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Author Archives: The Associated Press

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A brewing storm: How fire turned tragic for 19 men

YARNELL — Juliann Ashcraft had just put the kids down for a nap when her cellphone buzzed. It was a text from Andrew, her husband of seven years and, still, her best friend. "This is my lunch spot," he wrote beneath a photo of hard-hatted firefighters sitting on boulders, watching smoke rise on the horizon. "too bad lunch was an MRE," the text concluded. It was 2:16 p.m. on June 30.

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Budget cuts trim federal wildfire spending

Budget cuts trim federal wildfire spending

WASHINGTON — This year's across-the-board budget cuts are slicing tens of millions of dollars from the federal government's funds for battling wildfires, reductions that have meant fewer firefighters and could cause agencies to dip into other programs designed to prevent future blazes.

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Portable shelters couldn’t save 19 firefighters

Portable shelters couldn’t save 19 firefighters

PRESCOTT — In a heartbreaking sight, a long line of vans from a coroner's office carried the bodies of 19 elite firefighters out of the tiny mountain town of Yarnell on Monday, as the wind-driven wildfire that claimed the men's lives burned out of control. About 200 more firefighters arrived to the scorching mountains, doubling the number of firefighters battling the blaze, ignited by lightning.

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