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Arizona fire agency hasn't set up school inspection program in 35 years, auditors say

By Matthew Casey
Published: Thursday, September 21, 2023 - 5:35pm

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State auditors say they have been urging the Fire Marshal’s Office since 1988 to set up a legally required safety inspection program for schools and public buildings.

A new review of the office's parent agency says the program still hasn’t happened.

State auditors say no action by the Fire Marshal’s Office increases the risk of deaths, injuries and property damage.

The office reportedly moved under the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management during former Gov. Doug Ducey's administration.

State auditors say the parent agency paid a consultant for advice on helping communities come up with wildfire protection plans, but hasn’t followed through on most recommendations.

The department also reportedly lacks a process to investigate complaints related to state fire code violations.

The state forester agreed with all audit findings and to act on all recommendations.

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