Local Firefighter Discusses Arizona Tragedy - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Firefighter Discusses Arizona Tragedy

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A local firefighter who worked with the group of Arizona firefighters who lost their lives over the weekend says the firefighting community across the country is in mourning.

"Everybody's pretty well, grief-stricken, right. Now we're right smack in the middle of fire season. So I know nationwide on some they've had safety stand downs for two to four hours of the incident's just so people can regroup."

Capt. John Kennedy is part of a National Incident Management Team and worked with the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew last summer.

A fire station in Prescott, residents have been dropping by to pay their respects for the fallen firefighters.

Rhonda Tramel brought clothes-pins to the memorial to keep items from blowing away. "I've been clothes-pinning flags, and shirts for honor, integrity, respect for what has happened here."

Autopsies are being done on the fallen firefighters, a process which could last through the Fourth of July holiday.

Meanwhile, investigators are in the Arizona mountain town of Yarnell to figure out why 19 elite firefighters perished in an out-of-control wildfire and whether human error played a role in the tragedy.
 
The investigation will look at whether the Hotshot crew paid attention to the forecast, created an escape route and took other precautions developed after a similar disaster in Colorado nearly two decades ago.
 
The team of about 10 investigators from various agencies also will look at whether the crew should have been pulled out before the fire exploded on Sunday.
 
About 500 firefighters are fighting powerful winds as they continue to battle the fire, which has burned about 13 square miles.
 
Yavapai County authorities said about 200 homes and other structures burned in Yarnell, and hundreds of people have been evacuated. (AP)

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