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Saturday
Sep282013

Report Notes Radio Issues in Death of 19 Arizona Hotshots

Handout/Getty Images(YARNELL, Ariz.) -- The Arizona Division of Forestry release a 116-page report on Saturday regarding the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 firefighters on June 30, finding that radio failure contributed to their deaths.

The report determined that the group's radios were not properly programmed. Radio updates were too vague, traffic on the radios was heavy during critical times and the updates that were received were brief and informal. The elite firefighters did not act recklessly and were properly qualified, staffed and trained.

It was also determined that few people understood the intentions, movements and locations of the elite group. An aircraft was poised to drop retardant on the flames at the point in time that the hotshots were deploying their fire shelters, but were unable to do so because of confusion over the group's location.

Further causing issues that day was a 30 minute communication blackout before the firefighters were overcome by the flames.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio