The IAM is mourning the 19 firefighters killed Sunday while fighting a wildfire raging through central Arizona, northwest of Phoenix. It was the deadliest day for American firefighters since the 9/11 attacks.
The firefighters, all members of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshot crew, were part of an elite squad that engages out-of-control fires at close range, trying to stop its spread and save property and human life.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out the victims and families affected by this terrible tragedy,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “We remain ever-thankful for the tremendous risks these extraordinary men and women take on a daily basis to keep us all safe.”
Including the latest deaths in Arizona, 63 firefighters have been killed on the job in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty.
Click here to visit a Facebook page commemorating the Prescott firefighters who lost their lives.