AZ Panel Fines State Forestry Commission for Hotshot Firefighters' Deaths

The Industrial Commission of Arizona has found that the Forestry Division committed willful and serious safety violations during the Yarnell Hill fire in June.

After investigating the deaths of 19 hotshot firefighters during the Yarnell Hill Fire in June, the Industrial Commission of Arizona has cited the Arizona State Forestry Division for several safety offenses and issued $559,000 in proposed fines. The commission released a report outlining the safety offenses, which includes one willful serious violation that states in part, "When the employer knew that suppression of extremely active chaparral fuels was ineffective and that wind would push active fire towards non-defensible structures, firefighters working downwind were not promptly removed from exposure to smoke inhalation, burns, and death."

The report states that the employer "implemented suppression strategies that prioritized protection of non-defensible structures and pastureland over firefighter safety."

In addition to this violation, which accounts for all but $7,000 of the proposed fines, the commission cited the division for one serious violation in which the "employer did not furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to their employees."

The willful serious violation amounted to $545,000 of the proposed fines. The money from the fines would go to the families of the firefighters who died. According to NBC News, the Industrial Commission used a fire-incident consulting firm to interview more than 40 local, state, and federal fire and forestry officials who were a part of the Yarnell Hill campaign.

The Forestry Division has yet to comment on the report.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - April 2019

    April 2019

    Featuring:

    • ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Taking the Guesswork Out of De-Energizing Industrial Equipment 
    • VISION PROTECTION
      Four Simple and Effective Ways to Avoid Digital Eye Strain
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      PPE the Automotive Industry Needs to Invest In
    • FIRE SAFETY
      Eliminate 10 Fire Hazards That May Be in Plain Sight
    View This Issue