User Login    
 + Register
News : 19 Firefighters Die In Arizona Blaze
Posted by Randy on 2013/7/1 9:48:02 (311 reads) News by the same author

In a report by ABC News, An elite team of 19 firefighters died Sunday while trying to protect themselves from a fast-moving wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz.

Click to see original Image in a new window


Authorities believe the wildfire began in Yarnell, about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, Friday with a lightning strike and spread to at least 2,000 acres Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. As of 3 a.m. this morning, the Yarnell fire had tripled in size and is now 6,000 acres, according to Arizona incident commander Mike Reichling.

Eighteen of the victims were from the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots, fire officials said. It's unclear where the other victim was based.

"We grieve for the family. We grieve for the department. We grieve for the city," Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said at a Sunday night news conference. "We're devastated. We just lost 19 of some of the finest people you'll ever meet."

The 19 deaths is the greatest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

It is also the deadliest day for U.S. firefighters since 9/11, when 340 died.

The team was known as a "hotshot" crew and was deployed to attack the fire line with tools.

"Hotshot" crews are elite firefighters who often hike for miles into the wilderness with chain saws and backpacks filled with heavy gear to build lines of protection between people and fires. They remove brush, trees and anything that might burn in the direction of homes and cities.

"They're not the people that have engine companies and large trucks. These are the core of firefighting where they're right there in the middle of the incident," Fraijo said.

Fraijo said the crew killed in the Yarnell fire worked other wildfires in recent weeks in New Mexico and Arizona.

He added that the firefighters had to deploy the tent-like structures when "something drastic" occurred.

"One of the last fail-safe methods that a firefighter can do under those conditions is literally to dig as much as they can down and cover themselves with a protective -- kind of looks like a foil type, fire-resistant material -- with the desire, the hope, at least, is that the fire will burn over the top of them and they can survive it," Fraijo said.

The Prescott-based crew never had to use shelters during a wildfire, according to a 2012 profile in a Cronkite News Service report.

Reichling, the incident commander, said half of the 500 structures in Yarnell have been destroyed by the "radical weather." Most of Yarnell's 700 residents have been forced to evacuate.

"We have fires throughout the state right now. We have the winds that change. That's what happened today and caused this tragedy," he said.

Evacuee Don Mason said, "I don't know if my home's standing or not, but from what I've heard, most of Yarnell has burned to the ground. So it's been tough."

About 200 firefighters are fighting the wildfire, which has also forced the closure of parts of state Route 89. None of the fire is contained.

President Obama, who is traveling in Africa, released a statement early this morning, calling the 19 firefighters "heroes" for putting "themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet."

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords expressed her shock on Twitter, calling the death of the firefighters "absolutely devastating news."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement, "This is as dark a day as I can remember. 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."

Brewer said she would travel to the area later today.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/7/4 12:40:10 - Princeton Woman Dies, 3 Injured During Early Morning Accident In Mercer County
2015/7/3 6:30:16 - Scammers Target Chillicothe Residents
2015/7/3 6:24:26 - Gallatin Woman Arrested On Multiple Charges After Injury Accident
2015/7/3 4:51:14 - Bridge South Of Gallatin Set To Close For 3 Weeks
2015/7/3 4:44:53 - Fireworks Go Off At Dark Tonight In Trenton
2015/7/3 4:28:38 - Miss Missouri Comes Home
2015/7/3 4:00:00 - Man's Obituary Simply Reads "Doug Died"
2015/7/3 4:00:00 - Police: Woman Dies In Boone County Courtroom
2015/7/3 3:59:53 - French Mother Gets 9 Years In Prison For Killing 8 Newborns
2015/7/2 8:58:03 - Wright Memorial Hospital Foundation Receives Grant From Union Pacific
2015/7/2 8:49:30 - Trenton Park Board Meets
2015/7/2 8:45:38 - Tri-County Board Of Education Approves Budget
2015/7/2 6:35:02 - Teen Receives Serious Injuries, Demolishes Vehicle In Accident Near Green City
2015/7/2 4:43:49 - Macon Officials Dedicate Solar Farm
2015/7/2 4:38:49 - Police: Missouri Man Kills Self During Standoff
2015/7/2 4:29:07 - Missouri Public Service Commission Rejects Plan For Multistate Wind Power
2015/7/2 4:12:53 - Police: Bomb Found In Car During Springfield Traffic Stop
2015/7/2 4:09:03 - New Law In Effect Allows Kansans To Carry Concealed Weapons Without Permit
2015/7/2 4:03:37 - School Charges Mother $77,000 For Access To Emails Involving Son
2015/7/1 7:36:28 - Chillicothe Man Injured When Pool Carries Him Out Of Pickup
2015/7/1 6:37:47 - Clerk Accused Of Shooting Teen Allegedly Over Theft Of Cookies
2015/7/1 6:31:57 - Boy Found Chained To Porch With Chicken Around Neck Speaks Out For First Time
2015/7/1 5:28:17 - Public School Application Asks If Child Was Born By C-Section
2015/7/1 4:45:45 - Mom Arrested After Boy 4, Left Tied On Leash To Bush
2015/7/1 4:36:46 - Death Of Boy Pushed In Swing For 3 Days Ruled Homicide
2015/7/1 4:30:00 - Former Circuit Clerk From Northeast Missouri Enters Plea
2015/7/1 4:24:53 - Teens Storm Georgia Wal-Mart In Wild Rampage Of Destruction
2015/6/30 6:31:13 - Mosaic To Offer Reduced Cost Sports Physicals
2015/6/30 4:47:08 - Son Arrested After Argument Over Spoiled Meat
2015/6/30 4:34:11 - Woman Gives Birth Alone On Back Road, Is Stranded With Newborn For Three Days



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM