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Jul 7, 2013 12:14 AM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Colorado firefighters honor Arizona victims on anniversary of Storm King Mountain tragedy

On July 6, 1994, 14 firefighters died battling the South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain near Glenwood Springs, on the 19-year anniversary of the tragedy firefighters hiked the memorial trail on the mountain to honor their comrades and the 19 firefighters killed recently while fighting a wildfire in Arizona.

The group that walked the memorial trail on Saturday was made up of firefighters from across the Western Slope of Colorado. The trail was built to mirror the path the 14 firefighters took in 1994, it winds over the steep and rugged terrain that trapped them when a spot fire blew up below them.

"I wouldn't want to fight a fire up here," said Pete Bradshaw, one of the hikers.

With the loss of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, AZ, who were killed battling the Yarnell Hill Fire this week they unfortunately hiked to honor more fallen friends.

"I think that's part of the reason there's such a big group here today, is that we remember those 19 as well," Bradshaw said.

At the top of the memorial trail there stands a fire damaged tree covered in hats, t-shirts and other tokens left by hikers to honor the 14 firefighters killed on Storm King Mountain. The group of hikers left their own memorials and gathered in remembrance of those lost nearly 20-years ago and those who fell so recently.

"Remembering the common goals, the comraderie that took place on this mountain 19-years ago and also in Arizona," Bradshaw explained.

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