Wildfire in Arizona Nearly at 50 Percent Containment
The powerful wildfire that killed 19 elite firefighters in Arizona on Sunday is now on its way to be contained, officials say.
The fire, which started when lightning hit a forest near Yarnell last Friday, has now spread over at least 13 sq. miles and destroyed over 200 houses.
Authorities are worried that residents who refused to leave also died in the fire.
"We had already started evacuating everyone... and we experienced people who were not going to leave," said Yavapai County Sheriff Chief Deputy John Russell.
"Over the next week, we are going to be going through the properties affected by this fire, just looking for victims. We don't have information that there are any, but it's something that we are concerned about," he added.
Around 600 firefighters were fighting the fire on Wednesday, which continued to grow, thanks to 40mph winds and dry conditions.
According to John Glenn, chief of fire operations for the federal Bureau of Land Management, "these huge fires are the new normal."
"Look at any touchstone — global warming, fuels, invasive species, forest and rangeland health issues — and then you throw in the urban interface," Glenn said. "It's almost like this perfect mix. What used to be the anomaly is almost like the normal now."