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A brewing storm: How fire turned tragic for 19 men

YARNELL ai??i?? 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

As the sun sets behind Granite Mountain, community members fill the football field at Prescott High School in Prescott, Ariz. to honor the 19 firefighters who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire. On Sunday, June 30, 2013, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots died in an out-of-control wildfire. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Pat Shannahan)

WASHINGTON ai??i?? 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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