The University of Arizona

A Message from UA President Hart Regarding Yarnell Hill Fire Victims

By University Communications, July 1, 2013

UA President Ann Weaver Hart
UA President Ann Weaver Hart

By now most of the University of Arizona community will have heard of the loss of the 19 brave firefighters who perished this weekend in the Yarnell Hill Fire in Yavapai County. Please join me in expressing our deep sympathy and sorrow to their families and friends.

Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the many Yarnell residents who, in addition to grieving for the loss of the fallen heroes, also lost homes and businesses to this devastating and deadly wildfire.

The Wildcat family has been touched as well, for at least one of the fallen firefighters was a UA alum.

Words cannot express the sadness and sorrow we feel at times of such inexplicable loss. These firefighters bravely made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens. We honor their courage and selflessness as we mourn with their families, friends, fellow firefighters and the nation.

Information about ways to help the families of the firefighters and the community in and around Yarnell Hill is available on the UA@Work website.


Media Conatcts:




Patricia Haynes
Department of Psychiatry
Haynes is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the UA and the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System and specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder. She has worked extensively with military veterans and is now embarking on a research project focused on how to help firefighters adjust and support each other after critical incidents involving lost or injured colleagues.


Dr. Charles Raison
Department of Psychiatry and School of Family and Consumer Sciences
Raison, psychiatrist and CNNhealth mental health expert, is available for comment on how families devastated by the wildfires can cope with loss and talk to their children about the tragedy.


Dr. Ole Thienhaus
Department of Psychiatry
Thienhaus is an expert on coping with traumatic events, such as loss of property.




Don Falk
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Falk is an expert in fire history, fire ecology, dendroecology and restoration ecology. He teaches an introductory UA class in wildfire science and can speak about fire ecology, possible links between wildfires and climate change, how ecosystems recover from wildfires and tree-ring analysis.


Chris Baisan
UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
Baisan is an expert on fire ecology and dendrochronology. He served as a firefighter and heli-hotshot in the late 1970s. He is available to talk about wildfires and hazards to firefighters in general.