In an event that has shocked and saddened the First Repsonder community, 19 elite firefighters were killed in a raging Arizona wildfire stoked by record heat and high winds, marking the greatest loss of life among firefighters from a single U.S. wildland blaze in 80 years.
The Prescott, Arizona, Fire Department crew was killed on Sunday when a fast-moving wildfire they were battling trapped them near Yarnell, a town about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.
“It had to be a perfect storm in order for this to happen. Their situational awareness and their training was at such a high level that it’s unimaginable that this has even happened,” Prescott Fire Department spokesman Wade Ward told ABC’s “Today” program.
He called the deaths of the crew, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, “devastating.” The cause of the deaths was unknown and was under investigation.
Read more at Reuters.com.