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Sat, July 04

Arizona flags to fly at half-staff for fallen firefighters

This April 29, 2017 file photo shows the site where 19 firefighters, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, died while fighting one of the deadliest wildfires in the state, at the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park in Yarnell, Arizona. June 30, 2019, marks seven years since the firefighters died, overrun by flames in a brush-choked canyon. The loss of nearly the entire Granite Mountain Hotshot crew reverberated across the country. (AP Photo/Paul Davenport, File)

This April 29, 2017 file photo shows the site where 19 firefighters, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, died while fighting one of the deadliest wildfires in the state, at the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park in Yarnell, Arizona. June 30, 2019, marks seven years since the firefighters died, overrun by flames in a brush-choked canyon. The loss of nearly the entire Granite Mountain Hotshot crew reverberated across the country. (AP Photo/Paul Davenport, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags lowered at all state buildings Tuesday to honor the elite firefighters from Prescott who died in 2013 while battling a wildfire northwest of Phoenix.

The 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were overcome after a change in wind direction pushed the flames back toward their position in the small community of Yarnell.

Ducey called it one of the most tragic days in state history.

"The brave Yarnell 19 had their whole lives ahead of them," Ducey said. "They had families, loved ones and friends who cared deeply about them. They knew the dangers of their job, but they did it anyway, with courage and an abiding sense of duty and commitment to our communities."

Ducey offered his prayers to the families of the firefighters and said the crew's sacrifices will be forever remembered and honored.

Yarnell is hosting a virtual remembrance for the firefighters Tuesday evening.

In Prescott, the courthouse bell will ring 19 times starting at 4:42 p.m. to mark the time of their deaths.

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