U.S. attorney McGregor W. Scott announced on Monday that two companies have agreed to pay a sum total of $9 million in a lawsuit stemming from the 2012 Flat Fire that burned 1,688 acres near Weaverville in Trinity County.
Kernen Construction Co. and Bundy & Sons Logging reportedly did not secure their equipment properly which ignited the fire. Both companies deny any liability in the incident.
Kernen Construction Co. will pay $6 million and Bundy & Sons Logging will pay $3 million to settle the lawsuit.
“This settlement goes a long way toward compensating the public for the expense of fighting the fire and the damage to public lands,” U.S. Attorney Scott said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively pursue recovery against those whose carelessness damages our precious national resources.”
The fire is reported to have caused over $4.6 million in damages, and caused harm to habitats for endangered species like the Northern Spotted Owl.
“This is a reminder that the public has a major role to play in fire safety,” said USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore. “Everyone must remain vigilant, especially during our extended fire season. We thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their work in this case.”