U.S. Attorney's Office Collects $270,000 for Cost of Suppressing a Fire on Idaho National Laboratory Lands
BOISE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that her office's Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit has resolved a lawsuit and collected $270,000 from Sunroc Construction Company of Idaho Falls for costs of suppressing a fire. The fire started when an overheated universal joint detached from one of Sunroc's dump trucks and rolled off Highway 26 near Atomic City in August 2010, igniting the fire. The fire was known as the “Middle Butte” fire and burned over 13,000 acres of federal land managed by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
The federal government owns, manages, and administers various parcels of public lands through the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Land Management, and the United States Forest Service. All three agencies also suppress uncontrolled wildfires within their jurisdiction pursuant to mutual aid and cooperative agreements. The money collected will go back to these agencies for funds expended.
“We are pleased to be able to recover more than $200,000 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.”
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