State officials have released the weather reports received by crews fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire on the day 19 firefighters died.
The “spot forecasts” generated by the National Weather Service (NWS) provide weather information for specific geographical locations. On June 30, two reports were requested by fire officials.
NWS also alerted fire crews in Yarnell about changing weather conditions twice more that day, records show.
Officials told the ABC Investigators that all of the weather information and alerts were relayed to and received by the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew .
The team was killed about 4:45 p.m. after shifting winds caused the wildfire to wrap around them.
The first spot forecast was received at 9:45 a.m.
It predicted thunderstorms with “strong and gusty winds” in the Yarnell area. It also warned that winds would change directions in the afternoon.
A second spot forecast was received later in the evening.
But at 2:02 p.m., crews received a weather alert from the NWS regarding a strong thunderstorm with strong winds and downdrafts, records show.
Then at 3:26 p.m., the NWS sent another alert again stating that a storm with high winds was on its way.
Officials said that conditions caused the fire to spread as fast as 15 mph, a speed that experts say is faster than they’ve ever seen.
Investigators also released daily fire summaries.
On June 29 , records show officials estimated the fire would grow to 1,000 acres and would be contained by July 4.
But in a report a day later, officials no longer listed a size estimate and moved the containment date to July 15.
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