By Stina Sieg, KJZZ
Three-and-a-half years after 19 wildland firefighters died protecting Yarnell, a memorial is opening just outside the tiny town. Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park will be unveiled to the firefighters’ families today, and will open to the general public Wednesday.
Arizona’s newest state park isn’t a traditional park, but a hike — to the spot where flames overcame the Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013.
Along the way, visitors will see granite plaques commemorating each firefighter, as well as interpretive signs describing the events of that day. The hike is about seven miles round trip, with around 1,200 feet of elevation gain, so it’s hard. And that’s by design, park spokesman Glenn Schlottman said.
Schlottman said the park is meant to give people some of the experience a firefighter would have on the rough terrain. Because of a small parking lot, the park will be running shuttles from Yarnell to the trailhead through the weekend.