Yarnell Hill Fire: Readers Respond to Cover Story on Granite Mountain Hotshots

Categories: News analysis
Kyle T. Webster

Following John Dougherty's report on the growing evidence that the Granite Mountain Hotshots never should have been deployed to the fire that killed almost the entire crew, some interesting responses to the story showed up in New Times' mailbag.

A former Prescott mayor, a former hotshot, and others sent us their two cents on Dougherty's report. Check out their responses:

See also:
-Hotshots Never Should've Been Deployed, Mounting Evidence Shows

"Thanks for this great piece of investigative reporting. I am amazed that neither the local Prescott newspaper (Daily Courier) of the local E-Zine seems to be incapable of doing anything close to investigative reporting.

"It currently looks like the Prescott elected officials and top city management have adopted 'circle the wagons' strategy and it appears to me that the news releases are being written or vetted by the City Attorney. The city has also hired a Phoenix public relations firms to help with additional 'air cover' or fallout (or more accurately, CYA)."

Keep up the good work.
Jack D. Wilson
Prescott Mayor Nov. 2007-Nov. 2009

As a resident of Prescott , I am somewhat relieved to finally have an article come out regarding the yarnell fire and the hotshots that answered some of my questions and lead me to ask many more . One of the questions I had for a very long time was.. what ranch was the ranch the hotshots may have been going to protect ? Who owned it ? ( person /company ) Ive only seen a rough map of the area , I cant find a ranch anywhere ? Interesting when you go to the Yavapai county assessors mapping page and put in address's from google maps they come up as none existent in trying to research parcels in the area.

FYI: Here's an aerial map that includes the ranch -- those buildings on the lighter-colored piece of land. The gold star is the approximate location of where the hotshots died.

Google Maps

See more reader responses on the next page.

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Donna Campbell
Donna Campbell

John Dougherty has revealed the consequences of dysfunctional organizations that are unable to learn. Continuing to follow their CYA rituals guarantees future disasters. Transformational learning requires vulnerability--feeling secure enough to say "I/We may have made unintentional mistakes and we need to know what they were & how to prevent theso we don't repeat them." I'm not hearing that from any of the official accounts and responses.


We now see the location of the ranch. Do we know who owns it?


@observer  I understand where you're going with that, but by all of the accounts that I have read, the ranch had already taken the appropiate precautions by clearing brush well away from all of its out buildings, wasn't at risk and wasn't harmed.  You can see how well cleared the ground is around the ranch in the staellite photo.   There is some speculation that the crew was actually trying to reach the relative safety of the clearing around the ranch at the time they were overcome by the fire and not moving there to protect it, but it appears that we may never know. 

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