Prosecutions and the Cost of Firefighting

January 18, 2008

The high cost of firefighting is driving the prosecution of people who accidentally cause fires, resulting in jail time and heart stopping fines. But that’s not all. Upon conviction the culprit is then typically beset with civil lawsuits by property owners, who can use the conviction as evidence in their suits. FEMA set the cost of the highly publicized wildland fires in California at $126 million. A 22 year old Wenatchee man was just convicted of starting a wildland fire by lighting a smoke bomb, not a roman candle or string of firecrackers, a single smoke bomb. He got 30 days and will shortly be ordered to make retribution for the firefighting costs, which were said to be just under $2 million.