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Updated Jul 9, 2013 - 6:32 pm

Gov. Jan Brewer asks President Barack Obama to declare emergency for Yarnell wildfire

PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer made a formal request Tuesday for President Barack Obama to declare an emergency situation for the Yarnell Hill wildfire.

The fire destroyed 109 homes -- about 20 percent of the homes in the town -- damaged 23 more and claimed the lives of 19 members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots crew.

"The Yarnell Hill Fire has taken so much from the people of Yavapai County and the State of Arizona," said Brewer in a press release. "We can never bring back the lives lost to this devastating fire, but a federal Major Disaster Declaration is one way we can help the citizens of Yarnell and Peeples Valley begin to pick up the pieces and put their communities back together."

The request for the declaration of emergency cites numerous reasons for aid, including a lack of temporary housing, the risk of food-borne illness because of power outages and a lack of water, among other things.

Brewer also requested a declaration of disaster from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which would allow those whose homes were impacted by the fire to apply for a loan up to $200,000 to repair or replace their home.

Brewer declared a state emergency on July 1.

The 19 firefighters who were killed were honored at a memorial service on Tuesday.

Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake sent a letter urging Obama to swiftly approve the request.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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