Tucson-area firefighters step in to help in Prescott area

2013-07-03T00:00:00Z 2013-07-03T07:30:47Z Tucson-area firefighters step in to help in Prescott areaArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Several firefighters from the Tucson area are in Prescott and Yarnell lending assistance in the aftermath of Sunday's mass casualties.

Nineteen firefighters from the 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots unit based in Prescott died when wind changed directions and brought 40 to 50 mph gusts that caused the firefighters to become trapped. The blaze grew from 200 acres to about 2,000 in a matter of hours.

While fire personnel in Prescott deal with the aftermath of the tragedy, workers from the Northwest and Golder Ranch fire districts in the Tucson area are helping out.

A battalion chief from Northwest Fire is serving as an interim chief officer to "essentially run their department while they deal with the loss of their firefighters," said Capt. Adam Goldberg, spokesman for the district.

Two other Northwest firefighters are working at the fire incident command post on the Yarnell Fire, providing logistics support - ordering supplies, maintaining inventory and issuing gear, Goldberg said.

Golder Ranch Fire District Chief Randy Karrer headed to Prescott on Monday on behalf of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association, to lend support, said Battalion Chief William Seeley, a spokesman for district. Next week the district will send an engine and three firefighters to Prescott to provide coverage while local crews attend funerals and memorials for those who died in the Yarnell blaze.

"I can't even imagine what they've been going through the last couple days," Seeley said.

rain helps slow 2 s. Ariz. wildfires

Monsoon rains Monday provided some relief for two large wildfires in Southern Arizona.

The W 2 Fire, which has scorched about 530 acres along the international border nine miles east of Nogales, Ariz., was 95 percent contained Tuesday afternoon, Gerry Perry, a spokesman for the Coronado National Forest, said in a news release.

The Prison Fire, adjacent to Molino Basin in the Santa Catalina Mountains, has burned 240 acres and was 50 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon, Perry said. Two crews, a helicopter and two water tenders remain assigned to the blaze as crews continue to monitor the perimeter and mop up. Full containment is expected by Thursday.

Kimberly Matas

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