Radio exchanges shed light on hot shot crew's final moments - WNEM TV 5


Radio exchanges shed light on hot shot crew's final moments

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Granite Mountain Hot Shots Granite Mountain Hot Shots

The Arizona State Forestry Division has released dozens of pictures and videos, along with radio transmissions, that depict the final minutes before flames over ran the Granite Mountain Hot Shot crew.

Before you watch the attached video, we need to warn you that the frantic exchange, recorded by a camera mounted to a firefighter's (not Granite Mountain) helmet, is tough to hear.

Granite Mountain Hotshots: "Breaking in on Arizona 16, Granite Mountain Hotshots, we are in front of the flaming front."

On June 30 at 4:33 p.m., someone from the Granite Mountain Hot Shot crew radioed in the first sign that they were in real danger.

Operations: "Bravo 33, Operations, you copying that on air to ground?"

During the next minute, the fire operations center works to confirm air support (Bravo 33) heard the hot shot crew's distress call – which they did.

Bravo 33: "We're, we'll do the best we can. We got the type 1 helicopters ordered back in. Uh, we'll see what we can do."

As the wind whipped up, Granite Mountain makes a frantic call for air support – and crews listening in are concerned.

Granite Mountain 7: "Air Attack, Granite Mountain 7!"

Firefighter:  "This ain't good."

Firefighter: "No, he's screamin."

At 4:35 p.m., it's clear the hot shots are preparing for a burn over.

Division Alpha: "Yea, I'm here with Granite Mountain Hotshots, our escape route has been cut off. 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 she, the shelters."

During the next minute and a half, the operations center and air support work to locate the trapped hot shot crew.

Bravo 33: "Okay, uh, we're workin' our way around there. We've got uh several aircraft comin' to ya. We'll see if we can't take care of business for you."

Bravo 33: "Division Alpha, Bravo 33, I need you to pay attention and tell me when you hear the aircraft okay. Cuz it's gonna be a little tough for us to see ya."

Between 4:37 p.m. and 4:41 p.m., there are several inaudible radio transmissions from an unknown frequency – possibly the hot shot crew – as a subdued-sounding air support crew member tries to make contact.

Bravo 33: "Granite Mountain 7, Bravo 33 air to ground."

The Granite Mountain Hot Shot crew never responded.

The Yarnell Hill Fire burned over their deployed shelters around 4:42 p.m. – killing 19 men.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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    Thursday, December 19 2013 8:02 PM EST2013-12-20 01:02:20 GMT
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