Prescott community prepares for memorial after emotional week - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Prescott community prepares for memorial after emotional week

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(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
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PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -

As firefighters, first responders and other volunteers set the stage for Tuesday's memorial, people in the community are preparing, too, after a long, emotional week.

Firefighters from all across the country have settled into Prescott Valley, the location of Tuesday's memorial for the 19 Granite Mountain hotshot crew members who lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill Fire more than one week ago.

"There's going to be a larger presence of hotshots in this parking lot tomorrow than even on one of your catastrophic fires across the country," said Burk Minor, the director of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation based in Boise, ID.

They're currently in Prescott to take care of the families and honor their loved ones.

"These families are in awe right now, they don't even know what's going on, there's so much being presented to them," Minor said. "We've had a Boeing 737 donated to us to fly these families around, get the remains home and the families home after this is done."

"Every family, they all have one thing in common but they're all different as well," said Open Door Baptist Church Pastor Tom Petro. "I hope every family comes away strengthened and with hope."

Petro knew 24-year-old Granite Mountain member Dustin DeFord, who was very devout and dedicated to his team. He said they'll host a smaller memorial with the DeFords at their church after the memorial.

"They just want to get together, small group, hug each other, pray together, talk," Petro said.

The city of Prescott will close during the memorial Tuesday, and the town of Prescott Valley will be closed all day in respect.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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