Granite Mountain Hotshots: Arizona remembers 19 firefighters who died in Yarnell Hill Fire
PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags on all state buildings to be flown at half-staff on June 30 to honor the heroism of 19 firefighters who died while battling a wildfire near Prescott.
In a statement, Gov. Ducey said the Granite Mountain Hotshots died while trying to protect the community and that "their sacrifice will never be forgotten."
All but one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew members died on June 30, 2013, 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.
A park built to memorialize the firefighters, in addition to acknowledging those who lost their homes because of the fire, was completed in 2020 and was officially dedicated last year.
Gov. Ducey's full statement:
"Nine years ago, Arizona witnessed one of the most tragic wildfires in our state’s history. Nineteen brave firefighters lost their lives in a valiant effort to protect our communities. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
The heroic Yarnell 19 knew the dangers of the job, and yet still put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of others and abide by their duty and commitment to our state. This week we remember them, and send our thoughts and prayers to their families and loved ones who cared about them deeply.
We also honor the firefighters who are currently fighting wildfires across the state. We are grateful for the bravery they put on display every day to defend the lives of Arizonans."
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
PRESCOTT, AZ - JUNE 30: Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light speaks during a ceremony to remember and celebrate the lives of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters who died fighting a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona at the Yavapai County Courthouse (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)