Retired U.S. Forest Service information officer and a former hotshot squad boss Frank Carroll writes in The Daily Climate:
Regarding your opinion piece on climate change being a factor in the Yarnell wildfire disaster:
I spent 25 years on fire crews and as a hotshot squad boss before retiring in 2011.
An extraordinary blow-up of a wild land fire in Yarnell, Ariz., killed 19 hotshots. Not one hotshot I know believes that climate change was a factor in their deaths, and neither do any in the rest of the firefighting community.
Those men were killed by fuel conditions gone off the rails mixed with urban housing out of control. They were forced into point protection saving homes so people building in the Red Zone could keep thinking they were safe from fire hitting the reset button on periodic fuel build up in the absence of periodic wildfire. Period.
There’s good journalism out there about hotshots and who they are. Using the tragedy of the Yarnell 19 to push your agenda is opportunistic to say the least.