Jorge Melchor
Verronda Coin, Brison Howard and Garrett Francis watch Vice President Joe Biden speak Tuesday in Prescott, Arizona, during a memorial for 19 Hotshot firefighters who died June 30 after being trapped by a fast moving wildfire.

Video: Arizona's Natives Pay Tribute to Fallen Firefighters Along With Vice President Joe Biden

Jorge Martin Melchor

On Sunday June 30, a wildfire in Arizona trapped a group of Hotshot firefighters, killing 19 men. The tragedy occurred outside Prescott, an Arizona mountain town near Navajo country. Native American groups from across the state felt as if they had lost some of their own and were among the thousands of mourners to attend memorials in the week following the deaths. They expressed their deepest condolences and prayed for the victims and their families. And they urged officials to keep the land where the men died sacred. The firefighters were killed when a monsoon storm suddenly blew in, sending a small, lightning-sparked blaze racing out of control and trapping the men in a small valley.

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City Slicker
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The nearby tribes are Yavapai Tribe who have lands near Prescott, AZ and a little further away is the Yavapai Apache Tribe in Camp Verde, AZ and the Haulapai Nation at Peach Springs, AZ. The Navajo Nation is further away. Several native Interagency Hotshot Crews (IHC) paid tribute by attending the Granite Mountain IHC Memorial Service in Prescott, AZ. Native IHC's attending were Fort Apache IHC, Geronimo IHC, Navajo IHC, and Zuni IHC. The Granite Mountain IHC will never be forgotten.