YARNELL, Arizona (KPNX) -- Emergency calls made by homeowners in the Yarnell area showed concern, confusion and compassion as the Yarnell Hill Fire broke fire lines June 30 and headed for the small community, according to recordings released this week by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
As early as 11:42 a.m., four hours before the fire violently reversed course and overran 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots and Yarnell homes, one caller asked the operator why planes weren't fighting the fire.
"I'm trying to find out where the retardant planes are, where they drop the retardant. There's no air support here," he said.
The operator explained that air support depended on the weather. Planes and helicopters had dropped water and retardant earlier in the day, according to state forestry records. She transferred the caller to a U.S. Forest Service hotline.