Remembering the Granite Mountain Hotshots: 7th anniversary ceremony to be different this year

  • Source: The Arizona Republic
  • Published: 06/26/2020 12:00 AM

Every year on June 30, the mountain community of Yarnell remembers the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who perished in 2013's Yarnell Hill Fire. Last year, the annual service drew nearly 150 people to a memorial park in the center of town. But this year's 7th anniversary remembrance is taking place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A 15-minute service, filmed in advance at various locations, begins at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. One aspect that remains the same will be the signature reading of the 19 hotshots' names by Lew and Marcie Theokas, grandparents of 27-year-old Garret Zuppiger, who died in the fire. The service's late-afternoon timing coincides with when the fast-moving blaze overran the hotshots at 4:42 p.m. in a nearby box canyon. All but one crew member died in the fire, which at the time was the deadliest U.S. wildfire in 80 years. Nearly 130 homes were destroyed.


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