Families of 12 Hotshot firefighters killed in Arizona's Yarnell Hill Fire last year filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking monetary damages and safety changes, according to attorneys. The families filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking money for funeral costs, pain and suffering and lost income, said attorney Patrick McGroder. The families notified the state and Yavapai County of a possible lawsuit in December and offered to settle for $220 million, but their request was denied, Yapavai Assistant County Administrator Jack Fields told NBC News.
The lawsuit against the state also seeks safety measures to prevent a tragedy of the same scale, Fields said. A report by the Arizona State Forestry Division found no agency was at fault, while a later report by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health found the Arizona Forestry Division violated their own safety protocols during the blaze. The deadline for suits concerning the Yarnell Hill Fire is Monday, which is the one-year anniversary of the wildfire that killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew and scorched 13 square miles.
Arizona Firefighters' Families Sue Over Deaths (The Associated Press)
Year After Firefighter Deaths, Town Moves Forward (The Associated Press)
— Elisha Fieldstadt