Boise firefighter statue arrives in Prescott, AZ for memorial service

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- As the nation prepares to honor the 19 Granite Mountain hotshots killed in the Yarnell Hill fire with a memorial service in Prescott, Arizona, the Boise-based Wildland Firefighter Foundation is fulfilling its mission statement.

That mission is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Members of the foundation are picking up family members of the fallen 19 hotshots in a donated jetliner and escorting them to Prescott, home base to the Granite Mountain Hotshots, for the service.

And the foundation sent the familiar Boise airport statue of a wildland firefighter to Prescott as a show of solidarity.

For a decade, the statue's purpose has been to welcome firefighters when they arrive at the Boise Airport.

But now the statue's in Arizona to play a symbolic role in what may be the largest to memorial to wildland firefighters ever.

"We figured what better way to honor these firefighters than to send the statue," said Burk Minor, director of the foundation, in a phone interview from Arizona. "We brought it down yesterday and it's already in place at the Toyota Center here in the Prescott Valley."

Hundreds will pack the auditorium and thousands more will hold vigil outside.

And in the center of it all will be the statue from Boise, standing as a silent tribute to the young men who died.