Colorado Man And His Insurer to Pay $500K Over 2017 Wildfire

March 19, 2020

A Colorado man and his insurance company paid $500,000 to the U.S. government over a wildfire that burned federal land in the state.

Dale Owns and Grange Insurance Association made the payment to resolve liability for the 2017 blaze that became known as the Dead Dog Fire, The Denver Post reported.

Owens started a campfire to roast hot dogs for his family in June 2017 and the fire spread while he stepped away to gather more wood, a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado said.

The Craig resident called 911 and tried to put out the fire but was unsuccessful.

The wildfire burned more than 27 square miles of federal land north of Rangely.

The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service incurred significant costs fighting the fire, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

“Wildfires are a constant danger in Colorado, and taxpayers often foot the bill for putting them out. The Dead Dog Fire is an example of how not following best practices around campfires can lead to a wildfire,” U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said in the statement.

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