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  1. #1
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    Post Terry Barton - Colorado

    DENVER (AP) - A former U.S. Forest Service employee charged with
    starting the largest wildfire in Colorado history asked a federal
    judge on Monday for more time to file motions if necessary as
    government evidence is disclosed.
    Terry Barton, 38, has pleaded innocent to four federal charges,
    including arson and injuring a firefighter. She is accused of
    starting the blaze 40 miles southwest of Denver that burned 137,000
    acres and destroyed 133 homes.
    Evidence against her so far consists of more than 3,500 pages of
    documents and photos, cassette tapes, videos, and a CD, according
    to a document filed in U.S. District Court in Denver.
    U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch had set a deadline of Monday
    for both sides to file motions. The prosecution didn't file any.
    Barton's lawyers said they may need more time because they
    expect more evidence from the government, including forensic
    analysis. Her lawyers also want results from any tests done to
    determine the presence of chemical accelerants in the samples and
    results from fuels from inside the campfire ring where the fire is
    supposed to have started.
    Prosecutors sent matches, a matchbook and ashes from the
    campfire ring to labs in California and Georgia for analysis, the
    document said.
    Barton has told investigators she accidentally started the fire
    while burning a letter from her estranged husband. Authorities
    believe she purposely set the fire, which cost nearly $37 million
    to fight.
    Barton is free on $600,000 bail but is required to stay at a
    halfway house and get mental health counseling.
    She was fired from the Forest Service June 22. She had been a
    seasonal employee for 18 years and a probationary full-time
    employee for a year.
    The documents filed by Barton's lawyers also claim agents who
    searched the ranger station where Barton worked seized personal
    photos, a rabies tag, magazines, sunglasses, Advil, hand lotion and
    a stuffed toy. Her attorney argued the items have no evidentiary
    value and that Barton wants them back.
    Matsch has delayed the start of the trial, initially set for
    Monday. No new date was set.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
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  2. #2
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    Arrow Updated

    DENVER (AP) - A former forestry worker accused of starting the
    largest wildfire in Colorado history voluntarily admitted starting
    the blaze, so her request to suppress her statements should be
    denied, federal officials said Thursday in court documents.
    Terry Barton, 38, has pleaded innocent to four federal charges,
    including arson and injuring a firefighter, in connection with a
    blaze 40 miles southwest of Denver that burned 137,000 acres and
    destroyed 133 homes.
    She was a U.S. Forest Service employee at the time.
    Colorado U.S. Attorney John Suthers said in documents filed in
    U.S. District Court in Denver that Barton was being interviewed at
    the time she admitted starting the fire but was not in a
    "custodial interrogation," where investigators are required to
    read the Miranda rights.
    Suthers also said Barton signed a form waiving her rights after
    the statement and consented to a search of her home and vehicle.
    Barton's lawyers had filed motions to throw out the statements
    she made to investigators and to suppress evidence gathered in the
    searches.
    The motions say Barton had not been advised of her Miranda
    rights when she recanted her first explanations about the fire and
    when she said a letter she burned in a campfire ring accidentally
    caused the fire.
    The motions also say evidence was taken from her home, car and
    work area without a warrant.

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  3. #3
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    Arrow Update

    DENVER (AP) - The former U.S. Forest Service employee accused of
    deliberately starting the largest wildfire in Colorado history
    wants the court to drop the requirement that she stay in a halfway
    house until her trial.
    Lawyers for Terry Barton filed a motion Monday in U.S. District
    Court asking that terms of her release on $600,000 bond be modified
    to allow her to leave a Denver-area halfway house.
    "We're reviewing the motion and likely will file a response
    (Tuesday)," said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's
    office for Colorado.
    Federal public defenders said Barton is a longtime Colorado
    resident with a stable work history, no criminal record, a teenage
    daughter at home and strong ties to the community of Florissant,
    where she lives.
    Defense lawyers also said the law provides that defendants be
    released before their trial under the least restrictive conditions
    possible while still protecting public safety and assuring the
    person shows up for court hearings. Authorities don't need to
    require Barton to stay in a halfway house to do that, her lawyers
    argued.
    Barton, 38, has pleaded innocent to four federal charges,
    including arson and injuring a firefighter. She is accused of
    starting the June 8 Hayman fire 40 miles southwest of Denver that
    burned 137,000 acres and destroyed 133 homes.
    Barton initially told investigators she accidentally started the
    fire while burning a letter from her estranged husband. Authorities
    believe she purposely set the fire.
    She was fired from the Forest Service June 22. She had been a
    seasonal employee for 18 years and a probationary full-time
    employee for a year.
    Her trial is scheduled to start Jan. 6.

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  4. #4
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    Arrow Update

    Prosecutors oppose releasing wildfire suspect from halfway house

    DENVER (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service employee accused of
    starting the largest Colorado wildfire on record poses a flight
    risk if she is released from a halfway house, federal prosecutors
    said Wednesday.
    The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a motion opposing Terry
    Barton's request that terms of her $600,000 bail be modified. She
    was sent to a Denver-area halfway house, ordered to undergo mental
    counseling told not to leave the state or enter a forest.
    Barton admitted lighting the match that started the fire, said
    William L. Taylor, assistant U.S. attorney. She faces a minimum 17
    years in prison if convicted and civil lawsuits that seek to
    recover part of the $37 million cost of fighting the fire.
    "In short, (she) has substantial reason to flee," Taylor said
    in the motion.
    Barton, 38, has pleaded innocent to four federal charges,
    including arson and injuring a firefighter. She is accused of
    starting the June 8 Hayman fire 40 miles southwest of Denver that
    burned 137,000 acres and destroyed 133 homes.
    Public defenders had argued Barton had a stable work history, no
    criminal record, a teenage daughter at home and strong ties to the
    community of Florissant, where she lives.
    But Taylor said that Barton's attorneys told the court she would
    not immediately return to her community, where many, including some
    who lost their homes, have expressed anger at her.
    The city where she plans to live, if released, remains sealed
    under court order to protect her safety, said U.S. attorney's
    spokesman Jeff Dorschner.
    Barton initially told investigators she accidentally started the
    fire while burning a letter from her estranged husband. Authorities
    believe she purposely set the fire.
    She was fired from the Forest Service June 22. She had been a
    seasonal employee for 18 years and a probationary full-time
    employee for a year.
    Her trial is scheduled to start Jan. 6.
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  5. #5
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    Angry

    DENVER (AP) - A former U.S. Forest Service employee has admitted
    starting the biggest wildfire in Colorado history and has agreed to
    spend six years in prison, a term victims called too short.
    Terry Barton, 38, pleaded guilty Friday to setting fire to
    federal land and making false statements to investigators after a
    blaze that destroyed 133 homes and cost more than $29 million to
    contain in the mountains southwest of Denver.
    Sentencing was set for Feb. 21. The range for the two counts is
    70 months to 87 months. The U.S. Attorney's office said in a
    statement that Barton will be prosecuted separately in state court.
    John Partington, 57, who was among the hardest hit by the fire,
    said a dozen of his neighbors have not returned to their homes near
    Deckers since the blaze. He called Barton's plea agreement unfair.
    "I lost 12 neighbors. What we had before is not going to come
    back for 20 years," he said. "I think they ought to bring her up
    here and drop her off."
    Barton and public defender Warren Williamson declined comment
    after the hearing.
    Barton also could be sentenced to pay a $250,000 fine on each
    count and restitution. Prosecutors claim the fire caused $38
    million in property damage to federal land alone.
    "For all the damage, pain and suffering she's caused, there's
    no way she could make restitution," said Larry Landis, 55, who
    evacuated his home for two weeks due to the fire.
    Barton remained free pending sentencing.
    Barton, whose job included spotting illegal fires, told
    investigators she accidentally started the blaze in June while
    burning a letter from her estranged husband in a campfire ring in
    the Pikes Peak National Forest. Authorities believed she started
    the fire deliberately.
    Barton was fired after she was arrested. Campfires were banned
    at the time because of the drought.
    She was initially indicted on four counts, including arson and
    injuring a firefighter. U.S. attorney's office spokesman Jeff
    Dorschner said the other counts would be dismissed in February if
    U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch accepts the plea agreement.
    The four counts carried a maximum sentence of 65 years and a
    $750,000 fine.
    During the hearing Friday, Matsch asked Barton if she believed
    the fire from her letter was extinguished before she left. "Yes, I
    did," she replied.
    He called her action "hazardous."
    The 137,000-acre fire southwest of Denver started June 8 and was
    brought under control July 19. It was one of several that raged in
    Colorado this year.
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  6. #6
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    Post

    CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. (Reuters) - A former U.S.
    Forest Service worker wept quietly Monday as she pleaded
    guilty to starting the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
    Terry Lynn Barton, who worked for the agency for 18 years,
    said she started the blaze that scorched more than 137,000
    acres and destroyed 133 houses last year.
    "I tried to put it out ... to no avail," she said in a
    brief written statement in state court.
    Barton, who turns 39 next week, could be sentenced to state
    prison for up to 12 years on the one count of arson to which
    she pleaded guilty in state court.
    Last month, Barton pleaded guilty to federal charges of
    starting the Hayman Fire on June 8 after becoming distraught
    over a letter from her estranged husband. She faces six years
    in prison on the federal charges. Sentencing is Feb. 21.
    Barton's state court sentencing was set for March 5.
    The federal charges related to damage on federal property,
    while the state charges focused on private property in the
    counties of Jefferson, El Paso, Teller and Douglas, Teller
    County District Attorney Jeanne Smith said last week.
    The fire, which burned out of control for 17 days in the
    Pike National Forest, also damaged the state's tourism business
    and angered many residents.
    Barton originally told investigators she came across the
    fire and tried to put it out. But after further questioning,
    she told investigators about burning the letter from her
    estranged husband.
    Prosecutors had charged that Barton deliberately lit the
    fire. She would have faced up to 65 years in prison if
    convicted of all the charges in the original indictment.
    REUTERS
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  7. #7
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    Post

    DENVER (AP) - Lawyers for a woman who started Colorado's worst
    wildfire have asked the Colorado Court of Appeals to vacate her
    state sentence and have the judge who imposed it thrown off the
    case.
    Former Forest Service worker Terry Barton is serving a six-year
    federal sentence in Texas for starting the 138,000-acre Hayman fire
    last summer. U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch did not order her
    to pay restitution, but federal prosecutors have filed a notice
    that they may appeal that decision.
    In March, Teller County District Judge Edward Colt sentenced her
    to the maximum 12-year sentence on a state charge of fourth-degree
    arson.
    During the sentencing, Colt revealed that he left his home for a
    night after smoke from the fire appeared headed toward his home and
    that he assisted in relief efforts for those affected by the fire.
    Afterward, Barton's lawyer, Sharlene Reynolds, asked Colt to
    withdraw from the case because of his personal involvement in the
    case.
    Colt's former law clerk, Jennifer Nosler, said in an affidavit
    that Colt left the courthouse during the fire to help his division
    clerk evacuate her home.
    In a notice filed this month, Barton's lawyers asked the appeals
    court to review Barton's sentence and Colt's refusal to withdraw.
    District Attorney Jeanne Smith, who charged Barton, said none of
    Colt's actions indicated that he had a personal or financial
    interest in the case or that he expressed personal opinions about
    her.
    Colt has said he had no bias against Barton and was not affected
    financially by the fire.
    Colt has yet to rule on what restitution Barton should pay.
    Private losses from the fire are estimated at more than $30
    million.

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  8. #8
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    Post June 2. 2003

    DENVER (AP) - A former Forest Service employee who admitted
    starting Colorado's largest wildfire should be ordered to pay $14.7
    million in partial damages it caused, federal prosecutors said
    Monday.
    In an appeal filed in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,
    prosecutors argued that Terry Lynn Barton should be ordered to pay
    restitution in the amount spent to restore the watershed in the
    Pike National Forest southwest of Denver.
    Barton pleaded guilty to federal and state arson charges in the
    Hayman Fire. She is serving a six-year federal sentence and a
    12-year state sentence concurrently in Texas.
    Jessico Leto, of the public defender's office representing
    Barton, said attorneys had no comment.
    In February, U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch denied the
    restitution request at Barton's sentencing, ruling that it would be
    too complex to determine the wildfire's damage. He also said he
    didn't want to sentence Barton to a life of poverty.
    In the appeal, prosecutors contested the complexity and itemized
    the costs to restore the watershed that provides 60 percent of
    Denver's water supply.
    The government mulched and reseeded the area to prevent
    flooding, according to court documents. It is not seeking
    restitution for the cost of fighting the fire or the destroyed
    habitat.
    Prosecutors acknowledged Barton is unlikely be able to pay
    restitution but said they want to preserve the possibility in case
    she becomes wealthy in the future.
    Last summer's fire 55 miles southwest of Denver destroyed 133
    homes and one business, causing an estimated $13 million in damage
    in addition to the federal claim.

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  9. #9
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    Post

    Government wants fire-starter to pay for restoration

    (Cripple Creek-AP) -- Prosecutors say a former Forest Service
    worker owes 27-and-a-half (m) million dollars restitution to Hayman
    fire victims.
    A state judge ordered Barton to pay restitution after she
    pleaded guilty in March to federal and state arson charges.
    Prosecutors submitted the dollar amount yesterday.
    Federal prosecutors also want Barton to pay 14-point-seven (m)
    million dollars for the amount spent to restore the watershed in
    the Pike National Forest southwest of Denver.
    Barton's attorney has said she will appeal the sentence.
    Prosecutors acknowledge Barton is unlikely to be able to pay
    restitution but want to preserve the possibility in case she
    becomes wealthy in the future.
    The Hayman fire scorched 138-thousand acres last summer.

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  10. #10
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    Post

    DENVER (AP) - Government attorneys argued Tuesday the former
    Forest Service employee who set the largest wildfire in Colorado
    history should be forced to pay $14.7 million in restitution.
    U.S. Attorney John Suthers, arguing his case in person, told a
    three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that
    Terry Lynn Barton should be ordered to pay the amount agreed to by
    prosecutors and defense attorneys.
    Suthers said the federal judge handling the Barton case abused
    his discretion in refusing to order the money paid, citing concern
    over condemning the defendant to a "lifetime of poverty."
    Suthers asked the panel to send the case back to U.S. District
    Judge Richard Matsch with instructions to issue that order. The
    judges took the case under advisement.
    The 138,000-acre Hayman fire southwest of Denver destroyed 132
    homes and one business in 2002.
    Barton was sentenced to six years in federal prison after
    pleading guilty to arson. She also was sentenced to 12 years on
    state arson charges.
    The state sentence includes $27.5 million in restitution to
    residents who lost their homes or suffered other damages. The state
    and federal sentences are running simultaneously.
    In his 2003 sentencing ruling, Matsch said calculating the
    correct restitution figure in the federal case would unduly prolong
    sentencing because it would be too complicated. Complexity is the
    only exception allowed under a federal statute requiring
    restitution for crime victims.
    "There is in this case a great concern of mine in exercising
    moral judgment as to whether this woman should be sentenced to a
    lifetime of poverty, because that's what this restitution order
    would mean," Matsch said.
    A Forest Service study last fall said the total costs of the
    fire, including firefighting costs, air pollution, long-term
    rehabilitation, damage repairs and lost timber, was approaching
    $238 million.
    Suthers said Barton's attorneys earlier agreed with the
    government that the fire caused about $38 million in damage. But he
    said prosecutors deliberately asked for only $14.7 million - the
    government's actual costs of repairing damage - to simplify
    sentencing.
    "We never asked the court for obvious reasons to valuate the
    forest," he said. "The trial court's reaction is very
    understandable. Unfortunately, it happens to be contrary to the
    statute."
    Assistant federal public defender Warren Williamson acknowledged
    he agreed to the $14.7 million figure, but said Matsch was within
    his rights to deny it.
    "Whether the person is (real estate mogul Donald) Trump or
    Terry Barton, there are some cases where restitution becomes overly
    complex," Williamson said. "I would suggest civil litigation is
    the way to go."
    Suthers said if the restitution is denied, the federal statute
    requiring restitution for crime victims would be rendered
    meaningless.
    "The (law's) underlying purpose is frustrated when a court says
    to the victim, in effect, `You didn't ask for enough, so you get
    nothing,"' Suthers wrote in a court filing.
    Barton is appealing her state conviction, saying the judge in
    that case might have had a conflict of interest because he had to
    leave his home due to smoke from the fire.
    She is serving her sentences at Texas center for prisoners with
    medical or mental health problems.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Appeals court: http://www.ck10.uscourts.gov

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  11. #11
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    Post May 5th

    DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court has ordered the former
    Forest Service employee responsible for the largest wildfire in
    Colorado history to pay $14.7 million in restitution.
    A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
    sided with federal prosecutors who said Terry Lynn Barton should
    pay the amount to provide for emergency restoration of national
    forest southwest of Denver.
    U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch rejected the government's
    request for the sum last year, saying setting the value of the
    forest was impossible and that he would not condemn Barton to a
    life of poverty.
    The appeals court said prosecutors and defense attorneys had
    agreed on the $14.7 million figure and that Barton's financial
    circumstances were not relevant.
    "The government pursued this appeal because it felt an
    important principle was at stake," said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman
    for the U.S. attorney's office in Denver. "We are gratified by the
    court's decision."
    Barton's attorney, federal public defender Warren Williamson,
    did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
    The 2002 Hayman fire burned for 24 days, destroying 133 homes
    and charring 138,000 acres, including 117,000 in the Pike National
    Forest.
    Barton, who was patrolling the forest during a season of high
    fire danger, pleaded guilty to federal arson charges. She said the
    fire began after she tried to burn letters from her estranged
    husband in an outdoor fire pit.
    Matsch sentenced Barton to six years in federal prison. Barton
    also pleaded guilty to state arson charges for which she was
    sentenced to 12 years in prison. She is serving the sentences
    concurrently in a Texas facility for prisoners with health
    problems.
    A state judge also ordered her to pay $27.5 million in
    restitution to residents of the area outside the national forest
    who lost their homes or were damaged in other ways.
    When he sentenced Barton in February 2003, Matsch said she could
    never pay the $14.7 million the government was seeking and would
    have trouble even finding a job.
    "It might be more humane to sentence her to life imprisonment.
    At least she'd get square meals and a place to sleep," he said.
    But the 10th Circuit said the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act
    requires restitution and says the defendant's finances cannot be
    considered in setting the amount.
    The appeals court also said prosecutors were asking only for the
    cost of emergency restoration to prevent floods and erosion, not
    the federal government's total fire costs.
    Foresters plan to plant hundreds of thousands of seedlings in
    the Hayman burn area in the next four to six years. Some seedlings
    have already been planted, but the bulk will not be ready to go
    into the ground until the spring of 2005.

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  12. #12
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    Exclamation And upon appeal...........

    By STEVEN K. PAULSON
    Associated Press Writer
    DENVER (AP) - An appeals court Thursday threw out a former U.S.
    Forest Service employee's 12-year prison sentence for starting the
    biggest wildfire in Colorado history.
    The Colorado Court of Appeals said state Judge Edward Colt gave
    Terry Lynn Barton too harsh a sentence and had at least "the
    appearance of prejudice" because smoke from the fire had prompted
    the judge to leave his own home for a night.
    The court ordered a new sentencing before a new judge for
    Barton, who admitted starting the June 2002 fire when she burned a
    letter from her ex-husband in a drought-stricken area.
    "This is a good thing for Terry, a victory for Terry," said
    Barton's attorney, Sharlene Reynolds.
    The attorney general's office said it has not decided whether to
    appeal.
    The ruling does not affect a six-year prison sentence Barton
    received in federal court after pleading guilty to federal charges
    for the same fire. She was serving the state and federal sentences
    at the same time.
    Barton has also been ordered to pay $42.2 million in
    restitution.
    The fire blackened 138,000 acres, destroyed 300 buildings and
    caused more than $29 million in damage. More than 8,000 people were
    forced from their homes.
    The appeals court said Colt acted improperly when he gave Barton
    twice the normal maximum prison term after finding
    "extraordinarily aggravating" circumstances. The judge had cited
    the catastrophic results of the fire and Barton's own knowledge of
    fires as a Forest Service employee.
    The appeals court said such a finding should have been made by a
    jury, not the judge. Barton had waived her right to a jury trial,
    but the court said that did not matter.
    "Any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the
    prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury, and
    proved beyond a reasonable doubt," the appeals court said.
    The appeals court also said the judge "injected comments about
    his personal experience" into his findings during the sentencing.
    The judge helped a court clerk evacuate her home and helped
    serve food to people displaced by the blaze, according to the
    appeals court.

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  13. #13
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    Post

    Fire starter says sentence too harsh

    DENVER (AP) - The woman who started the largest wildfire in
    Colorado history says she agrees with an appeals court that said
    her sentence on a state arson charge was harsh.
    Former U-S Forest Service worker Terry Barton has been serving a
    six-year sentence on federal charges and a 12-year sentence on a
    state arson charge for starting the Hayman fire.
    The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday ordered that she be
    resentenced in the state case, saying state Judge Edward Colt had
    at least "the appearance of prejudice" because smoke from the
    fire had prompted him to leave his own home for a night.
    The six-year sentence in the federal case is unaffected.
    Barton told KCNC-TV that she regrets starting the fire but
    believes the 12-year sentence was too long.

    (Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  14. #14
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Default 2006...The saga continues

    DENVER (AP) - The owners of four properties sued the Forest
    Service Friday for damages sustained in the state's 2002
    record-setting wildfire, saying the agency's missteps allowed the
    blaze to grow out of control.
    The federal lawsuit claims the Forest Service is responsible for
    the actions of a former forestry worker who pleaded guilty to
    starting the fire that burned 215 square miles in central Colorado
    about 55 miles southwest of Denver.
    The plaintiffs fault the agency for allowing Terry Lynn Barton
    to patrol the forest alone the day she set the fire, for clogging
    radio channels with a weather report when she tried to report the
    fire, and failing to properly train Barton.
    The suit lists plaintiffs Wallace White; Laurie Glauth and the
    Zelma L. Worden Trust; Charles and Marcia Phillips and the Phillips
    Family Trust; and Gary and Sandra Bieske. It does not specify how
    much of their property burned or what financial losses they
    suffered.
    A Forest Service spokesman Jim Maxwell said everyone has a right
    to sue, and courts exist to hear grievances.
    "These folks obviously have deep feelings about what
    happened," Maxwell said. "We did our very best to make things as
    right as we were able to."
    The suit is the second filed against the government regarding
    the fire in less than three months. Three insurance companies
    joined forces June 14 in a suit demanding more than $7 million. A
    federal response to that suit is due Monday, U.S. Attorney's Office
    spokesman Jeff Dorschner said.
    Barton is appealing her 12-year prison sentence handed down on
    state charges. She is also serving a six-year sentence on federal
    charges in a prison in Texas.

    (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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