Arizona honors fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 01:31:34-04

Flags across Arizona are flying at half-staff in honor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Thursday marks three years since 19 members of the elite firefighting team were killed battling one of the state's most devastating wildfires. Winds shifted and trapped them in a brush-choked canyon.

The flames not only trapped the firefighters but destroyed 127 homes in the Yarnell

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at all state buildings to be lowered from sunrise to sunset Thursday. He called the hotshots heroes, saying they made the ultimate sacrifice to protect a community and keep its residents out of harm's way.

The community of Yarnell held a memorial Thursday afternoon, and a moment of silence was held at 4:42 p.m. in Prescott, following 19 tolls of the courthouse bell.

Firefighter Javen Lambertson from Mohave County attended the memorial to pay his respects.

"We all do the same thing, and this doesn't make me want to leave the fire service, it makes me want to push harder and do what I can do," Lambertson said. "I was told it was a dangerous job, and I want to help out, even if it's with structure or forest, either way I want to be there to help, it's always been my dream."