Progress Made in AZ Firefight; Biden to Visit for Memorial

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - Fire crews have contained enough of the wildfire that killed 19 firefighters over the weekend that they've begun sending crews home and are preparing to let evacuated residents return to the small town of Yarnell.

On Friday, 550 firefighters were fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire, now 80 percent contained. That's down from 680 firefighters the day before.

Remaining crews are working on building more fire lines in the rugged, rocky terrain and making sure the blaze doesn't spread.

Erratic winds sent the fire out-of-control on Sunday, killing 19 elite Hotshot firefighters.

The blaze also has destroyed more than 100 homes in Yarnell and burned about 13 square miles.

Authorities hope to allow Yarnell residents to return home on Saturday.


WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says Vice President Joe Biden will travel to a memorial in Arizona for the 19 firefighters killed in a wildfire.

Biden will attend the service Tuesday in the Prescott area.

The White House hasn't released President Barack Obama's schedule for next week. But it's unusual for Obama and Biden to attend the same event outside Washington.

Nineteen members of a highly skilled Hotshot crew were killed Sunday when a raging wildfire overran them on a mountainside northwest of Phoenix. It was the deadliest day for U.S. fire crews since 9/11.

The fire in the town of Yarnell has destroyed more than 100 houses and burned about 13 square miles. Officials say the fire is mostly contained.

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