American flag greets fallen Prescott fire crew

Jul 1, 2013, 12:39 PM | Updated: Jul 2, 2013, 7:23 pm

PHOENIX — A large American flag was hung near the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday to honor the bodies of 19 firefighters who perished while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott, Ariz.

The flag, measuring 20 feet by 30 feet, was suspended from the ladders of two fire trucks.

Forestry spokesman Art Morrison said the Prescott-based hotshot crew, who has not been identified, was caught by the fire near the central Arizona town about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

The bodies were recovered Monday and brought to the Valley in six white vans. Some closures were in place as a result of the procession.

“We have 19 young men that lost their lives yesterday afternoon,” said Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall at a press conference. “We’re here to honor them but even as much we’re here to honor the families of those 19 individuals that have years of their lives left.”

The Yarnell Hill Fire has burned more than 8,300 acres and estimates said 200 homes were destroyed.

The fire was sparked on Friday by a lightning strike.

KTAR’s Christina Estes contributed to this report.

For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to

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American flag greets fallen Prescott fire crew