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Prescott to appeal benefits to be awarded to Hotshot widow

PHOENIX — Just days after the first anniversary marking the deaths of 19 Prescott firefighters, the benefits awarded to one of the widows will be appealed.

The Prescott City Council voted, 4-2, on Tuesday night to appeal the decision that gave survivor benefits to Juliann Ashcraft, whose husband, Andrew, died June 30, 2013 in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

“The facts will speak for themselves,” Juliann Ashcraft said. “We’ll do what we have to
do. It will just take a little longer than we hoped.”

Last month, the Prescott Public Safety Retirement Board granted benefits to the Ashcraft family, after an independent board ruled in the family’s favor.

The city council has maintained that Andrew Ashcraft, a Granite Mountain Hotshot, was a seasonal employee, not full time, making him ineligible for full benefits. Eleven other Hotshots were also considered part-time employees.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.