Federal Government Wins Lawsuit over Hayman Fire

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Denver (AP) A judge says the federal government doesn't have to pay for damage caused by the Hayman Wildfire, the worst in Colorado history.

U.S. Forest Service worker Terry Barton pleaded guilty to starting the fire in 2002 by burning a letter from her estranged husband. Insurance companies then sued the government to recover the approximately $7 million paid out in claims.

U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel ruled Tuesday that the Government is only liable for the actions of its employees if they are performing within the scope of their duties.
Daniel said Barton violated a fire ban by the forest service when she burned the letter in a fire ring. He said he didn't think she intended for the fire to spread beyond the ring.

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