The following story was posted here:  Thanks to the Neighborhood Alliance for emailing this link.


“In a report issued on December 4, the Arizona Industrial Commission unanimously approved the finding of three major workplace violations against the Arizona State Forestry Division.

The report blames the Forestry Division for keeping the hotshot crew in place fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire on June 30, even when it knew it could no longer control its growth or speed, and for lack of proper communication, command and control, and for a lack of maps that could have better guided the hotshot crew that day.

The commission ruled that the Forestry Division’s actions also at great risk for “smoke inhalation, burns and death” 31 other firefighters who were fighting the fire at a nearby ranch that day.

The report describes a chaotic scene as the fire grew out of control, during which oversight of the wildfire was being transferred to a larger team, but that those team leaders failed to conduct basic incident accident analysis and form strategies for attacking the blaze. Key safety and planning positions on the team were not assigned, and some officers did not arrive for crucial planning discussions, which increased the danger to the Granite Mountain Hotshots and others fighting the fire.

Because of the lack of order and cohesion, the report says, maps were not available to firefighters and others when they arrived on the scene, and a safety officer was also not available, one who “would have viewed the fire and fire line assignments from a safety viewpoint”.

The investigators recommended that the forestry division pay a penalty of $70,000, and $25,000 per firefighter who died, to be paid directly to their families or estates, a total of $545,000. Penalties of $14,000 were recommended for other safety infractions.”


Please visit to view the article in its entirety.