Granite Mountain Hotshots honored in memorial, Arizona Brewing Company beer

19 of the hotshots lost their lives in the fire 9 years ago when a dry lightning strike sparked the fire, causing a spread of heat and flames.
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:27 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Dozens of people came out on Thursday to honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of firefighters who died defending the town of Yarnell against Arizona’s deadliest wildfire on June 30, 2013.

Nineteen of the hotshots lost their lives in the fire nine years ago that had started two days before when a lightning strike sparked the fire. The only survivor of the fire was the lookout. The wildfire ultimately burned 8,400 acres and more than 100 homes. One of the grandmothers of the hotshots who attended the memorial at Yarnell Hill said that her loss doesn’t get easier with time.

“It’s not as raw, but you don’t ever get over it,” said Marcie Theokas, Garrett Zuppiger’s grandmother. “It gave him a chance to give back to the community, and he just loved that.” Other community members in attendance said that while the rebuilding process was long, they are finally in a better place.

Arizona’s Brewing Company is honoring the Yarnell 19 with a Smoked Apple Gose beer. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Eric Marsh Foundation, a non-profit in Prescott that helps support wildland firefighters and their families, and sponsorships for those looking to attend wildland fire academies to make a difference. The beer is smoked at Joe’s BBQ in Gilbert and made with apples grown in the state.