Green Guide

Appellate court considers allowing Yarnell homeowners to sue

Posted 12:52 p.m. Thursday

— Attorneys for Yarnell residents who lost their homes in a 2013 wildfire are asking the Court of Appeals to allow their clients to sue the state.

KJZZ-FM reports (http://bit.ly/2creEPS ) that previously homeowners sued the state Forestry Division, but a trial judge dismissed the case concluding the state had no duty to protect the residents' property.

At a hearing Wednesday an attorney for the state said Arizona is not responsible for protecting everyone who chooses to live adjacent to wilderness.

Plaintiffs' attorney David Abney says that since the state fought the fire, it voluntarily agreed to try to protect Yarnell. Abney wants the appellate court to give his clients a chance to make their case to a jury.

The 2013 Yarnell wildfire killed 19 firefighters and burned more than 120 homes.

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