There’s no way of knowing why 19 elite Arizona firefighters left relative safety to head into a bowl where they would perish, according to a report released Saturday on the unspeakably tragic fire in June. The 120-page report does not lay blame, saying there is “no evidence of negligence, recklessness actions, or violations of policy or protocol.” “The decision-making process went with those men,” said Florida State Forester Jim Karels, who led the investigation. The report says that the firefighters were “in the black” in a charred area until just before they died in the fire shelter, where temperatures exceeded 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, giving the firefighters less than two minutes to save themselves. Radio communications were “challenging throughout the incident,” according to the report.
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