Arizona Firefighter Spokesman: 'They Were the Best'

Wade Ward discusses the 19 elite firefighters killed in a wildfire.
2:37 | 07/01/13

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Transcript for Arizona Firefighter Spokesman: 'They Were the Best'
Let's bring in wade ward, the prescott, arizona, fire department spokesman joining us with the very latest right now and, wade, again, on behalf of all of us at abc news, our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of just unspeakable tragedy, and in the face of this tragedy, wade, and with hundreds of firefighters still on the front lines of this fire, how is everyone coping right now? It's a difficult question. It's -- it's an unbelievable situation. We never expected to be in this. We have a crew of highly trained men that were on this fire and all I can say is it had to be a perfect circumstances for something like this to happen. These were young men, members of your community that we're talking about here. What sort of men were lost yesterday? They were the best. The best that we had, the best that you've ever seen. If you would meet them, they're the kind of folks that would give the shirt off their back at any moment. So what exactly happened in this moment? Well, what exactly happened, we have no idea at this point. Obviously the fire is under investigation. What I can tell you is the only way something like this could happen to this crew is it had to be the perfect storm, a combination of monsoon storms that we had just start blowing into the southwest here in the last three days that started to build and wind conditions, again, these folks are highly trained. Their situational awareness is at the peak when they're on the line. This is just an accident. It's purely a completely tragic accident that it happened. And I know as something of a last chance, they did have emergency fire shelters that were deployed. What can you tell us about these shelters? Well, just like you said, this is a last-ditch he was for firefighters that are on the line. The fire shelter is something that we're highly trained on, try not to think too much about them because they are a last-ditch effort. We do everything that we can to mitigate the situation so that we never ever have to pull one of those. In this circumstances, apparently they did, which tells us that the circumstances were horrible, and they had no other option to deploy. And, wade, I know you mentioned an investigation will ensue. Meanwhile, of course, hundreds of firefighters are still battling this blaze that has consumed thousands of acres.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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