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Home / WLF TheySaid / SAIRs reluctance to lay blame results in frivolous lawsuits

  • 06/30/2014
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Attempting to reconstruct the events that led up to a serious injury or fatality is necessary so we can learn to identify potentially harmful situations before they happen and mitigate those hazards. The trend to focus on learning from tragedies and not assigning blame seems laudable until it fosters lawsuits because the report is inconclusive about the probable cause of the tragedy. It is quite apparent from the report that the Granite Mt. IHC left a safety zone during extreme fire behavior and predicted wind shifts to relocate in another safety zone, and this was done of their own volition. To blame others for this action is wrong. I was especially impressed that Ops diverted the ASM and VLAT from their mission to protect the town of Yarnell when he heard garbled radio transmission that might be construed to mean that Granite Mt IHC was in trouble. If it turned out that the crew was not in jeopardy there could have been accusations that the VLAT was not used effectively to protect the town, something that Ops must have weighed when making that call. My heart aches for the families of the 19 men who perished a year ago, it is the worst wild land tragedy that I can recall in the 6 decades that I have lived, but the legal system will only cause them greater pain and suffering, not less.

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1 Comment
  1. Bob Withrow
    June 30, 2014 Reply

    It’s been a year since the Yarnell Hill tragedy. I don’t think a day goes by that most of us think about the tragedy and occasionally mourn all over again. If we’ve been on fires where there a LODD, we certainly remember those. I remember the Loop Fire, 1966-ANF, and the Canyon fire, 1968-ANF. The Yarnell Hill fire is different because so many were killed and so many questions remain. If you are or have been a firefighter you remember this fire. I think the best way to remember these men is to take 3 minutes of silence to reflect on the tragedy and continue to reflect and research on why this happened

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