Firefighters battle a wildfire earlier this month in Cabazon, Calif.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
With 15,000 firefighters deployed and three dozen major wildfires currently burning in five Western states, this would seem to be a wildfire season for the record books. And in one tragic aspect, it is. But by most measures, 2013 is the second-mildest fire season in the past decade ... so far.
Juliann Ashcraft, wife of late firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, receives a U.S. flag during a memorial service in July. Ashcraft says the city has refused to pay full benefits for her husband's death, calling him a seasonal employee.
Credit David Kadlubowski / AP
The widow of a man who died fighting a wildfire this summer as part of a "hotshots" team based in Prescott, Ariz., says her attempts to be paid her late husband's lifetime benefits have been denied. The city's explanation is that Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was a seasonal employee, Juliann Ashcraft said Wednesday.