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State Agency Blames Forestry Division For The Deaths Of 19 Firefighters

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By KMVT News

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) One state agency blames another for the deaths of 19 firefighters during Arizona’s Yarnell Hill Wildfire.

The Arizona Division of Forestry now faces a more than half-million-dollar fine for workplace violations.

State safety officials say the Forestry Division failed to prioritize the safety of firefighters over structures that could not be saved from the wildfire.

The elite group of firefighters - called a hotshot crew - was overrun by the flames when the winds shifted.

The 559-thousand-dollar fine is the largest ever handed down by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

It includes a 25-thousand-dollar fine for each of the 19 firefighters who were killed.

The Forestry Division has 15 days to appeal.


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