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19 Firefighters Die in Arizona Wildfire
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At Yarnell, Arizona wildfire took the lives of the bravest while they battled a 200-acre fire. The wall of flames reportedly had a temperature that soared beyond human tolerance. As the fire went more out of control, the temperatures skyrocketed into the triple digits. The highly trained team had been prepared and protected with fire-resistant shields. Yet at 300 degrees Celsius, human flesh melts. It is a sad tragedy that 19 of the bravest men lost their lives. It has been several decades since this many firefighters have been killed.

The federal government will now assist the state and local area. Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said at a news conference on Sunday evening, “We grieve for the family. We grieve for the department. We grieve for the city. We’re devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you’ll ever meet.” 250 people had been assigned to assist in the firefighting activity.

  
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According to fire managers, 4 other crews were expected to assist. Each crew is usually made up of 20 members. The fire managers were requested to comment but declined. Footage of the area shows law enforcement patrolling the burned area, driving through streets with destroyed buildings on each side.

According to the National Weather Service, today’s forecast has a 30 percent possibility of thunderstorms and rain in the Yarnell area. This could be good news as rain can help to slow the pace of the fire’s spread.

The town of Yarnell was evacuated and no deaths or injuries were reported. For this type of conflagration, specially trained teams with elite training are deployed. The tragic team had worked with wildfire events in New Mexico and Arizona before. According to the Huffington Post, as a last-ditch effort at survival, crew members were trained to dig into the ground and cover themselves with the tent-like shelter made of fire-resistant material. It’s an extreme measure that’s taken under the absolute worst conditions,” fire chief Dan Fraijo said. The hope in that desperate situation is that the fire will burn over them and they will survive.”

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According to the Huffington Post, residents huddled in shelters and local restaurants were watching their homes burn on TV as flames lit up the night sky in the forest above them. Fleeing and evacuating citizens helped others to safety as the blaze moved with the changing direction of the wind. One family recalled looking back at their home and only seeing embers in the rear view mirror.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer commented, “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.”





 

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