Last radio transmission from Yarnell Hill Fire hotshots released

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- An audio recording released Friday of radio transmissions from the Granite Mountain Hotshots recounts the final moments before they were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The recording was captured on a camera that was mounted to a firefighter's helmet. The firefighter was a safe distance away.

The hotshots had been communicating with operations and air command (code-named Bravo 3-3).

The last transmission from the hotshot crew was when the "Division Alpha" explained that the fire was closing in.

“Yeah, 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, the, the shelters.”

When the Granite Mountain Hotshots didn't provide an update, operations and air command repeatedly called them over the radio. They never responded.

The audio comes from the Serious Accident Investigation team's report on the fire, which concluded poor communications contributed to the deaths of the 19 firefighters.

Investigators said in the report that they hope the finding "facilitates learning within the wildland fire community, in order to reduce the likelihood of repeating actions that contributed to the loss of life."

New claims filed in deadly Arizona wildfire

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- The owners of seven properties in Yarnell have filed claims against the state, Yavapai County and the city of Prescott over the deadly wildfire last summer in north-central Arizona.
The claims filed Friday seek a total of more than $33 million from the four entities.
In addition, the mother of one of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots added a $12 million claim against the Yarnell Fire District to her earlier claim against the state, city and county. That brings Marcia McKee's total claim to $48 million.
The June 30 Yarnell Hill Fire destroyed more than 115 homes in Yarnell.
The claims state that the public entities in charge of fighting the wildfire "are liable for the injuries and damages that their negligent, careless, reckless, and intentional misconduct caused."