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$560K fine approved

in 19 firefighter deaths

An Arizona commission approved a nearly $560,000 fine Wednesday against the state Forestry Division in the deaths of 19 firefighters after an investigative agency found officials put protecting property ahead of safety and should have pulled crews out earlier.

The agency said officials managing the Yarnell Hill Fire failed to promptly remove crews when suppression became ineffective. All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots died June 30 when they became trapped. The Arizona Forestry Division oversaw the fight on state land.

The commission's chairman said he believed the team on site did everything it could to defend the community and provide for the safety of people, "but it's not the intention of the people that [is] in question."

Carrie Dennett, a Forestry Division spokeswoman, said the agency fully cooperated with the inquiry and declined comment on the report and fine. - AP


Warren: No 2016 run

Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledged Wednesday to serve out her full six-year term and not run for president in 2016. Warren has repeatedly denied interest in campaigning for the White House, but liberal Democratic activists have continued to speculate about a possible bid.

Speaking to reporters in Boston after a meeting with the city's mayor-elect, Warren vowed to serve out the rest of her term. She is in her first year. - AP


Back in air after deaths

Skydivers returned to the skies Wednesday at a popular Arizona skydiving location that was the site of a deadly accident involving two parachutists a day earlier.

Two skydivers - a German and Briton - died after colliding during a jump. The men were among about 200 people trying to set world records for group jumps. Participants decided getting back in the air was the best way to pay tribute. - AP