Florida Forest Service: Arizona deaths department's worst nightmare

19 Arizona firefighters killed in wildfire

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Scott Peterich, a spokesman for the Florida Forest Service, on Monday called the wildfire in Arizona that killed 19 firefighters every department's worst nightmare.

Florida Forest Service firefighters were on standby, ready to head west to help.

Peterich said in Florida, they lost two firefighters last year in a much smaller fire but dangerous none the less.

"Inside of the fire, it creates its own weather," he said. "That's extreme fire behavior. It's unpredictable and dangerous."

Peterich showed Local 10's Neki Mohan the fire shelter that each of them carry as a tool of last resort.

"This would protect you from radiant heat," said Peterich.

The fire resistant shelter has a reflective exterior that keeps the heat away from the person inside but allows breathable air to come up from the ground.

But it does not protect a person if the fire is right on top of them.

"Our hearts go out to them. It had to be absolutely horrific. Our hearts go out to their families," said Peterich.

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