Local firefighter sent to Arizona to investigate deaths of hotshots

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The supervisor of a Kern County hotshot crew has been sent to help firefighters investigate the deaths of 19 hotshots in Arizona.

Jimmy Rocha, superintendent of the Kern County Fire Department's Rio Bravo Hotshot crew, was requested by officials to participate in the Accident Investigation Team on the Yarnell Hill Fire near Prescott, Arizona.

19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew were killed on June 30th after flames overran their position.

Rocha left at 5:00 a.m. Thursday morning, according to Kern County Fire public information officer Corey Wilford.

Wilford says Rocha will provide input into the investigation through his skills, experience, and knowledge as the superintendent of a Type 1 Interagency Hotshot Crew.

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