- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - 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 area.

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 scheduled a memorial Thursday afternoon, and a moment of silence was planned for 4:42 p.m. in Prescott, following 19 tolls of the courthouse bell.

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