Posts Tagged Yarnell Hill Fire

Zion Native among Hotshots killed at Yarnell fire welcomed home (more)

For those unable to take part in the events surrounding Anthony Rose returning, here is a short video from the Waukegan Regional Airport Wednesday evening.

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Zion Native among Hotshots killed at Yarnell fire welcomed home

Anthony Rose, a member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died on the Yarnell Fire June 30th returned home Wednesday evening.

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Larry Shapiro photo

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Tim Olk photo


Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Larry Shapiro photo

His ashes arrived at the Waukegan Regional Airport aboard a plane accompanied by a member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, two US Forestry officers, and members of the Phoenix Fire Department honor guard.

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Tim Olk photo

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Larry Shapiro photo

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Tim Olk photo

In a solemn ceremony attended by several hundred local firefighters, members of the Axemen Motorcycle Club, local police, and many citizens, his ashes were presented to his family along with a flag that was used during the memorial in Phoenix.

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Larry Shapiro photo

Granite Mountain Hotshot Anthony Rose comes home

Tim Olk photo


A procession of police, motorcycles and fire trucks lead a limousine with Anthony’s family to the funeral home in nearby Zion.

More images can be viewed HERE and HERE.


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Zion native among Hotshots killed at Yarnell Fire

More on the services and honoring of Anthony Rose in an article from the Daily Herald:

The remains of one of the 19 firefighters killed in Arizona last month are being returned to his family in Beach Park.

Chief Paul Tierney of the Beach Park Fire Department says the cremated remains of Anthony Rose will be flown into Waukegan Regional Airport on Wednesday afternoon. He says family of the 23-year-old firefighter now live in Beach Park. The fire chief says the urn containing Rose’s remains will be given to his mother. Rose was raised in Wisconsin.


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Yarnell fire claims 19 hotshot firefighters (more) has an article describing the trip home for the 19 hotshot firefighters who lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Fire in Arizona last week.

PHOENIX – Nineteen firefighters killed in a wildfire a week ago went home for the last time on Sunday, their bodies traveling in individual white hearses in a somber caravan for 125 miles through Arizona cities and towns.

The nearly five-hour-long procession began near the state Capitol in Phoenix, went through the town where the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed and ended in the mountain community of Prescott, where they lived and will be laid to rest this week.

Thousands of people from across the state and beyond stood patiently in triple-digit temperatures in Phoenix, lined highways and overpasses along the route, and flooded the roads of downtown Prescott to pay their respect to the 19, whose deaths are the greatest loss of life for firefighters since 9/11.

They included fellow firefighters, the men’s family members, complete strangers and residents of Yarnell, the small town they died trying to save.

Those along the procession cried, they saluted, they held their hands over their hearts.

“It’s overwhelming to watch this slow procession of 19 hearses,” said a tearful Bill Morse, a Flagstaff fire captain who has been stationed in Prescott for a week helping Prescott fire deal with the tragedy. “The ceremonious air of it all. It’s heartbreaking.”

In downtown Prescott, a bustling and sometimes-rowdy area filled with bars and other businesses known as Whiskey Row grew eerily quiet as the hearses drove by, essentially stopping all activity for several minutes.

Many along the route carried American flags and signs that read, “Courageous, selfless, fearless, beloved,” “Yarnell remembers” and simply, “Heroes.”

Motorcycle escorts, honor guard members, and firefighting trucks accompanied the 19 hearses along the route.

In both Phoenix and Prescott, the procession drove under giant American flags hoisted above the street with the raised ladders of two firefighter trucks. Bagpipes played as crowds were hushed silent by the enormity of the loss.

A red and white DC-3 airplane used for wildland firefighting released long purple and pink ribbons overhead with each firefighter’s name on them; the ribbons drifted slowly down to the earth just before the hearses came to a stop outside the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Inside each hearse were the American flags that were draped over the men’s bodies at the site of their deaths in Yarnell. The flags have been with them since and will be until they’re buried. After that, the flags will be given to their families.

Family members of the firefighters watched the procession in private, away from the public and members of the media, as it passed by a massive makeshift memorial outside the fire station where the men were based in Prescott. The memorial includes hundreds of personal messages, pictures of the men, American flags, and variations on the number 19 — 19 water bottles, 19 shovels, 19 toy fire trucks surrounding a stuffed Teddy bear.

Since their fellow firefighters arrived at the scene where they were killed, the fallen firefighters have not been alone, a tradition among those in the profession in the U.S.

“Since they were discovered, they have never been out of the presence of a brother firefighter,” said Paul Bourgeois, a Phoenix-area fire chief who is acting as a spokesman in Prescott for the firefighters’ families. “From the time they were taken to the medical examiner in Phoenix, while they’re at the medical examiner’s office, when they are received in a funeral home — there will always be a brother firefighter on site with them until they are interred.

“That’s something people don’t realize. We never leave your side,” he said of the tradition. “It’s a comfort to the survivors, whether they’re families or fellow firefighters.”

The firefighters were killed a week ago in the Yarnell Hill fire, sparked by lightning on June 28. Crews were closing in on full containment after the fire destroyed more than 100 homes in Yarnell and burned about 13 square miles. The town remained evacuated but residents were expected to be allowed to return home on Monday.

The crew of Hotshots was working to build a fire line between the blaze and Yarnell when erratic winds suddenly shifted the fire’s direction,

The complete article with a video segment is HERE.

Memorial T-shirts are being sold to benefit the families of the 19 firefighters who perished.

From Image Apparel Solutions:

… our son is a Golden Eagle Hotshot wildland firefighter. He had interviewed with the Granite Mountain Hotshots earlier this year and met some of the crew that sadly lost their lives last week battling a fire near Prescott Arizona. This tragedy hits far too close to home, so we want to help the families of the fallen firefighters in whatever small way we can. We were able to connect with the United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They have established a fund for the families. With their support, we are selling a memorial t-shirt with all profits going specifically to these families. Please join us in showing support for the families of these brave men.

From The United Phoenix Firefighters Association:

David Leibowitz
(602) 317-1414


PHOENIX – The United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association, together with Prescott Fire Fighter’s Charities, have established a 501(c)3 relief fund to handle donations to benefit the families of the fallen killed in the Yarnell Fire.

Every penny – 100% of your tax-deductible donation – will go to benefit the families of our brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Please make your individual or corporate donation at any Chase bank.

Account information:

United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association Account
Account #987218757.

If donors have any questions, they can contact the UPFFA Office at
(602) 277-1500.

For interviews or media requests, contact David Leibowitz at the above contact information.

An article HERE from the describes and illustrates conditions surrounding the burn over that occurred.

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19 Hot Shot firefighters reported killed

News from Central Arizona surrounding the Yarnell Hill Fire:

Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots

Most recent Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots. from the Prescott AZ city web site

Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots

2011 portrait of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots. image from the USDA Forest Service


Arizona State forestry officials confirmed Sunday night that 19 firefighters have died in the Yarnell Hill Fire that has ripped through half of the town, sent residents to Prescott for safety and given the state it’s biggest ever wildfire firefighter tragedy.

“It’s a dark day,” said Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman.

Reichling said the 19 firefighters were found in area that also had 19 fire shelters deployed. Some of those found were inside a shelter. Some where not.

Reichling expects about half of the town’s 500 homes to be decimated by the fire that is currently burning with zero containment and has grown well past 2,000 acres.

[…] the fire is quickly reaching “Type 1” status and that federal authorities will be brought in to help Monday morning. Reichling expects the manpower dedicated to the fire to reach about 400 people as federal help arrives.

Fire officials Sunday afternoon ordered the evacuation of Yarnell and parts of Peeples Valley as a fast moving, lightning-caused fire that charred up to 2,000 acres reached Yarnell, Reichling said, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman.

The wind-whipped blaze also prompted officials to shut 25 miles of State Route 89 between Congress and Kirkland, but residents of the hundreds of evacuated homes could still travel the estimated 30 miles to a shelter in Prescott, Reichling said.

The Yarnell Hill Fire, ignited at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, was moving north and east at the rate of about half a mile per hour, fire officials said.

As about 250 firefighters fought to keep the blaze at bay Sunday, officials evacuated three subdivisions outside Yarnell, officials said.

The fire had reached Yarnell town limits but as of 5 p.m. no structures had been lost, Reichling said.

The Yarnell Hill Fire was zero-percent contained Sunday, officials said.

Fueled by chaparral and grass, the blaze was burning uphill on state land about 25 miles north of Wickenburg with 15-to 20-foot flames, he said.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office evacuated the Double Bar A Ranch and Model Creek areas, officials said. A reverse 911 call was sent and sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door to alert residents.

The temperature warmed to 101 degrees Sunday afternoon and southwest winds were blowing up to 22 miles per hour, Reichling said.

The low humidity, type of fuel, topography and northwest direction of the wind was feeding the and pushing it up the hill toward the communities, Reichling said.

About 250 firefighters, including two Type 2 crews, three Type 1 crews, and four engines, were on the scene, Reichling said. Three Type 1 crews, seven helicopters, two air tankers, four single engine air tankers, and multiple engines and air tankers were ordered.

A total of 160 firefighters, including six hand crews, two helicopters dropping water, two engines, two single air tankers and a heavy air tanker, were battling the blaze, he said.

Staff writer Yvonne Wingett contributed to this report.

From the ArizonaDailyStar:

Prescott Fire Department confirmed 19 firefighters have died while battling the Yarnell Hill fire Sunday night, Fox 10 news is reporting.

They’re part of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots.

The wildfire was likely caused by a lightning strike Saturday night.

The Yarnell Hill fire, about 35 miles southwest of Prescott, has burned about 1,300 acres and forced the evacuation of 50 homes.

The fire started Friday and has not yet burned down any structures, but Sunday night firefighters pushed the blaze back away from communities, hoping to keep the blaze from overtaking any homes.

A growing fire in Yarnell forced about 600 residents from their homes.

Arizona Yarnell Hill Fire

David Kadlubowski
Dean Smith watches as the Yarnell Hill Fire encroaches on his home in Glenn Ilah on Sunday, June 30, 2013 near Yarnell, Ariz. The fire started Friday and picked up momentum as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. It has forced the evacuation of residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski)

A gallery with several images is HERE.

USDA Forest Service website for Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots

Welcome to the Prescott Hotshot Crew Web Page!

Since 1973 when the crew first received Type I status it has gone through many changes with equipment, technology, and training, however the overall job of a Hotshot has not changed. The Prescott Hotshots still remains as an elite, professional, and outstanding crew of Wildland Firefighters.


  • The Prescott Hotshots originated in 1972 with the formation of a regular crew (Type II). George Pittman was the crew boss with a crew made up of Prescott College students.
  • In 1973, Durk Lokes ran the crew and applied for and attained Type I Hotshot Crew status in July of that year.
  • In 1975 the crew took on a new look with Mark Zumwalt at the helm. It was at this time that Mark brought with him new technology and crew structure from California and the crew became truly interregional.
  • In 1977 the crew was 30 persons strong with three sections of ten each. Sections were rotated and fillers used off the other sections to assure a 20 person crew at all times.
  • In 1978, Glenn Dundas took over control and changed the physical standards to what they are today. Glenn ran the crew for seven years and again structural changes were made with the five person overhead structure one superintendent, two foreman, and two working squad bosses.
  • Tom Tobin assumed command in July of 1985. Physical standards remained the same as the integration of a diversified workforce began. That year new crew transportation was purchased which consisted of one chase truck and two nine passenger crew carriers (aka “buggies”). Due to an injury Tom was reassigned to dispatch in 1988.
  • Tony Sciacca a seasoned member of the crew took command following Tom’s absence in 1988. In 1991 the crew moved from the Groom Creek Work center to the newly built Prescott Fire Center and Henry Y.H. Kim Aviation Center. Tony’s tour as Superintendent ended after the 1998 fire season and from there he moved on to be a District Fire Management Officer on the Prescott.
  • Curtis Heaton who worked his way up through the ranks became Superintendent in 1999 where he remained until the end of the 2001 fire season. Curtis then moved on to the Fish and Wildlife Service as a Wildland Urban Interface Specialist before returning to the Prescott as the Forest Fire Management Officer in 2006. Curtis left the Prescott National Forest in 2008 to serve as the Operations Section Chief on the Phoenix based National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) Team.
  • Jeff Andrews who also worked his way up through the ranks became Superintendent in 2002. Jeff is currently the Prescott National Forest Deputy Fire Staff Officer.
  • Darin Fisher took over as Superintendent in 2005 and remains in the position today.


Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots

undated portrait of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots

The Granite Mountain Hot Shots crew[is] part of the Wildland Fire Division of the Prescott Fire Department,

A feature article last year from on this crew can be found HERE.

Diving to the ground, crew members attempt to form a tight circle and point their feet toward the approaching flames. That will deflect heat and help protect their torsos. They clamp down on the edges of their emergency shelters to make sure fire, smoke and heat can’t get inside, and they keep their faces near the ground to breathe cooler air that won’t damage their lungs.

There’s nothing to do now but wait.

Members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, one of 112 Interagency Hotshot Crews around the country, have never had to use shelters during a wildfire. But working in remote locations to get ahead of the most dangerous sections of fires makes knowing how to do so a matter of life and death.

Training is crucial, especially for the four rookies on the 22-member squad.

“If we’re not actually doing it, we’re thinking and planning about it,” said Eric Marsh, superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

“When we get out there, it’s a completely different ballgame,” said Daniel McCarty, another squad leader. “It’s the real deal. We have to look out for each other.”

The crew, one of 13 hotshot teams in Arizona, has eight full-time members. The rest work from April until September.

Being on a hotshot crew means one is on call throughout fire season, staying close enough to head out on short notice.

Fire duty can mean staying in the forest rather than returning to base camp for the night. Members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots sometimes have to spend up to two straight weeks in the wilderness, getting supplies by helicopter.

Last year, the Granite Mountain Hotshots fought some of the biggest fires in Arizona — Wallow, Horseshoe Two and Monument – as well as blazes in states such as Colorado, New Mexico and Minnesota.

Having to operate in the wilderness with little support, training is a way of life. On a recent weekday, preparing for fire season, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots practiced setting up fire shelters as well as cutting fire lines.

But better to have mistakes happen here, where training can correct them, than in a real fire.

“In any other job you don’t have to worry about your life day in and day out,” said McCarty, the squad leader. “But in this job you have to watch your buddy too.”

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