19 firefighters unaccounted for in Ariz. blaze

arizona wildfire
The Yarnell Hill Fire encroaches on a home in Glenn Ilah on Sunday, June 30, 2013 near Yarnell, Ariz. The fire started Friday and picked up momentum as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. It has forced the evacuation of residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski)

YARNELL, Ariz. (AP) — A fire information officer says 19 firefighters are unaccounted for while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Mike Reichling told the Arizona Republic that 20 firefighters were involved in a “serious incident.”

The newspaper reports that one of the firefighters has been located.

The Yavapai (YAV’-uh-py) County Sheriff’s Office has notified residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell to evacuate.

Arizona wildfire
Dean Smith watches as the Yarnell Hill Fire encroaches on his home in Glenn Ilah on Sunday, June 30, 2013 near Yarnell, Ariz. The fire started Friday and picked up momentum as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions. It has forced the evacuation of residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski)

Earlier, the fast-moving fire prompted evacuations of 50 homes in the Buckhorn, Model Creek and Double A Bar Ranch areas about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

The Red Cross said opened a shelter at Yavapai College in Prescott.

The Yarnell Hill Fire now covers nearly 2,000 acres, according to the newspaper.

The fire started Friday but picked up momentum Sunday as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

About two hundred firefighters are now working at the fire, but an additional 130 firefighters and more water- and retardant-dropping helicopters and aircraft are on their way.

In another Arizona fire, a 2-acre blaze that started at a motorcycle salvage yard and spread to a trailer park has destroyed five mobile homes in the Gila County community of Rye, located more than 130 miles east of Yarnell.

Gila County Health and Emergency Services Director Michael O’Driscoll said no one was injured in Rye.

The fire was ignited Saturday night at All Bikes Sales located off Highway 87. It spread to neighboring federal Forest Service land but was fully contained within 12 hours of its start.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Seven adults and two children were staying at a shelter set up for people who were evacuated, the Red Cross said.

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Arizona Wildfires
FILE – In this June 2, 2012 file photo, firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots of Prescott, Ariz. cut a fire line along a mountain ridge in the Gila National Forest outside Mogollon, N.M. On Sunday, June 30, 2013, a fast-moving wildfire killed 19 firefighters from this group after the blaze raced through the central Arizona town of Yarnell, about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Tara Ross)

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