Last night the City of Angels rolled out the red carpet, and the American Flag for the World Premiere of "Only the Brave". The film is based on the true story of the "19” Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite team of firefighters, who tragically lost their lives fighting a wildfire outside of Prescott, AZ on June 30, 2013. Tonight, the actors and actresses who star in the film will travel to Arizona to attend a special screening at Harkins Theatre in Tempe, AZ. This invitation-only screening is for Arizona firefighters and first-responders. Only the Brave is more than a movie, it is a tribute to true heroes. This film is going to be a tough one to watch. Not only for every firefighter, who sacrifices their lives every day but to any first responder who serves our country to keep it safe. It will be even harder for the friends and family. Last night in L.A. , "Only The Brave" invited 100 first responders to view the premiere. The tagline of the film hits hard, "It's Not What Stands In Front Of You, It's Who Stands Beside You" As a resident of Arizona, and an owner of a cabin in Prescott, AZ, where the "19" lived and worked, this story hits especially close to home. This summer a wildfire blazing near Prescott on June 30th--four years from the date of the Prescott 19--came four miles from my cabin. No one lost a life, and only five structures were lost in a wildfire that burned over 28,000 acres. It is only because of the brave men and women who battle the fires and extreme conditions, that our land, our lives and our towns survive. The residents of Prescott were not going to lose any more lives on June 30th.
In Arizona, a spectacular memorial trail has been built to honor these men. The trail concludes with an observation deck, looking over the fatality site. And just like the events of that day, it is not an easy trail. It is seven miles of switchbacks and a 5-8% elevation rise and features a photo tribute to each of the 19. If you think the trail is tough, imagine those brave men loaded down with equipment. It will take the normal person without fire gear, and heavy equipment strapped on, several hours to complete the trail. The park recommends going in the morning and allowing a 4-hour round trip. Parking is limited. It is open to the public, in the small town of Yarnell, AZ (outside Prescott). If you're visitng Arizona, it is worth your effort.
The film which stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Conneley and James Badge Dale premiers to the public October 20, 2017.
Today, several wildfires are burning in Napa Valley and Orange county and throughout California.
We can never forget those who sacrifice their lives to save others.