On the bleachers, two women held each other and wept into tissues. An elderly man clutched a wooden walking stick and gazed at the ground. Many of the residents were red-eyed, and listened with their hands over their mouths.
A makeshift memorial of flower bouquets and American flags formed at the Prescott fire station where the crew was based. Prescott resident Keith Gustafson showed up and placed 19 water bottles in the shape of a heart.
"When I heard about this, it just hit me hard," he said. "It hit me like a ton of bricks."
Hotshot crews go through specialized training and are sent in to battle the nation's fiercest wildfires. Sometimes they hike for miles into the wilderness with heavy gear to build lines of protection between people and fires. They remove anything that might burn in the direction of homes and cities.
More than 200 firefighters and support personnel were assigned to the wildfire as of Monday morning. They included 18 hotshot crews from around the country. Such crews typically have about 20 members each. The number of hotshot crews assigned to the fire is expected to at least double, Reichling said.
The U.S. has 110 hotshot crews, according to the U.S. Forest Service website.
Arizona is in the midst of a historic drought that has left large parts of the state highly flammable.
"Until we get a significant showing of the monsoons, it's show time and it's dangerous, really dangerous," incident commander Roy Hall said.
The National Fire Protection Association website lists the last wildland fire to kill more firefighters as the 1933 Griffith Park fire of Los Angeles, which killed 29. The biggest loss of firefighters in U.S. history was 343, killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York.
In 1994, the Storm King Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colo., killed 14 firefighters who were overtaken by a sudden explosion of flames.
Television aerial video footage showed law enforcement vehicles patrolling Yarnell, driving streets with burned buildings on both sides.
As the blaze spread, people started fleeing, including Chuck Overmyer and his wife, Ninabill. They were helping friends leave when the blaze switched directions and moved toward his property. They loaded up what belongings they could, including three dogs and a 1930 hot rod, on a trailer.
As he looked out his rear-view mirror he could see embers on the roof of his garage.
"We knew it was gone," he said.
He later went to the Arrowhead Bar and Grill in nearby Congress, where he and other locals watched on TV as the fire destroyed his house.
The Red Cross opened two shelters in the area -- one at Yavapai College in Prescott and the other in a high school gym.