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Authorities: Fatal fire raced 4 miles in 20 minutes

YARNELL, Ariz. -- Containment of an Arizona wildland fire that killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots over the weekend rose to 45 percent on Wednesday as nearly 700 firefighters worked to keep the fire from growing any larger.

The blaze has burned about 13 square miles in Yavapai County, where hundreds of people remain evacuated. Authorities say they hope to allow residents back into their homes over the weekend and to contain the fire by July 12.

Meantime, Arizona State Forester Scott Hunt said, ``We have a responsibility to those lost and their loved ones, as well as to current and future wildland firefighters, to understand what happened as completely as possible.''

Sheriff Capt. Jeff Newnum says investigators have determined that at one point on Sunday, the day the Hotshots were killed, that the blaze raced four miles in just 20 minutes- fed by dry brush and 41 mph winds.


For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to yarnellfallenfirefighters.com.

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