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Prescott holds vigil for hotshot crew lost to Yarnell Fire

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- The city of Prescott came together Tuesday night to hold a vigil at Prescott High School to pay their respects to the 19 firefighters who died in action earlier in the week.

Approximately 5,000 people attended and sat in the stands at the football field. Many of the firefighters who died went to the school.

The names of the firefighters were read at sunset and after each name the crowd cheered. Nineteen purple balloons were released to honor the firefighters.

Fred Nelson found words hard to come by.

"My heart is just breaking. We cannot do enough for these families," he said.

Phil Whitehead echoed that sentiment.

"I was in law enforcement and military service and we're all brothers. You stand up for each other."

The families of the fallen firefighters attended the ceremony, as did Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew.


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

About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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