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Arizona contests citations in firefighter deaths

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Arizona's Forestry Division is contesting citations and fines the state workplace safety agency issued for the June deaths of 19 firefighters.

The appeal filed Thursday with the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health asks for an informal conference to contest the citations and nearly $560,000 fine.

[Click here to read appeal filed (PDF)]

The state's Industrial Commission levied the fine on Dec. 4 after agreeing with workplace safety investigators that the Forestry Division mismanaged the fire and firefighting crews assigned to the Yarnell Hill Fire in June. The commission found the division knowingly put protection of property ahead of safety and should have pulled crews out earlier.

The blaze killed 19 members of Prescott's Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30 after a change in wind direction pushed the flames back toward their position.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.