Brewer requests Major Disaster Declaration for Yarnell

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais
By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais
By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Governor Jan Brewer sent a letter to President Obama Tuesday, asking him to formally consider the Yarnell Hill Fire a major disaster.

A press release from her office reads:  "a declaration for Individual Assistance would aid local residents impacted by the fire by making available funds for housing assistance and 'necessary expenses and serious needs' not covered by insurance."

Governor Brewer is also seeking a Physical Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. That would make residents whose homes were impacted by the fire eligible to apply for a loan to repair or replace damaged estate.

Fortunately, officials report that the Yarnell Hill Fire is 90 percent contained as of Tuesday. All evacuations were lifted Monday.

Road closures on State Route 89 are still in effect northbound and southbound from mile posts 270 to 283. More than 200 fire crews are keeping the blaze under control. The lightning-caused fire has been burning since June 28, west of SR-89 between Yarnell and Peeples Valley.

Officials say the wildfire has claimed more than 8,377 acres. At least 114 structures have been destroyed. 109 of those were residential homes.

On June 30, the blaze took the lives of 19 men from the Prescott hotshot crew when winds caused the fire to rapidly change directions. Their memorial service is being held Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m., and can be viewed here.