So sad. Shocking new images show an Arizona town burned to the ground by a wildfire that took place on June 30, where 19 courageous firefighters lost their lives.
An Arizona town and surrounding forest burned to the ground on June 30. Sadly, 19 courageous firefighters lost their lives battling the wildfire.
Arizona Wildfire — Pics Of Town Burned To The Ground
New devastating photos show 200 homes and 8,400 acres burned to the ground and charred in and around Yarnell, Arizona.
More than 1,000 people have evacuated the area, but no one has been more affected than the families of the 19 young firefighters who lost their lives in this horrific fire, which broke out after a lightning strike.
The brave men, whose average age was just 27, were killed by the flames in seconds. Their bodies were retrieved from the mountain where they died on July 1 — many had young families.
“It had to be a perfect storm in order for this to happen,” Prescott Fire Department spokesman Wade Ward told the Today show. “Their situational awareness and their training was at such a high level that it’s unimaginable that this has even happened.”
The 19 men were honored in a ceremony on Monday, July 1, where their names were projected on a screen and dozens of wildfire fighters came together to mourn the loss of their colleagues.
President Obama has declared the firefighters “heroes.”
America’s Heroes: Victims Identified
Among the victims is Billy Warneke, a Marine Corps veteran who served a tour in Iraq and who was expecting his first child with his wife Roxanne this December, his family told The Press Enterprise. He joined the fire department three months ago.
Kevin Woyjeck, who followed in the footsteps of his father, a fire captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, also died in the wildfire.
Chris MacKenzie, who was also a firefighter’s son, died in the fire.
Other firefighters who have been identified include Eric Marsh, 22-year-old Wade Parker and father-of-four Andrew Ashcraft.
The tragedy is the deadliest single incident for firefighters since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It’s also the deadliest wildland blaze for firefighters in the U.S. for 80 years.
Names Of 19 Brave Firefighters Released
Andrew Ashcraft – 29
Robert Caldwell – 23
Travis Carter – 31
Dustin Deford – 24
Christopher MacKenzie – 30
Eric Marsh – 43
Grant McKee – 21
Sean Misner – 26
Scott Norris – 28
Wade Parker – 22
John Percin – 24
Anthony Rose – 23
Jesse Steed – 36
Joe Thurston – 32
Travis Turbyfill – 27
William Warneke – 25
Clayton Whitted – 28
Kevin Woyjeck – 21
Garret Zuppiger – 27
Our thoughts go out to those affected by this horrific fire.
WATCH: ABC World News Now: Bodies of 19 Firefighters Killed in Arizona Wildfire Recovered
— Chris Rogers