Memorial Events For The 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots

Memorial Events For The 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots

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Memorial Events For The 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots

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Andrew Ashcraft, 29.

Robert Caldwell, 23.

Travis Carter, 31.

Dustin Deford, 24.

Christopher MacKenzie, 30.

Eric Marsh, 43.

Grant McKee, 21.

Sean Misner, 26.

Scott Norris, 28.

Wade Parker, 22.

John Percin, 24.

Anthony Rose, 23.

Jesse Steed, 36.

Joe Thurston, 32.

Travis Turbyfill, 27.

William Warneke, 25.

Clayton Whitted, 28.

Kevin Woyjeck, 21.

Garret Zuppiger, 27.

8 years ago 19 Wildland Firefighters took to their personal emergency fire shelters in a final and futile effort to escape the rapidly approaching Yarnell Hill Wildfire. Unwilling to fault the machismo ‘get the job done’ cultural mentality that many industries depend on to exploit young physically prime laborers, the final investigation concluded that a failure of communication equipment was to blame for the tragedy. I’m sorry, but if I got buried and died in an avalanche after missing a radio call warning me of dangerous changing conditions, there isn’t an avalanche center in the nation that would tribute my death to a failure of communication equipment. This isn’t calling out the crew, they were doing their job the way they knew it, and they are hero’s through and through. I’m just saying it’s cool how we can debate the ethics of sponsors like Red Bull pressuring extreme athletes to push the limits but where’s the conversation about how general competitive dynamics influence poor decisions within the critical emergency services sector?

In addition to claiming the lives of 19 of the 20 Granit Mountain Hotshot crew, the Yarnell Hill fire destroyed 127 homes, making it the most deadly wildfire in 80 years (at the time, recent wildfires have broken that record).

Although the tragedy was almost a decade ago, it still feels fresh for the Prescott and Northern Arizona communities. An article originally published in the Arizona Republic describes the memorial events that took place June 30th in Prescott. In addition to the events, a stretch of the Arizona Highway 89 is being renamed “Granit Mountain Hotshot Memorial Highway.”

Unofficial Networks thanks all Wildland Firefighters for your incredible strength and courage to do the job you do. May the Granit Mountain 19 Rest In Peace, you are gone but not forgotten.

 

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