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article image19 firefighters killed in Arizona's fire

By Amanda Byas     Jul 1, 2013 in Environment
Prescott - USA Today is reporting that the fire southwest of Yarnell, Arizona has killed 19 firefighters. The fire has more than quadrupled in size since it first started Friday from a lightning bolt.
Erratic winds and dry grasses are the main components that are fueling the fire. It is tearing through Yarnell and Glen Isla, and is about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. As of today, there is about 200 homes and a handful of business that have been destroyed from the blaze. The fire is nearly 8,400 acres today. It grew from 2,000 acres as of last night.
Eighteen of the 19 firefighters were part of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, according to USA Today. This is the worst firefighter tragedy since 1933 Griffith Park Fire that was in Los Angeles that killed 25 firefighters.
Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry spokesman stated that the 19 firefighters were found in the area where they had 19 emergency fire shelters. Some of the men were found inside, others were fine in tent structures that were to help shield the flames and heat. Those tent structures are usually used as a last option.
Chicago Tribune stating that additional crews along with equipment will be at the scene in the town of Yarnell. Forecasts are showing there is 20 percent chance of thunderstorms and a slight possibility of rain showers.
Officials are prediciting the fire to grow another 1,000 acres throughout the day because they are having very erratic winds and the ground is extremely dry. They are not losing hope in trying to tame the massive blaze.
There are currently two shelters open. They are located at Yavapai College in Prescott and the other one is at Wickenburg High School in their gym stating Boston Herald.
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