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Yarnell Hill Fire: Investigating the Deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots

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.

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  5. Prescott Fire Official: Hotshots "Could Have Made It" Had Feds Sent Requested Air-Tankers
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  6. Granite Mountain Hotshots Were Asked If They Could Protect Yarnell
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  8. The Granite Mountain Hotshots Never Should've Been Deployed, Mounting Evidence Shows
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  9. Closer Look: How 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots Died in the Yarnell Hill Fire
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  10. A Granite Mountain Hotshot's Father Says the Blaze That Incinerated His Son Could've Been Controlled
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1 comments
superstition1az
superstition1az

To those who gave their lives... God Bless them give them your blessings.

19 Streamers by Lyle A.

A world becomes small
When a tragedy strikes
Like when lightning flames
In the dry desert night
A fire is blazing
Because it's so dry
Consuming every inch of life
With it's flames in the sky-

Wind is swirling
In no particular way
A Hot Shot crew from Prescott
Is starting their day
To save Yarnell
There was 19 of them
Fire fighters know
Fire has no friends-

The Granite Mountain crew
Found out,
They were no match
The fire was to quick
And was moving too fast-

19 streamers fall
From the sky
To mark the spot
Where hopes
And dreams die,
And memories lie-

Fire has no mercy
On man,women or child
It has no conscious
It's nature is run wild-

We will remember them
And how they fought
So others will know
The lesson they taught-

Protect the town
If it means
Lay down your life,
A firefighters heart
Is to do what is right.

Lyle Anderson

God Bless them and their families.

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