July 1st, 2013
11:41 PM ET

Loss of 19 firefighters 'unbearable'

They were part of an elite squad confronting wildfires on the front line, setting up barriers to stop the spreading destruction. But in their unpredictable world, it doesn't take much to turn a situation deadly.

In this case, a wind shift and other factors caused a central Arizona fire, which now spans 8,400 acres, to become erratic, said Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman.

Though the deaths are under investigation, the inferno appears to have proved too much, even for the shelters the 19 firefighters carried as a last-ditch survival tool.

"The fuels were very dry, the relative humidity was low, the wind was coming out of the south. It turned around on us because of monsoon action," Reichling told CNN affiliate KNXV. "That's what caused the deaths.


Filed under: Arizona
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    Unbearable, yes. How can we reconcile to this loss . Not only the loss of lives that were dedicated to saving lives, heroes but an entire unit of extensively trained firefighters the best in their field.
    Rest in peace brave souls. The entire nation mourns.

    July 2, 2013 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. dazzle ©

    My heart grieves for this dreadful loss of young lives who were the best of the best. Good Morning @saywhat.

    July 2, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Good morning@dazzle.
    Missed your input on many a issues.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat (in a hat)©

    How do you express sorrow at the loss of heroes such as these ? In their endeavor to save others, they committed the ultimate sacrifice. Though we may not know these individuals personally, hour heart can still grieve for the families. My deepest condolences to the survivors of thes heroes.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ronvan

      I agree totally! Well said.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    My heartfelt condolences to the families of these brave firefighters.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    good morning @banasy
    have been missing your thoughts on issues too my friend.

    July 2, 2013 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Thank you, saywhat; I try, but get blocked often.

      July 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat (in a hat)©


    July 3, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pete

    Happy 4th of July all and many more in the future,God Bless America!!See if they block this!!

    July 4, 2013 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |