This fire itself is a horrible story and requires your prayers for the people forever changed by this monster. But yesterday, while fighting the fire, 19 of our firefighters were killed. Send them and their families your prayers and love.
Nineteen firefighters died Sunday in a fast-moving Arizona wildfire that has engulfed more than 8,370 acres and continues to rage unchecked, state officials said today.
Arizona’s Incident Management Team warned that gusty winds and high temperatures today could result in “erratic” shifts in the fire, which has grown quickly in size from about 1,000 acres on Sunday.
Additional crews and equipment were due at the scene near the town of Yarnell, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, officials said in a statement. Forecasts are calling for a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms and possible rain showers, they added.
The Prescott, Ariz., Fire Department crew was killed when a wildfire they were battling trapped them near Yarnell.
“It had to be a perfect storm in order for this to happen. Their situational awareness and their training was at such a high level that it’s unimaginable that this has even happened,” Prescott Fire Department spokesman Wade Ward told ABC’s “Today” program.
He called the deaths of the crew, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, “devastating.” The cause of the deaths was unknown and was under investigation.