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Prescott AZ Prepares Final Farewell for 19 Firefighters

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According to, the remains of the 19 fallen crew members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots will be escorted with full Honor Guard from Phoenix to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner's Office in Prescott on Sunday. The procession is planned to begin at 10 am, and the fallen firefighters will be transported by 19 hearses, each accompanied by motorcycle escorts.

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A memorial Service will be held Tuesday, July 9, at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, AZ with seating for 6,000 attendees, and overflow outside with audio and video feeds. There have been indications that President Obama may attend.

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The memorial wall in front of the Hotshots building on 6th Street continues to grow.

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Prescott College provided fabric and drawing materials for a "Compassion in Action: Prayer Flag Project":

"Prayer flags are a custom that started in Tibet over 2000 years ago Traditional prayer flags display prayers, blessings, mantras and powerful symbols. This project is inspired  by the power, grce and simplicity of prayer flags. We invite you to create an intention, a wish, a message of healing and unity, in words or images of your choosing. Our messages are carried by the wind, spreading healing intentions to all beings the wind touches. Each flag will be your unique contribution to the collective healing of Prescott."

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The Incident Information System of the Arizona State Forestry Division (Inciweb) notes in its July 4 update that 8400 acres have been affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire so far, and it is now 45% contained. 596 personell (including 8 crews and 44 engines), and nine helicopters are assigned to the incident. The estimated containment date is Friday July 12th, 2013.

Inciweb also stated, "An operational pause was held in conjunction with the Granite Mountain crew carriers being removed from the fire ground. Prescott Fire, Prescott Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC), and Ironwood IHC escorted the group from the Yarnell Hill Fire to the City of Prescott."

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The Doce Fire, just over 6,700 acres, is now 96% contained, with an estimated cost to date of over 7 million dollars. The blaze started on June 18, and the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew participated in it before fighting the Yarnell Hills Fire. 

The Arizona State Forestry Division's update stated that the Yarnell Hill Investigation Team was briefed and visited the site of the fatalities on Tuesday. "The Investigation Team consists of 8--10 investigators from around the country with expertise in several relevant aspects of fire behavior and suppression strategies and tactics.  Their responsibility is to understand what happened as completely as possible and to find lessons to be learned. The team will provide periodic updates but a final report will not be available for some time.  The Arizona Division of Forestry is coordinating the investigation."

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So far, over $800,000 in donations to the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots have been raised. said that this will be divided up among the 19 families, but one hopes that the 20th member of the Hotshots, who survived, will get needed support as well.

How to make a donation:

The Prescott Firefighter's Charities is operated by Prescott firefighters, who note that 100% of any and all donations will go to the families of the fallen firefighters, excepting Paypal's 2.3% processing fee.

The website of the 100 Club lists ways to donate to the 100 Club Survivors Fund including Paypal, deposits in Credit Union West Banks (account #121734-12 Granite Mountain Hotshots Charity Fund), or by mail to the 100 Club of Arizona, 5033 North 19th Avenue, Suite 123, Phoenix, AZ. 85015.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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