The official report is out, and apparently absolutely no mistakes were made by anyone leading to the deaths of 19 in the Yarnell Hill fires. Despite the fact that -- these 19 men were totally out of communication; and no one knew where they were; and they entered a ridiculously dangerous patch of ground; and they were not pursuing any coherent goal anyone can name -- no one made any mistakes and there is nothing here to learn from. Wow.
Here is my analysis of what is going on with this report: Substantial mistakes were made by both the fire team and by their leaders. Their leaders wrote the report, and certainly were not going to incriminate themselves, particularly given that they likely face years of litigation. They could have perhaps outlined the mistakes the team made, but the families and supporters of the dead men would have raised a howl if the dead firefighters were blamed for mistakes while the leadership let themselves off the hook, and surely would have pushed back on the culpability of the firefighting effort's management.
So this report represents an implicit deal being offered to the families -- we will let your dead rest in peace by not highlighting the mistakes they made if you will lay off of us and the mistakes we made. We will just blame it on God (I kid you not, see Prescott chief's statements here). Most Arizonans I know seem willing to have these folks die as heroes who succumbed to the inherent risks of the profession, rather than stupid errors, so we may never have an honest assessment of what happened. And yet again the opportunity to do a major housecleaning of wildland firefighting is missed.