Yarnell Hill Fire: More Hotshot Crews Among 448 Firefighters Battling Uncontained Blaze
The Yarnell Hill Fire, as seen from Interstate 17.
Arizona State Forestry Division
While almost an entire "Hotshot" crew of firefighters was killed this weekend by the Yarnell Hill Fire southwest of Prescott, there are now five such crews among the 448 firefighters currently battling the blaze.
The most recent updates from fire officials still indicate the fire is zero percent contained.
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Government reports show a total of eight such "Hotshot" crews being assigned to the fire between Yarnell and Peeples Valley, which is now around 8,400 acres. Two of those crews are Arizona-based, while one's from Colorado, and the rest are from California.
According to the Forest Service, these crews' "main responsibilities are to construct a 'fireline' - a strip of land cleared of flammable materials and dug down to mineral soil - around wildfires to control them, burn out fire areas, and mop up after the fire."
The 19 firefighters who died on Sunday were part of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. They got caught in the fire, and all 19 deployed individual fire shelters, which are supposed to be used as a "last resort" for wildland firefighters. The 20th member of their crew survived, because he was in a different area when the fire came at the rest.
Air Force planes will be dropping flame retardant on the flames this afternoon, too.
At the last press update, officials still didn't have a count of how many homes have been lost in the fire.
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