Editor's note: New Times is taking the extraordinary measure of publishing a series of complaints by Prescott Wildland Division Chief Darrell Willis about our coverage of the deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. We're doing this because Willis' letter is itself newsworthy, and his statements as a public official and the only surviving member of Prescott's wildlands command staff are of great interest to the public and to our readers. In what follows, we respond to the chief's concerns. New Times and Willis don't agree on many of the points he raises, but the discourse is important and in line with our commitment to dig deeply and report fearlessly about controversial issues in Arizona.
After refusing to answer written questions or to be interviewed before publication of our August 22 cover story, "Lambs to Slaughter," about the deaths of 19 Granite Mountain firefighters, Prescott hotshots boss Darrell Willis sent New Times a letter containing what he claims are 22 inaccuracies in the article.