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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

USDA Forest Service News: Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Begins Tuesday #AzFire #YarnellHillFire #Prescott19

Incident: Yarnell Hill Fire Wildfire 
Released: 7/2/13 10:00

PHOENIX, Ariz. – An official investigation into the deaths of 19 Firefighters including 18 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed June 30 in the Yarnell Hill Fire is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

 The independent investigation will be led by Florida State Forester Jim Karels. Mike Dudley, Acting Director of Cooperative Forestry for the USDA Forest Service, will be the secondary team lead. Other entities participating in the investigation include the U.S. Forest Service Missoula Technology and Development Center, the Missoula Fire Department, and the Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Team members are technical specialist and fire behavior analysts.

 The local liaisons to the nine-member Yarnell Hill Investigation Team are Arizona State Forester Scott Hunt and Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo. The last of the team members will arrive in Phoenix later today for an in-briefing from the Arizona State Forester. As part of the investigation, the team will review Sunday's weather conditions, fire department records, radio logs and any other evidence that may help determine how to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. 

“We are confident that the investigative team will find lessons to be learned from this tragedy,” Hunt said. “We have a responsibility to those lost and their loved ones, as well as to current and future wildland firefighters, to understand what happened as completely as possible.” 

The team will release updates from its investigation later this week.

Related Information News Release (pdf) (PDF 110 kb)
Contact: Carrie Dennett, Arizona State Forestry Division Fire Information Officer 602-399-3078

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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