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Arizona Holds Memorial for US Firefighters

A memorial service is being held Tuesday for the 19 U.S. firefighters who died battling a blaze in the southwestern state of Arizona last week.

Vice President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will join firefighters from across the nation for the memorial in the town of Prescott.

The deadly fire was sparked by lightning during an extreme heat wave in Arizona and it spread quickly with powerful winds.

The 19 firefighters who died were trapped when the winds shifted and cut off their escape route. Their deaths were the deadliest single day for U.S. firefighters since September 11, 2001.

Hundreds of homes were evacuated and thousands of hectares were burned northwest of Phoenix before the flames were brought under control.

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