Only a “perfect storm” of conditions could have overtaken the elite team that lost 19 men battling a wildfire in Arizona, authorities said Monday as they came to grips with the deadliest single event for firefighters since Sept. 11.
The fire, raging on a hot and gusty Sunday afternoon, took out all but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team known for its extensive training and demanding fitness regimen.
The men were killed about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, near the town of Yarnell. It was the biggest loss of firefighter life since 340 died at the World Trade Center. It was the worst wildfire since 1933, when 29 were killed in Los Angeles. -NBCnews.com