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Two Face Charges For Fatal Wildfire

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A preliminary hearing is set today in Ukiah for two men charged with murder in the deaths of two air tanker pilots whose planes collided as they fought a wildfire last summer.

The hearing was delayed last month to allow attorneys for both sides to review documents in the investigation of the August 27th incident.

Frank Brady of Redwood Valley and Richard Mortensen of San Pablo are charged with second degree murder and several drug-related charges.

Mendocino County District Attorney Norman Vroman blames the men for the deaths of Larry Groff of Windsor and Lars Stratte of Redding. Vroman says the blaze the pilots were fighting was triggered by a fire the defendants built near Ukiah, where they were making drugs.

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