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Firefighters Dead in Phoenix After Battling Yarnell Hill Fire

June 30, 2013

Yarnell Hill Fire deaths

By Paul Thomson :: 11:07 PM

Officials have confirmed that at least 18, and possibly 19, members of a firefighting crew working on the Yarnell Hill fire on the outskirts of Phoenix have died.

The Arizona State Forestry Division had earlier lost contact with the group of 20 firefighters, but a water dropping helicopter spotted one survivor from the group.

Firefighters are working to contain what has been called the Yarnell Hill fire, a blaze which broke out two days ago on the northwest side of Phoenix. The fire has blackened 1,300 acres, damaged at least three homes and forced residents in the nearby communities of Peeples and Yarnell to flee their homes.

Several dozen other firefighters have been taken to nearby hospitals this evening with moderate to severe injuries, according to hospital officials.

As the fire continues to burn through the night, the Arizona Department of Transportation has closed a roughly 15 mile stretch of AZ State Route 89.

On Twitter, follow the #YarnellHillFire hashtag for continuing updates.

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