19 Firefighters Killed Battling Arizona Wildfire Were Heroes to the End

Heartbreaking 8

wildfire firefightersNot since September 11, 2001 has the American firefighting community gotten news this grave. Nineteen firemen battling a wildfire outside Yarnell, Arizona were killed this weekend. They were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots from Prescott, Arizona, a group of highly specialized firemen specially trained to battle wildfire conditions.

Reports from the scene indicate the firemen were attempting to deploy tents made to protect them from the fire but were unable to do so in time because of the speed of the fast-moving blaze.

The loss to the firefighting community is unspeakable. The loss to America, devastating. The loss to their families ... unimaginable.

As the news sweeps the nation, we're reminded of just what it is that people like the Hotshots do every day.

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They put their lives on the line for others. They run into dangerous situations to protect homes, businesses, lives.

And sometimes, they pay the ultimate price for it

Today the City of Prescott, Arizona faces the loss of 19 members of a 20-person crew, an offshoot of its city fire department. Each member left behind family members, people like Juliann Ashcroft, who will go to bed tonight knowing that her husband, a father to her four children, will never return.

Meanwhile, although the town of Yarnell, Arizona lost 200-some buildings, its 700 residents are all safe, safe because of the Hotshots and the 200-some other firefighters who descended on the area to fight a blaze sparked by lightning late last week.

These firefighters died for that.

They died for something. 

Their sacrifice is heartbreaking. And beautiful. 

Our hearts go out to their families. We hope that today they take comfort in knowing that the firefighters they loved are the truest kind of heroes.

Do you know a firefighter? What do they say makes them run toward danger for the sake of others?


Image via Bureau of Land Management/Flickr

natural disasters, death


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Marcela Blunck Bowidowicz

I really feel for all of the families who lost loved ones, this is an extremely sad and devastating event.

Never... Never.A.Mom

My heart goes out for their families.
May they find comfort at this difficult time.

keelh... keelhaulrose

Thoughts and prayers to their families. Is there a fund to help them out yet? I don't have much, but they can have it.

Taisie Taisie

My husbands cousin was a member of the granite mountain hotshots for the last few years, just not this year, not sure why he chose not to do it this year though? My husbands family is from the Prescott area. So very very sad! Thank you for posting about it Jeanne!

LostS... LostSoul88

group hug

My heart goes to all family and friends of those lost

Andre... Andreamom001

My dad worked for the DNR in Michigan, and one summer he volunteered to go out west and fight wildfires.  My heart goes out to the families and friends of those lost.

Darline Davis

yes i know two they are in my family 


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