Yarnell Hill Fire memorial site gets another approval - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

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Yarnell Hill Fire memorial site gets another approval

PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

Another Arizona House committee has approved a $500,000 appropriation to create a state memorial park honoring the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire last summer.

The House appropriations committee approved House Bill 2624 by a vote of 8-1 on Wednesday.

The energy, environment and natural resources committee approved Bill 2624 by Republican Rep. Karen Fann of Prescott on Monday.

The bill allocate $500,000 from the state's general fund to build and maintain the memorial site. It also creates a committee to oversee the memorial and administer the funds. The committee will include relatives of the firefighters killed, as well as state representatives and officials from the state parks board.

Supporters said it's a great way to honor them. while critics argued the money is needed elsewhere.

The bill was sponsored by 63 lawmakers.

A public hearing was held Monday afternoon at the state Capitol by the House Energy and Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots perished June 30 when flames overtook their position in a brush-choked area of southwestern Yavapai County. The one surviving member was on lookout duty elsewhere and out of sight of the others.

Under the bill, the state parks board would acquire the site, while a newly created memorial site board would approve the design and construction of a memorial to be built in the new park.

The bill also would establish a fund of appropriated and donated money for maintaining the memorial.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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