President Barack Obama called the 19 firefighters who died Sunday while battling an Arizona wildfire "heroes" and "highly skilled professionals."
The Yarnell Hill Fire started with a lightning strike on Friday and spread to 2,000 acres on Sunday amid triple-digit temperatures.
Eighteen of the victims were from the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots, fire officials said. It's not known where the other victim was based.
Here is Obama's complete statement:
"Yesterday (Sunday), 19 firefighters were killed in the line of duty while fighting a wildfire outside Yarnell, Arizona. They were heroes - highly-skilled professionals who, like so many across our country do every day, selflessly put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet.
"In recent days, hundreds of firefighters have battled extremely dangerous blazes across Arizona and the Southwest. The federal government is already assisting, and we will remain in close contact with state and local officials to provide the support they need.
"But today, Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy."
Obama issued the statement while on a trip to South Africa.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Pres. Obama mourns deaths of AZ firefightersMore>>
Thursday, July 24 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:23:25 GMT
The Yavapai County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identities of four people who died after a single-engine plane crashed in rough terrain northwest of Sedona on Sunday.More >
The victims were the pilot, Jonathan McGeary, 22, of Flagstaff; Levi Wallace, 23, of Prescott; Johanna Naber, 18, of Shellbrook, Saskatchewan Canada; and Sabrina Giebelen, 19, of Krefeld, Germany.More >
Tuesday, July 15 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-07-15 17:59:16 GMT
Use of cables and helicopters to drag and lift logs from forest slopes are among thinning alternatives under consideration to protect Flagstaff from wildfire and its watershed from flooding.The ArizonaMore >
Use of cables and helicopters to drag and lift logs from forest slopes are among thinning alternatives under consideration to protect Flagstaff from wildfire and its watershed from flooding.More >
Tuesday, July 8 2014 1:22 PM EDT2014-07-08 17:22:26 GMT
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $615 million to help fight wildfires as the summer season is already prompting blazes across western states.The White House said Obama will submit the requestMore >
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $615 million to help fight wildfires as the summer season is already prompting blazes across western states. More >
Friday, June 27 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-06-27 16:05:07 GMT
Here's a look at the wildfires that have flared up and burned acreage in Arizona this wildfire season, according to the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention. Odonnell Fire - April 21 Brown Fire -More >
Here's a look at the wildfires that have flared up and burned acreage in Arizona this wildfire season, according to the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention.More >
Wednesday, June 25 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-06-25 17:03:16 GMT
Firefighters have reopened all roads around a wildfire that has scorched nearly 23 square miles of terrain on the Navajo Nation just east of the Arizona-New Mexico border.Navajo Nation officials say roadwaysMore >
Firefighters have reopened all roads around a wildfire that has scorched nearly 23 square miles of terrain on the Navajo Nation just east of the Arizona-New Mexico border.More >
They were born just two weeks apart. A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old pit bull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other! Louisiana native Brandi Hodges, 25, has posted photosMore >
A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old Pitbull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other!More >
Monday, July 28 2014 2:08 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:08:17 GMT
NWS: Macroburst hit north Phoenix with 100 mph winds
A macroburst with winds in excess of 100 mph hit north Phoenix Saturday night, snapping power poles, toppling trees and cutting power to 33,000 utility customers, the National Weather Service said.More >
Intense macrobursts can cause tornado-force damage of up to F3 intensity, the National Weather Service said after it confirmed the event. The Paradise Valley Hospital sustained rooftop damage.More >
Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:27 GMT
Authorities now say 14 people - including a 15-year-old - have been struck by lightning during rare summer thunderstorms that have swept through Southern California, injuring two critically.More >
A 20-year-old man died Sunday after lightning struck or rattled 13 people at a popular Los Angeles beach and a golfer on Catalina Island during summer thunderstorms that swept through Southern California, authorities said.More >