Fri, Feb. 28

Vice President to attend funeral of 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots

Vice President Joe Biden plans to attend an 11 a.m. Tuesday memorial service for the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire last Sunday.

Multi-agency efforts on the fire battle, the investigation into the firefighter deaths, and Tuesday's memorial for the firefighters combined into one Joint Operations Center at the Prescott High School Friday to better coordinate the efforts.

Many of the country's other 109 elite hotshot crews will be sending representatives to the 11 a.m. Tuesday memorial at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, said memorial spokesman Steven Berube, who works for one of the Southwest Incident Management teams as well as the New York City Fire Department.

Memorial planners are seeking honor guards, pipes & drums, buglers and rifle teams for the memorial as well as subsequent funerals and transport of firefighters' remains to their hometowns through late July.

More than 200 firefighting personnel are in Prescott to help plan for the memorial alone, he said.

"As soon as we heard they needed help, we were right on it," Berube said.

-- Joanna Dodder

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