Friday, January 30th0.4°C

Fire that killed firefighters 45% contained

Fire managers expect containment of the U.S. wildfire that killed 19 elite firefighters to increase quickly.

The Arizona fire is burning on about 13 square miles (35 sq. kilometres). It is 45 per cent contained, and fire officials say they expect to have it up to 85 per cent contained by Thursday night.

Spokeswoman Karen Takai says that will begin to rise because crews are starting to connect the areas that already are contained. About 680 firefighters are on the scene.

Takai says winds are light, but gusts and thunderstorms are a threat, and it's still very dry.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office says an initial autopsy report on the firefighters says they died from accidental "fire-related injuries", burns and inhalation problems.

Violent winds turned the fire, taking the crew by surprise. An investigation is under way to find out what went wrong.

The Canadian Press

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