Honoring firefighters, Brewer orders state flags at half-staff until July 19
Honoring the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots killed battling the Yarnell Hill Fire, Gov. Jan Brewer extended Monday an order to fly state flags at half staff until July 19.
Brewer had ordered Arizona state buildings to fly half-staff flags from Monday through Wednesday, but extended that through sunset on July 19, she said in a news release Wednesday.
The firefighters were killed Sunday when they were overrun by flames while fighting the wildfire south of Prescott. The incident is the worst firefighter death toll since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire killed 29 in Los Angeles.
"In light of the devastating circumstances surrounding this tragedy, I have made the decision to extend the length of this tribute to a full 19 days – one for each firefighter lost to the Yarnell Fire," she said.
"As members of the elite Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, they knew well the risk inherent in their jobs, and accepted this burden with honor, selflessness and bravery. The word 'hero' is invoked a lot these days. These men embodied the term, and will forever be remembered as such," Brewer said.
"Let us keep the memories of these men alive in our hearts, and let our prayers be with their families, friends and all of the firefighters who continue their critical work in Arizona and across our country," she said.