- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Northwest Fire District officials say the Ironwood Hotshots crew in southern Arizona will be disbanded after this year’s wildfire season.

District Capt. Adam Goldberg says the agency will instead focus on core services such as emergency medical response, fire suppression, and fire and injury prevention.

He says disbanding the crew is a cost-saving measure that will allow the agency to seek a lower rate for its taxpayers.

Goldberg says the hotshot crew wasn’t being cut over fears of expensive lawsuits like those that followed the Yarnell Fire that killed 19 firefighters near Prescott last June.

He says higher insurance costs weren’t anticipated by having the crew.

Goldberg says seven full-time employees will be moved to others areas in the agency while the crew’s 13 seasonal workers will be let go.

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