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19 elite firemen killed in Arizona blaze

  • Nineteen firefighters from an elite team were killed on Sunday while trying to put out a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona.

    The Yarnell Hills fire was ignited by lightning on Friday and has damaged more than 2,000 acres of grasslands.

    The fire was the result of strong, dry winds and a heat wave that has seen temperatures soar above triple-digits.

    Authorities ordered the evacuation of Yarnell, located 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, and the neighboring town of Peeples Valley. The two towns are home to roughly 1,000 people.

    Most of the damage took place in Yarnell, including the destruction of around 200 buildings.

    The circumstances that led to the 19 deaths are not yet clear.

    The Yarnell Hills blaze resulted in the greatest loss of life among firefighters from a US wildland blaze since 1933 when 29 men died battling the Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles. 

    Arizona Wildfire location

    Tagged as: Arizona blaze, wildfire in Arizona, wildfire in Yarnell, Yarnell Hills fire