A family-owned daily newspaper serving Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming since 1949

Feds seek $6.3 million from man who caused big wildfire

Jan 8, 2014 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- The U.S. Forest Service wants to collect $6.3 million from a 77-year-old man the agency blames for causing a 2012 forest fire that threatened to burn into the town of Jackson.

The Forest Service alleges James G. Anderson Jr. sparked the wildfire on Sept. 8, 2012, by burning twigs and paper in a rusted-out barrel at his son's home and allowing the flames to get out of control.

The Forest Service sent Anderson a bill in November for the firefighting costs. The amount was due to the agency's Albuquerque, N.M., service center on Dec. 13, according to a copy of the bill obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act.

No criminal charges have been filed while the civil matter remains unresolved, said John Powell, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Wyoming.

The Horsethief Canyon Fire burned 5 square miles of Bridger-Teton National Forest. At the height of the fire, officials urged some residents of nearby Jackson to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

Firefighting costs for several agencies totaled about $9 million. Anderson's share, according to a Nov. 13 certified letter the Forest Service sent him, includes about $3.8 million incurred by the Forest Service and some $2 million by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.

County Weather

Photo Gallery

Twitter Feed (Follow Us!)

Contact Us  © 2015 Riverton Ranger, Inc.