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Obama Releases Statement About Deadly Ariz. Fires: 'They Were Heroes

"Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families..."

Flames top a ridge as the Yarnell Hill Fire moves towards Peeples Valley, Arizona on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Credit: AP

This morning, President Barack Obama issued a statement about the tragedy unfolding in Arizona. In addition to praising the 19 firefighters whose lives were cut short by raging fires in the area, he noted that the federal government is assisting and will continue to monitor the ongoing situation.

"They were heroes -- highly-skilled professionals who, like so many across our country do every day, selflessly put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet," Obama said in the release.

Flames top a ridge as the Yarnell Hill Fire moves towards Peeples Valley, Arizona on Sunday, June 30, 2013. Credit: AP

The president went on to note that the government is assisting and that officials will continue to communicate with state and local authorities to assist as needed.

"Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy," he added.

Tanker 910 makes a retardant drop on the Yarnell Hill Fire to help protect the Double Bar A Ranch near Peeples Valley, Arizona, Sunday, June 30, 2013. The lightning caused blaze began on Yarnell Hill on Sunday. Credit: AP

Local media continue to report that the fire is at zero percent containment, meaning that the situation is still extremely dangerous. Locals have evacuated and estimates show that hundreds of homes have been destroyed.

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