Nation & World News

Arizona Officials: 19 Firefighters Killed Battling Blaze

By Steve Mullis on July 1st, 2013

Forestry officials in Arizona say 19 firefighters have died while fighting a massive fire that has ripped through half of the town of Yarnell Hill, reports The Arizona Republic.

The newspaper reports:

” ‘It’s a dark day,’ said Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman.

“Reichling said the 19 firefighters were found in an area that also had 19 fire shelters deployed. Some of those found were inside a shelter, which is typically used as a last resort to withstand the fire as it blows over. Some of the crew members were found outside the shelters.

“Officials said 18 of the deceased were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots team. It’s unknown what fire crew the 19th firefighter belonged to. The firefighters are part of a team that is typically sent in first to help cut off the fire, Reichling said.

” ‘They were up there doing what they normally do,’ he said.”

More than 250 firefighters were fighting the wildfire, which also forced the closure of parts of state Route 89.

Forest officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET, Monday, July 1:

President Obama, who is on a visit to Africa, called the 19 firefighters “heroes” in a statement issued by the White House early Monday morning.

More from the president’s statement:

“In recent days, hundreds of firefighters have battled extremely dangerous blazes across Arizona and the Southwest. The federal government is already assisting, and we will remain in close contact with state and local officials to provide the support they need. But today, Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Bob Schieffer on the set of Face the Nation in September.

CBS’ Bob Schieffer Retires Sunday As Last Of The Old-School TV Anchors

Bob Schieffer, anchor of CBS’ Face the Nation, retires Sunday after 46 years at the network. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says Schieffer is the last among a vanished breed of traditional news anchors.


Anthrax Was Accidentally Sent To 11 States, 2 Countries, Pentagon Now Says

The numbers are more than the Pentagon’s Thursday estimate of nine states and a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea. News organizations named Australia as the other country that received the samples.


Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert speaks in Washington on July 28, 2009, following the unveiling of his portrait.

Reports: Ex-Speaker Hastert’s Payments Linked To Sexual Misconduct

Both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are reporting that Hastert was paying a man to not reveal that Hastert had abused him years ago.


Tex Toler watches the Llano River rise Friday in Llano, Texas, after another round of heavy rains that have brought flooding and deaths to the state.

Death Toll In Southern Plains Flooding Rises To 25

“There has been enough rain across Texas during May to cover the entire state nearly 8 inches deep,” says the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.


EU, Japan Express Concern Over China’s Moves In South China Sea

The concern follows reports that China has placed mobile artillery on a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands chain, where Beijing is in the midst of unilateral land reclamation and construction.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments