User Login    
 + Register
News : 19 Firefighters Die In Arizona Blaze
Posted by Randy on 2013/7/1 9:48:02 (294 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
2015/5/4 8:58:06 - Fire Destroys Buses In Chillicothe
2015/5/4 7:55:50 - Bean-Bag Fundraiser Held Saturday In Trenton
2015/5/4 7:50:36 - Hamilton Man Injured In Polo Parking Lot
2015/5/4 7:50:00 - Weekend Fire Kills Four At Trenton Residence
2015/5/4 7:47:24 - Accident Injures Pattonsburg Teen
2015/5/4 7:45:06 - Injury Accident Reported Near Green City
2015/5/1 23:12:29 - Accident Near Jamesport Injures Four
2015/5/1 9:00:47 - Daviess County Accident Injures Cameron Woman
2015/5/1 8:51:48 - Princeton To Hold Kindergarten Screenings In Mid-May
2015/5/1 8:50:00 - Trenton Key Club Holding End-Of-Year Fundraiser
2015/5/1 8:49:05 - Livingston County Fair To Host "Singing" Auditions Saturday
2015/5/1 7:40:00 - THS Teams Finish Second At Nick Sloop Relays
2015/4/29 7:40:00 - Bulldog Tennis Team Downs Lafayette, 7-2
2015/4/28 10:30:00 - Bulldogs Finish 7th At LeBlond Invitational
2015/4/28 8:20:00 - TMS Track Sweeps St. Joseph Christian Relays
2015/4/28 8:00:00 - NCMC Honors Departing History Instructor With Brown-Pushkarsky Award
2015/4/27 9:00:00 - Weekend Accidents Reported Across The Region
2015/4/24 8:10:00 - NCMC's Berry Signs With Newman University
2015/4/22 10:41:35 - Young Family Trusts To Benefit NCMC Students
2015/4/22 10:01:35 - Herrera Suspended, Ventura Fined For Throwing At Lawrie
2015/4/22 9:50:00 - Plattsburg Girls, Trenton Boys Win Team Titles At TMS Relays
2015/4/22 8:34:10 - Hog Farm Dispute Brings Large Audience To Grundy County Courthouse
2015/4/22 8:30:00 - Chillicothe Boys Win Cameron Relays, Trenton Girls Finish Third
2015/4/22 8:28:38 - Hornets Sweep Bulldogs In Varsity Tennis
2015/4/22 8:20:18 - Trenton Golfers Beat Chillicothe In Tuesday Duel
2015/4/22 8:12:56 - Applications Being Sought For Livestock-Related Honor
2015/4/22 8:02:57 - Route A, In Southwest Mercer County, To Close On Thursday
2015/4/22 7:54:05 - Highway Patrol Sergeant Recognized For Life-Saving Efforts During September Flooding
2015/4/22 7:44:27 - Oklahoma Rape Suspect Arrested Along I-35 In Northwest Missouri
2015/4/22 7:38:43 - University Of Missouri Receives Bomb Threat, "All Clear" Issued



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM