An Arizona lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would use state funds to help pay the pensions of several wildland fire fighters from Prescott killed battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. KNAU’s Justin Regan has more.
Republican Senator Karen Fann of Prescott is sponsoring the bill. She says the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew died while protecting the state, so the state should cover the pensions.
"These were employees of the city of Prescott fighting on state land, not a fire within the city of Prescott limits. So that’s why we believe the state general fund should be reimbursing Prescott," says Fann
The payments would cost the state about $7.5 million. Fann helped pass similar legislation in 2013 to cover the expenses of the 6 of the 19 Hotshots who died and were eligible for benefits. Since then, four others have been posthumously granted eligibility.