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State to Receive Restitution for Big Spencer Mountain Fire Fight
November 7, 2012
For more information, contact: Jeanne Curran at (207) 287-3156
AUGUSTA, Maine – The State will receive nearly $74,000 in restitution for its suppression of a fire that burned 2 acres atop Big Spencer Mountain in August.
A District Court judge in Dover-Foxcroft ordered restitution of $73,972.96 to be paid over five years by Richard Wes Coers, of Utah, who pleaded no contest on Monday to a summons of failure to extinguish the fire on the mountain, which is 20 miles north of Greenville. Coers will also pay a $490 fine.
The fire started when embers from an unpermitted burn pile of leftover construction materials on top of the mountain was blown by a helicopter airlifting a communications building to the site.
Maine Forest Service rangers and local volunteers led an impressive firefighting effort by ground and air – including dropping 44,880 gallons of water on the fire from helicopters – before eventually extinguishing it.
“This was an expensive mistake and the Maine Forest Service should be commended for quickly putting out the fire and bringing this case to a resolution,” said Commissioner Walter Whitcomb of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “As a reminder, fire permits protect people and our natural resources and are easy to obtain.”
For more information on obtaining an open burn fire permit including an online permit application system, visit www.maine.gov/burnpermit or call (800) 750-9777. For more information on the Maine Forest Service, go to www.maineforestservice.gov.