Yarnell homeowners to appeal ruling on lawsuits

Posted at 2:26 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 17:26:06-04

An attorney for Yavapai County residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire says they're going to appeal an Arizona court ruling that the state doesn't have a legal duty to protect property from naturally caused wildfires.

The Court of Appeals ruling Thursday upholds a trial judge's dismissal of suits filed against the state by homeowners whose properties were destroyed.

Plaintiffs attorney Craig Knapp says the homeowners will ask the Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling and, if it doesn't, then appeal the Arizona Supreme Court.

Knapp said the Court of Appeals overlooked that the state voluntarily assumed a duty to the residents by taking on tasks specifically to protect Yarnell.