The Washington Times - July 10, 2013, 07:23AM

Arizona’s senators on Capitol Hill have asked President Obama to make a major disaster declaration in the wake the Yarnell Hill fire that killed 19 elite firefighters.

Sen. John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans, released a letter late Monday that had been sent to Mr. Obama, urging him to “expeditiously consider” Republican Gov. Jan Brewer’s disaster request, which would free up recovery funds.

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Ms. Brewer singled out the president for praise on Monday during the memorial service for the fallen firefighters, part of a crew of “Hotshot” specialists who died June 30 when high winds swept flames around them as they battled the wildfire outside a town north of Phoenix. Only one member of the 20-member crew survived.

In their letter, the senators noted the significant loss of life and the destruction of 109 homes in Yavapai County because of the blaze.