Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today visited the Incident Command Posts for the Yarnell Fire and Dean Peak Fire in Arizona, where she met with first responders and volunteers. Secretary Jewell thanked them for their service as they work to contain the fires and protect human life and property.
"The men and women who continue to fight the devastating fires in Yarnell and across the West are true heroes, and I'm here on behalf of the Administration to show our support for their work and dedication after this week's heartbreaking tragedy," said Secretary Jewell. "Interior and Forest Service employees are on the ground helping to fight the Yarnell fire, and we stand ready to provide whatever further assistance the state of Arizona and local communities need to extinguish the blaze and protect lives and property."
In honor of the 19 firefighters that died on Sunday, Jewell has directed flags to be flown at half-mast at all Interior assets, including national parks, fish and wildlife refuges, and public lands.
Jewell, along with Principal Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management Neil Kornze, met with Incident Commanders Clay Templin and Mike Quesinberry where they received a brief update on the efforts of state and local responders to contain the fire and how federal partners -- the U. S. Forest Service and Department of the Interior and the Federal Emergency Management Agency-- can best support their efforts.
There are currently 60 Department of the Interior personnel supporting the State of Arizona in the coordinated, interagency response to the Yarnell Fire. A Type I Incident Management Team is managing the fire, with support from a National Incident Management Organization team. There are a total of 448 Interagency fire personnel assigned to the incident.
Jewell and Kornze also visited the Incident Management Team for the Dean Peak Fire, which is located about ten miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona. A Type II Incident Management Team is managing the fire in a full suppression strategy.
Overall, about 1,700 Interior personnel are among the more than 5,640 firefighters from the federal family who are currently working in partnership with local and state firefighters to battle fires in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and California.