Investigation begins into deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Jul. 2, 2013
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - As firefighters from across the state continue to battle the Yarnell Wildfire, an official investigation into the deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots killed Sunday began Tuesday.
Florida State Forester Jim Karels and Acting Director of Cooperative Forestry for the USDA Forest Service Mike Dudley are leading the independent investigation.
"We are confident that the investigative team will find lessons to be learned from this tragedy," Arizona State Forester Scott Hunt said. "We have a responsibility to those lost and their loved ones, as well as to current and future wildland firefighters, to understand what happened as completely as possible."
Fire investigators will analyze the weather conditions, the location where the firefighters bodies were recovered and what the vegetation was like. They will also review radio logs and communication between the hotshots.
The goals of this investigation is to figure out why so many died and what can be done so a tragedy like this won't happen again.
The 19 deaths is the most suffered by a fire department in one incident since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.