Local News

Sunday, Jun 30 2013 08:48 PM

19 Arizona firefighters killed by wildfire

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    By AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski

    A wildfire burns homes in Yarnell, Ariz., on Sunday, June 30, 2013. An Arizona fire chief says the wildfire that killed 19 members of his crew near the town was moving fast and fueled by hot, dry conditions. The fire started with a lightning strike on Friday and spread to 2,000 acres on Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures.

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An Arizona forestry official says 19 firefighters have died battling a fast-moving wildfire.

Forestry spokesman Art Morrison says the firefighters were caught by the fire Sunday afternoon near the central Arizona town of Yarnell. He says they were forced to deploy their fire shelters.

Earlier Sunday, the wildfire prompted evacuations of 50 homes in several communities about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. Later Sunday afternoon, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office expanded the evacuations to include more residents in the town of Yarnell.

Morrison says several homes in the community of Glenisle have been burned. He says no injuries or deaths have been reported from that area.

About 200 firefighters are fighting the wildfire, which has also forced the closure of parts of state Route 89.

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