The Arizona wildfire that killed 19 firefighters on Sunday continues to burn Tuesday with fire crews continuing to battle the devastating killer blaze.
Northern Arizona communities were still mourning Tuesday after a memorial was held for the 19 elite firefighters on Monday evening. Firefighters and families had gathered Monday to mourn the lost firemen, who died in the nation's biggest loss of firefighters since 9/11, as well as the most firefighter deaths in a wildfire for 80 years.
The 19 firefighters belonged to the 20-member Granite Mountain Hotshots, a unit based in the town of Prescott, Fire Chief Dan Fraijo has said.
Authorities have confirmed that only one member of the team survived, and he only did so because he was moving the team's fire truck at the time.
Gov. Jan Brewer said at the Monday press conference, "Nineteen lives were lost, brave men who gave their lives in defense of friends, neighbors and perfect strangers."
The Arizona fire has now consumed to more than 13 square miles has destroyed about 50 homes and put in danger about 250 other residences around the small town of Yarnell. The town is in the mountains and only home to about 700 people, located about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.
As yet it is still unclear how the 19 firefighters became trapped by the fast-spreading fire. Authorities believe that the crew were following safety protocols, and that they were likely consumed by the flames simply due to the erratic nature of the blaze.
It has also been confirmed by a National Weather Service spokesman that there was a sudden change and increase in wind at about the same time the tragedy occurred, and it is believed that may have caught the firefighters unaware. That large increase in winds allowed the fire to spread from about 200 acres to more than 2,000 acres in just a matter of hours, according to reports.
The loss of 19 firefighters to a wildfire is the largest since the massive 1933 Griffith Park blaze in Los Angeles, which killed 29 firemen. Of course the largest loss of firefighters in United States history came during 9/11 when 343 firefighters were lost as the World Trade Center towers collapsed as they helped evacuate the buildings.
Here is a video showing footage of the fire: