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July 02, 2013

Wildfire Rages in Arizona

by VOA News

Hundreds have evacuated their homes in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona as emergency workers battle an out-of-control wildfire that killed 19 firefighters on Sunday.

A Prescott Fire Department volunteer said military air tankers and five helicopters were dumping water on "hot spots" in an effort to contain the fire.  He said emergency workers had evacuated 250 homes late Monday, with hundreds of firefighters working around the clock. 

Meteorologists are predicting powerful wind gusts could make it more challenging to battle the erratic blaze.

A sudden wind storm swept the flames over 19 firefighters late Sunday in the deadliest single day for U.S. firefighters since September 11, 2001.

The lighting-sparked fire northwest of Phoenix has charred more than 34-square kilometers since Friday.

Arizona, and the neighboring western states of California and Nevada are in the middle of an extreme heat wave.  Temperatures have reached record highs, and excessive heat warnings are in effect across the region.