Investigators to Examine why Arizona Blaze Killed 19

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) Investigators are in the Arizona mountain town of Yarnell to figure out why 19 elite firefighters perished in an out-of-control wildfire and whether human error played a role in the tragedy.

The investigation will look at whether the Hotshot crew paid attention to the forecast, created an escape route and took other precautions developed after a similar disaster in Colorado nearly two decades ago.

The team of about 10 investigators from various agencies also will look at whether the crew should have been pulled out before the fire exploded on Sunday.

About 500 firefighters are fighting powerful winds as they continue to battle the fire, which has burned about 13 square miles.

Yavapai County authorities said about 200 homes and other structures burned in Yarnell, and hundreds of people have been evacuated.

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