Today marks eight years since 19 wildland firefighters from Prescott perished in the Yarnell Hill Fire. Only one member of the crew survived. It remains the deadliest wildfire in Arizona history.
The men were fighting the fire south of Prescott when the wind changed direction, sending the blaze toward them, forcing them to deploy fire shelters. Governor Doug Ducey has ordered flags at all state buildings be flown at half-staff today to honor the fallen. A memorial highway sign was unveiled in Prescott Tuesday; the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Highway marks a stretch of State Route 89 that runs through Yarnell and Prescott. A public memorial service is planned today at 4 p.m. at Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park. The Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott will ring the town bell 19 times at 4:42 p.m., coinciding with the approximate time the fire overtook the Hotshots’ position.