At mid-afternoon June 30, 2013 early monsoon storms were brewing over the Bradshaw Mountains south of Prescott, Arizona. Four days prior, a minor brush fire had been sparked by a lightning strike near the small town of Yarnell. Little did anyone suspect the mergence of these two events would create a huge fire which would at 4:42 pm take the lives of 19 Prescott firefighters. News of the tragedy spread throughout the Prescott community and soon throughout the world. A spontaneous outpouring of emotion began late in the evening June 30 with the intertwining of 19 red roses on the chain link fence surrounding Fire Station 7, home of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. A retired firefighter added a large American flag before dawn on July 1. As the sun illuminated the fence, a makeshift memorial began to emerge as the Prescott community expressed their sorrow and gratitude at the loss of these brave men.
Additional remembrances continued to appear on the tribute fence for the next 72 days. Despite monsoon rains and summer heat, these tributes were viewed by thousands and regarded as personal testimony to these 19 men.
As summer ended, two Prescott citizens approached the Prescott Fire Department with a plan to preserve these thousands of personal expressions. They subsequently organized a cadre of volunteers and structured a removal and preservation plan to assist the Prescott Fire Department in recognizing the community appreciation for the 19 lost lives. A massive groundswell of volunteers from within the Prescott community worked tirelessly to preserve the more than 9,000 emotionally-laden items so that others could realize the impact the tragedy had on our community and beyond. The items shown here are representations of the thousands of items left at the fence.
This site is available to the public due to the efforts of Tribute Fence Preservation Project volunteers and particularly the directors of the project: Dottie Morris and Jan Monroe. The City of Prescott is indebted to the service of these dedicated volunteers.
The Tribute Fence Preservation Project honors the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew:
Lone survivor: Brendan McDonough, 21
Click on one of the links below to view specific material: