State, fire crews battling Bighorn Fire honor Granite Mountain Hotshots

State, fire crews battling Bighorn Fire honor Granite Mountain Hotshots
Granite Mountain Hotshots

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The crews battling the Bighorn Fire near Tucson will pause their efforts briefly on Tuesday, June 30, to commemorate 19 wildland firefighters who were killed during a fire seven years ago.

The crews will observe a moment of silence at 4:42 p.m., marking the time of day the Granite Mountain Hotshots died while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire, northwest of Phoenix.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the state’s flags flown at half-staff in honor of those who lost their lives on this day in 2013.

The hotshots were overcome after a change in wind direction pushed the flames back toward their position.

Ducey called it one of the most tragic days in state history.

“The brave Yarnell 19 had their whole lives ahead of them,” Ducey said. “They had families, loved ones and friends who cared deeply about them. They knew the dangers of their job, but they did it anyway, with courage and an abiding sense of duty and commitment to our communities.”

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.