US Coins

Legislation calls for 120 commemorative coins in 2023

A total of 120 commemorative coins are sought for 2023 to recognize 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, 19 of whom were killed in a 2013 wildfire in Arizona.

Original images courtesy of City of Prescott, Arizona.

Legislation is being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize 20 men with a commemorative coin program that, according to the bill’s text, could result in 120 different coins.

The legislation seeks to honor posthumously the 19 firefighters with the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives on June 30, 2013, while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, and to honor the team’s sole survivor.

The legislation, H.R. 8244, was introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.

The firefighters were from the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, a contingent within the Prescott Fire Department, that had been deployed June 28, 2013, to assist with the containment of the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The fire was ignited by a lightning strike on June 18, 2013, on a ridge west of Yarnell, Arizona, a census-designated place of fewer than 700 residents in Yavapai County.

The team became trapped in the fire and perished. Of the 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots deployed to contain the blaze, only the lookout, Brendan McDonough, survived.

The Yarnell Hill Fire was the deadliest wildfire in the United States for firefighters since 1933 and the third deadliest wildfire in the history of the United States.

Gosar’s bill seeks, in Proof and Uncirculated versions, a gold $5 coin limited to 50,000 coins, a silver dollar limited to a maximum of 400,000 coins, and a copper-nickel clad half dollar limited to 750,000 coins.

The bill calls for 20 distinct designs, each to honor a different firefighter of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who fought the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013, by including on one side the name and likeness of such firefighter. According to the legislation’s text, each design would have to be issued in each denomination in both Proof and Uncirculated versions, for a total of 120 different coins.

The sponsor’s office did not respond to our inquiries about the proposed scope of the program.

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