Arizona chief who lost 19 firefighters leaves job

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The chief of the Arizona fire department that lost 19 wildland firefighters in June says he is being forced out of his job.

Prescott City Manager Craig McConnell told The Daily Courier that Chief Dan Fraijo (fray-HOH’) is leaving by “mutual agreement” effective Nov. 15. But Fraijo told the Courier and The Arizona Republic that the city asked him to leave.

Fraijo was appointed in February and oversaw the city’s regular fire department and the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the nation’s only specialized Hotshot crew run by a city. Nineteen of the crew’s 20 members died June 30 in a wildfire in nearby Yarnell.

An investigative report released last month found proper procedure was followed in the worst firefighting tragedy since Sept. 11, 2001.

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