Incident Name: Yarnell Hill Fire, 800 acres on Sunday morning June 30
Date: June 30, 2013, around 1755 hours
Personnel: 19 lives lost
Agency/Organization: Granite Mountain Hotshots, duty station located in the City of Prescott, Arizona, Station 7
Position: hotshot firefighters, a national resource
Andrew Ashcraft - age 29
Robert Caldwell - age 23
Travis Carter - age 31
Dustin Deford - age 24
Christopher MacKenzie - age 30
Eric Marsh - age 43
Grant McKee - age 21
Sean Misner - age 26
Scott Norris - age 28
Wade Parker - age 22
John Percin - age 24
Anthony Rose - age 23
Jesse Steed - age 36
Joe Thurston - age 32
Travis Turbyfill - age 27
William Warneke - age 25
Clayton Whitted - age 28
Kevin Woyjeck - age 21
Garret Zuppiger - age 27
On June 30th, 19 wildland firefighters, Granite Mountain Hotshots, were killed when the fast moving Yarnell Hill Fire blew up and overran their position. A thunder cell passed over the fire with high winds. They deployed their fire shelters to no avail.
The Yarnell Hill Briefing Video can be accessed and downloaded HERE at the Lessons Learned Center (860.62 MB, 21:14 min). This demonstrates on a Google Earth backdrop the facts and timeline of the crew.
from CNN, the faces of who they were Remembering the firefighters killed in the Arizona blaze Photos and a brief bio of each.
Photo credit: CBS 5 News helicopter, 1530 hrs | Inciweb photos | Crew photos
Station 7 Memorial Wall Collage
- Who We Are: The Granite Mountain Hotshots by Eric Marsh, pre-season 2013
From the Yavapai Co Sherrif's Office Case Report: 34.220072 Longitude: -112.777739
Modis satellite and google earth map of the fire evening of 6/30/2013:
- You Tube time lapse video: Yarnell Hill Fire from Congress, AZ 18 seconds long, beginning at 1600 hours (created by Matt Oss)
- Inciweb on the Yarnell Hill Fire 6/30/2013 (no longer online)
- Morning Briefing Message from SWCC 7/1/2013
- City of Prescott releases the Names of the 19 Fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots 7/2/2013
- Arizona State Forestry Division Press Release: Yarnell Hill Fire Investigation Begins 7/2/2013
- National Firefighter Operational Safety Stand-down 7/3/2013
- Forest Service Chief's Reflective Period (NMAC - Operational Pause)
- NMAC Operational Pause with links to the Incident Response Guide (IRPG Page 1) ; and the Redbook, Chapter 7 Safety
- Fire Service Standdown from FirefighterCloseCalls. com with links to info on Causes of Entrapment, Situational Awareness ; EVERY Wildland LODD Report from NIOSH ; and a letter from the California Fire Service Coalition that includes a link to Cal Fire's 2013 Focus on Safety
- Initial Autopsy Findings, 7/3/2013: Cari Gerchick, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office in Phoenix, said the Hotshots died from burns, carbon monoxide poisoning or oxygen deprivation, or a combination of the factors.
- The SAI Team 7/3/2013: Delegation of Authority (62 K pdf)
- From the SAI Team 7/3/2013: 72-hour Report (53 K pdf)
- Arizona State Forestry Division News Release, 7/15/2013: Yarnell Hill Fire Initial Synosis (50 K pdf)
- Arizona State Forestry Division: Yarnell Hill Fire Documentation, 7/15/2013 (html) (no longer online)
- Arizona State Forestry Division: Yarnell Hill Fire Summary (resources timeline) (135 K pdf)
- Yavapai County Sheriff's Office 7/23/2013: Case Report (28 K pdf)
- Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Report, 9/23/2013 (6,433 K pdf)
- Yarnell Hill Fire SAI Report Personal Protective Equipment Analysis (541 K pdf)
- Yarnall Hill News Release and Press Kit, includes SAI investigators, fact sheet, info on fire shelter, aviation, radio communication, sensemaking, SAI (228 K pdf)
- Press Release ADOSH: The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health Issues Citations to the Arizona State Forestry Division (137 K pdf)
- Yarnell Hill ADOSH Report (5373 K pdf, 73 pages)
- Yarnell Hill Information site, including a link to the ADOSH Report
- Industrial Commission of Arizona: Blue Ridge Hotshots' Statements about their memories of activities and communications before, during and after the Yarnell Hill incident. Redacted. (13.7 MB, large)
- To understand the paradox and contridictions inherent in the 10 Standard Fire Orders and 18 Watchout Situations please read the following:
- Dr Ted Putnam: The Ten Standard Firefighting Orders: Can Anyone Follow Them? (60 K doc)
- Dr Jennifer Ziegler: The Story Behind an Organizational List: A Genealogy of Wildland Fireﬁghters’ 10 Standard Fire Orders. (161 K pdf) No longer online but here's the FS powerpoint summary of Jennifer's findings: Wildland Firefighters 10 Standard Fire Orders
- Rowdy Muir's thoughtful article in the Smoke Signals publication, Vol 27 (Feb 2014), begins on page 3 in the Operations Section: What We Already Know (2,062 K pdf) ; alternatively, you can download it from this Always Remember site (2,062 K pdf). Rowdy is Agency Administrator Representative, National Interagency Hotshot Committee and was a Type I Incident Commander.
- The Weather Channel's YouTube Video: America Burning: The Yarnell Hill Tragedy and the Nation's Wildfire Crisis (16:40 minutes)
- From the Lessons Learned Center: Two More Chains, Spring 2014: The Lunch Spot
- Apparently no longer online: Web page that has the link to the Yarnell Hill Briefing Video download (mp4, very large download, 860 MB) (Direct download takes a while.), June, 2014
- Newly Acquired Yarnell Hill Videos from AZ State Forestry -- links to video clips -- 11/09/2014, text below:
Video clips of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire were recently received by Arizona State Forestry through a Freedom of Information Act request to the US Forest Service. To be transparent with the public, the videos are being shared exactly as they have been received.
- Industrial Commission of AZ: Yarnell Hill Information
- Industrial Commission of AZ: Press Release (32 K pdf) | Yarnell Hill ALJ Hearing File (links page for many documents)
- Links to documents from the Lessons Learned Center: Yarnell Hill Incident
Last photo Hotshot Andrew Ashcraft texted to his wife, from the Facebook page
- Hotlist thread on the AZ-A1S-Yarnell Hill Fire Incident: 6/30/2013
- Hotlist thread on the LODD Incident within the Fire Incident: 6/30/2013 including condolences
- A hotshot once told me: "You are only a hero once, when you sign up for the job. Everything else is just a day's work." FireArchy
- So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
- Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
- When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.
- Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
- When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.
Often attributed to (though sometimes disputed) Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation 1768-1813
- From theysaidit on 7/7/2013
The Hotshot's Prayer
When I am called to duty, Lord
To fight the roaring blaze,
Please keep me safe and strong
I may be here for days.
Be with my fellow crewmembers,
as we hike up to the top.
Help us cut enough line,
For this blaze to stop.
Let my skills and hands
be firm and quick.
Let me find those safety zones,
as we hit and lick.
For if this day on the line,
I should lose my life,
Lord, bless my Hotshot Crew,
my children and my WIFE.
~~ Patricia Huston, IHC Wife ~~
- Hotlist thread on the AZ-A1S-Yarnell Hill-Memorial Services
- Theysaid: 6/30/2013
- Theysaid: 7/2013 Discussion continues
- Theysaid: 9/28/13 SAI release and comments on the report
- Hotlist: 9/28/13 SAI release and discussion
- Theysaid: starting 12/4/2013 when the ADOSH Report was released
- Hotlist: 12/4/2013 Yarnell Hill ADOSH Report
- Theysaid: PPE (fire shelter) question: 2/26/2014
- Hotlist: 11/11/2014 Newly Acquired Yarnell Hill Video from AZ State Forestry
Wildlandfire Community posting Initial Attack Information on the HOTLIST- link
- 19 firefighters dead in Yarnell wildfire
June 30, 2013 | Online Article
YARNELL, AZ (CBS5) -- Nineteen firefighters have been killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire in the Town of Yarnell, said Wade Ward, the Incident Command Post said. Eighteen of those killed were from the Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots, fire officials said. It's not known where the other victim was based. The fast-moving wildfire has burned 250 structures there and grown to 2,000 acres, command center officials said Sunday night.
Earlier, 19 firefighters battling the blaze in Yavapai County had not been heard from as the wildfire headed into the Town of Yarnell, fire officials said. Around 6 p.m., authorities said they were unable to establish communications with them, although they had been seen from a helicopter. (more at the link...)
- Official: 19 firefighters dead in Arizona
June 30, 2013 | Online Article
YARNELL, AZ (CNN) -- Nineteen firefighters were killed Sunday battling a blaze in Arizona, the state forestry division said. The vast majority were from Prescott, said Wade Ward with the Prescott Fire Department. The crew was fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, which broke out Friday northwest of Phoenix. The fire has grown to 1,000 acres, damaged three homes and forced the evacuations of residents in the communities of Peeples Valley and Yarnell, forestry official Art Morrison said. (more at the link...)
- 19 firefighters die battling Arizona wildfire
6/30/2013 | Online Article (no longer online)
YARNELL, Ariz. (AP) — Gusty, hot winds blew an Arizona blaze out of control Sunday in a forest northwest of Phoenix, overtaking and killing 19 members of an elite fire crew in the deadliest wildfire involving firefighters in the U.S. for at least 30 years. The "hotshot" firefighters were forced to deploy their fire shelters — tent-like structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat — when they were caught near the central Arizona town of Yarnell, state forestry spokesman Art Morrison told The Associated Press. The flames lit up the night sky in the forest above the town, and smoke from the blaze could be smelled for miles. (More text and photos at the link...)
- Names of the Fallen Ariz. Firefighters Released
July 1, 2013 | Online Article (no longer online)
YARNELL, Ariz. — As the windblown blaze suddenly swept toward them, an elite crew of firefighting "Hotshots" desperately rushed to break out their emergency shelters and take cover on the ground under the heat-resistant fabric. By the time the flames had passed, 19 men lay dead in the nation's biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years. The tragedy Sunday evening all but wiped out the 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots, a unit based in the town of Prescott, Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said as the last of the bodies were retrieved from the mountain. Only one member survived, and that was because he was moving the unit's truck at the time, authorities said.
President: "We are heartbroken"
The deaths plunged the town into mourning, and Arizona's governor called it "as dark a day as I can remember" and ordered flags flown at half-staff."
We are heartbroken about what happened," President Barack Obama said while on a visit to Africa. He predicted the tragedy will force government leaders to answer broader questions about how they handle increasingly destructive and deadly wildfires. (Much more at the link...)
- Slideshow at bottom of the page (no longer online)
- Arizona firefighters died from burns, breathing problems
7/4/2013 | Online article
The 19 firefighters killed over the weekend in an Arizona blaze died of burns and inhalation problems, according to initial autopsy findings released Thursday. Cari Gerchick, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office in Phoenix, said the Hotshots died from burns, carbon monoxide poisoning or oxygen deprivation, or a combination of the factors. The autopsies were performed Tuesday, but more detailed autopsy reports should be released in three months, pending lab work. (More at the link...)
- 19 Fallen Firefighters showed courage to the end
7/7/2013 | Online article (no longer online)
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Hours before the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshots climbed into the parched, craggy hills where they would die, one of them woke his father with a phone call. "We have a fire in Yarnell," said Kevin Woyjeck. "It's big and getting bigger." The lightning-sparked wildfire outside the tiny former gold-mining town had spread to 200 acres, sweeping over deep canyons and big boulders, taking fuel from chaparral rich with oils that burn hot and fast. Still, the 21-year-old Woyjeck, the son of a firefighter, did not sound worried. Granite Mountain was an experienced crew... (More at the link...)
- Granite Mountain Hotshot co-founder Darrell Willis describes 19-member crew’s last stand on Yarnell Hill
July 24, 2013 | Online Article for Investigative Media with 2-part video of the Willis interview
Yarnell, AZ — Prescott Wildland Division Chief Darrell Willis on Tuesday described what he believes happened on June 30 when the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew made a last ditch stand in a box canyon against a wind tunnel of fire.
He gave his version of the tragic events to “embedded” reporters, photographers and videographers who were allowed access to the site in an escorted tour led by the Arizona State Forestry Division. (Much more at the link.)
- Family ties run deep for Arizona firefighters
8/4/2013 | Online Article
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- In the days after 19 wildland firefighters were killed near Yarnell, their friends and family all used the same word to describe them: brothers. It was there in obituaries, in Facebook posts, on the memorial fence near the fire station, in expressions of grief from family members. It was a metaphor, for the way the firefighters lived together, ate, slept and labored together, and for the way they died together. (More at the link...)
- The Last Battle of the Granite Mountain Hotshots
September, 2013 | Online Article
It was 5:36 p.m. when the lightning struck. A local rancher called it in: a little brushfire at the top of Yarnell Hill, near an old mining town in the high desert of western Arizona. The site was too rugged to reach on foot, so a helicopter crew was sent to check it out. It was less than an acre, four miles away from the nearest homes, and declared to be "not much of a threat."
Meanwhile, 35 miles north, the Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, Arizona, were looking for something to do. As one of the country's 110 Interagency Hotshot Crews, it was their job to... (More at the link...)
- Final photos, videos of Granite Mountain Hotshots come to light
9/28/2013 | Online Article
Christopher MacKenzie left an unexpected gift when he perished alongside 18 of his fellow Granite Mountain Hotshots June 30 in the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
When his father Mike received Chris' charred belongings from the medical examiner's office, one item appeared untouched by fire: a small Canon PowerShot digital camera. Even the cloth cover was unscathed. "My stepdaughter pulled the card out and stuck it in the computer and said, 'Hey, check this out,'"
- Another Yarnell Report due out by year-end
9/30/2013 | Online article
A second government report examining the Yarnell Hill Fire, which killed 19 Prescott hotshots, should be completed by year’s end, but the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health is offering no insight as to what its report might reveal.
“This is still an ongoing investigation: ADOSH is unable to comment on ongoing investigations, which can take as long as six months to complete,” agency spokeswoman Rachel Brockway said in a statement issued Friday.
The agency is responsible for investigating workplace injuries to determine whether safety rules and regulations were violated. It can issue citations to employers whose safety violations result in worker injuries or deaths. Fines range up to $7,000. (Much more at the link...)
- America Burning: The Yarnell Hill Fire Tragedy and the Nation's Wildfire Crisis
12/30/2013 | Online Article
When a crew of wildland firefighters hiked into the brown hills of central Arizona on June 30, they were determined to fight fire in a grassy wildland mottled by developments and choked with dry scrub, in a place that hadn't seen significant flames since 1966
It was hot. Radios across the region blared warnings about rising mercury, the whole of the Southwest sweltering. Phoenix had hit a record high of 119 degrees the day before, and in the mile-high town of Prescott, 90 miles northwest , thermostats were showing tripple digits for... (more at the link)
- Feature Article from Cronkite News April 2012 on the Granite Mountain Hotshots and hotshot work and training.
- Rachael Maddow video, 7/1/2013: Firefighting's elite Granite Mountain 19 suffer a tragedy.
Rachel Maddow reports on the hard work, extensive training and bravery that are required of the elite Hotshots firefighters and the tragic news that 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives fighting a blaze in Arizona.
- 7/2/13 Arizona Governor Brewer has ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise, July 1, 2013 until sunset on July 3, 2013 in honor of the 19 firefighters who died in the line of duty on Sunday, June 30, 2013 while battling the Yarnell Fire near Prescott, Arizona. All individuals are encouraged to join in this tribute.
- 7/2/13 President Barack Obama honored them in a speech in Sierra Leone, Africa, where he was meeting with leaders.
- Yarnell Hill Fallen photos and brief bio from azcentral.com
- Archive of links to all azcentral.com articles on the Yarnell Hill Fallen
- USFA Memorial Database: Andrew Ashcraft - Robert Caldwell - Travis Carter - Dustin Deford - Christopher MacKenzie - Eric Marsh - Grant McKee - Sean Misner - Scott Norris - Wade Parker - John Percin - Anthony Rose - Jesse Steed - Joe Thurston - Travis Turbyfill - William Warneke - Clayton Whitted - Kevin Woyjeck - Garret Zuppiger
The Secretary of Agriculture has directed that U.S. Flags be flown at half-staff sunrise 3 July 2013 thru sunset 9 July 2013 in honor of the 19 firefighters killed in the line of duty in Yarnell Hill, Arizona.
- 7/3/13 Statement by the President on the wildfire in AZ
Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy. Yesterday, nineteen firefighters were killed in the line of duty while fighting a wildfire outside Yarnell, Arizona. They were heroes -- highly-skilled professionals who, like so many across our country do every day, selflessly put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet.
- The Yarnell Hill 19 Memorial Service:
Tuesday, July 9, 11 AM
at the Toyota Center (3201 Main Street)
in Prescott Valley, AZ.
- 7/5/2013: The Whitehouse announced that Vice president Biden will attend the memorial service on 7/9/2013.
- The Fallen Granite Mountain hotshots will be coming home from Phoenix to Prescott at 10 AM Sunday in 19 hearses; UPDATE: Escort route from Phoenix to Prescott Valley – Sunday July 7, 2013
- The Press Release for the Memorial Service on July 9, 2013 (90 K pdf)
- Boise to send local firefighter statue to Arizona
7/6/2013 | Online Article
On June 30th, 19 firefighters lost their lives fighting a wildfire in Arizona. And now, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has decided to give a piece of Boise to the community of Prescott. That gift will be the statue currently standing at the Boise Airport. It stands 9.5 feet tall, weighs 1,300 pounds, and was put there 10 years ago to recognize all wildland firefighters. But in just a few days it will stand in Prescott, Arizona, to honor the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots. (More at the link...)
- Yarnell Hill Memorial Service on YouTube PBS News Hour recording (243 min or 4 hr 5 min)
- Individual Services and Arrivals
First photo = Replica of Wildland Firefighter Monument Statue at Boise Airport, Dedicated May 2, 2005; photo credit: Mellie
Second photo = Original Wildland Firefighter Statue at the Monument - NIFC; photo credit: Mellie
Granite Mountain Hotshots training, 2012; photo credit: Connor Radnovich
Suppport and Cohesion
- Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Galleries - links to photos of all the different memorials, processionals and services, photoessays of the outpouring of LOVE. (no longer online)
- GMHS Incident Management Team: Important Links and information Yarnell Fallen Firefighters. com (no longer online)
- Yarnell Hill Memorial Book of the Prescott Fire Department Granite Mountain Hotshots' service 7/9/2013: Yarnell Hill Memorial Book: Our Fallen Brothers, A Celebration of Life (1,729 K pdf download)
- Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Film of images accompanied by Joe Biden's tribute and the Hotshot's Poem, (4 min 26 sec), credit Prescott Fire Department, directed by Chris Woods
- Folk tune becomes tribute to fallen Arizona firefighters; Singer James Keelaghan originally penned 'Cold Missouri Waters' to mark a 1949 wildfire in Montana.
7/2/2013 | Online Article
What would make a Canadian folk singer pull off a New Jersey highway and weep? For James Keelaghan — the author and composer of "Cold Missouri Waters," a song about the deadly 1949 Mann Gulch wildfire that killed 13 firefighters in Montana — it was the sound of his tune being sung by New Jersey native Richard Shindell, then part of a trio of folk artists who called themselves Cry Cry Cry. (More at the link...)
- Song and youtube video tribute by Ered Matthew: Change in the Wind
- Another Yarnell Hotshot Crew Collage (in alphabetical order, crew list above) - Photo Editor Edecio Martinez:
Contributors to this article: The Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the WLF.com Moderators, Bill Arsenault, Rob Palmer, GSW, Mellie, John Miller, the Honor Guard, Mike Quisenberry's NIMO Team and Pruett Small's Memorial IMT (GMHS IMT), FireArchy. and so many more of the wildland firefighting community
Please support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation