Government Sues Colorado Nature Ranch For Fire On B.L.M Land

Denver (AP) The federal government wants the Colorado Nature Ranch to pay the cost of fighting the July, 2003, Brush Mountain wildfire near Grand Junction. In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, the government says the fire started when employees of the ranch were burning piles of brush during a severe drought, high fire danger and after Garfield County enacted a fire ban.

The lawsuit says ranch employees failed to take reasonable
precautions to prevent a fire or suppress a fire if one should occur. The fire eventually consumed more than 5,200 acres on both private and public land and cost more than $2 million dollars to suppress.

A spokeswoman for the Kessler Collection, which owns the ranch, says they weren't aware of a lawsuit and declined comment.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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