Deadly Ariz. wildfire balloons to 13 square miles - Tucson News Now

Deadly Ariz. wildfire balloons to 13 square miles

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By JOHN MARSHALL and JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press

YARNELL, Ariz. (AP) - A wildfire that killed 19 members of an elite fire crew trying to help protect homes in a small central Arizona town has quadrupled in size, to 13 square miles.

Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman Mike Reichling said Monday that 18 "hotshot" fire crews are now battling the blaze, approximately 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, and more are expected.

On Sunday, the lightning-sparked fire killed 18 members of a 20-member hotshot crew based in nearby Prescott. Reichling says one other person also was killed but has not been identified.

The fire on Sunday spread to at least 2,000 acres amid triple-digit temperatures, destroying dozens of homes and sending hundreds fleeing from the community of Yarnell.

Reichling says the blaze is now at 8,374 acres, with zero containment.

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