19 Granite Mountain hotshots remembered a decade after the tragedy

June 30 marks 10 years since a tragedy in Arizona took the lives of 19 Granite Mountain hotshots while they were fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire in northern Arizona.

Nineteen lives were taken while fighting a massive wildfire with only one survivor.

While fighting the lightning-caused Yarnell Hill Fire, the crew died as they were overrun by flames in a box canyon. The fire was too intense and was moving too quickly for their shelters to protect them.

Red Cross volunteer Trudy Thompson Shumaker will never forget it.

"I think about it a lot. I think about the families, I think about the firefighters, I think of everyone touched by that tragedy," she said. "I got the call we found the firefighters and it's not good, so it was … it was heartbreaking. Heartbreaking," she said.

Remembering the victims

  • Andrew Ashcraft, 29
  • Robert Caldwell, 23
  • Travis Carter, 31
  • Dustin Deford, 24
  • Christopher MacKenzie, 30
  • Eric Marsh, 43
  • Grant McKee, 21
  • Sean Misner, 26
  • Scott Norris, 28
  • Wade Parker, 22
  • John Percin Jr., 24
  • Anthony Rose, 23
  • Jesse Steed, 36
  • Joe Thurston, 33
  • Travis Turbyfill, 27
  • William Warneke, 26
  • Clayton Whitted, 28
  • Kevin Woyjeck, 21
  • Garret Zuppiger, 27


8 years later, Arizona remembers 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in Yarnell Hill Fire

All but one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew members died on June 30, 2013, while fighting the lightning-caused Yarnell Hill Fire.

Communities gather to remember those lost

On June 30, two memorial events for the lost firefighters were held: one in Prescott, and one in Yarnell.


In Prescott, public memorial took place outside of the Yavapai County Courthouse.

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, Prescott Mayort Phil Goode, and the son of fallen hotshot Andrew Ashcraft were among the people who spoke at the event.

The only hotshot crew member who survived was also in attendance to read a prayer. An Honor Guard took center stage, and there was a flyover out of Luke Air Force Base, with the planes flying the ‘missing man’ formation.

"It takes someone with great strength, passion, dedication and perseverance to sign up for this dangerous job. We're here to honor them because they selflessly answered the call for us," said one of the speakers.

"He told me ‘son, you’re the man of the house when I’m gone. Take care of our family, protect mom, and I love you,’ To him, those words gave him security while away, when he went to provide for us. One last moment of connection while he was still home," said another speaker at the event.


In Yarnell, a special ceremony took place at the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park.

The event was a more intimate affair, with dozens of people in attendance, including both area residents and visitors.

The event included music, a few speeches, along with a moment of silence at 4:41 p.m., the exact moment when last contact was made with the crew.

The event also included a ceremonial transfer of the memorial from the volunteers who run it, to Arizona's Parks and Trails Department. The official transfer happened earlier in June.

"I think it was really such a sad moment for everyone when that happened," said visitor Stephen King. "What can you say, really? You wish it didn't happen, you wish it could have happened a different way, but life is what life is. At least we're remembering the people."

Another ceremony is set to take place from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in Yarnell, where members of the community will turn on their porch lights to honor the fallen hotshot firefighters, along with firefighters everywhere.

How to honor the lives of the firefighters

If you want to visit the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park in Yarnell, Arizona Parks says it's a seven-mile round trip, including steep terrain. If you do head to the site in Yarnell, shuttle service goes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the Yarnell Fire Department.

Dark Sky Brewing is donating all proceeds from the purchases of Yarnell 19 West Coast IPA cans to the Eric Marsh Foundation as well as other Wildland Fire organizations. It will also co-host a fundraiser at Scottsdale’s Rift Wine + Tap (more information can be found here).