Officials: Yarnell Hill Fire 100 percent contained
What's left of Robert Westall's home in Yarnell. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Yarnell Hill Fire is 100-percent contained. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PRESCOTT, AZ (CBS5) -
The Yarnell Hill Fire that claimed the lives of 19 elite hotshots and destroyed more than 100 structures is 100 percent contained, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday night.
The fire, which has blackened 8,377 acres, began June 28 when lightning struck and ignited dry brush.
U.S. Highway 89 in Yarnell has reopened.
Individual services for five of the fallen firefighters took place on Wednesday, one day after all 19 were memorialized at a special service in Prescott Valley.
Gov. Jan Brewer has requested a federal major disaster declaration be issued for the Yarnell Hill Fire. Brewer said she sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday to formally request the declaration.
The U.S. Postal Service has resumed operations at the Yarnell Post Office, which had been closed since July 1 when most of the community was evacuated by a wildfire. Authorities say the post office wasn't damaged by the blaze.
Those displaced by the fire are getting their first look at the devastation.
Jerry Jones-Florman of Yarnell has called what's now a pile of rubble home.
When asked if she would rebuild, she said, "I've probably been asked that I don't know how many times, maybe 30 times in the past week. Most of the time I've said, 'I don't know. I don't know.'"
The site where the firefighters died will be visible from a new overlook that will be open to the public.
Drivers who stop at the site alongside Highway 89 near Yarnell will be able to see a flagpole in the distance that marks the site where the Granite Mountain Hotshots were trapped by the fire.
Fire departments across Arizona are lending a helping hand to the Prescott Fire Department in the aftermath of the wildfire.
Firefighters and paramedics from communities as far away as Douglas and Yuma and as near as Chino Valley and Flagstaff have rotated into Prescott to provide relief for Prescott's department.
Fire investigators are trying to determine what circumstances led to the firefighters' deaths. They are looking at communication, command structure and the plans used to fight the fire.
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