3 firefighters killed, 4 hurt as ‘hellstorm’ overtakes vehicle

TWISP, Wash. (AP) – A “hellstorm” of flames apparently enveloped a vehicle that crashed while carrying firefighters battling a blaze in Washington state, killing three of them during an explosive fire season in the arid West.

Four other firefighters were hurt, including one critically, on Wednesday as crews fought raging wildfires advancing on towns in the north-central part of the state, some of the many blazes burning uncontrolled throughout the West.

Drought and heat have combined to make this fire season one of the most active in recent years. Nearly 29,000 firefighters are battling some 100 large blazes in states including Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and California.

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