Arizona Firefighters Died Because They Had No Escape Route
It now appears that the 19 firefighters who died in Arizona Sunday did not have an escape route to a safe site large enough for the entire group. The findings, revealed by officials Tuesday, go against standard safety protocol. The bodies of 19 members of the crew were found in or near their emergency fire shelters.
The firefighters were part of a highly trained unit that frequently went into the forest with heavy equipment to contain fires. Art Morrison, a spokesman with the Arizona State Forestry Division explained that "Obviously it wasn't a big enough open field … if they had to deploy their shelters."
Meanwhile, the lethal Yarnell wildfire continues uncontained, and has already burned through 8,500 acres of land. Over 500 firefighters are currently on the scene, and more are on the way.