Arizona forestry division releases videos of Yarnell Hill Fire, Granite Mountain Hotshots
Several new videos have been released to the public that show last year’s Yarnell Hill Fire and attempts by firefighters to locate 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
The Arizona State Forestry Division obtained the raw clips last from the U.S. Forest Service via a Freedom of Information Act request. The state forestry division has posted 21 separate videos on this page of the fire that burned outside of Prescott last summer, causing the deaths of those 19 hotshots on June 30, 2013. (Warning: Some of the clips contain strong language.)
In the following video, you can hear another firefighter confirming that 18 hotshots had died; that call is heard at about the 3:30 mark of the clip, and it’s hard to see much of what the firefighter is seeing until two minutes into the video.
(Warning: The following clip contains some strong language.)
The 19th person who died that day was initially not believed to be a member of the Granite Mountain crew, but the Prescott fire chief later confirmed that he was.
All 21 videos were shot by other firefighters. The hotshots’ bodies are blurred out in the applicable video clips.
In a September 2013 report detailing an in-depth investigation of the fire, the state forestry division found there was inadequate radio communication with the fire crew for more than 30 minutes on the day of the hotshots’ deaths.
The fire started in the afternoon on June 28 in a boulder field west of Yarnell, with steep terrain and no vehicle access. It was ignited by lightning strikes and began at about one-half acre in size. The hotshots team was not sent to the area until early on June 30.