Yarnell, Arizona wildfire update: Wildfire that killed 19 firefighters now 8 percent contained

YARNELL, AZ - Fire officials say the Arizona wildfire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters remained 8 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon.

In a 3 p.m. news conference, fire officials introduced the team handling the investigation into the firefighters' deaths.

The investigation will take two or three months, officials said. The team will recreate the incident from beginning to end, which will "take some time."

MORE: Investigators look into what went wrong  (http://bit.ly/12GUxjI)

The funeral of the 19 firefighters is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

Authorities also said $800,000 have been donated to the fire fight and victims.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said 129 homes and other structures have been lost as of Wednesday. Of the 129 buildings, 2 are in Peeples Valley and the rest are in Yarnell.

Evacuated residents are being advised to call 928-777-7481 to find out if their home is one of those destroyed in the fire.

Fire officials said they're worried there are people in Yarnell who didn't get out and perished in their homes.

The new containment figure, announced Tuesday evening, marked the first clear sign of progress against the forest fire in the town of Yarnell being fought by nearly 600 firefighters.

It had been zero percent contained since Sunday when flames jumped amid shifting winds and created a death trap for 19 members of a Prescott-based Hotshot crew.

RELATED: Authorities identify fallen firefighters (http://bit.ly/yffnames)

Fire officials at a Wednesday morning press conference said they will be introducing a team assembled to investigate the firefighters' deaths.

Sunday marked the nation's biggest loss of firefighters since 9/11, and it came as hot, dry weather hit the Southwest.

Jim Whittington, spokesman for Southwest Incident Command Team, said the fire remains at roughly 8,400 acres.

Containment was primarily along the northeast corner and southeast flank of the fire. Firefighters will try to get the whole east side contained Thursday and continue to work the corners of the fire from there.

Officials said Wednesday their goal is to begin letting residents back into their neighborhoods starting Saturday.

For information on how to  help Arizona fire victims, visit http://bit.ly/helpariz.

Print this article Back to Top