The IAFF is remembering the 19 Prescott, Arizona fire fighters who died in the line of duty on June 30, 2013, as they were fighting a fast-moving wildfire near Yarnell Hill. It was the largest loss of fire fighter life since September 11, 2001.
The fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots are: Robert Caldwell, Travis Carter, Eric Marsh, Jesse Steed, Travis Turbyfill, Clayton Whitted, Andrew Ashcraft, Dustin DeFord, Christopher MacKenzie, Grant McKee, Sean Misner, Scott Norris, Wade Parker, John Percin Jr., Anthony Rose, Joe Thurston, William Warneke, Kevin Woyjeck and Garret Zuppiger.
“On that day in 2013, we lost 19 brothers. Although it has been nine years, it still feels like yesterday to our sisters and brothers from United Yavapai Local 3066, and all who knew them well,” says General President Ed Kelly. “On this anniversary, the IAFF remembers each of the fallen and we rededicate ourselves to everything they stood for and the sacrifice each made.”
“Nine years ago, we tragically lost 19 of our brothers battling the Yarnell Hill fire,” says General Secretary-Treasurer Frank Líma “In their memory, our union continues to fight for improved safety protocols and working conditions in order to prevent future tragedies.”
The 20-member Granite Mountain crew was working to contain the fire when the fire overtook their position. Brendan McDonough, who was on lookout duty in a separate location, was the only one to survive. McDonough later started a behavioral health and substance abuse recovery center in Prescott, Arizona, called Holdfast Recovery.
With the passage of HB 2624, the Arizona House of Representatives authorized the creation and funding of the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Park in 2014. The park which was designed to honor the fallen officially opened to the public two years later.
Read the report on the incident here.