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Northwest Fire District to disband Ironwood hotshot team

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Northwest Fire District to disband Ironwood hotshot team

By Craig Smith. CREATED Mar 4, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Northwest Fire District is disbanding it's Ironwood hotshot team at the end of the upcoming wildfire season.

The 20 man team earns the title of hotshots by qualifying for the toughest and most dangerous jobs in wildland firefighting.

Last summer 19 members of Prescott's Granite Mountain Hotshots died at the Yarnell Hill Fire. Members of Northwest Fire's team claimed insurance consequences of the Yarnell deaths led to the decision to shut down Northwest's team.

Northwest Fire says the District's insurance did not go up but other financial strain from running the hotshots did lead to the shutdown decision.

The Fire District says local wildland protection will not decline from the loss of the Ironwood Hotshots.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press