June 30 ceremony will commemorate fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots
PRESCOTT - The City of Prescott will commemorate the second anniversary of the 2013 deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots with a ceremony at the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza on June 30.
The event will begin with the posting of colors by an interagency honor guard of firefighters at 4:35 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, according to a news release from the City of Prescott.
The ceremony will then observe a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., the official time of death of the Hotshots, followed by the ringing of the courthouse bell 19 times. Flags at all city and county facilities will be flown at half-staff.
"The Granite Mountain Hotshots not only fought wildfires across the country, they also performed invaluable fuels reduction work in our community when not engaged in fire suppression activities," said Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light.
He added: "I can think of no better way for residents to honor their legacy than to accept personal responsibility for clearing vegetation to provide defensible space adjacent to their homes, and thinning growth on the rest of their property, to assist our response personnel and reduce the likelihood of wildfire spreading."
The city news release suggested that property owners do preparations, such as: trimming low hanging limbs to reduce ladder fuels; cleaning roofs and gutters of pine needles and dead leaves; keeping flammable plants and mulches at least five feet away from your home's perimeter; and using low-growing, well pruned and fire-resistive plants around the home. More information can be found at www.firewise.org.
Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots died June 30, 2013, fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire.
They included: Eric Marsh, 43, a native of Ashe County, North Carolina, who served as the crew's superintendent; Jesse Steed, 36, a native of Cottonwood, Arizona, who served as the crew's captain; Clayton Whitted, 28, a native of Prescott; Robert Caldwell, 23, a native of Prescott; Travis Carter, 31, a native of Prescott; Christopher MacKenzie, 30, of Hemet, California; Travis Turbyfill, 27, a native of Prescott; Andrew Ashcraft, 29, a native of Prescott; Joe Thurston, 32, of Cedar City, Utah; Wade Parker, 22, a native of Chino Valley; Anthony Rose, 23, of Zion, Illinois; Garret Zuppiger, 27, of Phoenix; Scott Norris, 28, a native of Prescott; Dustin DeFord, 24, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and raised in Ekalaka, Montana; William "Billy" Warneke, 25, of Hemet, California; Kevin Woyjeck, 21, of Seal Beach, California; John Percin, Jr., 24, of West Linn, Oregon; Grant McKee, 21, of Newport Beach, California; and Sean Misner, 26, of Goleta, California.
The ceremony will take place on the north steps of the Yavapai County Courthouse in downtown Prescott. "The public is welcome and encouraged to attend," stated the city news release.