YARNELL, Ariz. – It’s been three months since the Yarnell Hill Fire killed 19 firefighters and destroyed 127 buildings.
Now, Yarnell residents are trying to rebuild, and they need to raise money to do it.
“We get no funds from FEMA,” said Marina Rauh of the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group. “It’s because we’re too small. We didn’t have a big enough disaster. Not enough homes were burned, and we only had 12 uninsured homes, so we have to raise the money ourselves.”
The group is hoping to do just that by organizing tours of the town on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For $25 dollars, anyone can visit the six burned homes and the fire-damaged St. Joseph Shrine. The tours start at the Yarnell Community Center.
“There will be coffee and pastries, and we’ll give you a map to send you on your way,” Rauh said. “We also have two vans (to transport visitors), in case you don’t want to drive.”
Rauh says visitors won’t believe the damage.
“There’ll be two houses standing and one gone, and two gone and three standing,” said Rauh. “It’s just very odd and very capricious the way that fire went.”
Rauh did not say how much money is needed or how much the group expects to raise from the tours.
Reservations can be made by sending a check to the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group, P.O. Box 275, Yarnell, AZ 85362. Your name will be added to the will-call list, if you write “Home Tour” on the check’s memo line.
Visitors can call 1-928-427-6595 for more information.
Donations can also be made online at Yarnell Hill Recovery Group.