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APS donates $229K to Granite Mountain Hotshots state memorial park

In this Sunday, June 30, 2013 file photo made by firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots watch a growing wildfire that later swept over and killed the crew of 19 firefighters near Yarnell, Ariz. Ashcraft texted the photo to his wife, Juliann, but died later that day battling the out-of-control blaze. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Juliann Ashcraft, File)

PHOENIX — An effort to honor the fallen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots received a big financial boost on Wednesday.

Arizona Public Service announced it would give the remaining $229,000 needed to open the park that will honor the 19 hotshots who were killed as they battled the Yarnell Hill Fire near Yarnell on June 30, 2013.

The Yarnell Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park is Arizona’s first memorial state park.

“It’s 320 acres, and it’s right outside of Yarnell,” said Sue Black, the executive director for the Arizona State Parks. “At the center of the property is the deployment site.”

The park will include a two-mile trail.

“Every 10th of a mile will be a memorial,” said Black. “Every firefighter will have (his) area, and at the top, there will be an observation site. Then you can hike down to the fatality site.”

When asked the cost of building the park, Black would only say that it’s being built on a “frugal” budget and that they’ve received donations from the firefighting community “from across the globe.”

“It’s the most emotional project that I’ve ever worked on,” Black said. “It’s a park that will be there for future generations. Once everybody sees it, I think that they’ll be very,very proud of the work that’s been done.”

The park is scheduled to open on Nov. 30.

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