The Yarnell Hill Recovery Group formed in order to coordinate recovery efforts after the Yarnell Hill Fire of June 2013. Its mission was to identify the unmet needs of the residents and businesses in the Yarnell Hill Fire area and to identify ways to meet those needs.
Five years later, in July of 2018, most of the funds have been disbursed to residents who lost their homes and local infrastructure. The remaining funds are designated for the Memorial Park. The YHRG changed its focus. Under the DBA Yarnell Area Resource Group (YARG) its mission is now “Collaborating for sustainable communities in the Weaver Mountains.” This will include:
- retaining and expanding relationships with individuals and organizations in the Weaver Mountains area and Yavapai County, and State Wide Organizations.
- offering a 501c3 umbrella for organizations and projects that warrant such provision and which align with the mission.
- collaborating to organize events, offer suggestions and resources based on our experience that can benefit other local organizations.
The YARG will also oversee the completion of the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park, located at 22556 State Route 89.
The Upper Restroom is now open for business!
Granite Mountain Hotshots Centerpiece Takes the Stage at Yarnell Park
Unveiling event: Saturday, November 16, 2019 – 2 pm
22556 State Route 89
The iconic image of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in a human pyramid formation has been planned for years as the centerpiece of the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park in downtown Yarnell. The image has been transformed into a 9’ etched steel image, and will form the backdrop for a flagstone performance area in the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park. The structure will be unveiled at a special event at the Park at on Saturday, November 16, at 2:00 pm. The photo of the hotshots has been modified, with family permission, to include three members of the crew who were not actually present for the photo. PMA Industries, Inc., E2 Innovations and Sabatina and Davis, all Valley firms, collaborated to bring the image to a whole new level of honoring the Hotshots. A generous donation by a Peeples Valley couple made the construction of the centerpiece possible.
The Unveiling Event will include performances by local musicians, brief comments by Board Members of the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group (now dba Yarnell Area Resource Group) which owns the Park, and special acknowledgements of the donors of funds, services and building materials for the Centerpiece, and other elements of the Park.
Visitors have been able to use the Park’s public restroom since May of this year; the design for the two-story facility was provided by faculty and staff of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and revised with community input over a four month period in 2015. The Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park offers a more accessible way for visitors and family members to pay tribute to the Hotshots. Future signage will enable visitors to learn about the 2013 Fire, the evacuation and recovery process, as well as firewise education. Construction on the park continues as funding – all by donations – allows.
The 6th Annual Memorial Service for the Yarnell Hill Fire was held June 30, 2019 at the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park.
Lew Theokas welcomed the attendees and Pastor Shawn Clark gave the invocation. The Guest Speaker was Augie Perry, owner of Augie’s Restaurant in Prescott, a long time supporter of Yarnell’s Restoration and the Memorial Run. Gale Henry did a lovely rendition of “Blazing Honor”. After brief comments from the fire chiefs from Yarnell and Peeples Valley, Bob Broscheid, director of Arizona State Parks and Trails, spoke about the events of that day and the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park. Jack Rauh gave an update on the Memorial Park. Cheryl Shearer and David Zambrano performed “Restoration”. The final presentation was Lew and Marcie Theokas reading the names of the Hotshots with the bell ringing for each of them, followed by a moment of silence.