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Fri Jun 21, 2019, 10:44 PM

Government to pay ranchers for wildfire losses

The federal government has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by several ranchers whose land was damaged after a prescribed fire in 2013 jumped its lines.

The Pautre Fire eventually burned 10,679 acres in South and North Dakota, of which 7,100 acres were privately owned. The fire was supposed to be confined to 391 acres of land on the Dakota Prairie National Grassland.

Lawsuits filed by ranchers alleged the Forest Service violated its own prescribed burn plan when it failed to adhere to weather forecasts showing a weather system with high winds moving through the area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which reviewed the incident, blamed the fire in part on poor weather forecasts.

Besides the loss of pasture land, ranchers lost cattle, fencing and had to find alternative pasture land.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2019/06/21/government-pay-ranchers-wildfire-losses/1514608001/

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