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Yarnell residents propose shuttle service for Granite Mountain Hotshot memorial park

Hikers read a plaque along a trail after a dedication ceremony for the new Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park as a tribute to the 19 firefighters killed during a 2013 wildfire Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in Yarnell, Ariz. Gov. Doug Ducey said the 3-mile trail and memorial would serve as a lasting tribute to the fallen firefighters' heroism. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

YARNELL, Ariz. — Arizona residents want to see a shuttle service come to a state park with an overfilled parking lot.

A group of Yarnell residents presented their idea for the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park to the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization last week, The Daily Courier reported.

The proposed shuttle would drive visitors from an overflow lot in Yarnell to the state park.

The park honors the 19 Hotshot firefighters who died while putting out the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013. It opened November 2016 and has had more than 10,500 visitors.

People have to compete for one of the 17 parking spaces at the park daily and according Arizona State Parks Chief of Marketing Glenn Schlottman the lot is full seven days a week.

This leaves many interested visitors frustrated.

The residents see the shuttle as an opportunity to drive some business into Yarnell while also solving the traffic problem. The group is looking for grants to fund the shuttle, said Yarnell Hill Recovery Group Communication Director Francis Lechner.

“The best way to honor the sacrifice made by the Hotshots is to make Yarnell the most wonderful, thriving community as possible,” she said.

The planning board and Arizona state officials have extended their support to the group.

Board Chairman Craig Brown has suggested the organization help the group as its technical adviser. Board Administrator Chris Bridges believes the organization may have about $15,000 to put into the initial required study.

Arizona State Parks has offered to install signs in Yarnell in the future to alert visitors of the new shuttle service.

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