Young girls and women wear khangas, a traditional wrap, with the image of U.S. President Barack Obama as they line up to enter the State House, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Monday, July 1, 2013, to greet and perform for U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The Democratic president is due to fly into Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday, the last stop on a weeklong tour of Africa that wraps up Tuesday, while his Republican predecessor coincidentally also plans to be there for a
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) - President Barack Obama says the deaths of 19 firefighters who died battling an Arizona wildfire are a heartbreaking reminder that emergency personnel put their lives on the line every day while rushing toward danger.
President Obama, who spoke from Africa on Monday, added that America's thoughts and prayers go out to their families.
He said, quote, "We are heartbroken about what happened."
President Obama says his administration is prepared to help Arizona investigate how the deaths happened. He predicted the incident will force government leaders to answer broader questions about how they handle increasingly destructive and deadly wildfires.
The firefighters, members of an elite crew fighting a forest fire northwest of Phoenix, were overtaken Sunday by a fast-moving blazed fueled by hot winds. Some 200 homes also were destroyed.