Granite Mountain Hotshots

KNAU and Arizona News
11:05 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Federal Funds to Benefit Forest Health in the Prescott Basin


Three-quarters of a million dollars will be spent to thin more than 2,300 acres of forest land near Prescott. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, in recent years the wooded areas surrounding the city have become especially fire-prone. 

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Bill Protects Cities from Settlements After Deaths of Safety Personnel

A firefighter sets a backburn during a 2011 eastern Arizona wildfire.
Credit AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Gov. Brewer has signed a bill shielding cities and towns from large settlements relating to death or serious injury of public safety employees. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the bill was inspired by the deaths of 19 firefighters last summer during the Yarnell Hill Fire.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Arizona's U.S. Senators Request Wildfire Help from Federal Government

A downed tree burns during the Fisher Fire on April 12 as crews were gridding and mopping up. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest.
Credit Mike Elson, District Ranger, Flagstaff Ranger District

Over the weekend, crews battled the first major wildfire of the year in northern Arizona. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, just days before the fire broke out both of the state’s U.S. senators urged the federal government to fast-track thinning projects.

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State Capitol News
4:59 am
Thu April 3, 2014

State Forestry Division Vague About Post-Yarnell Hill Firefighting Changes

The scene from Yarnell on June 30, 2013 as the fire burns houses in the town. Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots died fighting the blaze.
Credit AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski

The state is entering the wildfire season with the Forestry Division still facing charges of violating worker safety rules last year resulting in the deaths at Yarnell Hill. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

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9:23 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Yarnell Lessons Slow To Emerge

P.J. Pickett teaches a wildfire basics class.
Credit Laurel Morales

For this story I assumed there were lessons to be learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire. But when I called Stephen Pyne, a fire historian at Arizona State University, he said, “for all of the sort of graphic and horrible qualities of the fire that made it so compelling to the general public, I don’t think it taught the fire community anything.”

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Northern Arizona’s Forest Managers Focus on Firefighter Safety

The final photo taken of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was texted by one of the members of the crew to his wife.
Credit Courtesy of the Granite Mountain Hotshots

Last summer’s Yarnell Hill Fire was the deadliest ever for Arizona wildland firefighters. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports that, as a result, forest managers in northern Arizona are focusing on safety.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Funding for Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Approved

The Granite Mountain Hotshots

A bill funding a memorial site honoring the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died last year’s Yarnell Hill Fire has been passed by a committee in the Arizona House. As Arizona Public Radio’s Parker Olson reports, the representatives also created a committee to oversee the project.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:15 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Sole Survivor Of Yarnell Hill Fire Takes Job In Idaho

Former Granite Mountain Hotshot, Brendan McDonough
Credit The Daily Courier

The sole survivor of last summer's deadly Yarnell Hill Fire has resigned as an Arizona firefighter to take a job in Idaho. As Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris reports, Brendan McDonough will be working with wildland firefighters suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Number Of The Year
7:48 am
Sat December 28, 2013

A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection

The wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz., last June destroyed homes and killed 19 firefighters. Experts say expansion into wildfire-prone areas has created new challenges for firefighters.
Andy Tobin AP

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:22 am

Thirty-four wildland firefighters died in the line of duty this year. Some of those fatalities were isolated incidents, but one event captured the nation's attention, sparking a larger conversation about the new dangers firefighters face.

That event unfolded in central Arizona the afternoon of June 30, a Sunday.

"I'm here with Granite Mountain Hot Shots. Our escape route has been cut off," says a crew boss on recently released radio traffic from the Yarnell Hill Fire. "We are preparing a deployment site, and I'll give you a call when we are under the shelters.

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State Capitol News
10:50 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Systemic Safety and Planning Problems Led to Yarnell Hill Deaths

Marshall Krotenberg, lead investigator on the Yarnell Hill Fire, details his findings Wednesday for the state Industrial Commission. The panel accepted his report and imposed the maximum $559,000 fine possible.
Credit Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

A long-awaited report Wednesday on the Yarnell Hill Fire from last June finally provided at least some answers as to how — and more importantly why — 19 hotshots died. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer takes a closer look.

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