Settlement Reached For 2016 “Old Fire”
FRESNO, Calif. —Mariposa County Resident John “Jack” Welch has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a claim by the US against him for damages resulting from a 2016 wildfire that burned nearly 100 acres of National Forest land.
According to the settlement, federal investigators concluded that a worn chainsaw was the cause of the fire, it was being used on a windy day and sparked the blaze that spread quickly off Old Yosemite Road in Mariposa County. 100 acres in total were burned including 95 acres of Stanislaus National Forest
The USDA Forest service spent nearly 1.3 million to extinguish the Old Fire, including the use of substantial air assets that helped prevent the fire spread into neighboring properties and the surrounding forest lands. Acting US attorney Talbert explains
“Over the past several years, the people of the Eastern District have endured more than their fair share of wildfires. This Office has been and continues to be, focused on holding those individuals and corporations who negligently start these fires accountable. We will continue to pursue individuals and corporations, large and small, to recover the fire suppression costs and environmental damages caused by their negligent acts.”
The settlement is not an admission of any negligence, wrongful conduct, or liability.