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Anniversary Ceremony To Be Held In Honor Of 19 Yarnell Firefighters

Yarnell Hill Fire
(Photo courtesy of KJZZ file footage)
The Yarnell Hill Fire destroyed more than 100 homes and killed 19 elite firefighters in June 2013.

Monday marks a year since 19 hotshots were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire. A ceremony will be held at Courthouse Square in Prescott at 4 p.m.

Wade Ward, a spokesman for the Prescott Fire Department, said the community of Prescott is forever changed. 

"It’s not easy, but we’ll make it through this," Ward said. "Not only the anniversary, but life will continue to go on and we will never forget our brothers and the sacrifice that they made."

In the town of Yarnell, about a third of the homes destroyed in the fire will be rebuilt. 

Several reports and lawsuits have been filed. Many memorial events have been held. And Ward said many firefighters are still processing what happened.

"It’s a difficult process to go through, I don’t wish it on anybody," Ward said. "But I can tell you that the only real thanks that I can come up with, God forbid this ever happen to somebody else, we’ll all be there to help them."

Ward said he’s overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and donations from all over the world.

At the Monday ceremony, Prescott officials will read the names of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots and then ring the courthouse bell 19 times at 4:42 p.m., the time of their deaths.

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.