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July 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – ECM has received an eyewitness account  from a former East County resident, Pamela Lopez-Davies, of the early hours of the Doce Fire, which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters in Yarnell, Arizona, including 18 from the Granite Mountain Fire Department’s hotshot team.  The fire began on June 18 and as of today has scorched 8,277 acres. The blaze is 80% contained.

 “While driving to Chino Valley, AZ at about 11:30 am on Tuesday June 18, I noticed a small plume of smoke in the vicinity of Granite Mountain,” said Lopez-Davies, who snapped these photos near her home in Prescott, Arizona.

Two hours later, she reported, “the air was smoky, windy, and ash-filled.   The “Doce Fire” grew from 200 to 5000 acres in a few short hours.” 

Lopez-Davies , who sent this information before the tragic loss of life occurred, gave a poignant description of the landscape lost. 

“Granite Mountain is a prominent feature in the Prescott landscape – a favorite hiking spot with a number of trails, a spectacular view from the top of the surrounding countryside, and dotted with rocks and vegetation, including pine trees.  To the north of the mountain lie the communities of Williamson Valley, American Ranch, and Mint Creek Ranch, where many large horse ranches thrive.”

She added, “Those who live in the shadow of Granite Mountain consider themselves very lucky; now they fear for the safety of their properties and animals.   Most of the horses have been evacuated to the Rodeo Grounds near downtown Prescott, and the people to reside with family or friends until they can return.”

 For an update on the Doce and other Arizona Fires, as well as a link for official donations to help the families of firefighters who lost their lives in this blaze, see:



Doce and Yarnell Fires

I want to emphasize that the Doce and Yarnell Fires were two different fires, about 40 miles apart.  In my article, I was talking specifically about the Doce Fire in Prescott, AZ, which was confined to Granite Mountain.

The Yarnell Hill Fire, which tragically took the lives of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, had not yet started when I wrote and submitted my article and photos.  Those brave men successfully battled the Doce Fire and another in New Mexico before being sent to Yarnell, about 35 miles southwest of Prescott.


Pamela Lopez-Davies


Facts Facts Facts

The fire fighters were killed at the Yarnell Hill Fire, not the Doce Fire.

They were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a Type 1 interagency hand crew from the Prescott City Fire Department.

There is no Granite Mountain Fire Department.

Granite Mountain is a landmark near Prescott, AZ in the Prescott National Forest.

All of this is easily checked on your favorite search engine

Thank you

Thank you for helping to clarify the events.