Property Owners File Suit Against State For Yarnell Hill Fire

June 25, 2014

Dozens of property owners in central Arizona have sued the state, saying it failed miserably in its management of a wildfire that killed 19 Hotshots.

The lawsuit was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on behalf of more than 160 plaintiffs. It seeks unspecified damages for emotional distress, property loss and loss of income.

It also seeks protections for firefighters like the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who were overrun by flames from the Yarnell Hill Fire.

The state and the Arizona State Forestry Division are named as defendants. A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer says the state would not comment on pending litigation.

The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health found that the Forestry Division mismanaged the Yarnell Hill Fire and the crews assigned to it. The Forestry Division is appealing the citations and fines.