Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Arizona lost 19 Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters killed in Yarnell fire on Sunday:
The elite 20-man hotshot team is the only one in the country that is organized through a city fire department. It earned its national interagency hotshot designation in 2008.
Prescott Fire Department Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said the 20th crewmember was working in a different location on the fire and was not injured.
"We're devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you'll ever meet ...Truly we're going through a terrible crisis right now," Fraijo said.
Sunday's fatalities amounted to the highest firefighter death toll on a single U.S. wildfire since 1933, when 25 firefighters were killed on the Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles.
Authorities confirmed the hotshots deployed their individual fire shelters, but declined to elaborate on the details leading up to the tragedy.
An investigation into the cause of their deaths is currently under way, State Forestry Division Spokesman Mike Reichling said. Names of the deceased have not been released pending notification of next of kin.
"There will be a full investigation. We won't put out any information until we get full confirmation from the investigation team. It could be days or weeks," Reichling said.
The planned Congressional Field Hearing that was scheduled for 4 p.m. today at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has been transitioned to a memorial service for the firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill fire.
Congressman Paul Gosar requested this change and will host the service.
Other attendees will include Representatives Matt Salmon, David Schweikert and Trent Franks, as well as Prescott Mayor Marlin Kirkendall, and other city, county and fire officials.
YARNELL FIRE MEMORIAL SERVICE
Monday, July 1, 2013
Start time: 4:00 p.m.
Doors Open: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Activity Center, Building 83
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
3700 Willow Creek Road
Prescott, AZ 86301
h/t Prescott's The Daily Courier
graphic: Firefighter Remembrance Flag