129 Homes Lost in Deadly Arizona Fire

Nearly 130 homes and structures have burned in an Arizona wildfire that claimed the lives of 19 members of an elite firefighting crew, reports the Associated Press.

Officials earlier had provided varying estimates ranging from 50 to 250 homes and other buildings lost in the small town of Yarnell. They were able to get a better estimate after getting a closer look at the scene.

Nearly 600 firefighters are battling the fire, which has burned about 13 square miles. Hundreds of residents remain evacuated.

The firefighters and law enforcement gathered along a highway to honor the Prescott-based unit deployed last weekend. One of the vehicles held backpacks, water jugs and coolers. Another was emblazoned with the group's motto, in Latin: "To be, rather than to seem."

Fire crews across the U.S. planned to also pause throughout the day to remember the Granite Mountain Hotshots and recognize the dangers firefighters face, said Jim Whittington, spokesman for Southwest Incident Command Team.

"One of the things that defines the entire wildland firefighting community is we don't forget," he said, adding that crews pay tribute every year to those who have died in the nation's worst firefighting disasters.

"And we will remember this one," he said, his voice shaking. "It's tough."

Read more of the story here http://bo.st/16NP8aB

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