Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Report: Arizona wildfire grew quickly, was erratic

An Arizona wildfire that began with a lightning strike and caused little immediate concern because of its remote location and small size quickly blazed into an inferno, leading officials to rapidly order more resources in the hours before flames killed 19 members of an elite Hotshot crew, according to a report released Monday. The report from the Arizona State Forestry Division provides precise detail about the response to the fire that began June 28 outside the small town of Yarnell, including the unpredictable weather around the blaze and the exact times in which it escalated and key resources were deployed. The report described how the fire worsened hour by hour — causing flames up to 20 feet high — as managers called in inmate and Hotshot firefighting crews and air support. The report does not address the question of why the fire crew was still on the mountain above the town more than an hour after the winds shifted about 180 degrees and brought the fire back toward them. It also wasn't immediately clear whether the Hotshots were warned of the erratically changing weather before they were forced to take shelter and were killed...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

19 good men died trying to protect the homes of folks who built their homes in dangerous places. Built into the Chaparral despite being told that without a defensive perimeter their homes would be lost to a wild fire. What a terrible tragedy for the fire fighters and their families. Shame on the home builders who never consider anyone but themselves. A similar situation,without fire fighter deaths, occurred at the Black Forest in Colorado. Dense Pine stands right against the houses.