published Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Deadly Arizona fire now 80 percent contained

This aerial photo shows Yarnell, Ariz. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill Fire that claimed the lives of 19 members of an elite firefighting crew on Sunday. The wildfire has burned structures and forced evacuations as hundreds of firefighters work to contain the blaze.
This aerial photo shows Yarnell, Ariz. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill Fire that claimed the lives of 19 members of an elite firefighting crew on Sunday. The wildfire has burned structures and forced evacuations as hundreds of firefighters work to contain the blaze.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

YARNELL, Ariz. — Containment on the Arizona wildfire that killed 19 firefighters over the weekend has nearly doubled.

Fire officials say the Yarnell Hill Fire is 80 percent contained, up from 45 percent earlier in the day Thursday.

On Sunday, violent winds took the Granite Mountain Hotshots by surprise and killed 19 members of the elite crew.

The fire also destroyed more than 100 homes and has burned about 13 square miles. Residents of the small town of Yarnell remain evacuated.

Residents of another area called Peeples Valley were allowed to return home Thursday.

More than 600 firefighters continue to fight the blaze as authorities plan a memorial for the men on Tuesday.

Their bodies, which are in Phoenix for autopsies, will be returned home to Prescott on Sunday.

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