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U.S. flags lowered to honor fallen Hotshots

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 12:05 a.m. MDT

Firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, Ariz., cut a fire line Saturday. (Associated Press) Firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, Ariz., cut a fire line Saturday. (Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — All United States and Utah state flags on state property will be lowered Friday in honor of the 19 Arizona Hotshot firefighters who died in action over the weekend.

Gov. Gary Herbert directed all state facilities to fly flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.

The fallen firefighters included Joe Thurston of Cedar City.

"May we remember these great men with deep respect and honor," Herbert said. "During this difficult time of bereavement, our thoughts and prayers are with residents of Arizona and, particularly, with the families and loved ones of the fallen firefighters. I hope they find comfort and peace beyond what mere words are able to provide."

The firefighters were killed while battling a lightning-caused wildfire in central Arizona. They were members of a Hotshot crew, specially trained to fight wildfires.

A hotshot sets a backburn fire along Highway 191 to protect the town of Nutrioso, Ariz., from the Wallow fire burning in eastern Arizona.    (Rob Schumacher, Associated Press) A hotshot sets a backburn fire along Highway 191 to protect the town of Nutrioso, Ariz., from the Wallow fire burning in eastern Arizona. (Rob Schumacher, Associated Press)

As of Wednesday, the fire has burned 8,400 acres and was 8 percent contained, according to the Incident Information System.

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