Arizona Station Company #7 (HotShots) R.I.P.
As the windblown blaze suddenly swept toward them, an elite crew of firefighting “Hotshots” desperately rushed to break out their emergency shelters and take cover on the ground under the heat-resistant fabric.
The tragedy Sunday evening all but wiped out the 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots, a unit based in the town of Prescott, Fire Station #7, Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said as the last of the bodies were retrieved from the mountain. Only one member survived, and that was because he was moving the unit’s truck at the time, authorities said.
The deaths plunged the town into mourning, and Arizona’s governor called it “as dark a day as I can remember” and ordered flags flown at half-staff.
“We are heartbroken about what happened,” President Barack Obama said while on a visit to Africa. He predicted the tragedy will force government leaders to answer broader questions about how they handle increasingly destructive and deadly wildfires.