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    Default Your input on what I should do

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    Last edited by mattgo; 02-27-2010 at 01:06 AM.

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    I would get a lawyer and run this past him. Chances are, he will tell you to keep quiet and hopefully things will pass. Maybe the cost to prove you set the fire is to expensive to pursue. If you call them, you might give them the last peace to the puzzle and all of a sudden you will be charged.
    I know itís hard, but hold tight and keep your mouth closed about everything. Chances are they donít know what they are doing and are more concentrated on taking vacation and keeping their jobs that they want nothing to do with your case.
    But, spend a few hundred dollars and ask an attorney. At least if crap hits the fan, you will have someone to call that knows the case.

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    You were careless, you didn't extinguish your fire or provide a watch. Take your lumps and admit guilt and prepare for the consequences.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You were careless, you didn't extinguish your fire or provide a watch. Take your lumps and admit guilt and prepare for the consequences.
    This.

    The misdemeanor charge is the least of your issues. Obviously you were not malicious in your actions. So you would likely get probation at worst. The bill is what you should be worried about. Days on end and helicopters involved? Good luck with that!

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    It does sound like he has accepted responsibility and is willing to face the consequences but is unsure of what to do about the bill from the fire service. I think he needs to wait and see if a bill is presented. Personally, I think a lot of fire depts should bill for services rendered. It would probably alleviate some of the funding problems. That said, its up to the fire service to pursue this.

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    Two helo's for two days..........
    Here the cost for a helo is around $2000 per hour. They probably worked 8-9 hours per day. Total cost for the equipment=$34,000. That figure depends on what type of helo they used. Personnel charges and other equipment charges? As a wildland arson investigator, his/her job is to determine what, where, and who started the fire. Based on what you said, it shouldnt be too hard for them to do and the cost of that investigation should be minimal. When you spoke with them , did you admit responsibility for the fire start?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattgo View Post
    The letter I received had a number and if I had any questions I could call. I'm debating if I should call. I don't want to call and then the process of me being charged finally starts. If I'm charged, I'm done for as far as finances in my life.

    I spent several hours going through the codes/ laws in my state. ( That stuff is very hard to read) . As far as I can tell. I would receive a petty misdemeanor which is just a bill, or a misdemeanor which is a low end charge as well as a bill. Also as far as I can tell the statue of limitations for a misdemeanor in my state is 1 year. (It also states the max charge for a misdemanor is only 1k / and 90 days in jail)

    Some things you should know too, The was a level 5 fire ban in effect ( Which I wasn't aware of through my own fault of not paying attention to the signs) . The logging road I was on is split into private land, state land, and national land ( The first 3 miles of this road Many people camp on during the summer - I was 20 miles in) . At level 5 ,loggers are required to pull out their equipment out of the mountains . If I had saw this equipment , I would have not camped there.
    If I am not mistaken you are referring to the fine, not restitution. There is case law where persons who put them selves at unreasonable risk were pursued civilly for recovery of the cost of the rescue. I would think this would parallel that type of situation.
    I would believe you are on the hook for the incident, and while the criminal charges have a statue of limitations the civil suit the fed\state\local fire agencies may file will not go away that easy. IMO

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    Here's my .02---get a lawyer (perhaps the consultation will be free, maybe not, but it will be money well spent, for the peace of mind at least) and I'd probably avoid these public forums.

    There's more than one arson investigator that regularly visits and it's a small world. I'd stick to just speaking to an attorney and going from there.

    Either way, I commend you for being willing to face the problem. I know what it's like to not know what to do when your back is to the wall. As firefighters, we're here to help. It sounds like this was an accident, so I'm sure with a good attorney's help, reasonableness will prevail.
    Pete

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    Get yourself a good lawyer and stop posting your laundry in web threads like this.


    But you can wait until the resident authority chimes in by the screen name scare crow! His say would be just and final!

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    Default Troll

    I say he's a Troll and we fell for it. If not take you medicine and turn yourself in...
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    If your story is true, then I say kudos to you for having the sand to step up and admit that you screwed up. Most people would have just walked away or blamed someone or something else. Keep us posted, we all have something to learn here.
    IAFF

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You were careless, you didn't extinguish your fire or provide a watch. Take your lumps and admit guilt and prepare for the consequences.
    Aren't most fire we put out an act of carelessness? Too many appliances plugged into an outlet, smoking, left a pot on the stove, lead cords under carpets, burning candles. We pay taxes for these services, just like we pay for an insurance policy. There should be no restitution. Criminal charges maybe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Aren't most fire we put out an act of carelessness? Too many appliances plugged into an outlet, smoking, left a pot on the stove, lead cords under carpets, burning candles. We pay taxes for these services, just like we pay for an insurance policy. There should be no restitution. Criminal charges maybe.
    Judge not, lest ye be judged.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Aren't most fire we put out an act of carelessness? Too many appliances plugged into an outlet, smoking, left a pot on the stove, lead cords under carpets, burning candles. We pay taxes for these services, just like we pay for an insurance policy. There should be no restitution. Criminal charges maybe.
    The difference here is he is not paying insurance premines in the forest. Most of the structures, at least the ones I go to, have either owner, tenant, or both insuring the structure and\or content.
    Maybe we should have camper\hikers by forest insurance prior to going in the woods?
    There you go again, not requiring people to be responsible for their actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    The difference here is he is not paying insurance premines in the forest. Most of the structures, at least the ones I go to, have either owner, tenant, or both insuring the structure and\or content.
    Maybe we should have camper\hikers by forest insurance prior to going in the woods?
    There you go again, not requiring people to be responsible for their actions.
    And let us not forget about the numerous people who need to be rescued from places like Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood. And hey all of those people who go swimming and need to be rescued as well. And what about all of the lost hikers we dig out of the woods?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    And let us not forget about the numerous people who need to be rescued from places like Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood. And hey all of those people who go swimming and need to be rescued as well. And what about all of the lost hikers we dig out of the woods?
    They should be made to pay. Going into an environment that is over your skill level and then you need extraction? Of course you should pay for it.

    This was not like parking his car over dead grass and the exhaust system set the fire. He built a fire, admittedly was careless, and did not act in a responsible manor. He knew better, and now he is here for absolution. Not from me.
    Man up and call the DA. Be a good example for your kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You were careless, you didn't extinguish your fire or provide a watch. Take your lumps and admit guilt and prepare for the consequences.
    To a certain point I agree with you, However the Cost for 2 Helo's is more than one individual Can ever pay for....ever. I do believe you are responsible you may possibly see a misdemeanor, however (knock on wood) I Do not believe you will be billed for it. What Fire department sent you a Bill? It had to be local? or was it USFS? BLM? NPS?
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    They should be made to pay. Going into an environment that is over your skill level and then you need extraction? Of course you should pay for it.

    This was not like parking his car over dead grass and the exhaust system set the fire. He built a fire, admittedly was careless, and did not act in a responsible manor. He knew better, and now he is here for absolution. Not from me.
    Man up and call the DA. Be a good example for your kids.
    Sure, call a lawyer and get advice. Don't trust the DA, he is only looking for a conviction and not what is right. If there is a crime from this accident then so be it. Clearly the fellow is not an arsonist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    I say he's a Troll and we fell for it. If not take you medicine and turn yourself in...


    Maybe. He stated it took a week to put out and only burned less than 1 acre.

    He may have his facts wrong, or may be full of it.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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    Well there is two sides to the coin:

    Side one: You turn yourself in and do what show's character. Often considered the right thing to do. But it has also been 6+ months, probably forgotten about it by now. Then there is the other side....

    Side two: You live your life going on, if you get a call, then you do. It is their job to find people and charge them. It would be like walking in to the police station and turning yourself in for speeding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDMAXX View Post
    Maybe. He stated it took a week to put out and only burned less than 1 acre.

    He may have his facts wrong, or may be full of it.
    He also stated this....


    "The entire area was actually clear cut from logging, the only wood that burned were 3 huge slash piles 20+ feet deep wrapped around the peak I was camping at"

    That big of a slash pile could burn and smolder for quite a while.

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    Mattgo you stated:
    "The entire area was actually clear cut from logging, the only wood that burned were 3 huge slash piles 20+ feet deep wrapped around the peak I was camping at. My dog and I survived, though the flames which were at least 50' long were blowing directly into my truck which burnt down."

    "It took one week to fully put out the fire, it burnt less then 1 acre. The biggest issue for putting out the fire was first the location , I was in a extreme remote area that was very hard to get it , And that the logs from the slash pile were rolling 1/4 mile down the mountain while they were burning so it was impossible for crew to walk to the hill without putting them in harms way. For this I was told that they used 2 helicopters for 2 days."

    Just some questions...
    1. Why did the crew have to walk in? You drove in so why not the crew, the loggers got thier logging trucks in to the landing piles, type 3-6 engines along with tenders (tankers for you eastcoast types) would be able to get in also.

    2. Think its more than an acre fire, how many logs and how many spot fires did they start? Were they lined seperately or included in the main fires line?

    3. Did they in fact use the helicopters all the time or only on the initial attack? Heli mop-up is dangerous and not very effective.

    Now then as for the fines etc... here you could be charged with negligent arson. By state statue we would have to bill you for the suppression costs as this was a person caused fire.
    Most people will not receive a bill if the suppresssion costs are under $1000.


    By your original post, I'm thinking there's more to the story.
    Fight fire aggrressively having provided for Safety first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acklan View Post
    They should be made to pay. Going into an environment that is over your skill level and then you need extraction? Of course you should pay for it.

    This was not like parking his car over dead grass and the exhaust system set the fire. He built a fire, admittedly was careless, and did not act in a responsible manor. He knew better, and now he is here for absolution. Not from me.
    Man up and call the DA. Be a good example for your kids.
    What about the people with the appropriate skills, they get in trouble and have to be rescued. They shouldnt pay the same as those who arent skilled?

    You would probably sit there wondering the same if they were going to send you a bill for the suppression f it happened to you. When you are looking at over 40k (my guess of the costs), sounds like you would be like "where can I pay?" None of us would do that.

    As for parking on grass and the catalytic converter igniting the grass, IMO, that is the same as building a fire and not maintaining a careful and compotent watch. When its dry enough to ignite in this situation, you should have sense enough to know better - no difference in these two situations, you started the fire!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skvfd5 View Post
    Mattgo you stated:
    "The entire area was actually clear cut from logging, the only wood that burned were 3 huge slash piles 20+ feet deep wrapped around the peak I was camping at. My dog and I survived, though the flames which were at least 50' long were blowing directly into my truck which burnt down."

    "It took one week to fully put out the fire, it burnt less then 1 acre. The biggest issue for putting out the fire was first the location , I was in a extreme remote area that was very hard to get it , And that the logs from the slash pile were rolling 1/4 mile down the mountain while they were burning so it was impossible for crew to walk to the hill without putting them in harms way. For this I was told that they used 2 helicopters for 2 days."

    Just some questions...
    1. Why did the crew have to walk in? You drove in so why not the crew, the loggers got thier logging trucks in to the landing piles, type 3-6 engines along with tenders (tankers for you eastcoast types) would be able to get in also.

    2. Think its more than an acre fire, how many logs and how many spot fires did they start? Were they lined seperately or included in the main fires line?

    3. Did they in fact use the helicopters all the time or only on the initial attack? Heli mop-up is dangerous and not very effective.

    Now then as for the fines etc... here you could be charged with negligent arson. By state statue we would have to bill you for the suppression costs as this was a person caused fire.
    Most people will not receive a bill if the suppresssion costs are under $1000.


    By your original post, I'm thinking there's more to the story.

    Its good to see another MT boy running around here, and those are all dam good points that we missed.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skvfd5 View Post
    Mattgo you stated:
    "The entire area was actually clear cut from logging, the only wood that burned were 3 huge slash piles 20+ feet deep wrapped around the peak I was camping at. My dog and I survived, though the flames which were at least 50' long were blowing directly into my truck which burnt down."

    "It took one week to fully put out the fire, it burnt less then 1 acre. The biggest issue for putting out the fire was first the location , I was in a extreme remote area that was very hard to get it , And that the logs from the slash pile were rolling 1/4 mile down the mountain while they were burning so it was impossible for crew to walk to the hill without putting them in harms way. For this I was told that they used 2 helicopters for 2 days."

    Just some questions...
    1. Why did the crew have to walk in? You drove in so why not the crew, the loggers got thier logging trucks in to the landing piles, type 3-6 engines along with tenders (tankers for you eastcoast types) would be able to get in also.

    2. Think its more than an acre fire, how many logs and how many spot fires did they start? Were they lined seperately or included in the main fires line?

    3. Did they in fact use the helicopters all the time or only on the initial attack? Heli mop-up is dangerous and not very effective.

    Now then as for the fines etc... here you could be charged with negligent arson. By state statue we would have to bill you for the suppression costs as this was a person caused fire.
    Most people will not receive a bill if the suppresssion costs are under $1000.


    By your original post, I'm thinking there's more to the story.
    I agree, typically here on the east coast if a fire enters a cut over, containment lines are constructed surrounding the cut and a burn out is completed. No helos are utilized unless to assist with the burnout and most definitely not mop up. Flying aircraft is dangerous, no matter who is piloting or for what mission. I know the USFS disagree with most about direct attacking a fire, but still something is not adding up here.

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