Surviving Hotshot Saw Trouble

20th member saw the weather change

Gila New Mexico Wildland fire

Christopher MacKenzie, right, and other members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew from Prescott, Arizona scout a piece of terrain before starting a burnout operation that was meant to help contain the Whitewater-Baldy fire on May 31, 2012.    

The surviving member of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew that was lost in the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona is said to have radioed a warning message to his team. Brendan McDonough, 21, was working as a lookout when he noticed the weather and wind shifting.

According to USA Today:

When McDonough determined he needed to move, he radioed the supervisor of his hotshot crew. Officials said he radioed that the weather was changing and that the fire was shifting in a new direction. He told his crew members that if they needed anything to contact him. Then, he left with the superintendent of another hotshot crew.

As he hiked out of the area, his former lookout position was overrun with flames.

McDonough has asked for privacy in the wake of the accident and has declined to speak to the press.

For more on the Yarnell Hill fire, read Examining the Wildfire Deaths in Arizona.

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