Fri | Jan 28, 2022

19 Arizona firefighters die in blaze

Published:Monday | July 1, 2013 | 11:27 AM

YARNELL, Arizona (AP):

Nineteen firefighters were killed in a forest northwest of Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday.

The crew killed in the blaze had worked other wildfires in recent weeks in New Mexico and Arizona, Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said.

President Barack Obama called the 19 firefighters heroes and said in a statement that the federal government was assisting state and local officials.

"This is as dark a day as I can remember," Governor Jan Brewer said in a statement. "It may be days or longer before an investigation reveals how this tragedy occurred, but the essence we already know in our hearts: fighting fires is dangerous work."

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.

It destroyed an estimated 200 homes.

Two hundred firefighters were working on the fire Sunday, but several hundred more were expected to arrive today when a new fire management team takes over.


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