Horrible news from Arizona tonight:
From the Daily Courier:
The Prescott Fire Department lost nearly its entire crew today – the Granite Mountain Hotshots – with 18 firefighters dying and one surviving.
Prescott Fire spokesman Wade Ward told The Daily Courier the crew was battling the Yarnell fire, which has resulted in evacuations as it has grown to an estimated 1,300 acres in size.
A report of eight injured firefighters earlier in the evening was unconfirmed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with these brave heroes and their families.
The Arizona Republic reports the fire has burned over 2,000 acres and has zero containment.
Twitchy will monitor this story and post updates as they become available.
(hat tip @einfal)
Updates: Some reports say death toll is 19.
Please keep all affected in your prayers.
AZ Sen. Flake reacts:
AZ’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County tweets:
Former AZ congresswoman Gabby Giffords adds:
One Twitter user in Arizona posts a photo of what seemingly started out as a small fire caused by lightning on Friday night.
Details from the press conference late tonight as Yarnell and Prescott continue to battle the blaze:
Update: It is now being confirmed that the death toll is 19.