About nine months ago, Cal Fire filed its lawsuit in state court seeking some $8.5 million in damages for Cal Fire’s various costs due to the Mountain Fire of July 15, 2013. But the federal government, which, through the U.S. Forest Service, expended the lion’s share of monies owing to the blaze, has yet to weigh in. The statute of limitations will run out on July 15, 2016, the last date on which such a lawsuit may be filed.
After the fire was extinguished, the estimates as to its costs were in the $27- to $28-million range. Subtracting the $8.5 Cal Fire is seeking leaves about $18 to $20 million yet to be recovered. Most of that was taxpayers’ dollars expended by the federal government in suppression, investigation and related costs.
The Town Crier is in contact with Thom Mrozek, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, who is aware of the impending running of the statute of limitations regarding this matter. The TC will be following this matter closely in an attempt to ensure that the opportunity to recover taxpayers’ monies is not lost.
[Edit: This story has been updated to correct the date of the Mountain Fire and the statute of limitations runs out to July 15 — not July 13.]