PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) – A former fire crew superintendent has argued in a lawsuit that radio recordings could reportedly shed light on the fatal wildfire in Arizona that killed 19 Prescott hotshot crew members.
Former Payson Hotshot superintendent Fred Schoeffler filed the lawsuit in 2017, and seeks aircraft radio transmission recordings from a wildfire in Yarnell that killed 19 members of Prescott’s Granite Mountain Hotshots crew in 2013.
The legal dispute is over whether the U.S. Department of Agriculture adequately searched for the documents that Schoeffler asked for in a 2016 Freedom of Information Act request.
A three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments at a hearing in Phoenix, the Daily Courier reported Thursday.
Schoeffler sent a FOIA request to the Department’s Forest Service in 2016 seeking all voice recordings and written transcripts related to the fire, as well as communications “to and from any and all air resources and any and all Incident