Judge approves requested pause in Yarnell Hill Fire lawsuit

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge has agreed to put on hold a wrongful-death lawsuit stemming from the deaths of 19 firefighters in the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.

U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi on Wednesday ordered a stay requested by lawyers for the state and victims' survivors so the sides can participate in mediation. That's a step toward a possible settlement.

When the lawyers submitted their request to pause the case, they said Arizona's workplace safety agency also has agreed to participate in so-called "global mediation."

The state Forestry Division is contesting citations and fines imposed by the safety agency for the June 30, 2013 deaths of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

The mediation is supposed to be completed by March 3.