Reporter John Dougherty made an appearance on Southern California Public Radio yesterday to answer questions about his report on the increasing evidence that the Granite Mountain Hotshots never should have been deployed.
Although some people have decried Dougherty's report for whatever reasons, Dougherty has a pretty good explanation for the necessity of his reporting.
"It's a horrible situation, there's no question about it," Dougherty said on the Take Two program. "I've lived in Arizona since 1974, and I can't think of another single event that has had such a devastating impact to one community. And to think that this should be just swept under the rug as a private matter is outrageous."
Indeed, some of the few people who criticized the report take issue with him answering questions ahead of the official report being prepared by investigators. Although some people's new-found trust in government and government reporting is curious, Dougherty cited former hotshots who have little to no trust in those reports.
Dougherty also explained some other aspects of the story for the radio station, as people in California are dealing with the massive Rim Fire there.
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Requests to deploy the Granite Mountain Hotshots to the Yarnell Hill Fire were denied. June 30, the day the men died, was their scheduled day off.
Documents obtained by Dougherty show that the hotshots' leader, Eric Marsh, did not believe his crew met the minimum requirements for a hotshot crew -- as the city council voted to cut two more full-time members from the crew.