Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park®
On June 28, 2013, a lightning strike ignited a small fire in a boulder field about two miles west of the small, unincorporated community of Yarnell.
One of several small fires resulting from an early-summer storm, the Yarnell Hill Fire became the deadliest wildfire in Arizona history. It destroyed 8,400 acres, took the lives of 19 elite firefighters and destroyed 134 homes, most of them in Yarnell, which lost roughly a quarter of its homes.
The small park in central Yarnell commemorates four key aspects of the tragic wildfire of June 2013. The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew who died fighting the fire will be the centerpiece of the park; a story wall and other landscape vignettes will describe the evacuation experience and honor the residents who lost their homes and belongings. The park will also acknowledge all the first responders who helped to fight the Yarnell Hill Fire
The Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park®, purchased in 2013, is owned by the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group, Inc., a 501c3 organization. This all-volunteer group, formed while residents were still evacuated, has spearheaded and coordinated the recovery efforts in the wake of the fire. Only funds designated specifically for the park are used in its construction and maintenance. The vision for the park is for a beautiful, simple, low-maintenance haven that is suitable for quiet reflection, and for public gatherings. It is designed to draw people into Yarnell, to tell the story of the fire, and to encourage visitors to explore our special community. We anticipate that many visitors who cannot handle the physical demands of the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park, located at the south end of Yarnell, will find this an ideal way to learn about the fire and to honor the Hotshots.
Major elements of the Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park®:
- Two story restroom, providing much needed public facilities for Yarnell visitors and tourists. The two stories provide access from both the street level and from within the park
- Privacy wall on the south side of the park (made of Environmentally Friendly Blocks
- A ramp from the street level to the park interior which contains the story wall
- Amphitheater seating which uses the natural slope of the property
- A variety of seating arrangements that offer a feeling of tranquility, privacy, and beauty
- Low maintenance landscaping elements, including a small water feature with minimal exposed water
- A metal engraved version of the front page “pyramid” photo of the hotshots will form the centerpiece of the park
- An observation deck where visitors can view the park, and see a close-up, Photo shopped version of the pyramid
A variety of events, donations and pledges have generated over $100,000 for the park. Items for sale include commemorative bricks ($100, $200 or $300), patches for $10, and prints of an original painting by a local firefighter who fought the Yarnell Hill Fire ($50). Fundraising efforts, for cash and in-kind donations, will determine the pace of the park’s construction.
We have received extraordinary support from near and far for our park:
- Design of the park: Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, supplemented with additional professionals providing architectural design and engineering surveys.
- Excavation for the restroom, septic tank and leach field, amphitheater seating
- Custom made sundial
- Three stone benches
- Grout and adhesive specifically designated for application with the Environmentally Friendly Block
- Bicycle rack
WE WELCOME YOUR SUPPORT OF THE PARK!
Tax deductible donations can be made online, by mail, or by helping with an item listed on our Wish List.
For more information:
Gerald Montgomery, Chair 480-694-9767
Frances Lechner 623-256-5125
Yarnell Hill Fire Memorial Park - P.O. Box 1086
Yarnell, AZ 85362