Moving Forward with New Information
CAWRT Drill 2016
From the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Report:
- We do not intend that this discussion will provide readers with finished, concrete answers; instead, we mean it to be a springboard that will prompt readers to think about these issues, to try to understand and learn from the accident, and to find opportunities for improving safety and resilience in their organizations. (SAIR pg. 45)
- We present these issues as discussion starters, recognizing that this is not a definitive list of issues raised by this fire, and that these are not the only questions to ask about wildland fire organizations and operations. We challenge every wildland fire organization to identify issues and questions raised in this report that resonate within their organizations, and to initiate and facilitate ongoing discussions. (SAIR pg. 46)
Charge to the Wildland Fire Community
- This discussion identifies some issues that the Yarnell Hill Fire prompts the wildland fire community to consider. We introduced issues and questions that readers may find useful as they try to understand this accident and learn from it, but this is only a start. Because sensemaking is ongoing and social, we challenge every wildland fire organization to identify and discuss issues and questions raised in this report that resonate within their organizations, to continue the ongoing process of sensemaking. (SAIR pg. 60)
Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Report
Issues for Discussion
- Personnel who communicated with the Granite Mountain IHC knew the crew was in the black at that time (1550) and assumed they would stay there. No one realized that the crew left the black and headed southeast, sometime after 1604.
- There is a gap of over 30 minutes in the information available for Granite Mountain IHC. From 1604 to 1637 (a 33-minute gap), the team cannot verify communications from the crew, and we have almost no direct information for them.
Link to 1613 audio:
Blue Ridge AUDIO TRANSCRIPT
from Serious Accident Investigation Records
Blue Ridge Hotshot Photos/Videos
June 30, 2013
16:27 ... SIREN
First Voice: Copy, ah coming down, appreciate it if you could go a little faster but you’re the supervisor.
Division Alpha Eric Marsh Ah, they’re coming from the heel of the fire.
Blue Ridge IHC: Structure Group Cordes, Blue Ridge Hotshots on Tac 1.
- When you attempt to make the complex understandable and popularize new research, you run a significant risk of over-simplifying, misinterpreting, or misleading.
- If you suspend your critical thinking capabilities, it is easy to be misled.
- Conclusive evidence is evidence that is either unquestionable because it is so clear and convincing or because the law precludes its contradiction.
From Granite Mountain IHC Entrapment and Burnover Investigation
Prepared for: Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health
Prepared by: Wildland Fire Associates -- November 2013
"We could find no evidence that they timed or improved the escape route to Boulder Springs Ranch." (pg.40)
"A second escape route was to travel south along the ridge toward the Boulder Springs Ranch and turn east at the descent point. However, the escape route had not been scouted, timed, marked, or improved." (pg.41)
PHOTOS OF CUT STOBS NEAR RANCH:
(see pptx file for images)
Why Does It Matter?
Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Briefing Video:
- Family members, firefighters and many others will continue to pore over the circumstances of this tragedy for years to come.
- Much thought and analysis will go into reviewing this accident to understand, to learn, and to make sense of how and why.
- This account -- the loss of 19 firefighters, our brothers -- is not complete.