Reuters – Nineteen Firefighters Killed Battling Arizona Blaze – 1 July 2013

Firefighters move away from the Yarnell Hill Fire, near the town of Yarnell, Arizona, about 80 miles (128 km) northwest of Phoenix in this June 30, 2013 handout photo. REUTERS/Arizona State Forestry Division/Handout

5:38am EDT

By Tim Gaynor

PRESCOTT, Arizona | Mon Jul 1, 2013 6:25am EDT

(Reuters) – An elite team of 19 firemen were killed on Sunday in one of deadliest U.S. firefighting disasters in decades as flames raced through dry brush and grass in central Arizona, destroying scores of homes and forcing the evacuation of two towns.

It was the greatest loss of life among firefighters from a single wildland blaze in the United States in 80 years, since 29 men died battling the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles, according to National Fire Protection Association records.

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