Prescott remembrance event commemorates 10th anniversary of Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy

Jun 30, 2023, 6:36 PM | Updated: 6:41 pm

PHOENIX — Governor Katie Hobbs proclaimed June 30 as Granite Mountain Hotshots Day during her speech at the public memorial in honor of the 19 elite firefighters who lost their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire 10 years ago.

She was far from the only speaker at Prescott’s 10-year anniversary memorial ceremony on Friday afternoon. The event took place at 3 p.m. near the Yavapai County Courthouse.

“My fervent hope is that we truly never forget,” Prescott Mayor Phil Goode said when he took the podium. “We prepare for the next challenge and maintain that special sense of community support that we all can take so much pride in.”

The event started with 19 ringing bells, each to honor the men who died while trying to take down the deadliest fire in Arizona history.

Earlier in the day, a new mural on the Prescott Chamber of Commerce building depicting the fallen firefighters was officially unveiled.

The men were elite members of the Prescott Fire Department. While they were battling the flames near Yarnell, a tiny community around 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, thunderstorms shifted the winds and whipped up the flames. The blaze trapped the Hotshots in a canyon.

“We owe so much to these 19 men for protecting our community from danger,” Hobbs said at the event.

Firefighting has changed since their sacrifices. Other things never change, like a son’s love for his lost father.

Ryder Ashcraft, the son of fallen firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, was the featured speaker for the afternoon.

“May we honor our fallen by standing taller and by sharing their messages,” he said. “Never forget the souls and symbols that made the Granite Mountain Hotshots who they were. They left a powerful legacy, a mission with a momentum that even death can’t defeat.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Colton Krolak and Jeremy Schnell contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News


David Veenstra

Arizona gets $10.3M in federal funding to restore ecosystem

The U.S. Department of the Interior is investing $10.3 million to restore Arizona's lands and waters this year.

2 hours ago

(City of Glendale Photo)...

Police search for suspect after 2 people were shot in Glendale

Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly shot two people in Glendale early Saturday.

4 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Scottsdale Police Department)...

4 people stabbed during early-morning melee at Scottsdale bar

A suspect is in custody after four people were stabbed early Saturday during a violent altercation at a bar in Scottsdale.

6 hours ago

Paella featuring lobster tail, jumbo prawns, diver scallops, mussels, chorizo, arborio rice, Englis...

David Veenstra

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale opens new restaurant Faro & Brag

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa opened its new restaurant, "Faro & Brag," in Scottsdale featuring modern cuisine and outdoor seating.

7 hours ago

View of midtown Phoenix. (Phoenix Business Journal Photo)...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Phoenix seeks applicants to turn vacant land into mixed-use development

The city of Phoenix is seeking developers for several infill parcels it owns for new housing and commercial projects.

8 hours ago

Velvet Road is one of the four performances as part of Peoria's Music in March concert series. (Peo...

Arin Ducharme

Music in March concerts return to Peoria every Sunday

Music in March at Paloma Community Park returns to Peoria. The concerts will take place at Paloma Community Park near Lake Pleasant Parkway.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Prescott remembrance event commemorates 10th anniversary of Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy