Additional Claims filed in Yarnell Hill Fire

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Residents who lost homes in allege mismanagement of Yarnell fire

In addition to families seeking compensation for the death of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, residents who lost homes in the Yarnell Hill Fire have also filed notices of claims against the state, the city of Prescott, Yavapai County and the Yarnell Fire District, alleging that mismanagement of the blaze cost them their homes.

These notices of claims are just precursors to lawsuits that could cost the involved entities millions of dollars in settlements as well as legal fees.
Residents are claiming in these notices that the destruction can be blamed on the “negligence, carelessness and intentional misconduct” of the state of Arizona, Yavapai County, city of Prescott and the Yarnell Fire District.

Managers could have prevented Yarnell’s fire obliteration

Additionally, residents feel that “with reasonable professional planning and coordination, managers could have prevented Yarnell’s obliteration without endangering the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, 19 of whom died in the fire.” If managers had arranged for an orderly evacuation, residents feel they could have saved their heirlooms, mementos as well as other personal items.

The claims also allege officials inflicted and caused emotional distress due to “intentional efforts to hide the truth and escape blame” for the deaths of the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots; that firefighting officials breached their duty of care for residents; and that officials’ “negligence, carelessness, and intentional misconduct” cost the residents their homes.

One suit was filed on behalf of property owners Nina and Chuck Overmyer. This is a class action suit on behalf of “all of the residents, individuals, property owners, and business owners of Yarnell, Glen Ilah, Peeples Valley, and the surrounding geographical area” who suffered property damage, lost income, and earning potential, personal injuries, emotional harm or emotional distress and other tortious injuries, damages, harms, and losses as a result of the negligent, reckless, careless and intentional misconduct of the public entities in charge of fighting the Yarnell Hill fire over the period of June 28 to June 30."

The June 30 Yarnell Hill Fire destroyed 127 homes in the community south of Prescott.

Public officials named in the claims have denied comment, citing the ongoing legal discussion. The Prescott City Council is set to discuss the claims in a closed-door executive session.

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