The mechanisms of carrier transfer from barrier regions (superlattices, side-wall and vertical quantum wells) into arrays of quantum wires are investigated by time-resolved photoluminescence. The wires are grown by different techniques on V-groove substrates. The transfer times range from 25 to 900 ps, depending on the details of the whole structure. The fast carrier transfer is modeled by a diffusion equation which allows one to estimate the quantum mechanical capture time from a two-dimensional vertical QW into a one-dimensional QWR to be <2ps.