19 Firefighters Killed in Arizona Wildfire - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

BREAKING: 19 Firefighters Killed in Arizona Wildfire

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YARNELL, Ariz. -

At least 19 firefighters were killed battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in a central Arizona community just north of Phoenix according to officials with the Prescott Fire Department.

Earlier Sunday, reports were coming in of 19 firefighters battling the blaze had not been heard from.

The fierce and fast moving fire prompted the evacuation of multiple homes in the Buckhorn, Model Creek and Double A Bar Ranch ranch areas northwest of Phoenix.

As the fire grew evacuations were expanded to communities in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell.

The wildfire has forced closures on major highways such as state Route 89, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced. It is unknown how long the closures will last but drivers are asked to take alternative routes.

The Yarnell Hill Fire now covers over 1,000 acres as hundreds of firefighters are now battling the blaze along with support from retardant-dropping helicopters and other aerial support.

The fire started Friday but increasingly grew Sunday due to high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

All 19 firefighters that were killed were members of the Prescott Fire Department.