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A look back on the Yarnell Hill Fire and the Granite Mountain Hotshots

Thursday is the ninth anniversary of the wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in the line of duty.

YARNELL, Ariz. — On June 30, 2013, the town of Yarnell faced one of the deadliest wildfires in U.S. history. Of the 20-man crew of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, 19 members lost their lives battling the fire.

The Yarnell Hill Fire had been ignited two days before by a lightning strike and spread quickly and erratically due to strong monsoon winds.

With the exception of 21-year-old Brendan McDonough, who had been posted some distance away from the crew as a watchman, the hotshots found themselves in the fire's path.

Reports show that the flames were nearly 70-feet long as winds pushed them almost horizontally across the landscape.

Trapped, the crew deployed their fire shelter.

McDonough was the only survivor of the event.

The fire burned about 8,400 acres. While it was not the largest fire in Arizona's history, it is considered one of the deadliest.

We have a look back on the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the events of the Yarnell Hill Fire, and the outpouring of community support in the wake of the tragedy.

Granite Mountain Hotshots

  • Joe Thurston, 32
  • Travis Turbyfill, 27
  • William Warneke, 25
  • Clayton Whitted, 28
  • Kevin Woyjeck, 21
  • Garret Zuppiger, 27
  • Sean Misner, 26
  • Scott Norris, 28
  • Wade Parker, 22
  • John Percin, 24
  • Anthony Rose, 23
  • Jesse Steed, 36
  • Andrew Ashcraft, 29
  • Robert Caldwell, 23
  • Travis Carter, 31
  • Dustin Deford, 24
  • Christopher MacKenzie, 30
  • Eric Marsh, 43
  • Grant McKee, 21


Arizona Wildfire Season

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