Mementos were everywhere Monday, one year after the Yarnell Hill wildfire claimed the lives of 19 firefighters.
A series of tributes and remembrances included a ceremony featuring a bell-ringing and reading of the names of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Businesses around Prescott displayed banners in honor of the firefighters, and visitors and residents wore T-shirts bearing their unit’s logo and “19” to mark the number of deaths. The firefighters died June 30, 2013 when they were overrun by flames while fighting an erratic brush fire near Prescott. Visitors and residents attended an exhibit at a city hotel that showcases the men and their time on the fire lines.
Robert Hinshaw, a member of the city’s antique auto club, stood alongside Prescott’s first ladder truck.
“It’s the first city ladder truck,” he explained. “It was built in 1931. It has ladders that go up to 60 feet.”
A firefighter himself for 20 years, Hinshaw’s son was on duty on June 30 of last year and his grandson served for years as a Hotshot elsewhere in the state. For him, it all ties together — the tragedy, the firefighting history, the support of the city.
He explained the significance of the truck’s presence at Monday’s events, as well as its origins and procurement.
“Our Prescott antique auto club, which is a club we started in 1970 at Charlotte Hall Museum — an auto club — purchased this in 1984 from the city for a dollar,” he retold. “And it was going to go to Mexico to our sister city but it didn’t have a pump at that time, so they refused it and a couple of our club members bid on it and we got it for a dollar.”
Days after the tragedy last year, in Prescott’s Fourth of July parade, the truck donned memorial banners and the names of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots. That, coupled with the truck’s rich past, made it quite the symbol both then and Monday.
“It’s got so much history, because it was in service until the early 80s,” Hinsworth said.
As seen with the truck, which Hinsworth and his club could stand to see go, those in Prescott cherish their past. And when it comes to Yarnell, they’ll always remember through relics like antique ladder trucks.
“We’ll never forget the 19 guys and their families, especially,” he said.
KTAR’s Sandra Haros and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them