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Lawsuit accuses Arizona of mismanaging wildfire that killed 19 members of Hotshot crew

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 this week 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.

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

A state agency found that the Forestry Division mismanaged last year's Yarnell Hill Fire and the crews assigned to it. The Forestry Division is appealing the citations and fines.

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