US wildfire '45% contained'

US fire officials have said that a deadly wildfire which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters is now 45 percent under control. The blaze in the state of Arizona has engulfed thousands of acres including large parts of the town of Yarnell.

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Firefighters gain ground against Arizona wildfire

Fire officials have said they are gaining ground against a deadly wildfire in the US state of Arizona after it claimed the lives of 19 firefighters at the weekend.

While the fire remained dangerous and unpredictable, it is no longer burning out of control and fire managers expect to report some measure of containment by day's end.

"We gained some ground ... it's been a pretty good day, and the fire has stayed mostly parked where it was 24 hours ago," said Jim Whittington, a spokesman for the incident commander.

Arizonans pay tribute to 19 firefighters killed in wildfire

Elite firefighters in the US city of Prescott have gathered to remember 19 colleagues who were killed battling a wildfire in Arizona at the weekend.

Many of them were visibly upset as they held a moment of silence during a memorial service.

Firefighters mourn during a moment of silence for the 19 firefighters who died at a memorial service in Prescott, Arizona Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Other members of the public paid tribute to their sacrifice at a makeshift memorial where they left flowers, prayers and US flags.

A photo of Wade Parker, one of 19 firefighters who died Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Lott
A woman carries her dog as she views a makeshift memorial in Prescott, Arizona Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Lott

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Tragic deaths: Biggest loss of US firefighters since 9/11

They were highly skilled and trained to battle raging wild fires, but the flames proved too much for 19 elite US firefighters who were all killed doing their job.

It is the biggest loss of life among firefighters since the 9/11 terror attacks.

The wildfires started near the town of Yarnell, 80 miles northwest of Arizona'a capital Phoenix.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

More fire crews called in as Arizona wildfire spreads

The fast-moving Arizona wildfire that killed 19 elite firefighters over the weekend has engulfed more than 8,370 acres and continues to rage unchecked, state officials said.

Arizona's Incident Management Team warned that today's gusty winds and high temperatures could result in "erratic" shifts in the fire, which has grown quickly in size from about 1,000 acres on Sunday.

The Yarnell Hill fire is seen burning in this view from Highway I-17 near Yarnell, Arizona. Credit: Reuters/Arizona State Forestry Division

Additional crews and equipment were due at the scene near the town of Yarnell, about 80 miles (128 km) northwest of Phoenix, officials said in a statement.

Forecasts predict a 20 per cent chance of thunderstorms and possible rain showers.

An aerial view shows the Yarnell Hill fire burning near Yarnell, Arizona. Credit: Reuters/ Arizona State Forestry Division.
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