A growing wildfire in Arizona Wednesday prompted evacuations and threatened homes in the town of Yarnell, a community near the site of a 2013 blaze that claimed the lives of 19 firefighters, authorities said.
The fire grew from 100 acres Wednesday evening to an estimated 600 to 700 acres by around 8:30 p.m. local time (11:30 p.m. ET) the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said.
Between 250 to 300 people have been evacuated from their homes, Dolores Garcia, fire public affairs officer with the Bureau of Land Management said. Three structures have been destroyed but no homes burned, she said. The so-called Tenderfoot Fire broke out at around 3:15 p.m.
In 2013, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew died in the so-called Yarnell Hill fire, which was started by a lightning strike outside of town in June of that year and burned 8,400 acres and destroyed 129 structures.
Patrick Bernard, who evacuated his home Wednesday, recalled the deadly 2013 fire in an interview with NBC affiliate KPNX.
"Right now, here we are three years later doing the same thing. It’s surreal," Bernard, a father of five, told the station. There were no reports of injuries.
Sen. John McCain said in a Tweet that he was praying for the communities affected in an area “where 19 brave firefighters lost their lives just 3 years ago.”
Yarnell had a population of around 650 when the 2010 census was taken, and is located southwest of Prescott National Forest and about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix.