Alaska Fishing Guide Pays $900,000 After Taking Blame For Wildfire

Crazy story from the Associated Press, as an Alaska fishing guide company had to pay a $900,000 fine after a guide was deemed responsible for a Copper Center-area wildfire. Here’s more from the story:

Court documents said the Groves Salmon Charters’ guide, Joshua McDonald, started a campfire on July 8, 2019 at a campground around Mile 16 of the Klutina River near Copper Center, about 160 miles northeast of Anchorage, to keep fishermen warm. Later that day, a large forest fire along the Klutina River was reported near that area.

The government alleges McDonald started the campfire despite knowing there was a high fire danger at the time. Investigators determined the wildfire started after he failed to properly extinguish the campfire, according to the statement. …

Stephanie Holcomb, who owns the guide service, told the AP in a phone interview that it’s possible that others may have actually been to blame but in a civil case, the preponderance of evidence favors the plaintiff, in this case the government.