Governor Remembers Fallen Firefighters As Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial Opens
Three years after a devastating wildfire took the lives of 19 wildland firefighters, the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots have a new place to remember the loved ones they lost.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey joined families Tuesday at the trailhead to the new 320-acre Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park. The memorial includes a trail leading to the area where the firefighters died and features individual plaques honoring each of the men.
“May this always be a sacred place for this community and for this state to honor the lives of those who died protecting us. And may it always serve as a testament to the danger firefighters face every day,” Ducey said.
Ducey said he hopes the opening of this memorial will help in the healing process. “These were young men who committed their lives and careers to public service and public safety. But they were also husbands, sons, brothers and fathers. This park will be a place to reflect, to mourn, and to learn.”
The park is located two miles south of Yarnell on State Route 89. This is the first memorial state park in the state.
Sue Black, Arizona State Parks executive director, says the memorial is really something you experience, and doing it helps you understand what these 19 men went through before they died.
"I hiked it on Friday for one last time before the dedication, and I’ll tell you, it’s a journey," she said.
It’s a seven-mile round-trip hike to get to the memorial, which opens to the public Wednesday.