I live in Prescott, so let me clear up a few inconsistencies. First, there was a spotter. He was #20 in the crew, was away from the crew on high ground, alerted his crew that winds had shifted, and managed to escape when another crew gave him a ride out of the area. The proximal cause was a monsoon approaching from the NE that caused the winds to reverse direction and blow the fire backwards over the heroic 19. Monsoons are preceded by large winds, up to 40 mph is not uncommon. No doubt an accumulation of underbrush provided fuel for the fire but our area has been in drought conditions for over 10 years, and the high winds advanced the fire rapidly, fueled by the underbrush.
I also live in Oregon and have seen first hand the devastation of the timber industry due to the spotted owl. There are no arguments from me that the eco-whackos have usurped far too much power and influence over sound forest management practices.