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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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Wildfires in Arizona claim lives of 19 firefighters

Nineteen firefighters were killed battling a fast-moving wildfire menacing a small town in central Arizona, the US Wildland Fire Aviation service said on Sunday.

The firefighters died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire, near the small town of Yarnell about 80 miles (128km) northwest of Phoenix, the service said in a Facebook post.

The fire has charred about 1,000 acres (405 hectares) of chapparral and grass since Friday amid tinder-dry heat wave conditions, leading to scores of evacuations near Yarnell.

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