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Gov. Doug Ducey issued declarations of emergency on Wednesday in response to wildfires ravaging two Arizona counties.
The emergency declarations will make up to $400,000 available to first responders fighting the Telegraph and Mescal fires, which have burned more than 146,000 acres in Pinal and Gila counties in central and southern Arizona.
“Firefighters and safety officials have been working around the clock to protect Arizonans, and we need to make sure they have the support they need to successfully fight the wildfires in Pinal and Gila Counties,” Ducey said in a statement. “I issued Declarations of Emergency so those responders will have the necessary resources to protect people, pets and property — and we will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure the needs of those communities are met."
The Telegraph Fire, which started on Friday, burned 76,260 acres of land as of Wednesday morning, Ducey's office said. The fire is 21% contained and has an estimated containment date of June 20, according to the InciWeb incident reporting system managed by the National Wildfire Reporting Group.
The Mescal Fire, which began on June 1, had burned 70,067 acres in Gila County as of Wednesday and is 23% contained, according to InciWeb. Its estimated date of containment is June 30.
"AZ will spare no expense and do what needs to be done to protect the people and property in these communities," Ducey wrote on Twitter.
Ducey also urged residents to be “fire wise” and to limit combustible material around their homes.
"Arizonans must take the threat of wildfires seriously and follow all safety precautions during these dry months, including following evacuation orders," Ducey said.
On Sunday, Ducey sent a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for fire management assistance, which was granted. The grant program provides a 75% federal cost share for fire management expenses, and the requesting state pays the remaining 25%, according to FEMA.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman