The park will be closed on Wednesday, November 30 due to construction projects. Highway 89 northbound and southbound may have delays of up to 20 minutes for helicopter presence in Yarnell.
June 28, 2013:
A lightning strike in the Weaver Mountains at approximately 5:36 p.m. starts The Yarnell Hill Fire.
June 29, 2013:
The Granite Mountain Hotshots are assigned to work the fire.
June 30, 2013:
Firefighters were forced to disengage from their position in Yarnell in front of a fast moving fire at 4:22 p.m. At approximately the same time, the fire reached the eastern edge of the canyon that the Hotshots were crossing.
At 4:41 p.m., the final communication came from the Granite Mountain Hotshots indicating that they were in trouble.
At 6:35 p.m., Arizona DPS helicopter medics confirmed that all 19 Hotshots were deceased.
February 11, 2014:
House Bill 2624 is introduced into the Arizona House of Representatives. The bill requires that the Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board is formed to purchase the land on the site of the fire and discuss plans to develop a memorial park. The Board will include family and community members, fire professionals and officials from state and local government. Together, they will work to create plans for the creation of Arizona's first memorial state park, to serve as a lasting tribute to the memory of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots we lost.
April 30, 2014:
Governor Jan Brewer signs HB 2624 into law.
November 24, 2014:
The first meeting of the Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board is held is Prescott, Arizona. Board members begin discussions to purchase the land to create a memorial park on the site.
January 6, 2015:
The Board meets to create four sub-committees: access, design, fundraising and maintenance and preservation. Committees include family members, local and state representatives, fire professionals and Arizona State Parks staff. Work begins to secure access to the site.
February 27, 2015:
The Board meets to discuss progress of the access and design sub-committee's work. Plans to purchase a 240-acre parcel of land to create the park are discussed.
April 10, 2015:
The Board meets and decides to purchase 320-acres of land to establish the park, which will provide access from nearby the White Spar Highway (89) in Yarnell. A hike and survey of the area and a proposed trail are discussed. A survey hike is planned for May.
May 13, 2015:
Members of the design sub-committee meet at the site of the future trailhead to determine where a trail can be created to access the Fatality Site.
May 29, 2015:
The Board meets to review the design committee site visit and discusses additional plans for the access and design sub-committees to develop final plans.
June 30, 2015:
Arizona State Parks purchases the 320-acre plot of land, west of Yarnell, the site of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.
The park is officially named "Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park" and will be Arizona's first memorial state park.
July 31, 2015:
The Board meets to review the submitted design plans and discusses the various elements of the park, including the trail, interpretive signs, Observation Deck and gabion baskets that will encircle and protect the Fatality Site.
September 18, 2015:
The Board meets to Discuss next steps and agrees to extend the trail from the Observation Deck down to the Fatality Site. Details of the materials that will be used to construct the gabions and how to protect the site are reviewed. Plans are submitted by the design sub-committee on the desired layout of the structures.
October 23, 2015:
The Board met to review final plans for the Fatality Site, discussing access to the site and work completed to protect the area.
January 27, 2016:
Workers from the American Conservation Experience (ACE) began work to create the 2.2 mile main trail that will lead to the Observation Deck at the summit, overlooking the Fatality Site.
March 14, 2016:
Work began on a 15-spot parking lot off Highway 89, where park visitors will start their 2.2 mile hike to the Observation Deck at the summit, overlooking the Fatality Site.
April 20, 2016:
Workers from Arizona State Parks began the work of protecting and preserving the Fatality Site. An area is cleared around the memorial markers where the 19 steel gabion baskets will be installed to encircle the site. A circular trail is also prepared to provide access to visitors around the baskets and the memorial benches.
May 2, 2016:
Arizona State Parks staff deliver the 19 steel gabion baskets to the Fatality Site for installation for ACI staff. The baskets were created by KGB Metal works in Tempe, Ariz. and all labor was donated. The baskets were arranged in a circle around the memorial markers to protect and preserve the area for future visitors. Each gabion basket was filled with rocks from the surrounding area.
May 18, 2016:
Arizona State Parks staff complete the path surrounding the gabions and prepare it.
May 22, 2016:
Work progresses on the parking lot and Arizona State Parks staff check on the progress of the Hotshots Trail. Locations for the 19 granite memorial plaques are also identified along the trail to be set into boulders alongside the Hotshots Trail.
June 7, 2016:
Final day of work on the Hotshots Trail for the ACE trail crew.
June 17, 2016:
Arizona State Parks staff installs chains to connect each gabion basket, a symbol of the connection and teamwork of the Hotshots. Four memorial benches are also installed around the Fatality Site path.
June 22, 2016:
The Board met to receive a $229,000 donation from Arizona Public Service Foundation to assist with completing development at the park to allow it to open to the public. Those present included Yarnell Hill Memorial Site Board & sub-committees, Arizona State Parks Foundation members, APS and APS Foundation staff and the media.
August 22, 2016:
Arizona State Parks staff and design sub-committee members hike the finished Hotshots Trail to determine final placement of benches and interpretive signs.
October 4, 2016:
A crew from Prescott's Guidance Aviation prepares to deliver benches, signs, the Observation Deck and supplies along the trail.
October 7, 2016:
Arizona State Parks staff inspects final installation of interpretive signs and benches along the trail.
October 19, 2016:
A final Board meeting was held to discuss the plans of the dedication ceremony and opening of the park to the public on November 30.
November 1, 2016:
The dedication ceremony team meets at Arizona State Parks & Trails Central Offices to continue work on planning the event. The group includes members of parks, fire, forestry, ADOT, DPS and other state agencies.
November 7, 2016:
Dedication committee members review plans and final interpretive signs for the park.
November 10, 2016:
Crews install final parking lot signage, benches and the master sign at the park entrance. The dedication committee meets to review plans at the parking lot and preparation for the installation of 19 granite memorial plaques is completed. Granite material to cover the master sign was donated by Tucson's AE Recycled Granite, who created a special "Hotshots Blend" in honor of the crew.
November 17, 2016:
Granite memorial plaques are installed along with Interpretive signage along the Hotshots Trail.
November 23, 2016:
The park's master sign is completed that drives along the White Spar Highway (89) will see when entering the parking area.
November 29, 2016:
Park dedication ceremony is held, led by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Senator Steve Pierce, Senator Karen Fann, Arizona State Parks & Trails Executive Director Sue Black, former Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo & APS CEO Don Brandt. Hundreds of local and state agency representatives, firefighters, Hotshots family members, Yarnell Hill Site Board members and the media are in attendance.
November 30, 2016:
Park opened to the public. Hiking is available on the 3.5-mile Hotshot & Journey Trails from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.
IN THE NEWS
FACEBOOK - "RETURNING THE FAVOR" WITH MIKE ROWE - July 1, 2018
ABC 15 NEWS STORY - October 9, 2017
WATCH THE NBC NIGHTLY NEWS SEGMENT - June 6, 2017
Memorial Site Board Members
Sue Black - Executive Director of Arizona State Parks (Chairman)
Senator Steve Pierce - (R) AZ
Representative Karen Fann - (R) AZ
John Flynn - Public Safety non-profit representative
Chief Dan Fraijo - Public Firefighters representative
Jeff Whitney - State Forester
Mayor Marlin Kuykendall - Prescott
Amanda Marsh - Wife of fallen Hotshot Eric Marsh
Brendan McDonough - Surviving Hotshot crew member
Lenora Nelson - Yavapai County Resident
Chief Ben Palm - Yarnell Fire District
Supervisor Rowle Simmons - Yavapai County Resident
Chuck Tidey - Yarnell Chamber of Commerce
Chief Darrell Willis - Prescott Fire Department
Arizona State Parks would like to sincerely thank all members of the Board, sub-committees, community and especially the families of the Hotshots for their cooperation, patience and assistance in creating a place to honor and remember the Hotshots.