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Wed, July 15

Remembrances planned Tuesday to commemorate Granite Mountain Hotshot tragedy in 2013
Organizers adjust events for COVID-19 pandemic

The Granite Mountain Hotshots form a pyramid in front of an ancient alligator juniper tree atop Granite Mountain during the Doce Fire of June 2013. The Hotshots saved the juniper as well as communities below the mountain during the Doce Fire. (Courier file photo)

The Granite Mountain Hotshots form a pyramid in front of an ancient alligator juniper tree atop Granite Mountain during the Doce Fire of June 2013. The Hotshots saved the juniper as well as communities below the mountain during the Doce Fire. (Courier file photo)

Two events — one virtual and one on the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza — will occur today to remember the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died seven years ago fighting the Yarnell Hill Wildfire.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the events will take place with some changes this year.

The community of Yarnell will host a virtual Remembrance Event at 4:30 pm. Organizers say the Yarnell Hill Wildfire tragedy will be remembered in a 15-minute event available online at: www.yarnellarearesourcegroup.org, www.yarnellfire.org, and www.peeplesvalleyfire.org.

“We’re making it available beginning at 4:30 (p.m.) on June 30, as a way to heighten the awareness of the time the Hotshots perished,” said Linda Ma, coordinator of this year’s event.

In Prescott, the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza will ring the courthouse bell 19 times, beginning at 4:42 p.m.. The bell-ringing is a silent moment of reflection, and no public comments are planned. To hear the bells, the city recommends standing on the south side of the courthouse. Attendees are encouraged to practice social distancing and other pandemic precautions.

Also on June 30, the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Learning and Tribute Center at the Prescott Gateway Mall will place a memorial wreath in remembrance of the fallen Hotshots, but there will be no formal ceremony.

The Center will be open daily through July 5, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Center will resume its normal hours — Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — on July 12.

More information about the Center is available by going the website at: www.gmihc19.org. The center will also debut new Fourth of July shirts to honor the 19.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or cbarks@prescottaz.com.

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