Granite Mountain Hot Shots Crew Fought Many Wildfires

Members of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots crew are no strangers to media coverage for their efforts in battling wildfires.

Nineteen members of the crew were killed in a raging wildfire Sunday night near Yarnell.

The Daily Courier did a feature on the crew as they battled the Doce fire, which broke out near northwest of Prescott on June 16.

Prescott Fire Spokesman Wade Ward said the crew worked to "create a greater portion of control to the most active side of the fire."

The team just returned from a wildfire in New Mexico when this fire was reported. The team jumped into action to help contain the fire, reporters noted.

"They have to be ready to leave for an assignment on two hours' notice, which sometimes means missing family events," Ward said just last week. "They have to be prepared to be on that assignment for 21 days, get two days rest at home, and possibly be sent out on another 21-day assignment."

In April 2012, Arizona State University's Cronkite News did an in-depth feature on the crew. The news agency tagged along with the team -- including four new and 18 seasoned members -- as they conducted annual training.

The day included a video on emergency shelters deployments and how to survive being overrun by fire. The video the team watched included interviews with survivors of the 1990 Dude Fire, where six firefighters were killed.

“If we’re not actually doing it, we’re thinking and planning about it,” said Granite Mountain Hotshots Superintent Eric Marsh.

Squad leader Daniel McCarty told the news service “When we get out there, it’s a completely different ballgame...It’s the real deal. We have to look out for each other.”

The team includes full-time and seasonal firefighters who have worked on the front lines of fires across the United States.

“I couldn’t work inside, I don’t think,” said Brady Higgs, who was in his second year with the crew. “I enjoy the work, I enjoy getting to go outside and see the country.”

 

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