Newly released audio and video recordings have provided new insight into the final moments of 19 firefighters who died battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona this past June, reports Fox News (http://fxn.ws/1bH8SAc).
The radio transmissions reveal confusion and disconnection between the men on the ground and those directing the progress of the firefight on the fateful afternoon of June 30.
In the first part of the recording, the Granite Mountain Hotshots are heard as as they first realize they are in trouble — and they try to get aircraft to move in and drop water or retardant on them to save their lives.
“Breaking in on Arizona 16, Granite Mountain Hotshots, we are in front of the flaming front,” one firefighter says on the radio.
Another calls for a water drop, saying “Air Attack, Granite Mountain 7!”
“Okay … unit that’s hollerin’ in the radio, I need you to quit, and … break, Operations Bravo 33,” comes the response.
The last dispatch from the Hotshots came from the group’s leader, Eric Marsh.
“Yeah, I’m here with Granite Mountain Hotshots, our escape route has been cut off,” Marsh says. “We are preparing a deployment site and we are burned out around ourselves in the brush and I’ll give you a call when we are under the shelters.”