An elite crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, trained to battle the nation's fiercest wildfires lost their lives Sunday night battling an out of control wildfire in Yarnell, just northwest of Phoenix.
FOX News Radio's Jeff Monosso reports:
They were the best of the best. A team of specialized fire fighters who tackled the nation's worst wildfires.
All but one of the 20 member team from Prescott, Arizona, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, have been killed in a wild fire in Yarnell, northwest of Phoenix that still rages out of control.
(Fraijo) "We're devastated. We just lost 19 of some of the finest people you'll ever meet. Right now we're in crisis."
Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo.
The team of fire fighters died while taking cover in fire-resistant shields. Some 2,000 acres and 200 homes have also burned.
Jeff Monosso, FOX News Radio.
Watch a video below for more on this story:
The Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives are:
Ashcraft, Andrew - Age: 29 Caldwell, Robert - Age: 23 Carter, Travis - Age: 31 Deford, Dustin - Age: 24 MacKenzie, Christopher - Age: 30 Marsh, Eric - Age: 43 McKee, Grant - Age: 21 Misner, Sean - Age: 26 Norris, Scott - Age: 28 Parker, Wade - Age: 22 Percin, John - Age: 24 Rose, Anthony - Age: 23 Steed, Jesse - Age: 36 Thurston, Joe - Age: 32 Turbyfill, Travis - Age: 27 Warneke, William - Age: 25 Whitted, Clayton - Age: 28 Woyjeck, Kevin - Age: 21 Zuppiger, Garret - Age: 27
READ a statement by Senator John McCain on the Yarnell Fire:
"This evening, the families and loved ones of the brave firefighters who lost their lives battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in Central Arizona - as well as those still fighting the fire - are in the thoughts and prayers of all Americans. This devastating loss is a reminder of the grave risks our firefighters take every day on our behalf in Arizona and in communities across this nation. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten."
READ a statement from Governor Jan Brewer on the Yarnell Fire:
"This is as dark a day as I can remember, with Arizona suffering the truly unimaginable loss of 19 wildland firefighters. They were battling the Yarnell Fire, near Prescott, when the fast-moving blaze overtook their position.
It may be days or longer before an investigation reveals how this tragedy occurred, but the essence we already know in our hearts: fighting fires is dangerous work. The risk is well-known to the brave men and women who don their gear and do battle against forest and flame.
When a tragedy like this strikes, all we can do is offer our eternal gratitude to the fallen, and prayers for the families and friends left behind. God bless them all."
READ a statement by the President on the Yarnell Fire:
"Yesterday, nineteen firefighters were killed in the line of duty while fighting a wildfire outside Yarnell, Arizona. They were heroes -- highly-skilled professionals who, like so many across our country do every day, selflessly put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet. In recent days, hundreds of firefighters have battled extremely dangerous blazes across Arizona and the Southwest. The federal government is already assisting, and we will remain in close contact with state and local officials to provide the support they need. But today, Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy."