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Updated Jul 2, 2013 - 7:28 pm

Prescott firefighter: ‘We’re doing the best we can’ following deaths of hotshots

Internally displaced persons clear a checkpoint in Qayara, some 50 kilometers south of Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Islamic State militants have been going door to door in farming communities south of Mosul, ordering people at gunpoint to follow them north into the city and apparently using them as human shields as they retreat from Iraqi forces. Witnesses to the forced evacuation describe scenes of chaos as hundreds of people were driven north across the Ninevah plains and into the heavily-fortified city, where the extremists are believed to be preparing for a climactic showdown. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

A Prescott firefighter said his department is “doing the best we can” after losing a hotshot crew to the Yarnell Hill Fire on Sunday.

Wade Ward told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday that his department was responding to multiple calls when they got the call that hotshots were hiding under shelters, a last-ditch effort to save their own lives.

“I knew all of them,” he said.

After he learned that 19 were killed, Wade said the department’s thoughts went immediately to caring for one another and the families of the men that were lost.

While the possibility of a dangerous situation is always present, Ward said the firefighters know they have a job to do.

“There’s lots of parts about our jobs that are not easy and there’s lots of parts about our jobs that are dangerous,” he said. “We accept those risks and mitigate them as much as possible.”

When asked to describe his emotions, Ward said he was “numb” and that the deaths of the hotshots was an “unbelievable tragedy.”

For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to

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