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Yarnell Hill Fire: Investigating the Deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots

Nineteen of 20 members of Prescott's Granite Mountain Hotshot crew were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.

In the days and weeks that followed, questions surfaced about how and why the 19 wild-land firefighters got caught in the inferno. The Prescott hotshots' boss, Chief Darrell Willis, stated in a June 23 press conference: "It was just one of those things that happened. You can call it an accident. I just say that God had a different plan for that crew at this time."

On August 21, New Times reported that increasing evidence revealed reasons far from supernatural contributed to the deaths.

One piece of evidence was that the federal Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque -- in charge of dispatching hotshot crews based in Arizona and New Mexico -- initially refused Arizona's requests to send the unit to Yarnell. The center apparently felt the crew was overworked from previous fires.

Still, Granite Mountain was dispatched. All but one member -- a spotter employed elsewhere during the blaze -- never returned.

Stories found
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  1. Should the City of Prescott Rebuild Its Hotshot Crew?
    Valley Fever
  2. Yarnell Hill Fire: Arizona Wants More Federal Money After Ignoring Feds' Refusal to Deploy Granite Mountain Hotshots (Video)
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  3. Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Placed at Location Where 19 Firefighters Died
    Valley Fever
  4. Granite Mountain Hotshots Not Caught in "Sudden" Storm, as Media Accounts Contend
    Valley Fever
  5. Yarnell Hill Fire: State Forestry Division Outlines Events Surrounding Hotshots' Deaths
    Valley Fever
  6. Granite Mountain Hotshots Killed in Yarnell Hill Fire Taken Back to Prescott
    Valley Fever
  7. Nineteen Firefighters Dead in Prescott-Area Yarnell Hill Fire; Eighth Deadliest Fire in U.S. History
    Valley Fever
  8. Granite Mountain Hotshots: How 19 Firefighters Died Battling the Yarnell Hill Fire
    Valley Fever
  9. Brendan McDonough, Sole Survivor of Firefighting Crew, Was "Remorseful" After 2010 Conviction for Stolen Property
    Valley Fever
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My Voice Nation Help

To those who gave their lives... God Bless them give them your blessings.

19 Streamers by Lyle A.

A world becomes small
When a tragedy strikes
Like when lightning flames
In the dry desert night
A fire is blazing
Because it's so dry
Consuming every inch of life
With it's flames in the sky-

Wind is swirling
In no particular way
A Hot Shot crew from Prescott
Is starting their day
To save Yarnell
There was 19 of them
Fire fighters know
Fire has no friends-

The Granite Mountain crew
Found out,
They were no match
The fire was to quick
And was moving too fast-

19 streamers fall
From the sky
To mark the spot
Where hopes
And dreams die,
And memories lie-

Fire has no mercy
On man,women or child
It has no conscious
It's nature is run wild-

We will remember them
And how they fought
So others will know
The lesson they taught-

Protect the town
If it means
Lay down your life,
A firefighters heart
Is to do what is right.

Lyle Anderson

God Bless them and their families.