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(NBC News)   U.S. Forest Service: Remember that 2012 Wyoming wildfire you started? Will you be paying the $6.3 million by check or cash?   (usnews.nbcnews.com) divider line 144
    More: Followup, Canadian Forest Service, Wyoming, US Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, wildfires, Bureau of Land Management  
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10290 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2014 at 7:35 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-09 06:42:45 AM
This is an outrage that a 77 year old man should get a 6.4 million dollar bill which he can't pay.

A complete outrage that, instead, he isn't in prison rotting the last few years of his life away. He can learn useful shankin' skills.
 
2014-01-09 06:44:16 AM
a 77-year-old Wyoming man to pay $6.3 million

Eh - just arrange a payment plan, he won't be paying that long...
 
2014-01-09 07:17:12 AM
So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.
 
2014-01-09 07:21:39 AM

xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.


Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.
 
2014-01-09 07:41:23 AM

hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.


No?  Drat.  Guess I should re-write the script to that porno.

/ joke
// that's the other joke
 
2014-01-09 07:47:59 AM
Dare to be stupid!
 
2014-01-09 07:49:41 AM
good.  pay up.
 
2014-01-09 07:50:16 AM
his homeowner's insurance company is reading that policy really carefully right now.
 
2014-01-09 07:51:48 AM

hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.


That's true, but the money is allocated ahead of time.

Also, I could see charging him if it was intentional.  This wasn't intentionally set:  He was burning twigs and paper in a barrel, and at some point, the fire spread beyond the barrel.  He actually called 911 as soon as he noticed there was a problem.

I've got no problem with him being charged with leaving a fire unattended or whatever, or with charging people who intentionally set such fires, but bankrupting an old man just seems like the forest service is collectively being a douchebags.  Plus, they only gave him a month to pay it:  Sent him the bill in November, with a due date in December.  For probably more money than he's collectively made in his entire life.

Even if the bill eventually gets thrown out, he'll almost certainly have to hire a lawyer and spend a bunch of money he likely doesn't have to spare, so the end result is almost the same.

This is the kind of behavior on the part of government that would lead someone like him to set fires intentionally, because they no longer have anything left to lose, and fark you, they can cost the government even more money, in firefighting costs and in incarceration costs, and there is no way the government can make that back.
 
2014-01-09 07:54:26 AM
So? Even my liability insurance, that I am required to have, would cover this.
 
2014-01-09 07:57:40 AM

xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.


No, this is the government seeking reimbursement for what they paid.
 
2014-01-09 08:00:18 AM

dittybopper: hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.

That's true, but the money is allocated ahead of time.

Also, I could see charging him if it was intentional.  This wasn't intentionally set:  He was burning twigs and paper in a barrel, and at some point, the fire spread beyond the barrel.  He actually called 911 as soon as he noticed there was a problem.

I've got no problem with him being charged with leaving a fire unattended or whatever, or with charging people who intentionally set such fires, but bankrupting an old man just seems like the forest service is collectively being a douchebags.  Plus, they only gave him a month to pay it:  Sent him the bill in November, with a due date in December.  For probably more money than he's collectively made in his entire life.

Even if the bill eventually gets thrown out, he'll almost certainly have to hire a lawyer and spend a bunch of money he likely doesn't have to spare, so the end result is almost the same.

This is the kind of behavior on the part of government that would lead someone like him to set fires intentionally, because they no longer have anything left to lose, and fark you, they can cost the government even more money, in firefighting costs and in incarceration costs, and there is no way the government can make that back.


Its also the type of thing that would keep someone from calling 911 to report the small initial fire.
 
2014-01-09 08:00:32 AM

dittybopper: This wasn't intentionally set: He was burning twigs and paper in a barrel, and at some point, the fire spread beyond the barrel.


I think you misunderstand the word "intentional."  He didn't accidentally put twigs and paper in a barrel and accidentally set them on fire.  He was negligent in maintaining an intentional fire.

I don't think anyone expects to collect on the bill, but it is a pretty solid way to demonstrate how much damage someone can cause by not being responsible.
 
2014-01-09 08:02:08 AM
Why are they billing this old guy $6.3M when the amounts the services claim add up to $15,270,000?

Did the guy have a coupon or was there a fire sale going on?
 
2014-01-09 08:02:08 AM

hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.


The "physical" is a three mile walk with forty-five pounds in forty-five minutes with adjustments for elevation. Not that hard, and lots of out-of-shape people pass. The training takes a week, and you'd have to be pretty dumb to fail. You can actually take the course online now.

As for the cost, a huge chunk if that is aviation, most of which is contracted. A heavy tanker can cost tens of thousands of dollars per hour. Additionally, a lot of the overhead are retirees who only get paid when they're on incident. Their rates are pretty high, though no overtime rate. Factor in contract equipment and crews, overtime and hazard pay for federal firefighters, food, replacing and fixing broken stuff, etc., and it gets expensive really quick.
 
2014-01-09 08:07:26 AM
i26.photobucket.com
Check is in the mail
 
2014-01-09 08:07:56 AM
a 2012 forest fire that threatened the upscale Western town of Jackson.

They've been talkin' 'bout payment, ever since the fire went out.
 
2014-01-09 08:09:42 AM
they should take his driver's license away too.
 
2014-01-09 08:14:57 AM
I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?
 
2014-01-09 08:16:19 AM
I guess there's enough evidence that he couldn't really claim that he didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning?
 
2014-01-09 08:16:36 AM

kwame: dittybopper: This wasn't intentionally set: He was burning twigs and paper in a barrel, and at some point, the fire spread beyond the barrel.

I think you misunderstand the word "intentional."  He didn't accidentally put twigs and paper in a barrel and accidentally set them on fire.  He was negligent in maintaining an intentional fire.

I don't think anyone expects to collect on the bill, but it is a pretty solid way to demonstrate how much damage someone can cause by not being responsible.


If you don't actually intend or expect to collect on the bill, then don't farking send the bill in the first place.

The only intention at that point is to screw the guy who made a mistake. An *OLD* guy.  Who might be a little age-related forgetful.

What is to stop an old guy like that with nothing more left to lose at that point from intentionally starting multiple fires because fark you for sending a $6 million dollar bill?

Now, I've got no problem with charging him with whatever misdemeanor leaving a fire unattended might be.  That's an appropriate use of government resources.  This is just harassment, and petty harassment at that.  It sends the message that government is all about money.
 
2014-01-09 08:18:21 AM
I'd handle it like my hospital bills.

Me: I see you sent me a bill for $5000. You already got a good chunk of money from my insurance, but the thing is I don't know if I can pay this. I tell you what. I've got 500 bucks in my account if you want to settle the whole thing now. Otherwise I've got no clue when I might be able to send you any money.

Hospital: ...Deal.

I had to have an MRI done that would have cost me 400 bucks co-pay. I had the money, but I told them I wanted to do a payment plan. I waited 5 days and offered them 100 to settle. They took it happily.
 
2014-01-09 08:19:34 AM

hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.


Oh, but don't let facts get in the way of outrage!
 
2014-01-09 08:20:39 AM

MrHappyRotter: I guess there's enough evidence that he couldn't really claim that he didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning?


He did ignite it, but he tried to fight it.
 
2014-01-09 08:23:10 AM

dittybopper: If you don't actually intend or expect to collect on the bill, then don't farking send the bill in the first place.

The only intention at that point is to screw the guy who made a mistake. An *OLD* guy. Who might be a little age-related forgetful.

What is to stop an old guy like that with nothing more left to lose at that point from intentionally starting multiple fires because fark you for sending a $6 million dollar bill?


I would imagine there has to be some attempt to settle it.  That's the point.  And if you're a little age-forgetful, then you shouldn't be setting fires.  "Making a mistake" doesn't exonerate you from creating a massive amount of damage and putting thousands of lives at risk.  You don't get to say oopsie promise I won't do that again.

Who gives a f*ck if he gets mad about the bill and starts setting fires?  That's not a normal human response to something like this, and if he's predisposed to do that, well that knocks the legs out from under your poor old forgetful man defense, doesn't it?
 
2014-01-09 08:23:20 AM

Katolu: hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.

Oh, but don't let facts get in the way of outrage!


I'm betting, though, that funds are allocated for it ahead of time.  Unless the government agencies involved are truly incompetent.
 
2014-01-09 08:27:45 AM
FTA: "The U.S. Forest Service wants a 77-year-old Wyoming man to pay $6.3 million for allegedly sparking a 2012 forest fire..."

Allegedly? Allegedly? If I was the old dude, I'd tell them to eat shiat.
 
2014-01-09 08:27:57 AM
So is <b>dittybopper</b> saying that because he called 911 no harm no foul?   Personal Responsibility be damned!
 
2014-01-09 08:28:04 AM
Never understood this countries hard on for billing people for what other countries consider government. I guess that's what happens when even your government is privatized and run like a corporation.
 
2014-01-09 08:28:48 AM

DrPainMD: FTA: "The U.S. Forest Service wants a 77-year-old Wyoming man to pay $6.3 million for allegedly sparking a 2012 forest fire..."

Allegedly? Allegedly? If I was the old dude, I'd tell them to eat shiat.


Something something impartial reporting
 
2014-01-09 08:29:24 AM

dittybopper: What is to stop an old guy like that with nothing more left to lose at that point from intentionally starting multiple fires because fark you for sending a $6 million dollar bill?


I have to come back to this because it's so incredibly dumb.   Maybe we should cut back on stiff penalties for DUI offenders because what if they get pissed off and intentionally drive drunk through school zones?  And why arrest parents responsible for the negligent death of their child?  They might go on a shooting spree in a maternity ward!
 
2014-01-09 08:30:12 AM

xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.



Yeah! It's not like they brought in extra firefighters, extra equipment, paid travel expenses, consumed tons of fuel and chemicals, and lost equipment due to damage.

Oh wait. It's exactly like that.
 
2014-01-09 08:30:21 AM

dragyne: So is <b>dittybopper</b> saying that because he called 911 no harm no foul?   Personal Responsibility be damned!


I left the gate open and my Rottweiler mauled a 5 year old, but I took the damn kid to the hospital, jeez.  Get off my back.
 
2014-01-09 08:36:25 AM

kwame: dragyne: So is <b>dittybopper</b> saying that because he called 911 no harm no foul?   Personal Responsibility be damned!

I left the gate open and my Rottweiler mauled a 5 year old, but I took the damn kid to the hospital, jeez.  Get off my back.


Damn I didn't hear the kid because i was just careless discharging a firearm on my property and a stray bullet so happened to hit a pregnant mother.  I mean it was an accident and it's not like the kid died or anything.  People just need to lighten up!
 
2014-01-09 08:41:00 AM

AgentPothead: Never understood this countries hard on for billing people for what other countries consider government. I guess that's what happens when even your government is privatized and run like a corporation.


Which countries treat fires created by negligence as  "just government"?
 
2014-01-09 08:42:17 AM

dittybopper: I could see charging him if it was intentional. This wasn't intentionally set: He was burning twigs and paper in a barrel, and at some point, the fire spread beyond the barrel.


You have a right to be stupid.  You DO NOT have a right to incur huge costs to society as a result of being stupid.  I don't care if the stupidity is caused by age.  No society can afford that; not even the richest nation in history.  $6 million per idiot is orders of magnitude more than the GDP of the entire world.

dittybopper: This is the kind of behavior on the part of government that would lead someone like him to set fires intentionally, because they no longer have anything left to lose, and fark you, they can cost the government even more money, in firefighting costs and in incarceration costs, and there is no way the government can make that back.


Then we put the asshole in jail to rot, which would be cheaper than $6 million for burning garbage.  It's not like anyone's punishing him for who he is; the guy started a goddamn wildfire FFS.  Again, there just ain't enough resources in the world to forgive & forget people too dumb to avoid causing widespread destruction.  There needs to be some sort of selective pressure and America sets the bar for idiocy about as low as it can possibly go as it is.  An unattended fire endangering an entire town is way on the wrong side of the "too stupid to ignore" line.

I'm guessing the Forest Service is going this route because prosecution is unfeasible.  The alternative is to just let the guy be, in which case he'll probably do it again anyway.
 
2014-01-09 08:42:24 AM

DrPainMD: FTA: "The U.S. Forest Service wants a 77-year-old Wyoming man to pay $6.3 million for allegedly sparking a 2012 forest fire..."

Allegedly? Allegedly? If I was the old dude, I'd tell them to eat shiat.


"No criminal charges have been filed while the civil matter remains unresolved"
 
2014-01-09 08:42:58 AM

kwame: I have to come back to this because it's so incredibly dumb.


img.fark.net
 
2014-01-09 08:43:41 AM

dittybopper: Also, I could see charging him if it was intentional.  This wasn't intentionally set:  He was burning twigs and paper in a barrel, and at some point, the fire spread beyond the barrel.  He actually called 911 as soon as he noticed there was a problem.

I've got no problem with him being charged with leaving a fire unattended or whatever, or with charging people who intentionally set such fires, but bankrupting an old man just seems like the forest service is collectively being a douchebags.  Plus, they only gave him a month to pay it:  Sent him the bill in November, with a due date in December.  For probably more money than he's collectively made in his entire life.

Even if the bill eventually gets thrown out, he'll almost certainly have to hire a lawyer and spend a bunch of money he likely doesn't have to spare, so the end result is almost the same.

This is the kind of behavior on the part of government that would lead someone like him to set fires intentionally, because they no longer have anything left to lose, and fark you, they can cost the government even more money, in firefighting costs and in incarceration costs, and there is no way the government can make that back.


He negligently left a fire unattended in an enclosure that any reasonable person would understand is unsafe, within reach of a ready supply of fuel. His decision to dial 911 merely helped to stop the destruction he was causing, it doesn't mitigate his responsibility for the destruction that he already caused.

His intent would be relevant to a criminal charge, but this is just about the civil costs. This isn't a "government thing". If your house burned down, your insurance company isn't going to look at that the guy who set it on fire and go "oh, well, it was an accident". It was an accident that he had a responsibility *not* to cause and he is financially responsible. Your insurance company will take everything he has if they need to to offset the costs he imposed on them with his stupidity.

The fact that he did millions of dollars of damage and doesn't have millions of dollars is unimportant. It's what he did and that's that. He should have been more careful if he didn't want a $6,000,000 bill.
 
2014-01-09 08:43:41 AM

xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.


They do not get hazard pay when there's no fire. They are not using expensive equipment like helicopters, mass quantities of water, and so on. It's much cheaper for everyone when there are no fires.
 
2014-01-09 08:44:31 AM
At the time, there was a ban on burning outside that had been in effect for weeks.  It was dry as toast.


/like jo mama
 
2014-01-09 08:48:49 AM

dittybopper: I'm betting, though, that funds are allocated for it ahead of time.


so?

"well you can pay for the damage I caused, so I shouldn't have to pay anything." isn't much of a defense.

oh. and he's lucky there haven't been criminal charges...yet.

The U.S. attorney's office and the Forest Service deliberated on the Anderson case for more than a year before taking action.
Sending a bill is a civil rather than a criminal solution to the debt collection issue, but doing so does not necessarily mean there will be no criminal penalties in the future, Powell said last month.
 
2014-01-09 08:49:37 AM

drinkingbeerinpublic: At the time, there was a ban on burning outside that had been in effect for weeks.  It was dry as toast.

/like jo mama


So this now drifts into the little-known legal area of "ultranegligence". Fark this old man. Fark him in the rear.
 
2014-01-09 08:51:21 AM

freewill: and doesn't have millions of dollars is unimportant


and we don't even know that.
 
2014-01-09 08:53:41 AM

hardinparamedic: xanadian: So, what would the forest service people and the fire fighters have been doing if the fire hadn't happened? Would they still have their jobs and being paid for it, but just not fighting the wildfire?  I think it's wrong that they're getting MY tax dollars *and* charging some old dude at the same time.  It's like being paid twice for doing one job.

Most wildland firefighters are actually volunteers/paid-on-incident that have passed the physical and wildland training which the National Forrest Service requires. (Which is no joke.)

They don't have thousands of men just setting around somewhere on payroll.


They also don't put out fires with their bare hands, that money is not just for wages.
 
2014-01-09 08:54:02 AM
media.tumblr.com
 
2014-01-09 08:55:47 AM

freewill: The fact that he did millions of dollars of damage and doesn't have millions of dollars is unimportant


Actually, it's not.

The current legal system is set up so a really rich man can flat out murder his neighbor, chop the body into pieces, and toss the pieces into the bay to hide the murder and still afford a lawyer jewish enough he gets off on a SELF DEFENSE plea. (This really happened)

Meanwhile, a poor man can't even have an accident without getting a 6 million dollar bill.

Punitive legal damages should be assessed at a percentage of one's net worth using a scale where 101% equals the death penalty. Sending a poor old man a bill for $6,000,000 for any reason is retarded.
 
2014-01-09 08:56:07 AM

Dragonflew: They also don't put out fires with their bare hands


REAL firemen would. . .
 
2014-01-09 08:56:48 AM

doglover: a poor old man


how do you know he's poor?
 
2014-01-09 08:57:26 AM
"Will you be paying the $6.3 million by check or cash?"

No.
 
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