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19 Firefighters Remembered 4 Years Later

hotshots
City of Prescott
Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew

Bells rang 19 times in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Yarnell at 4:42 a.m. on June 30 to remember the 19 men who lost their lives four years ago in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The memory of June 30th, 2013 is all too clear for the northern Arizona community, as another fire burns currently 14 miles south of Prescott.

The Prescott National Forest’s Pete Gordon told the Mayer community earlier this week the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots weigh heavy on his mind.

“The firefighters’ deaths are memorialized by lessons learned,” Gordon said. “We send firefighters to difficult places but there are places we will not go.”

The 19 men died when they left the safety zone, hiked down into a box canyon and lost sight of the fire. As the crew moved into the drainage the winds changed direction and speed and the flames overwhelmed them. 

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.