Official: 19 firefighters dead in Arizona - CNN.com
Eighteen firefighters battling a blaze in Arizona who were unaccounted for Sunday night have been confirmed dead, said Wade Ward with the Prescott Fire Department. All were members of that city's fire department. It was not immediately clear how they died. Earlier, an official with the Arizona State Forestry Division had said that as many as 19 were still missing. The crew was fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, which broke out Friday northwest of Phoenix. The fire has grown to 1,000 acres, damaged three homes and forced the evacuations of residents in the communities of Peeples Valley and Yarnell, forestry official Art Morrison said. The blaze is believed to have been started by lightning.
A very tragic day for the wildland firefighting community. 18 dead from the Yarnell Hill fire. There may be more injured or fatalities as news comes in. The TV just had an announcement that as many as 250 homes/buildings lost. Yarnell's economy is based on ranching, mining and services to travelers and retirees. Peeples Valley three miles north, is closely linked to Yarnell. There is about 640 people within Yarnell.
I retired from the wildland fire community after 30 years of service. this is one of the most tragic days that I can remember. I can only hope the families and friends find comfort through their believes. These firefighters died trying to protect the natural resources and the town.