The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 4, 2013

Ariz. town honors fallen fire crew in 4th events

(Continued)

A team of forest managers and safety experts is charged with finding out what went wrong. In addition to examining radio logs, the fire site and weather reports, they'll also talk to the crew's sole survivor, a 21-year-old lookout who warned his fellow firefighters and friends that the wildfire was switching directions.

Nearly 600 firefighters continue to fight the blaze, which has burned about 13 square miles. Hundreds remain evacuated and at least 129 homes have been destroyed, according to a tally released Wednesday by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

Many of the evacuees are staying with friends and relatives in Prescott, where they have been frequenting public meetings and memorial services in town.

The fire was 45 percent contained Wednesday night, up from 8 percent earlier in the day, and authorities said the figure could change on the Fourth of July as they compile a more complete picture with sophisticated mapping techniques.

Evacuees, families of the fallen men, and firefighters from across the state are expected to attend the town's holiday celebrations.

As night fell Wednesday, mayor Marlin Kuykendall was still working with staff to determine who would speak in memory of the fallen firefighters before the fireworks display.

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