(FOX NEWS) Eighteen members of an elite Hotshots firefighting crew and one other person who were killed Sunday in an Arizona wildfire tried to protect themselves by deploying tent-like structures before they were overtaken, a state forestry spokesman says.

The lightning-sparked fire, which spread to more than 8,000 acres amid triple-digit temperatures, destroyed at least 50 structures and threatened 500 people in Yarnell, a town of about 700 residents that sits 85 miles northwest of Phoenix, the Yavapai County Emergency Management said Monday. Most people had evacuated from the town, and no injuries or other deaths were reported. It was zero percent contained as of Monday morning local time.

The fire killed 18 members of the 20-member of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots crew, which were known for battling the region’s worst fires. The average age of the men in the crew was 22-years-old, Fox 10 reports.

 

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.