Former hotshot sues to obtain information about Yarnell Hill Fire

Yarnell Hill Fire
Yarnell Hill Fire at 7:30 p.m. MST, June 29, 2013, approximately 21 hours before the 19 fatalities. Photo by ATGS Rory Collins, Oregon Department of Forestry.

A former hotshot superintendent is suing the Department of Agriculture to get information the U.S. Forest Service so far has not released about the Yarnell Hill Fire. On June 30, 2013, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew were entrapped and killed on the fire near Yarnell, Arizona.

Fred Schoeffler is seeking recordings or transcripts of radio transmissions with aircraft that were working on the fire.

Below is an excerpt from an article in the Republic:

Schoeffler, a former hotshot supervisor in Payson for 26 years, alleges that the Forest Service answered his Freedom of Information Act request by claiming they “did not find any responsive records.” Wildfire officials previously have acknowledged the study was underway, and Schoeffler’s complaint notes that air-to-ground voices of those taking part are audible in Forest Service videos released after the fire.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jeff and Dick.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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