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PHOENIX -- Arizona has accepted aid from other states in the past to fight wildfires and are now returning the favor by providing both equipment and manpower to Colorado and New Mexico.

Arizona has dispatched eight pieces of fire equipment to Colorado: four wildland engines and four water tenders. The equipment has been sent in response to three fast-growing fires which, to date, have burned more than 19,000 acres.

The nearly 16,000-acre Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs, Colo., has destroyed 360 homes and is the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history.

Arizona also is supporting New Mexico with equipment and boots on the ground as it continues to battle five large fires, burning more than 56,000 acres. An elite Type 1 incident management team has been shipped from Arizona to New Mexico.

Fires in the southwest have drained Arizona crews away. A wildland firefighter crew has arrived in Tucson from Grangeville, ID to be pre-positioned in our area should a fire start in southeastern Arizona.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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