Yarnell Hill wildfire is 100 percent contained

Jul 10, 2013, 8:37 PM | Updated: Dec 31, 2013, 10:39 am

YARNELL, Ariz. — Fire crews made significant progress on the Yarnell Hill wildfire over the last two days.

On Wednesday evening, the fire is now 100 percent contained, according to the official Twitter account of the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The fire has burned more than 8,500 acres and destroyed 129 structures around the town of Yarnell, Ariz.

On Sunday, 19 Prescott-based hotshots were killed when the fire was fueled by shifting winds.

Forestry spokesman Art Morrison said the firefighters were forced to deploy their fire shelters, tentlike structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat. Officials are investigating how the crew became trapped.

Those firefighters will be remembered at a memorial service on Tuesday.

Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall said he received calls from all over, including one from President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, the latter of which offered to end an overseas tour and be in Prescott within 24 hours if need be.

“Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” said McCain in a statement.

Obama called the 19 firefighters heroes and said in a statement that the federal government was assisting state and local officials. Brewer said that she is also working with officials to determine need and the federal government would be paying for a majority of the firefighting efforts.

Kuykendall also said people should keep those that are still fighting in their thoughts.

“The entire community is proud of them,” he said of both those lost and those still working the fire.

The fire is the deadliest for wildfire firefighters in the nation since 1933, when 29 died in a blaze at a large Los Angeles park.

State Route 89 has been closed just north of Congress to south of Kirkland, from milepost 269 to milepost 285, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced. The department did not have an estimate of how long the closure would last but advised drivers to use U.S. 93 or Interstate 17 as alternate routes.

KTAR’s Jim Cross reported that lightning strikes Friday evening sparked the fire. It picked up momentum Sunday as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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

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Yarnell Hill wildfire is 100 percent contained