that both Draeger and Holdsembeck have been part and parcel of failing to reveal the truth about many wildland fire disasters and mishaps along with the YH Fire and GMHS debacle.

Figure 10. Snippet of Closed Caption text of Assistant Director-Doctrine, Learning, & Risk Management Julian Affuso at U.S. Forest Service, Washington Office. Source: WLF LLC, YouTube, FLA

This author and many others contend that both Draeger and Holsembeck are alleged to be a big part of the cover-up, lie, and whitewash of the YH Fire and GMHS debacle based on personal conversations and emails.

Consider now this New Times article with Dr. Ted Putnam and former HS Mark Kaib supporting the above statement about the YH Fire and GMHS debacle. Wildfire Expert Alleges Arizona Forestry Division Covering Up Yarnell Hill Tragedy 05 April 2016 published by

Consider now an April 4, 2016, InvestigativeMEDIA thread posted by WantsToKnowTheTruth (WTKTT) from Shari Turbyfill, Mother of Travis Turbyfill, one of the GMHS Marines, regarding the YH Fire and GMHS debacle cover-up, lies, and whitewash after participating in the April 2016 GMHS Family Staff Ride (all emphasis is added):

"The parents of David and Shari Turbyfill and others both on the Family Staff Ride and commenters also posted PUBLIC comments to their own ‘Yarnell Fire Realities’ Public Group page on Facebook the day AFTER this ‘YH Fire Staff Ride’ ( which they participated in )… and they were pretty much DISGUSTED with everything they heard… and ESPECIALLY with Bravo 33’s John Burfiend’s comments and ‘condescending attitude’ in particular.

Facebook GROUP – Yarnell Fire Realities Moderator(s): David and Shari Turbyfill ( parents of deceased GM Hotshot Travis Turbyfill )

Shari Turbyfill talking about the April 5, 2016 ‘Yarnell Hill Fire Family Staff Ride’… and about HER face-to-face ‘conversation’ with Bravo 33’s John Burfiend…

——————————————————————————– Bret Henry – April 14 at 6:11 pm I believe, sadly, and from 23 years of fire experience, and after 9 years in the Marines, that, not always, but many fire management people, especially at the municipal level are, like politicians, sociopathic ego maniacs. Ie; listen to radio traffic on some tragedies… telling crews to be quiet that were calling for help. Many have heard this traffic… I wonder how that guy feels now, is he sad and it’s hard to live with or is he a chief somewhere enjoying many benefits and getting his lunch money back that was taken form (sic) him, telling grand stories of fire to any that listen.

Yarnell Fire Realities – April 14 at 6:06 pm Brett Henry I asked him ( John Burfiend ) that question face to face of The Man Behind the microphone of Bravo 33. They fall back on some training saying proper protocol for emergency break in which we’ve discovered throughout the nation is not standard its random. There is no rule or guideline in wildfire….strutual (sic) yes……so more cover up more excuses no more truth ... truth is in the ground. this is JFK and Jimmy Hoffa all over again….. Arizona State Fire will never be a stand-up Department of the state with the personnel and culture currently in place. They have the truth but they’d rather cover their asses than be stand up people and do the right thing. We will never know the truth and that is really personal for 19 familiesShari ( Turbyfill )

Bret Henry – April 14 at 6:09 pm Very sad. Generally speaking, it’s a bad culture. I would almost like to hear that he ( John Burfiend ) felt bad at least, for that.

Yarnell Fire Realities – April 14 at 8:12 pm He ( John Burfiend ) did… and THEN proceeded to ‘educate me’ on why it wasn’t HIS fault. ——————————————————————————–

And here are more comments from Shari Turbyfill posted just 24 hours after she and her husband David participated in this ‘YH Fire Family Staff Ride’…

——————————————————————————– Yarnell Fire Realities – April 6 at 12:59 pm Some of us spent yesterday ( April 5, 2016 ) with all of the leaders of that fire and after a grueling 6 hour hike and stations of conversation at certain points it is my belief as far as Arizona State Fire goes it is very disconnected and there appears to be more of a culture of Delegation and not my job then true honesty integrity and transparency I’m a very unpopular person for having this opinion but my opinion was formed by the events that took place yesterday that I witnessed for myself. How do you change a culture when the leaders see nothing wrong with it? When asked questions and the answers are I don’t know. And how sad it is to read the comment of David Sheets to never trust overhead. But with my experience sadly to say I think he’s right Wildland firefighting needs to be revamped completely the fires are different the world is different we can’t rely on how it used to be….. it’s killing us. I find this page valuable to those who want the truth. I also want those who read this page to know that the truth is very difficult to find. Rumors and gossip flow much more freely because you don’t have to prove it. This comment is posted exclusively from the observation and opinions I saw and formed yesterdayShari ( Turbyfill )

Chad Walker – April 12 at 9:11 pm Phoenix New Times Wildfire Expert Alleges Arizona Forestry Division Covering Up Yarnell Hill Tragedy Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 – By John Dougherty…/wildfire-expert… Have you seen any of these videos or pictures that the article speaks about?

Yarnell Fire Realities – April 13 at 12:31 pm Yes Chad we have and hiked and saw with our own eyes the supposed decent (sic) to the ranch safety zone….you can not see the bowl where they died until you are half way down a rugged descent and it’s to the left on your right is a wall of boulders those boys had to be ordered down to Yarnell to reengage I cannot imagine them voluntarily choosing that path and then when the fire roared over the ranch they had no opportunity but to maybe go left and create a deployment site because there were no Communications. When it went bad it all went bad quickly and Bravo 33 was not much help by ignoring the repeated requests from Granite Mountain 7 [There is no Granite Mountain 7]. Our boys are gone and covered in a veil of unclear cover-your-ass poor management. There are so many holes and so many disconnected answers from Arizona State Fire that I wouldn’t trust their policies guidelines and procedures to put out a piece of paper on fire in my kitchen sink. If you’re a wildland firefighter in the state of Arizona … Know for sure that the boys in Phoenix sitting at their desks being important don’t have your back they’re too busy covering their own ass. Instead of spending two and a half years blowing smoke up our ass trying to tell the families that our boys were idiots…. wouldn’t it have been more effective for Arizona State leadership to just tell the truth take the hit and be better for all the future Wildland firefighters in our state…… Nope cya is The Game Plan and more people will die it hurts my heart – Shari ( Turbyfill )

Suzanne Flynn – April 20 at 10:53 pm Yarnell Fire Realities I’m very sorry for your loss.. I have been watching since the moment we all found out. You are not alone in your conclusion. with 27 years in this business and the past 13 mainly teaching, I have had a very difficult time with this particular accident. Please continue to search for your answers.

Diane Lomas – May 17 at 11:28 am Interesting developments on Investigative Media chapter XXI on May 16 and 17th.

Pat Byrnes – May 22 at 10:23 am Actually, the tragedy was on a Sunday afternoon, so the fire management folks in Phoenix were probably out on the golf course or having a pool party…. Sigh. Know that the 19 are remembered and many people would like to know and learn.

Yarnell Fire Realities – May 22 at 10:35 am We will keep trying… And to Diane Lomas… investigativemedia cannot be judged on its individual articles this is a long process and I think if you stick with reading all of the chapters there are more to come many more. Read just the words without forming opinions … we can get more truth. I know John [Dougherty] has pissed off a lot of people in his style of Journalism. Journalism in and of itself is part drama to gain your your readership and and part reality for facts. I would say stay open-minded read the words and wait for the ending." (emphasis added)


Recall the April 12, 2016, email thread between USFS Shelton LaVelle, Human Dimensions Joseph R. Harris, and BRHS HS Supt. Frisby regarding the proposed GMHS Staff Ride and "Human Factors!" Frisby noted that "The picture that is being painted is very different than what we remember ... and "that human factors that day were off the charts" and "swept under the rug." (emphasis added)

Figure 10a. April 12, 2016, email thread between USFS Shelton LaVelle, Human Dimensions Joseph R. Harris, and BRHS HS Supt. Frisby regarding the proposed GMHS Staff Ride and "Human Factors!" Source: YHFR

Figure 11. Snippet (May 29, 2022) of NAFRI Learning From Outcomes Cadre Source: NAFRI

Consider now the FLA and CraP course descriptions: "The Facilitated Learning Analysis (FLA) and Coordinated Response Protocol (CRP) are group learning approaches to review a broad spectrum of unintended outcomes or close calls ranging from fatalities and escaped fires to vehicle accidents. Through lectures, case studies, and interaction between participants and faculty, the course will:

• Illustrate concepts, technologies and methods to actively engage the FLA and CRP processes.

• Examine case studies that describe a paradigm shift from blame to learning in the wake of an accident.

• Demonstrate the use of storytelling to exploit accidents and other unintended outcomes as learning events.

• Underline the concept of sense-making to enable FLA and CRP team members to overcome hindsight bias.

Move organizations towards a learning culture. The workshop is limited to 56 participants


Prepare participants to serve as FLA and CRP team members.

Target Group:

Personnel interested and available to participate on review teams analyzing all types of accidents and near-misses. The Workshop participation is not limited to Fire and Aviation Management employees.

Total Hours: 40


None, However, preference will be given to individuals with experience in risk management, safety management and accident investigations."

(emphasis added)

This author, with a wealth of "experience in risk management, safety management and accident investigations" has applied for this course several times in the past few years and has been denied each time. Truth-Tellers and such are the exceptions to the rule evidently.

Figure 11a. Blurry Snippet of Learning From Unintended Consequences, FLA, and CRaP Source:

NAFRI NWCG Courses website

Figure 11b. FLA Witness Statements and Confidentiality protocol Source: FLA website

This Figure 11b. statement revealing the recognized unreliability and untrustworthiness of employee opinion statements is interesting with the recurring feckless "evolve" verbiage: "It's important to note that an employee's opinion on an event may evolve over time as he or she begins to make sense of the situation." (emphasis added)


Consider now the WLF LLC's willful blindness to reality with their overt attempt to manipulate wildland fire documentation and information to achieve their established agenda to avoid and / or discredit the truth about the YH fire and GMHS debacle. It readily appears that they openly and intentionally leave pertinent facts out of their Podcast, so it makes one wonder what other wildland fire mishaps they cover are skewed as well.

At this juncture, you have the option of either suffering through listening to the one-and-one-half hours of the podcast or like most people, opting for actually reading the Otter PDF transcript below for the Wildland Fire LLC Podcast - Reading, Reflecting, and Changing Behavior

If you choose to read the written words instead of listening, then please consider now the WLFLLC Center Manager Kelly Woods - USFS Plumas NF, Feather River RD (CA) Forestry Technician, and Graduate Master's Degree Erik Apland PodCast transcript titled: Reading, Reflecting, and Changing Behavior (September 16, 2021) transcribed in PDF format.


This author certifies that the transcribed PDF of the podcast is truthful and accurate to the best of his ability and the words that are posted are factual with minor spelling, punctuation, and grammar, etc. editing as noted below.

This author used an app for transcribing the WLF LLC podcast mentioned above. The document was saved in a PDF format after editing basic spelling, punctuation, and grammar while the overall content remained the same, e.g. all fire names mentioned had the name capitalized "Butte" and the word "fire" in lower-case (Butte fire edited to Butte Fire), the word "PPE" was originally "peepee"; "IRPG" was often "IRDB"; the author often edited out the speakers' titles and times ("Unknown 30:34") because they will be discerned when read in context; out of respect, capitalizing, e.g. Crews, Helitack, Engines, ets.; the Agencies and entities were initially lower case ("cdf, ccc, wildland fire lessons learned center, etc") and then edited to upper case; added hyphens in certain areas, i.e. "rules-focused"; you will note many areas of redundancy or stuttering, i.e. "this ... this" or "this, this"; lots of "Wow" by Woods; "clothing" was often clubbing; lots of mentioning "evolve, evolved, evolves, evolution, etc. that this author loathes because it means that it came to be all by itself with no human intervention; and new edits become apparent each time it's read.

The WLF LLC also favors the use of Fire Shelters for a variety of reasons, i.e. The Fire Shelter Guy." This is another issue as a result of the YH Fire taken on by the USFS, and that will be the subject of a future YHFR post. Generally speaking, if you have to deploy your fire shelter or rely on air support to "save you" then you have really messed up. In a word, there will NEVER be a fire shelter made, light enough to carry on the firelines, that would have withstood those extreme fire behavior temperatures that day. NEVER!


WLFLLC Kelly Woods - Erik Apland Reading, Reflecting and Changing Behavior (9-16-21) Unknown 0:00 ... reading all of these and really diving into them is, for me, I think what it took to pass from kind of the, well that's interesting to ... This is something that deeply connects with me enough to change my behavior. And that's a hard thing to get to. Unknown 0:22 This is the wildfire lessons podcast. Our goal is to promote learning by revealing the complexity and risk in the wildland fire environment. We share the lessons, the learning that follows is up to you. Hi, I'm Kelly Woods director of the wildland fire Lessons Learned Center on today's podcast I sit down with Eric Apland to visit about his analysis of being traveling reports posted in our Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center Incident Review database throughout the podcast, you'll hear Eric mentioned multiple reports, some of which you may have read and others of which may be new to you. Either way, Eric has read them all and offers some unique conclusions lessons in perspective. My advice, as you listen, is to take note of some of the incidents, so you can look them up in our incident review database for further study to find our IRPG, visit our website wildfire lessons Let's listen to my chat with Eric and see if there are any surprises for you in the conversation here. Okay, thanks for joining us today to talk a little bit about what you've been doing, what kind of research, what kind of deep dive into our incident review database,

and some of the cool stuff you've been finding so appreciate you being here. Why don't we start with you telling us who you are and how you got here. Yeah, great.

Unknown 1:48


" ... Eric has read them all and offers some unique conclusions lessons (sic) in perspective.

" ... see if there are any surprises for you in the conversation here."

"look at all of the entrapments that we have on there"

How about this surprise? The entire WLF LLC YH Fire and GMHS Incident Review is readily available to anyone and everyone in the world?

"Yarnell Hill Fire Entrapment Fatalities (2013) with about sixteen different PDF reports, PowerPoints, Videos, etc. at your disposal that were clearly intentionally ignored in order to completely avoid mentioning it in their PodCast.

Intentionally deceitful! Misfeasance! Shameful!


"Hey Kelly. Yeah, it's really nice to be here, be able to talk about this. My name is Eric Apland and I started my fire career and in 2005 at Lassen National Park up in Northern California and kind of as a temp wandered around the West a little bit, until I came back to California and a few

mouth 10 years ago, I guess at this point and now on a permanent TEALS tack on the Plumas National Forest up in ... in Northern California, but this summer I've been a Field Operations Specialist detailed to the Lessons Learned Center and this looking into these Entrapment Reports that

we have housed on our Incident Review Database has been kind of a project I've been working on for majority of the summer so far,

Unknown 2:31

It's been awesome to have you we've loved having you on our, on our staff and getting your perspective. And this project has been pretty cool and really it just, you know, the ... the assignment was to go through our Incident Review Database, and look at all of the entrapments that we have on there, any reports that we have that are tagged with entrapments or as entrapments, so that means starting the incidents you looked at I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, start at about 1910 and go through, you know 2020 All of those ... those things and so you're sitting in this really cool, unique position where you've read those reports, all in this, you know 120 Day detail, and it's been so fun to listen to you talk about some of your findings, and some of the things you've seen, so it just made sense. Let's sit down and let's do a podcast, let's have some fun. Let's pull some of the details out and, You know, talk about some events that maybe we don't even aren't at all on our radar is it community because they happened so long ago but

might have some really valuable lesson so I appreciate you, I mean, that simple assignment go through the IMDB (?), and look at entrapments you've taken it and just run with it and it's been so awesome, so I'm excited to ... to have you share some of what you learned so let's go to dive in, what are some of the things you found. So like you said, it starts the database the first entrapment that's, that's mentioned on there as 1910 was there great Idaho Fire blow up. And then from there it's, it's very sparse until you get into the 1960s and then it really picks up in the seventies and it's kind of exponential. From then, but there's a few things that seem to come out of it, for me anyway and they're interesting because some of them are very sort of detailed sort of small, day to day type of ... of issues and then some of them are much, much larger. So one of them that really came out for me was the evolution of our personal protective equipment and how that started.

You know where people were basically wearing what loggers were at that at that time, right 1910. Especially Filson kind of stuff and whatever if they could afford.

Yeah. And then so there's ... so there's that piece of it right and then, of course, the fire shelter as a part of that. That came later. Then there's things like the issues that ... that would come up in these reports, usually starting more around the 60s, and 70s that are still issues now or are

things that we seem to have finally started to address, even in my the 15 years of my career, the last 15 years, there's how these reports have changed and how variable they are, because I think there's a kind of an assumption that the older reports are a certain way the newer reports

are a different way. Right, but that's not actually really true, they're kind of a really, I think [it] depended on who was writing it and what their directives were and, and there are some old older reports from the 60s and 70s that that say some things that are really surprising that are said in different terminology than we would use now, but are definitely things that, that we could say now, and have the same sort of sensitivity to things like mental health and personal well being that kind of stuff that, that we kind of talk a lot more about now and I think aren't we don't think about being in seven days. So there's, there's just a wide variety of different things that ... that come up and it's been really fascinating to see this, let's kind of dive a little bit more into the reports initially I definitely want to talk about the [PPE] thing because I think that's something that's pretty fascinating, and, you know, looking at that evolution but I ... you know at the Lessons Learned Center of course we're, we like to, to look at the reports we like to look at how the Learning Culture has grown and evolved in huge piece of that is how reports have evolved. So, dive in a little bit more. Give me some more details on like what you might have seen in, you know, early reports, whatever pick a decade. Up until, you know, like maybe what was going on in the 90s versus what we're seeing now give us. Yeah, talk about that a little bit.

Unknown 6:56

Yeah, absolutely, starting with 1910. That first 50 years from 1910 to 1960 There are only 13 reports that are in there. Obviously, there are many more entrapments than that in those 50 years, and those early ones are very factual there, but like I said, they're very variable, you really can't tell exactly what it's going to say, I mean what's fascinating about them to me is that there really are a pretty interesting window into what it looked like to

fight fire in the first 50 years basically of since the ... the Big Blow Up, and how, how different truly different it was then, versus even, even in the 60s and 70s and certainly now, like in what ways, what are some great, so, you know, the only organized type of crews that seemed to exist at that time were like the C's right the CCC program in the 1930s otherwise, it was

kind of, you know ranchers would show up or they have some loggers that were nearby and they'd come over.

Very little, sort of existing organization. And, you know, these were times when these land management agencies existed but they didn't really have much as far as an existing organization. And so, if you think about

something like that, you know, we may have had at that time, different kinds of fire safety training where, you know, I think, don't go above a fire. Don't be downwind of a fire that sort of thing, or have a safe place that you

can escape to. Those are those go back decades and decades, those kinds of themes without calling it LCES are yeah we're having 10 and 18 and that kind of thing. But, you know, if you're a logger or a rancher who lives nearby or whatever the case, you probably haven't had any of that kind of training you may think you know some things intuitively but that's probably the extent of it right. So, the some of the things that that happened, where we had I mean sort of shocking in a way, you know like the Griffith Park Fire right and I think it was 1933 down in LA County, yeah it was ... it was, I think one of the largest fatality fires in US history, at least, firefighters that after 1910 probably. And, you know, largely because I think there wasn't really much of an organized firefighting force at that ... at that time.

It's fascinating to hear you bring up Griffith Park Fire, and, you know, how many people have studied that or looked at that or even know that that fire took place is kind of an interesting thing because it goes back into, you know, the several decades ago and I, that's pretty interesting that he can say it's got that many fatalities and, you know I'm this is my 30th fire season and I'm going home. Okay, I better look that one up, you know, you know.

Yeah, that was definitely been the case with me as well. There's been things like I've heard of Griffith Park, right, that's it, that's about it. I'd heard it, it, that it had happened but I didn't know really anything about it at all, and there are fires in there that I didn't even know that happened, never heard their name before you know pretty major fires, but to get back to the report thing. So that was kind of the first part of the first 50 years, you know, it's sort of it's hit or miss. There's huge things that probably happen

that are lost to history, unless somebody decided to write it down. And then there's kind of a period in the 60s and, and getting into the 70s when it's kind of hard to categorize it ... it's certainly not the. It's not the kind of rules-focused sort of reports that ... that came a little bit later. That stuff is in there, you know, a focus on once they had developed a 10 and 13 at the time. Once they had developed that, then there is [a] reference to those things, but often there are some of these reports that really do look at,

they wouldn't call it human factors but they talk about those types of things, and look at more sort of more deeply or try to question more deeply like why, why do these things keep happening and what can we do as an organization to, to change that, whether it's the Forest Service or a lot of stuff came out of the state of California during that time, but it doesn't really matter, you know, depending on the agency doesn't necessarily matter. There was kind of a focus on the sort of systemic change versus really rules-based stuff.

I'm curious Eric did you, you know, some of those things that started getting highlighted in reports are some of them, things that we as a culture have found some resolution to are some, or some of those things ... things that still linger today that we still grapple with how to address.

Unknown 11:41

Right, yeah, yeah, no, definitely that so both right, I think. So there's the PPE part right that that is very very slowly, is instituted, you know the bringing there's mentions of fire of flame-resistant clothing right. And then, that ... those mentioned started in the 1960s. And you see it for 10

years. At the same with fire shelters, it starts in the 1960s and you see it for 10 years that maybe we would have had a different outcome here if, if these people had been carrying fire shelters but at the time they weren't required they may not have even had access to them at all, Right, but there's a lot of references earlier than I would have thought about things like work to rest guidelines. I thought that was a newer kind of guideline than ... than it is something that's been around for ... for quite a while it's I

think it's mentioned in the Butte Fire report, which was a fire in Idaho and in 1985. I believe it's mentioned in there but it's certainly mentioned around that time, and that continually comes up, the use of hospital liaisons. There was a fire in the State of California. In the early 1970s, which I believe is a first time it's mentioned that somebody. Yeah, it was really cool. Where they assigned a Battalion Chief [there was no such thing as a BC in the wildland fire lexicon in 1985] to be at the hospital every day with a burned firefighter, to be there for the family and be a liaison between the hospital and family it's really, it's really cool to see that.

Unknown 13:07

Yeah, that's a lot earlier than I would have speculated that that kind of concept would be implemented addressed and implemented so I absolutely and then as far as stuff that's brought up and then not fully addressed say there's a lot of that, the biggest one, I think the most surprising one for me was finding a reference in a report, and a fire called the Mac Two Fire [unable to locate anything on this wildfire] which ... which happened either right adjacent to the San Bernardino National Forest or on the Forest, I can't remember, but right up next to it down there in Southern California, in 1971, and they mentioned in the report, in fact, it's a pretty significant bulk of the report they mentioned how, at that time, the US Forest Service was in, particularly the Pacific Southwest Region California was having a hard time competing with County Fire Departments. And at that time the California Department of Forestry CDF, the competing for employees, because of their working conditions. The state of housing that the ... the Forest Service could provide for people and pay that they were not competitive at that fascinating 1971 that's identified in a report and we certainly are still grappling with that, right, it's a big one, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that was, I was, I was shocked to see that and they really do delve into it in pretty great detail to this, to the extent that they even have photos comparing bunkhouses on the San Bernardino versus what the ... what the State had It's really amazing how they took it really seriously.

That's very, very interesting. Anything else with reports that. Yeah. So the big thing that I think people talk about with these reports is that there was this period of time up until the early to mid-2000s And there was a lot of work done at that time with people who were very serious about developing, you know, sort of a safety culture right where that was not punitive, and before that, and obviously, there's a reason why that happened and there are, there are things that were written in the 80s and 90s that are shocking to read, how you mean from like a punitive standpoint, like, yeah, like how judgmental I guess would be the word that

I would use and it's, it's really, it's very common kind of calling people out, sometimes almost by name in very harsh terms, it's certainly not anything that you would see now, you're focusing on one person was the at fault for this whole thing rather than looking at the collective organization and how what happened and what can we learn from it really about assigning blame and moving on, kind of zero, yeah exactly one that ... one that really comes to mind is the Ship Island Fire, which was in Idaho and in 1979. It actually says in that in that report that. [There was a Hot Shot Crew on the helispot that the two WFs decided to use as a Safety Zone. The HS Crew wisely left the area and went elsewhere for safety. The two WFs that remained stacked all the gear on the helispot around themselves and it was the gear and the intense heat from the fire and that burning gear that caused the problem. Gloves became mandatory after this fatality fire. Moreover, Woods continues to discuss this fire and accuses the Ss and Helitack of disagreeing with the accident report -"if it existed"].


Indeed, "it existed" then and does exist now on their very own WLF LLC website in two separate documents. Pay close attention to how the alleged "Investigators" and USFS their high-level Management clearly attempt to deftly wordsmith and manipulate what is "allowed," contained within these "official" reports and USFS correspondence.

Fire Shelter Entrapment Report (38 pages) and Pattee Fatality Investigation Report Ship Island Fire (43 pages)


"One of the problems they think is that Crews, that there was not retribution for Crews that didn't produce line. And because that time ... time the California Department of Forestry CDF, the competing for employees, because of their working conditions. The state of housing that the ... the Forest Service could provide for people and pay 1971 that's identified in a report and we certainly are still grappling with that, right, it's a big one, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that was, I was, I was shocked to see that and they really do delve into it in pretty great detail to this, to the extent that they even have photos comparing bunkhouses on the San Bernardino versus what the ... what the State had It's really amazing how they took it really seriously.

Unknown 16:37

Yeah, that ... that sentence made it into a report, it's amazing and in the same report, it says a little bit later on, that when the fire was first identified, I believe, certainly Smokejumpers flew it. I believe the Helitack crew flew it as well and both of them separately said they didn't believe the fire should be staffed at all. It's a very strange thing, it's almost like they ... it's almost like they didn't read their own report if it existed. It's so contradictory and all these different things, and then ultimately the firefighter who passed away on that fire you know they have criticism for him as well and it's like I said it's not ... it's not the kind of thing that you would see now. And I think in that respect of, that's a good thing that the change that has come about.

Unknown 17:23

Yeah. What are ... what are your thoughts just like I said, you've just read all of these reports. In this short timeframe. So what are ... what are your thoughts on reports of, you know today or the last few years and, and how those look, and it seems to me there's more of a focus on a narrative, telling a story. You know, looking for opportunities to learn. What's your reaction to what the contents look like now and how we can apply them back to the [fire] community to learn.

Unknown 17:56

So it's often the case that the ... the newer reports, tend to be, in some cases longer, but it's because they look more seriously at things like ... like human factors and so there was a fire in 2011, a Coal Canyon Fire in South Dakota, where a type six engine got burned over, and in that case,

there is a long discussion of why there were actually two separate burn overs that were very close to each other.

And there's a long discussion of why. In the one case, the people who were driving the Type Six Engine decided to go forward, rather than back up, and then includes even photos of what it would have looked like, from their point of view, what it would have looked like out of the windshield versus the side mirror, and why they would have chosen to go forward, which ultimately ended in a pretty narrow draw, which is where the attract with that ... that burn over happened. And then on the same fire on the same road, there was a single firefighter who was standing in the road, when there was a sudden flare-up.

Right. And rather than move forward, away from that. He laid down in the rough. Right. And there was something similar that happened in the past, and when it happened in the past, it wasn't commented on, It was just this happened with no explanation as to why. Really anything it was just sort of left sort of an explicable, but in this case, in both the case of the Engine and then the single Firefighter on the road they really dug into why would you ... why would you do something that now, with hindsight and knowing the outcome we think looks strange. And I think, I think that particular report puts it in very, very well, why it made sense to do what they did.

Unknown 20:00

That's, that's pretty awesome because that's one of the things is getting. When we look at these reports we want to be able to suspend our hindsight bias right and look and think about what were they seen and what did they base their actions on instead of just judging and saying, well, I would never do that. Because how can we ever know what we would do until we're faced with the same situation, seeing the same thing so yeah that's ... that's a pretty cool thing and it takes narrative right to get there, you can't ... you can't just have bullet statements and say this and this and this, these are the facts of what happened. You need that narrative in there to tell the story to paint the picture so that the reader, it brings the reader, closer to the event to maybe even get an emotional

connection to actually learn, and your emotional connection may still be, I would never do that, that's fine.


Figure 12. Hindsight Bias and Counterfactual image and explanations. Source: WLF LLC


Woods and Apland continue: Once you've at least thought about it, you've got more details. And if you find yourself in that scenario now you almost have at your own slide it's one from reading and studying, but you kind of have a slide and you think okay, I've thought about this before this is what I'm going to do or this is what not, what I'm going to do or this when I'm, you know, going to avoid doing so. So that's where that narrative is so important. So yeah, pretty cool.


This author alleges that a contradiction is occurring here regarding their earnest Mission Statement and proscribed intent because WLF LLC Woods and contracted-WLF LLC and PNF employee Apland never once discuss or even mention - throughout the entire one-and-one-half-hour PodCast - anything at all - nothing - about the June 30, 2013, YH Fire and GMHS debacle where 19 men died in one fell swoop, where they did everything right according to the Federally-funded SAIT-SAIR.

This is telling - critical - because it shows the true nature of the individual and collective WLF LLC motives and their alleged continuing manipulation of, and resistance to expose the truth! The truth that we all know exists and that so many are virtually starving for.


Unknown 21:26

Yeah, I totally agree. I think it's ... it's critically important and I think that one thing that I've gotten out of this, of doing this project is that you really have to take seriously the idea that you're going into this, to learn why something happened to people who are basically in your exact shoes.

Unknown 21:46

Yeah, professionals with a set of skills, a set of experience on which to base their actions. Why did they have the outcome they had, right, and whether, even if it looks, even if things look strange.

Now, because our (sic) maybe some of our practices are different, they were still, you know, in a ... in a situation where they took, you know, the ... the slides right like you said, they looked at their decision space and they made a decision, it's exactly the same as you would do now, and I think you have to, you do have to spend time with some of these, especially the longer, some of the longer ones because they're in, you know, [the] vast majority of cases they're long for a reason and there's really good stuff in there. It just, you have to take it seriously to take the time to do it. Not that you have to read them all, but, but if you're going to, you know, try to learn and really derive, you know, hopefully maybe change your behavior or train your Crew or something like that and like really really dive into it and take it seriously. Unknown 22:53 Well I think that's the you know the, the notion of honor through learning, right, we honor all of the members of our [fire] community who've, you know, had bad or good outcomes, whatever, you know, by learning from them, studying and yeah I definitely appreciate that, you know, you mentioned the Ship Island Fire from Salmon-Challis National Forest, 1979, [The Salmon and Challis NFs were formed in 1908 and combined into the Salmon-Challis NF in 1998] and I want to talk about that a little bit because I want to kind of launch into some of your findings about PPE and you know as I, as I recall from ... from that fire firefighter, Kyle Patee, you know, lost his life on that fire, getting in his fire shelter, without gloves, he had given his gloves away to somebody got into the shelter and then couldn't hold down the shelter, because it got so hot, and he didn't have his gloves. So that just, you know that fire has always really resonated with me.


This author found no evidence to support Woods' claim that "he had given his gloves away to somebody got into the shelter and then couldn't hold down the shelter, because it got so hot, and he didn't have his gloves."

I ... you know I remember my own little sketchy scenario in Nevada, quite some time ago but you know flying in the helicopter. We were going to see if we could take some action on, you know this big fire outside Battle Mountain, and jump out of the helicopter there were four of us from our crew, take off our flight helmet, shove our flight gloves, in the, you know with our helmets, put them in the ship, [the] pilot takes off. Now we turn and we're, we were ready to see what we can do to engage, you know, start doing ... implementing our plan. We did have a plan when we got on the ground but the fire behavior changed so quickly.

And we had to basically you know it's kind of started coming out at us from a couple of sides and in the four of us had to make the decision. We just got to find a spot that we can pop through this, just run through the fire, get into the black is kind of where we were. But I remember in my head Ship Island Fire. I mean I distinctively remember that I did not have my gloves on because I was in a hurry, you know I just threw my hard hat on through, you know, toss that stuff in the aircraft and started to go my gloves were in my pack because I was a Rapeller and we didn't have our gloves outside, because we need if we were going to rappel, we didn't want our clothes hanging out, right. So, my gloves are in my pack and I remember as the four of us were looking for an opportunity to maybe find a break in the flames or smell (sic), you know, I remember thinking, oh my gosh, I don't have my gloves if I end up needing to get into my shelter. This is not going to be good, so it's so resonated with me that that story always did, and here I find myself in that situation, right. So, so talk a little bit about PPE, you know, gloves, fire-resistant clothing, and of course, shelters, what ... what are some of the things you pulled from the reports related to that.

Yeah, there's so much in there. I think actually something that, having read all of these right and ... and seeing this, this evolution from ... from just kind of thick cotton clothing to flame-resistant clothing. First, just the shirt, then shirt and pants. And then throughout the decades, especially when often in these in these reports there will be an analysis of PPE especially starting maybe in the 1990s. And so and it will look at how did it do, right, for further development and seeing that really made me think, in a new way, which I was kind of surprised that I had never thought about this before, but what [our] PPE is actually supposed to do, and what it's capable of and what it's not capable of, And that kind of led me to a really, really great video, that's on YouTube of a, he's a Fire, or was I don't ... I don't know if he's retired or what but he was a Fire Captain with LA County. His name is David Leary, and he does a, it's a presentation and he's giving to a rookie class, where he talks about falling through a roof on a warehouse fire, and he says, the reason why he's here, is because he was

wearing, everything. And the only thing he has all of his PPE that he was wearing, lay down on the table. And he said, visit this is what the Department issued me I was wearing, all of it. And he said at all of this, all this stuff all it did was buy me some time at it. And I never had thought about it like that before. And, you know his big point was, he was walking on a roof, and all of a sudden, he had fallen almost 20 feet into a burning building. It happened instantaneously. And so whatever, whatever he

was wearing the moment he fell through the roof is all he was ever going to be wearing but didn't ... didn't have time to put a shroud on, get his gloves on it, that was, yeah.

And I think that's one of the surprising things for me that has come out of doing this just personally is that I've always definitely been someone who would have the gloves clipped to the pack, and with the thought that I

could just throw them on when I had when they, if it ever got hot or something like yeah I had mine inside my right yep check that box. Yeah. But in reality, that's just not true. When fire reaches you, or heat or whatever it is, but what you're wearing is what you're probably going to be

wearing, you're probably not going to have, there are cases of course where people have some time, and sort of watch the fire come but. But in, I would say the majority of cases it's whatever you've got on his way, is all that's

all you're ever going to have on, and it's not going to get better. So, so that's ... so that's that part of it sort of the flame-resistant clothing the gloves. The fire shelters is a, is a really fascinating topic we could probably do a whole podcast just on that multiple probably, but one thing that I just looked this up to get a real number, And of course, these, these reports

aren't ... aren't comprehensive to everything that happened, but I think that's an important thing too for us to always remember in this processes. These are the reports we have, you know somebody took the time to study it to draft it to submit it to lessons learned. That's what the IRPG is so it's not inclusive of every single activity or event or incident that's happened over time.

No, no, not by any means. I mean I remember meeting someone my first fire season who showed me some scarring on his ... on his wrists from being in an entrapment, with a fire shelter and I, I've never found that in the database, I don't know where it was, when really it's interesting so I. But in looking, I look this up this number. And just in the period of 19 1985 through 1989 And really, there were about 600 fire shelters that will deploy, which is half of the total, what's it and it's ... it's fascinating because they got to such a huge number because it during that time there were these mass sheltered deployments of ... of dozens of people whole divisions in some cases yeah Butte Fire. Yeah, the Butte Fire in 85 same Lake, Lake Mountain Fire both on the Salmon in 1985, there were several. 1988 was actually the had the most shelters deployed there was a layout entire Division, 107 people got into fire shelters up in Montana. Just, you know, shocking. And what, what came out of that for me anyway is that they, they really ... really worked. And, and, especially those that Butte [Fire] and

Lake Mountain Fire, those are, in many cases, I'm sure not across every different location that people were at, but in many cases, they certainly ... certainly saved people from being injured, but I'm sure there would have been, you know many fatalities as well. And as it as it is, you know, in the report at least according to the report, there really weren't any burn-related injuries associated with the Butte Fire in particular or I believe Lake Mountain Fire too, which is, which is pretty incredible. Yeah, so to get back to, to kind of fire shelters and you know how they, how they kind of came about through the lens of ... of these entrapment reports, and the first reference that I found was from a letter that the Chief of the Forest Service wrote after the Sundance Fire, which was in North Idaho in 1967, and is an entrapment of a Dozer Operator and what I believe at the time was called a Sector Boss but basically a Division. And they were out, way, way ahead of the fire. Right. I mean, miles. But it so happened that

that day the fire ran, something like 15 miles, very unexpected. And, and so they were caught and, and, at that ... time, fire shelters did exist, But the belief was that they were only really useful in very light fuels like grass

and light brush, and so they were only issued to Crews who were fighting fires in that kind of fuel, and so you didn't. This was a big timber fire up in north Idaho, so nobody, the cash didn't even have fire shelters to issue to

them. And in the attached to this report is a letter from the Chief of the Forest Service that says, even if in this case, where they were, maybe it would not have helped them, they should at least have been given a chance to try to use it right, and that was in 1967, and it took 10 years of ... of more entrapments and more fatalities, to finally get to a point where they became mandated across the board, which was in 1976. And then, so that was in 1976, all Foresters [and] Firefighters at least we're required to wear a fire shelter, no matter who the fire belonged to, so to speak, and then you'd have 10 years later, a little less than 10 years later, you have all of these huge entrapments you know, dozens and dozens of people. And what's fascinating about it is that immediately. In ... in, I mean, as a rule in all

of these reports, they say, what's happening is wrong.


The beginning of the shelter is also the beginning of the shelter stigma as soon as people actually started to really use them. They really focused hard on trying to stigmatize using them. I don't think that of course, they would put it in those terms. I'm sure that our, I believe they were worried that people were taking undue risk because they believe that they could

because they had a fire shelter. But you know I think the result of that, I think it's pretty clear that there is this huge stigma around it that ... that we've been dealing with since then some of the things that are said in these reports from the, from the mid- and late-80s are again they're shocking you know the recommendation that there should be an 11th Fire Order saying that you can all, you should only use a fire shelter as a last resort. And so it's kind of an interesting question like, is, is a show is a fire shelter, a piece of PBE like Nomex, that, that you should use, if you

think there's a possibility you might be burned or, or that the air is not going to be breathable, or, you know, really significant Ember fall or something like that. Should you just err on the side of caution and use it or should you treat it like a last resort. And I'm almost like I'm only going to use this thing to save my life and any other use of it is legitimate, which is kind of the way that those reports are written that if you weren't if it wasn't immediately life-threatening, then you probably shouldn't have ...

have used, and it's interesting because if you can improve your conditions, and, you know, prevent some sunburns, or get better air, you know, to protect your lungs or if you can improve your conditions. It's like you put on a shrub to, you know, improve your conditions or you ... you know you do these things but. But yeah, that if you pop a shelter you know that stigma, it's not about well, I wanted to improve my conditions, you know, right, yeah it's ... it's really pretty fascinating, is it truly PPE? And if it is,

then we need to change that narrative of last resort, it's like now I was improving my conditions so I deployed my shelter and not feel this justification well I didn't really think it was necessary I, you know, because obviously the danger in that last resort is, when do you cross the line from having plenty of time, and then it's last resort and now you've squandered your time, and can't get yourself a good spot to deploy your shelter you don't have time to do the things you need to do to get your shelter, a good seal a good location, all of that so yeah that narrative of last resort, lead you to that you know precious seconds, you know, last.

Yeah absolutely and, you know, something that I didn't know about really at all until I started reading these was how common it is for it to be necessary to remove one usually says one, but sometimes both gloves to get the fire shelter open, and it's something that I know that they have

been working on for decades, and, and it is better, but it's, but it's still there. And, and so you can read about that going back to the, I think the first time I saw it referenced was in 1987 Yeah, they talked about there being at the at the entrapment site there being multiple of, like, right

handed gloves, left, left in place because they couldn't, manipulate, opening the shelter, and that just carries on, and so like you said, if you're, if you're thinking, you know, okay, maybe I'll take it out of my pack, and I'll

hold it. Or maybe I'll take it out of its case, and I'll hold it in this, that, that sort of soft plastic medicine (sic). You may get to a point where if you're in the situation where you actually do have the time, right, where when you finally decide okay, it is, it is too hot, I need to use this thing, where all of a sudden now you realize you can't, you need to take your gloves off to open it and now, and now there's, you know, fire, wind and, yeah, exactly. Yeah,

and all that stuff. Yeah, I think that, and it and it's, it's mentioned, more, you know, in the last say 10 years, that people's main trauma survivors say, We need to look at you like training on this as not being sort of this extreme last resort, kind of thing because you're kind of setting or you can be setting yourself up to, sort of, fail, yeah. What I think that's a really interesting thing, what, you know, based on your readings, specifically with ... with focus on fire shelters. How would you change fire shelter

training annually, I mean we're all supposed to do it and you know we wear gloves or we try and visualize you know some people have a fan going. Some people run up here, you know, all kinds of things, but based on an actual analysis of shelter deployments in our, in our business, how would you change the training, what would you recommend people do.

Yeah, I mean just, you know, going by the words of some of the survivors that are ... that are interviewed in these reports, you know, well first of all, taking the ... taking the training seriously. I know that someone I work with on the Plumas is they, they would, when he was a Smokejumper they used to. They used to try to do deployments behind the ... the DC-3 power-up and, you know, at high ... high wind right and they have really good sealing and yeah very noisy right ... right uncomfortable, and it gives you a sense of ho difficult that might be. So, so there's, there's sort of that thing which people have talked about right using fans and that kind of thing. You know

this is, this was brought up during actually a previous podcast on the ?? Bowl Fire in Arizona. When do you get training? When do you talk about using a fire shelter as a, as a shield, traveling like moving with it? Yeah, there was a fire in 2002 where it's called the ...the Price Canyon Fire in Utah, where a group of Smokejumpers, ended up being trapped and escaping or, you know, variety of different things but there was one fellow who used the fire shelter kind of as like a turtle shells we put his arms and legs through the straps and ... and with that on his back, you know, facing away from, from the oncoming heat. He dug himself out an area to the point of shelter, and it, and it's a brilliant idea right and I didn't see that referenced anywhere else. So I think, probably, at least you know, in my experience, I don't think I ever got enough practice, is kind of the, you go to, you go to the refresher, you go out on the lawn, and you're good for the year. Right, yeah.

And I think that's especially true of militia, and maybe places with that don't have as high of a fire load as well.

So it may be the case that there are, there are places you know like, like, behind the DC three right wherever where they do, where they do more intensive kinds of training but, you know, anybody could find themselves in that situation and. And so I think, doing, doing a variety of different, not just not just different sort of environmental conditions but also what the ... what the goal is, right, because to me in my in my sort of mental model, the goal is escape, until a point where I realize I can't escape any more, find a good place and then deploy it in that, you know that that prone position, wearing all my [PPE] right there are many many deployments that don't look like that, that were successful in some way, you know, prevented injury or, or whatever. So, I think, really training on that more in different ways, in ways that look different, would be potentially very helpful.

Yeah, and maybe, you know just increased dialogue if you're facilitating the training, increased dialogue. You know what, what is in the realm of possibility or what are some considerations and, as you say, listening to those survivor stories you know our last podcast that Mud Fire.

You heard the story from ... from Chris Fry you know, off the Angeles of what it was like for him and that decision making and one time, you know when things, the time were just closing and you gotta, you got to take care of it or you know the ... the South Canyon video that WFSTAR [Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refrehser] put out several years ago, listening to Tony Petrelli and Mike Cooper those jumpers that ... that deployed they're really taking those words, and ... and thinking about them facilitating a really good discussion rather than like you said, Yeah, popping your shelter in the ... in the grass and going. Cool, I'm, I'm done for the year check that box and I'm moving on, give me my red card.

Yeah, shake. Shaking it somebody outside shaking it. Yeah, because

the more we can have considered these things like wow, what would I do, given that scenario, the more we will be ready to make good decisions, critical thinking, you know, when we find ourselves in a decision in a ... in a space that we never thought we'd be in because nobody ever thinks Yeah, I'll probably deploy at some point, you know, nobody thinks that right we'll think it's never going to be m ... never going to be me, but, but really thinking about it and ... and studying and so it's cool that you've, you know, mined through all of this and come to some good conclusions. Yeah, and I think that how I looked at fire shelters and what I believed about entrapment has changed, you know, just in the past couple of months from doing that so I again my sort of mental model of what an entrapment and shelter deployment look like was the South Canyon Fire, and that happens, right, that happens with some frequency and often those are, those kinds of fires, those kinds of entrapments are the ones that have a lot of people associated with them right. But the majority of instances of entrapment, don't actually look like that really, they're more like, as a very sudden increase in ... in fire intensity or a very very sudden change in direction, that then you know oftentimes just immediately falls away again. And in that case, you may or may not have a chance to even get the fire shelter out but ... but those are ... those are entrapments as well. And that's not something that I really ever thought about at all. And I think that's where the sort of thinking of the fire shelter as something that could potentially be a shield, you know, could be, could be very useful and being ready I guess in your mind, to not have to try to eliminate any stigma, you might have to, like, what does it mean that I'm that I have to get my shelter either I'm crossing a line I'm stepping just immediately going forward, the same way that you would, you know, raise your hand to your face to protect your face from heat right, same thing. And those, those there are there are cases of those types of things happen.

Yeah, so one thing I'm curious about Eric is, you know you've gone through all of this, this work and I know it was sort of, I mean it was a lot of work, a lot of reading and study what is, You know, is there a report that stands

out to you that ... that people should get into the IRPG and check out now. And, and read and learn from. Is there something like that or what you know what ... what would you tell people what did you learn that you think other people could learn? (emphasis added)


" ... is there a report that stands out to you that ... that people should get into the IRPG and check out now. ... what would you tell people what did you learn that you think other people could learn.


At this point, any ethically honest, knowledgeable, and skilled reader or researcher, or curious citizen would conclude that the WLF LLC "Reading, Reflecting, and Changing Behavior" PodCast professionals - working in concert - have chosen to intentionally ignore the salient facts about the June 2013 YH Fire and GMHS debacle; and the dishonest SAIT-SAIR "conclusion of no wrongdoing." Furthermore, these readers and researchers, and others would consider this to be the perfect opportunity at this juncture to at least acknowledge and then address the biggest cover-up, lie, and whitewash in wildland fire history!

Clearly, this was no accident nor can it be considered one!


Continuing on with the PodCast transcipts. "Unknown 46:12

Yeah that's a great question, Kelly. I think I would say that my number one answer would be. Look for your area. Look, so look for your state. So, because you can select out in the IRPG, you can select out, you know, type of incidents so you can look for entrapment, and then you can put in your state, and just leave the rest blank and see what's there ... see what's there. There's some states you're going to come up with a lot of a lot, right, because in my case like I found out that there, there were multiple

entrapments directly an area that I work in now, and I was only marginally aware of a couple of them and completely unaware of several of them. Yeah, right, and so that that would be my first recommendation is, if it's an

area that you're working in, especially if it's like your IA responsibility area. Be very behoove you to know what happened and what's the history. Yeah, but you know it's a sort of generally speaking, I would say, I really ... really

thought that the Coal Canyon Fire so the 2011 in South Dakota. I really think that's a very good report, and really ...

It delves into so many different things that in the past had not been looked into, and really take seriously trying to figure out why the people who were involved, thought that they were making the best decision that they could. I think it's, I think that one's incredibly good. So if there's only one that would be that one. I also would highly recommend for [the] Pagami Creek [Fire] which is 2006 in Minnesota and that was one that involved, folks that were, I believe not primary firefighters that were obviously red carded and that but and they were clearing campgrounds in the Boundary Waters, you know, very major fire run happened, and they ended uphaving to deploy shelters, either in water deep water, cold deep water, or on the little sandbar, that is also a very good report and goes into a lot of different human factors and thought processes, not just among them. But what was going on back at camp as well as the planning process and sort of miscommunications or opportunities that could have been taken that weren't in the planning process at that one that was very good as well.

Unknown 48:36"


Consider now the WLF LLC Pagami Fire video, part of the "Fire Shelter Deployments: Stories and Common Insights" is a program developed by the US Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) that will help you understand what you may experience in a fire shelter deployment. For additional fire shelter information:" (emphasis added)

But glaringly absent anything about Entrapment Avoidance thanks to Brad Mayhew which would result in him allegedly being rewarded as the YH Fire "Lead Investigator"!

Figure 13. Pagami Fire video Source: NWCG, WLF LLC, YouTube

A few viewer comments are in order, especially since they were criticized by several emotional, ignorant others: "Joseph Schmoe - 2 years ago

"I found it kind of interesting that in the lessons learned portion of the video, there was nothing mentioned of supervision, management not keeping track of their crews, not maintaining communications with the crews and being vague regarding mission objectives. It appears that those folks were on their own with none of the support that should have been provided them. I'm glad that these folks prevailed, but they deserved better." (emphasis added)

And "Tim Kasey 1 year ago (edited) - A few things that should be given emphasis: ... 4) I will say that I continue to see a pattern with all these lessons learned reviews. Seems like the weather forecast, wind direction and wind speed forecast is never taken seriously enough, and everyone acts like its a complete surprise when the fire spreads faster than expected. It moves at 1/4 the speed of the wind. Knowledge of the fire spread rate relative to wind speed, if understood, should make you take action and be out of that area 1 hour before it nearly burns over your location. No excuse for not understanding this in 2020.

5) If I were working in an environment where the weather, wind speed, and wind direction could determine my fate, I would have a laptop with me at all times. I would have access to all weather information, fire information, and be sure to have a satellite subscription. It is becoming more and more apparent that office support can't be relied upon. Weather information needs to be accessed when fires are nearby. 6) I have yet to hear ANYONE say something like, 'I could see the fire, where it started in the 5 acre burn. I then pulled up the weather forecast to learn that a cold front was going to bring in 50 to 60 mile per hour winds.' This detail in fire behavior prediction IS easily understood today (by those who care to understand it)" (emphasis added)


And, of course, the typical less-than-insightful Pagami Fire FLA states: "This report is designed so diverse readers can find what they’re looking for." And include "Team Members" from the YH Fire and GMHS debacle SAIT-SAIR creators "Brad Mayhew (Human and Organizational Performance, Writer)" and "Randy Draeger, R4 Regional Health and Safety Director (Process Coach)."

Mr. Draeger, a former Marine, has prior Safety Director experience in the non-germane hotel management field. And please remind me how hotel management experience would somehow qualify him to be a Regional Health and Safety Director?


Continuing with the WLF LLC PodCast: "Awesome. Thanks Eric. Just in closing, I'm going to ask you, what is a personal lesson, you know, focusing on this, this huge deep dive you've done in these kinds of events. What's a personal lesson, what did you learn that you are going to immediately apply throughout the rest of your career.

Unknown 49:01

I think I've been thinking about this and I think so. Again, you know, I have multiple answers so I have the. I'm going to come up with. What are the scenarios in which I need to be wearing gloves, not having attached to me, but actually have them on my hands, because I realized that I've been in a lot of situations where I should have been wearing them, and I wasn't right. That's one thing that's kind of a really easy, sort of takeaway right, but the ... the big thing for me is that it took, reading this stuff, and

spending hours and hours with all of this to get to a point where it actually did sort of have the emotional weight, that it would change behavior I believe I mean I haven't been on a fire since it started this so we'll see, I guess, but I do believe that ... that it will change my behavior, and it took time, but I, you know, there's some really hard things in some of these reports, and when you, when you read through those. In others, that was somebody, right, and, and I think like you said, you know, we,