WASHINGTON, JUNE 30, 2014 AT 10:00 AM EDT - This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Yarnell Hill fire tragedy in Arizona and the 20 year anniversary of the South Canyon fire tragedy in Colorado. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today offered the following statement in tribute to the fallen:
“This week, a grateful nation mourns the loss of the brave firefighters whose commitment to duty was so deep that they gave their own lives to protect others. We also extend our profound sympathies to the families of the fallen, whose sacrifices are equally worthy of honor."
“As we press on through another challenging wildfire season, we are reminded yet again of the perils our firefighters face as they protect communities from wildfire. On behalf of the American people, thank you to those who keep us safe.”