Arizona Forestry Faces Violations for 19 Hotshots' Deaths

An Arizona agency that investigated workplace violations related to the deaths of 19 firefighters is recommending action against the state Forestry Division.

The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health will present its findings Wednesday to the state Industrial Commission, the AP reported late Tuesday evening.

ADOSH officials said they would not discuss the proposed penalties or citations until the official meeting in Phoenix.

All but one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed in a raging wildfire on June 30.

ADOSH is proposing penalties and citations for the state Forestry Division. The office would not discuss specifics ahead of the meeting in Phoenix.

A probe into the deadly wildfire cited poor communications, command issues and the changing wind as factors in the tragedy.

Investigators said the command center lost track of the firefighters. It will never be known whether they ever received or ignored weather warnings.

While the hotshots were scrambling to deploy tents, there was actually an air tanker overhead.

As the flames whipped over the men, a large air tanker was hovering above. But perhaps because of an early miscommunication about where the hotshots were headed, the command center did not know where to drop the flame retardant, the report said.

"Nobody will ever know how the crew actually saw their situation, the options they considered or what motivated their actions," investigators wrote.

 



 

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