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Virtual ceremony to honor 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots

The memorial ceremony will be viewable online Tuesday afternoon, on the seventh anniversary of the blaze that killed 19 wildland firefighters


A virtual memorial ceremony will be available to view online Tuesday afternoon on the seventh anniversary of the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew in 2013.

Photo/Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew Learning and Tribute Center Facebook

By Laura French

YARNELL, Ariz. — This year’s memorial ceremony honoring the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew who were killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013 will be held virtually due to COVID-19.

The 15-minute service, which was pre-recorded, will be available to watch online beginning at 4:30 p.m. PT on the Yarnell Area Resource Group, Yarnell Fire District and Peeples Valley Fire Department websites, according to The Arizona Republic.

The event will feature a reading of the names of the 19 fallen firefighters by Lew and Marcie Theokas, the grandparents of fallen Firefighter Garret Zuppiger.

The timing of the event coincides with the time around 4:42 p.m. on June 30, 2013 that the Yarnell Hill Fire overran the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew who were battling the blaze, killing all but one crewmember. At the time, the Yarnell Hill Fire was the deadliest wildfire in the United States in 80 years.

Additional events on the anniversary of the line-of-duty deaths include a celebration of the second anniversary of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Learning and Tribute Center and a bell-ringing at the Yavapai County Courthouse. The bell will be rung 19 times beginning at 4:42 p.m.

The 19 firefighters being honored are:

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

Livestream (ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. PT):

Fire Chief Ralph Stegbauer and Firefighter Jeffery Skaggs were killed when the mechanical lift they were in fell over
Forest Bend Fire Chief John Norris was with other firefighters fighting a blaze in Friendswood
Kinnelon Lieutenant Justin Bower was found unresponsive at home after a call
“When we see these signs, it will be bittersweet. It’s a reminder of the loss — not that we ever forget it — but it also lets us know that the communities won’t forget him,” Peyton Morse’s father said