As an extreme heatwave in the West provides a dangerous potential for fires, 19 firefighters in Arizona lost their lives when they became overwhelmed by a rapidly spreading wild fire. These 19 firefighters were part of an elite 20 member team of firefighters, meaning that only one member of this team survived. Firefighters face such a dangerous job that 43 firefighters have been killed so far this year, not including this 19 deaths. In 2013, 83 firefighters lost their lives.
While on a tour to improve U.S. relations in Africa, President Obama offered praise for the lost firefighters.