Arizona Wildfire Kills 19 Elite Firefighters

by at . Comments

Gusty winds blew an Arizona wildfire out of control Sunday in a forest northwest of Phoenix, with tragic results for the firefighters trying to combat it.

Reports indicate that 19 members of an elite fire crew were killed in what is the deadliest wildfire involving firefighters in the U.S. for at least 30 years.

Blaze

The "hotshot" firefighters were forced to deploy their emergency fire shelters - tent-like structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat.

They were caught near the central Arizona town of Yarnell, where the enormous wildfire also destroyed an estimated 200 homes, officials said.

Dry grass near the communities of Yarnell and Glen Isla fed the fast-moving blaze, which was whipped up by wind and raced through the homes.

The fire still burned late Sunday, with flames lighting up the sky in the forest above Yarnell, a town of about 700 about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Most people evacuated from the town, and no injuries or other deaths were reported.

The fire started after a lightning strike on Friday and spread to at least 2,000 acres on Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said the 19 dead firefighters were a part of the city's fire department, and that their loss is incalculable for the community.

"We grieve for the family. We grieve for the department. We grieve for the city," he said at a news conference Sunday evening. "We're devastated."

"We just lost 19 of the finest people you'll ever meet."

Hot shot crews are elite firefighters who often hike for miles into the wilderness with saws and heavy gear to build lines of protection between people and fires.

R.I.P.

Tags:
Like Us On Facebook

More From The Hollywood Gossip

Craigslist-killer-brady-oestrike-accused-of-two-murders

Brady Oestrike Accused of Killing Pregnant Teen, Decapitating Boyfriend After Craigslist Meetup

Brady Oestrike is suspected of murdering an eight-months-pregnant teenager and decapitating her boyfriend, and all because of a Craigslist sex ad.
Wifes-sex-spreadsheet

Wife's Sex Spreadsheet Shows Female Perspective, Previews Evental Divorce

This latest sex spreadsheet to hit the web tells a dramatically different story from the one that went viral yesterday.
Girl-scout-barbie

Girl Scout Barbie: Doll Sparks Controversy Over Group's Principles, Corporate Sponsorship

Girl Scout Barbie may be coming soon to a store near you, but not everyone is happy about the message that sends.
Thief-posts-selfie-in-stolen-dress-gets-arrested

Woman Snaps Selfie in Stolen Boutique Dress, Get Arrested

A woman in Illinois stole stole some dresses from a store in Illinois, posted selfies with them online and then got arrested.

Avatar

D-A-M-N!!!!! Life can be so unexpectedly and unfairly cruel. As far as I'm concerned, ALL 19 of those elite firefighters died as HEROES!!!!! REST IN PEACE FELLAS!!!!!! Amen.