Photos: Arizona Firefighter Deaths Mark Active Wildfire Season

One of the deadliest fires in decades claimed the lives of 19 responders this weekend.

Prescott, Ariz., Fire Chief Dan Fraijo confirms that 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot team died while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire on Sunday, June 30, 2013. (Les Stukenberg//The Daily Courier/AP)

Prescott, Ariz., Fire Chief Dan Fraijo confirms that 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot team died while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire Sunday, June 30, 2013.

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The Yarnell Hill fire began with a lightning strike Friday night and by Sunday took the lives of 19 firefighters, spreading across more than 8,000 acres around Prescott, Ariz. – marking a dangerous season of containment tactics and evacuations throughout the country this year.

[PHOTOS: Extreme Weather Hit U.S. Hard]

The Arizona wildfire is the second deadliest fire since the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed 341 firefighters, and the third among wildfires, according to USA Today.

So far this year, responders have been called to California, New Mexico, Colorado and Wisconsin, among other states. The Black Forest fire in Colorado's El Paso district in mid-June was the most destructive in the state's history, and thousands evacuated Santa Barbara, Calif., before Memorial Day weekend to escape what was named the "White Fire."

As of Monday morning, officials reported 0 percent containment of the fire burning in Prescott.

Photographs tell of the destruction in the U.S. this year:

A plane drops retardant on the lightning-borne Yarnell Hill fire to help protect the Double Bar A Ranch near Peeples Valley, Ariz., Sunday.

[READ: Arizona Wildfire Kills 19 Elite Firefighters]

Flames top a ridge as the Yarnell Hill fire moves toward Peeples Valley, Ariz., Sunday.

Flames rise as a wildfire races toward Lake Hughes, Calif., on June 1, eventually scorching more than 20,000 acres and destroying dozens of homes.

Smoke billows into the sky as wildfires ravage Colorado's Black Forest.

A house burns in Highland, Wis., on May 13.

A firefighter controls a wildfire north of Santa Barbara, Calif., on May 28.

A firefighter watches from the rooftop of the Canyon Creek Complex sports camp on June 1 near Lake Hughes, Calif.

A wildfire engulfs the Black Forest near Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 12.

Idaho firefighter David Inskee tries for better reception while keeping an eye on wildfires west of Creede, Colo., on Monday, June 24. Crews usually come in from all over the country to help defend homes, roads and towns against an erratic wildfire.

 

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