Yarnell Hill fire

Winds helped turn the Yarnell Hill fire into one of the deadliest in the history of fighting wildfires.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a lightning strike triggers a fire west of Yarnell in central Arizona. By Saturday evening, the fire spreads to 100 acres.

By morning the fire expands to 200 acres and advances on the Glen Ilah subdivision in Yarnell. The Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew rushes out to battle the blaze.

Nearby weather stations record southwesterly winds.

Winds reverse direction and increase speed, with gusts reaching 41 mph. A witness likens a swirling column of dark smoke to a tornado. Nineteen members of the hotshot crew are trapped. They perish.

The fire perimeter spreads through Yarnell and into neighboring Peeples Valley. The bodies of the 19 firefighters are recovered.

Sources: GeoMac, InciWeb, Arizona State Forestry Division, Census Bureau, USGS, BLM, National Weather Service, Times reporting

Credits: Thomas Suh Lauder and Lorena IƱiguez Elebee, TimelineSetter