Wyoming man billed $6.3 million for causing wildfire

Horsethief Canyon Fire and bike race
Bicycle racers ride past the Horsethief Canyon fire. Photo by David Cernicek

The U.S. Forest Service has billed a 77-year old Wyoming man $6.3 million for causing the Horsethief Canyon Fire that burned 3,373 acres five miles south of Jackson, Wyoming in September, 2012.

Using a Freedom of Information Act Request, the Associated Press obtained a copy of the bill that was sent to James G. Anderson Jr. A breakdown of the charges included $3.6 million for the USFS, $2 million for the Bureau of Land Management, $54,000 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $154,000 for the National Park Service, and $252,000 for the state of Wyoming and Teton County. The total suppression costs of the fire was about $9 million.

Investigators determined the fire started from a rusted-out barrel Mr. Anderson was using to burn debris at his son’s home.

Burnout operation on Horsethief Fire
Burnout operation on Horsethief Canyon Fire, September 12, 2012. Credit: Horsethief Canyon Fire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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