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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 7, 2013

U.S. Attorney's Office Collects Over $168,500 For Costs Of Suppressing “Ten Mile Fire” In Lemhi Co.

BOISE — U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that her office’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit has resolved a claim for fire suppression costs without filing a lawsuit. The U.S. Attorney’s Office collected $168,596 for costs of suppressing a fire near Ten Mile Creek in Lemhi County, Idaho. The fire, known as the “Ten Mile Fire,” started on July 18, 2012, on land owned by Jeffrey and Paula Kerner, who regularly reside in Wadsworth, Illinois. Mr. Kerner was shooting at an exploding target on a ninety-five degree day when the target blew apart and ignited the fire, which spread and threatened at least two homes and burned 440 acres of federal land.

The United States owns, manages, and administers various parcels of public lands through the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. Both agencies suppress uncontrolled wildfires within their jurisdiction pursuant to mutual aid and cooperative agreements. The money collected will reimburse the agencies for funds expended.

“We are pleased to be able to recover more than $168,500 for future fire suppression efforts,” said Olson. “We will continue to make strong efforts to ensure that in appropriate cases private parties who cause fires reimburse the taxpayers for putting out fires on federally managed land.”