A tanker that had been deployed -- a vintage Korea War-era plane -- was forced to return to base due to engine troubles.
Tragically, the report reveals that in the fire fighters' final moments, a heavy air tanker filled with fire retardant was hovering somewhere over the site as the firefighters perished below. The tanker had failed seven times to make contact and determine the crew's exact location.
The final report was given to family members before the conference today, and they were given the opportunity to speak with investigators about their concerns. These mainly revolved around the communications and tracking difficulties that plagued that fatal day.
The father of fallen fireman Travis Turbyfill, 27, also voiced his anger that the crew were not given adequate protection gear and that the report does not include future recommendations for fire shelter technology development.
"There isn't a football player that goes on the field without pads and a helmet," David Turbyfill said. "You don't send a structural fire department guy into a fire without the proper protection gear."
The seven recommendations in the report are aimed to assist future fire fighters around the country and includes a review of current technology and the feasibility of whether individual GPS units can be fitted on firefighters to track their location.
"Part of this report is to help firefighters learn from it," Karels said. "I think you will see changes into the future here."