PHOENIX — There will be changes on the fire lines this year after last June’s Yarnell Hill fire left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.
Arizona State Forester Scott Hunt can’t say if the Yarnell tragedy is responsible for the changes because of pending lawsuits, but his agency has pre-positioned equipment around the state earlier than normal. In some cases, they will hit fires earlier and harder than last year.
“It will depend on the area and what we’re seeing in our fire behavior predictions,” he said.
Another change this year is that the state will team up with the forest service and its San Dimas Technology Center to test GPS tracking units that will be part of some firefighters’ gear.
“We’re looking at a couple of different commercial models that we’re going to use,” said Hunt. “We’ll put them with various fire organizations and see how useful they are in the wildland firefighting environment.”
Hunt said they’re also working on better communications between various agencies when they are battling wildfires.
“Sharing our frequencies and making sure our frequencies are loaded on our interagency partners radios so we all have the same frequencies.”
The Serious Accident Investigation team report found there was a communication gap of more than 30 minutes, when the Granite Mountain crew did not communicate their location or plans before they died.
The Yarnell Hill Fire burned 8,400 acres, destroyed more than 125 structures and forced hundreds to evacuate in Yarnell, Glen Ilah and Peeples Valley.
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food