Comments for: Utah man must pay nearly $74,000 for Big Spencer Mountain fire

Posted Nov. 07, 2012, at 2:22 p.m.

The state will receive nearly $74,000 in restitution for suppressing the fire that burned two acres of old spruce forest atop Big Spencer Mountain in August, according to a recent press release issued by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. A district court judge in Dover-Foxcroft ordered restitution …

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  • Anonymous

    Responsibility….we will thank you when the final check clears.

  • Anonymous

    I suppose fire and police depts should start bringing credit card machines to every call? I wonder if we will still have to give them taxpayer funds since they are running this game now?

    • Ben Hutchins

      There’s a distinct difference between an accidental fire (e.g. a house fire caused by a hidden electrical fault) and one caused by outright incompetence and/or disregard of regulations.  In cases where that difference is especially evident – such as this one – I see no problem with requiring the parties directly and obviously responsible to cover the costs of dealing with their carelessness.

      (For precedent elsewhere in the country, I refer you to Arizona Revised Statutes 28-910, which stipulates that anyone willfully ignoring a flood barricade and then needing to be rescued from the waters will be charged for the rescue.  This happens fairly often in that flash-flood-prone part of the world; not for nothing is that statute commonly known as the Stupid Motorist Law.)

      • Anonymous

        Don’t make it right. Just saying ACCIDENTS happen and municipalities are becomming money grubbing overbloated monstrousity’s preying on unfortunate happenstance.

        • Ben Hutchins

          There’s nothing accidental about starting an outdoor fire without a permit in a place where a permit is required.  If such a fire then goes on to cause a forest fire, that’s not happenstance, it’s an illustration of why permits are required in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    Wish there was some clarification here . . . was Coers associated with the construction crew working on the mountain at the time . . . or was he just a hiker/camper who used the construction material to light a fire . . . assuming here that he was with the company which makes one wonder why the company wasn’t being ordered to pay.

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