Kentuckiana firefighters mourn loss, 19 killed in Ariz. wildfire

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by Brittany Gonzalez

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 1 at 5:51 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Even thousand's of miles from where tragedy stuck in Arizona leaving 19 firefighters dead, Kentuckiana rangers are coping with the loss.

“Anytime anyone is hurt or killed in a fire like this we definitely feel it here at home we understand what they are experiencing out there,” said Ranger Matt Haywood.  

Haywood has been a ranger for nearly 15 years he says he’s been lucky enough to never have to deploy a fire shelter like the 19 elite Hotshot crew members were forced to. The fire shelters serve as a tent that are able to withstand several hundred degrees.

The 19 firefighters died when a massive blaze in Yarnell, Arizona, circled around them on  Sunday. The news is still very shocking to Haywood.

“They know what they are doing so anything that could get a Hotshot crew in trouble had to be a very sudden change of conditions,” said Haywood.

Haywood said he hopes this tragedy will help improve training in the future. At this point there is no official word on if any rangers from Kentucky will go to Arizona to help battle the massive fire there.

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