The Yarnell Hill Fire started with a lightning strike on June 28, 2013. On June 30, it took the lives of 19 Hotshot Firefighters and destroyed 127 homes, almost a quarter of the residences in the unincorporated community of Yarnell.
An eight-day evacuation period kept residents of Yarnell and Peeples Valley away from their homes, belongings, memories and friends. Our lives-and our community-have been changed forever. We have made great strides-and we are still fragile. Healing is a slow, uneven process, different for each of us.
We well up at unexpected moments and are proud of our new homes. Guilt and hope, frustration and joy, anger and gratitude: our lives are an emotional stew. Our infrastructure-fire, school and water-have been severely impacted by the loss of property taxes and physical damage to the water delivery system. We are resilient-and vulnerable. We are proud of our accomplishments-and we still need help.
On behalf of all of the residents in Yarnell, Glen Ilah and Peeples Valley, the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group, Inc., sends a heartfelt THANK YOU for the innumerable volunteer hours, prayers, and thoughts. We are especially grateful for the countless donations, big and small, cash and in-kind, that have made the recovery possible.
We feel the best way to honor the memory of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew is to build a vibrant, closely-knit, sustainable community. Please join us in our transformation from tragedy to recovery-and to renewal.