Granite Mountain Hotshots

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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. 

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.

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.

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.

Yarnell Lessons Slow To Emerge

Mar 31, 2014
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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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