PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Residents who fled their homes as a wall of flames approached Yarnell, Ariz., a week ago will have their first chance to return Monday morning to take stock of the fire's toll and begin the process of rebuilding the scorched town.
Their return comes amid mourning, one day after the remains of 19 firefighters killed in the blaze were returned home to Prescott in a solemn procession that paused in Yarnell and drew large crowds to honor the fallen men along the way.The fire, which has consumed 8,400 acres, is 90% contained, with full containment expected by Friday.
Residents in parts of nearby Peeples Valley have already been allowed to return.
Beginning 9 a.m. Monday, access will be given only to residents able to offer proof of a physical address, according to a statement issued by fire officials. Officials said that bottled water will be available, and those staying have been advised to boil house water for several days as lines continue to be flushed.
Authorities said that work continues on restoring such services as power, water, communication and gas.
Many residents were eager to get home or see for themselves whether their home still stood.
"I want to go in now and see whether it's gone or not," one resident, Maria Adams, told the Los Angeles Times recently after a town hall meeting. She and her husband were unsure of the status of their home. "I want to see it so I can have some closure."