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Arizona remembers Granite Mountain Hotshots 9 years after they died fighting Yarnell Hill Fire

Courtesy of the Granite Mountain Hotshots

Governor Doug Ducey has ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff Thursday in honor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. This day marks the ninth anniversary since 19 members of the elite wildland firefighting crew lost their lives battling the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.

Ducey said in a statement that the hotshots put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of others. He also honored firefighters currently working across Arizona.

Today, the bells at the Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott will ring 19 times beginning at 4:42 p.m. marking the time when the hotshots lost their lives.

The men were fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire south of Prescott when the wind changed
direction, sending the blaze toward them, forcing them to deploy fire shelters.

The sole survivor of the tragedy, Brendan McDonough, continues to live in Prescott. He is a public speaker and advocate for trauma survivors, including firefighters, veterans, police officers and emergency medical first responders.