On June 30th, 2013 19 Wildland Firefighters of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew from Prescott, Arizona died when they were entrapped in a canyon at Yarnell, Arizona in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

From this great loss of life three women, Juliann Ashcraft, Deborah Pfingston, and Roxanne Preston worked together to form the Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute. Juliann lost her husband, Andrew Ashcraft, Deborah lost her son, Andrew Ashcraft, and Roxanne lost her husband, William “Billy” Warneke in the Yarnell Hill Fire. Through their grief the three women dedicated themselves to learning about Wildland Firefighting, delved into discovering what truly happened to the Granite Mountain Hotshots that led to their deaths, and committed themselves to protecting the safety of Wildland Firefighters so that another preventable tragedy like the Yarnell Hill Fire does not occur again.