Yarnell Hill wildfire, a photographer's story - KMSP-TV

Yarnell Hill wildfire, a photographer's story

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The Yarnell Hill Fire anniversary is almost a week away. It's the fire that killed 19 hotshot firefighters and torched land destroying homes.

A photographer captured the destruction and loneliness of the area.

"The ground is black, everything is black, everything is gone. It looks like this for acres and acres," said George Berke.

Berke took photos in the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill Fire 25 days after the fire.

"I didn't know what to expect, what you see when you get there, it's so different than what you see on TV," he said.

He didn't realize how close he would come to the village where the firefighters had fallen. He could see the area from US 89, the people who lost their homes were in the shadows of where the firefighters died.

"I saw a lot of things; I saw anger, pain, a sense of hope, so many emotions," said Berke.

George was surprised how one home was untouched by the fire and then another home next to it burned to the ground.

"It's just amazing how haphazard a fire can be," he said.

There is a story behind every picture, one with green grass coming up from the ground shows hope.

Berke's work is on display at the Phoenix Library in the central gallery from June 17th to August 12th, and there is no charge to view the gallery.
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