US wildfire '45% contained'

US fire officials have said that a deadly wildfire which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters is now 45 percent under control. The blaze in the state of Arizona has engulfed thousands of acres including large parts of the town of Yarnell.

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More fire crews called in as Arizona wildfire spreads

The fast-moving Arizona wildfire that killed 19 elite firefighters over the weekend has engulfed more than 8,370 acres and continues to rage unchecked, state officials said.

Arizona's Incident Management Team warned that today's gusty winds and high temperatures could result in "erratic" shifts in the fire, which has grown quickly in size from about 1,000 acres on Sunday.

The Yarnell Hill fire is seen burning in this view from Highway I-17 near Yarnell, Arizona. Credit: Reuters/Arizona State Forestry Division

Additional crews and equipment were due at the scene near the town of Yarnell, about 80 miles (128 km) northwest of Phoenix, officials said in a statement.

Forecasts predict a 20 per cent chance of thunderstorms and possible rain showers.

An aerial view shows the Yarnell Hill fire burning near Yarnell, Arizona. Credit: Reuters/ Arizona State Forestry Division.

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