Nineteen of 20 members of Prescott's Granite Mountain Hotshot crew were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.
In the days and weeks that followed, questions surfaced about how and why the 19 wild-land firefighters got caught in the inferno. The Prescott hotshots' boss, Chief Darrell Willis, stated in a June 23 press conference: "It was just one of those things that happened. You can call it an accident. I just say that God had a different plan for that crew at this time."
On August 21, New Times reported that increasing evidence revealed reasons far from supernatural contributed to the deaths.
One piece of evidence was that the federal Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque -- in charge of dispatching hotshot crews based in Arizona and New Mexico -- initially refused Arizona's requests to send the unit to Yarnell. The center apparently felt the crew was overworked from previous fires.
Still, Granite Mountain was dispatched. All but one member -- a spotter employed elsewhere during the blaze -- never returned.