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Logging Forest Fire

Boise, ID: (Oct-23-07) The state of Idaho brought charges against Babbitt Logging Inc., based in Coeur d'Alene, and Portland, OR-based Stimson Lumber Co., over a 2003 wildfire that torched nearly a square mile of state-owned timber on the eastern shore of Priest Lake. The state filed suit claimed that the companies caused the fire by rigging logging equipment improperly. Crews from Babbitt were wrapping up logging operations on state land there when the blaze started. An investigation into the fire showed that a cable rubbing against rocks likely ignited the flames.

As part of a settlement agreement reached, Babbitt Logging Inc. agreed to pay $1.5 million to Idaho to settle the negligence claims. Sources said that including the second company's payout, the total amount of the deal was less than the $2.5 million the Idaho Department of Lands said it spent to fight the Hunt Creek blaze when it began July 25, 2003, between Coolin and the Indian Creek. Records reveal that the money represents the largest forest fire related settlement Idaho has ever received. [THE OLYMPIAN: LOGGING FOREST FIRE]

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Published on Oct-24-07


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