Yarnell Hill Fire 8 percent contained; residents might be allowed back Sat.


by Associated Press


Posted on July 2, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 5 at 10:32 AM

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- Fire officials say the Arizona wildfire that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters is 8 percent contained.

The new containment figure Tuesday evening marked the first clear sign of progress against the forest fire in the town of Yarnell being fought by nearly 600 firefighters.

Fire officials said evacuees might be allowed back into the fire area Saturday, but they are not making any promises. Those trying to get through the road closures were being turned away by sheriff's deputies Tuesday and Wednesday.

Teams on the ground continue to assess the damage to homes and other structures.

The Yarnell Hill Fire had been zero percent contained since Sunday when flames jumped amid shifting winds and created a death trap for 19 members of a Prescott-based Hotshot crew.

The day marked the nation's biggest loss of firefighters since 9/11, and it came as hot, dry weather hit the Southwest.

Jim Whittington, spokesman for Southwest Incident Command Team, said the fire remains at roughly 8,400 acres.

Containment was primarily along the northeast corner and southeast flank of the fire. Firefighters will try to get the whole east side contained Wednesday and continue to work the corners of the fire from there.

Chopper 3 aerials of Yarnell

Arizona News Headlines Video
More Video