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Monday, July 1, 2013

Video of Arizona Wildfire That Killed 19 Firefighters

A local television news report of the Yarnell fire, from ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix.

As our colleague Fernanda Santos reports, 19 firefighters died while battling a fast-moving wildfire that continued to rage out of control Monday over thousands of acres about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix.

The firefighters killed were members of a highly trained elite team known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, based in Prescott, Ariz. They are among 100 specialist teams from around the country that travel to battle wildfires. This fire was near their home base in entral Arizona.

Of the 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, only one firefighter survived, officials said, in what is the deadliest wildfire in 80 years.

Video of the Yarnell fire Sunday as it spread across thousands of acres.

On the City of Prescott’s Web site
, the Granite Mountain Hotshots describe their commitment to rigorous training and their “common bond.”

Our common bond is our love of hard work and arduous adventure. We believe in rigorous physical and mental training, which allows us to perform at the optimum level in any location and under any circumstances. We are routin! ely exposed to extreme environmental conditions, long work hours, long travel hours and the most demanding of fireline tasks. Comforts such as beds, showers and hot meals are not always common. Problem solving, teamwork, ability to make decisions in a stressful environment and being nice are the attributes of our crew members. We are grateful for our opportunities to excel and proud to represent the citizens of the City of Prescott and the Prescott Fire Department.

In a 2012 profile of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,, Connor Radnovich reported on the team for Arizona State University’s Cronkite News Service. The report details how crew members prepare to battle wildfires and includes a video showing them in training.

Video of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Officials said they believed that a lightning strike on Friday started the fire, which has spread to 8,000 acres, destroying dozens of homes and decimating the town of Yarnell, which had been previously evacuated. From nearby Peeples Valley, Ariz., a video was uploaded onto YouTube showing the spread of the flames.