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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 (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



144 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
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.
 
2014-01-09 08:59:41 AM
Those are some expensive forest rangers...

Load of BS numbers.
 
2014-01-09 09:00:56 AM

doglover: 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)


Huh?  Bist du ein Nazischwein?
 
2014-01-09 09:02:00 AM

Wyalt Derp: "Will you be paying the $6.3 million by check or cash?"

No.


That is not a valid answer. I had a friend who hit a bridge while driving drunk and caused about $250k in structural damage. They put him on a payment plan and it took about 26 years to pay it all off but I am not paying was never an option. They will take his house and property (houses in Jackson are not cheap) and go after any other assets he may have. Hopefully he has decent homeowners insurance and it will kick in part.
 
2014-01-09 09:02:24 AM
Is there precedent of someone getting charged before?
 
2014-01-09 09:02:41 AM

log_jammin: doglover: a poor old man

how do you know he's poor?


Maybe he's rich. I doubt he has $6,000,000 just lying around however. Hence, sending him a $6,000,000 is retarded. A much better fine is % of net worth.
 
2014-01-09 09:03:28 AM

kim jong-un: Its also the type of thing that would keep someone from calling 911 to report the small initial fire.


That is the lesson I've learned from this.
Or maybe, call and leave an anonymous tip after I GTFO.  I don't want to be charged $6 million dollars.
 
2014-01-09 09:04:23 AM

mainstreet62: Is there precedent of someone getting charged before?


Nevermind.
 
2014-01-09 09:04:46 AM

doglover: Maybe he's rich. I doubt he has $6,000,000 just lying around however.


because you don't have the cash "handy" to pay for your negligence, then you shouldn't have to pay it. got it.
 
2014-01-09 09:07:15 AM

ReverendJasen: kim jong-un: Its also the type of thing that would keep someone from calling 911 to report the small initial fire.

That is the lesson I've learned from this.
Or maybe, call and leave an anonymous tip after I GTFO.  I don't want to be charged $6 million dollars.


he didn't make the call. it was a neighbor.

Little Horsethief resident John Crook said he called authorities at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday because he believed the house farthest to the north on his street was burning.
"A friend of mine who was working across the street at the LOTOJA race called me and said he thought one of my neighbors' houses was on fire," he said. "I went outside and looked, and I saw black smoke coming from behind that far north house."
Crook's home is about a half-mile south of where he saw the fire, he said.
 
2014-01-09 09:07:16 AM

SecretAgentWoman: a 77-year-old Wyoming man to pay $6.3 million

Eh - just arrange a payment plan, he won't be paying that long...


Put a lien on his estate.

And his organs.
=Smidge=
 
2014-01-09 09:08:18 AM

ReverendJasen: kim jong-un: Its also the type of thing that would keep someone from calling 911 to report the small initial fire.

That is the lesson I've learned from this.
Or maybe, call and leave an anonymous tip after I GTFO.  I don't want to be charged $6 million dollars.


or... not farking light a fire outside when there's a ban on outside fires cos of the conditions and likely impact of it getting out of control. how does that sound?
 
2014-01-09 09:08:35 AM

HighlanderRPI: I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?


no, there's just herds of middle-age women wearing pink cowboy hats and wearing too tight jeans.

/love that area, farking hate jackson hole.
 
2014-01-09 09:09:29 AM

HighlanderRPI: I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?


Ski resort.
 
2014-01-09 09:09:39 AM

doglover: 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.


If these were punitive damages, assessed by a court to teach him a lesson,  I would have some sympathy.

Based on the article, they appear to be actual damages. He is being billed for the direct cost of putting out his fire for him, a fire he was not watching and allowed to spiral out of control before seeking help, costs that will otherwise be carried by innocent people who did not negligently burn down a national forest.

All he had to do was use a proper container. Instead, he used a rusty old barrel.

All he had to do was monitor the fire and stomp on whatever fell out. Instead, he went inside and watched football.

All he had to do was heed the longstanding burn ban. Instead, he said "fark it" and did what he felt like doing that day.

This is an "accident" in much the same way drunk driving fatalities are accidents, except he wasn't even drunk, so you can't even really blame impaired judgment.
 
2014-01-09 09:10:31 AM

log_jammin: doglover: Maybe he's rich. I doubt he has $6,000,000 just lying around however.

because you don't have the cash "handy" to pay for your negligence, then you shouldn't have to pay it. got it.


A homeless pauper can start a wildfire just as easy as Bill Gates or Paris Hilton. Wasting time sending bills is retarded. If it's too much damage, kill them and seize their assets.

By sending a flat bill based on the price of the damage, rather than a punitive fine based on net worth, you encourage the wealthy to disregard the law. If you can start a wildfire and get off for $6M bucks there's plenty of rich farkers who would just do it for kicks. Worth 1% of your net worth to cross a firestorm off your bucket list. That's not acceptable.

Also, we want the losses recuperated. You can bill a pauper all you want, you'll never get your money. In fact it will cost more money to sent the bills than you'll even be able to collect.
 
2014-01-09 09:11:22 AM
Oh! Well, if the government is paying for all this stuff that makes it totally a-ok to be negligent, right?

Hell, I might go for a drive this weekend and build a bonfire just for kicks, and if it gets out of control, I don't give a fark, I'm just stimulating the economy, right? I'm getting all those firefighters paid when otherwise they'd just be sitting around waiting for an emergency to happen. It's ok, it's already paid for! The magical money fairy will come pull another 6 mill out of her cooch and make it rain.
 
2014-01-09 09:14:55 AM

hardinparamedic: 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.


We wouldn't hammer an arsonist that bad either way. Why we trying to kill a guy over an accident?
 
2014-01-09 09:16:56 AM

doglover: By sending a flat bill based on the price of the damage, rather than a punitive fine based on net worth, you encourage the wealthy to disregard the law. If you can start a wildfire and get off for $6M bucks there's plenty of rich farkers who would just do it for kicks. Worth 1% of your net worth to cross a firestorm off your bucket list. That's not acceptable.


and now you've completely changed your argument from "he's poor! he shouldn't have to pay!" to "he's rich and he'll get away with not paying!"

also...

this is a house for sale on the same street as the. it's worth a million and a half. I have no doubt his house is worth similar.

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Jackson-WY/12085_rid/43.430749, -1 10.742981,43.404221,-110.798728_rect/14_zm/1_fr/
 
2014-01-09 09:17:48 AM

stir22: no, there's just herds of middle-age women wearing pink cowboy hats and wearing too tight jeans.


Interesting. That just happens to be my fetish. *fap*

doglover: By sending a flat bill based on the price of the damage, rather than a punitive fine based on net worth, you encourage the wealthy to disregard the law. If you can start a wildfire and get off for $6M bucks there's plenty of rich farkers who would just do it for kicks. Worth 1% of your net worth to cross a firestorm off your bucket list. That's not acceptable.


Intentionally starting a wildfire for kicks would be the felony of arson, and punitive damages, by definition, are over and above actual damages when those actual damages are considered inadequate. It would not be difficult to convince a jury to assign punitive damages to a wealthy wildfire arsonist, and I would not be surprised if it has come up before.

Although in practice, there are actually not "plenty of rich farkers" going around setting wildfires "for kicks" in real life.
 
2014-01-09 09:19:17 AM

freewill: doglover: 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.

If these were punitive damages, assessed by a court to teach him a lesson,  I would have some sympathy.

Based on the article, they appear to be actual damages. He is being billed for the direct cost of putting out his fire for him, a fire he was not watching and allowed to spiral out of control before seeking help, costs that will otherwise be carried by innocent people who did not negligently burn down a national forest.

All he had to do was use a proper container. Instead, he used a rusty old barrel.

All he had to do was monitor the fire and stomp on whatever fell out. Instead, he went inside and watched football.

All he had to do was heed the longstanding burn ban. Instead, he said "fark it" and did what he felt like doing that day.

This is an "accident" in much the same way drunk driving fatalities are accidents, except he wasn't even drunk, so you can't even really blame impaired judgment.


You're missing the point. Who in the fark has $6,000,000 in their entire lives? You can bill him all day, and it will only cost us MORE money.

If he caused too much damage to forgive, kill him. If you can forgive him, bill him. But don't bill him more money than he can possibly pay ever. That's just a disgrace.
 
2014-01-09 09:20:10 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


This usually helps with that
i26.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-09 09:20:25 AM
Who the hell is playing football at 6 am?
 
2014-01-09 09:21:29 AM

doglover: But don't bill him more money than he can possibly pay ever.


wait...so now you DO know what his finances are?
 
2014-01-09 09:23:09 AM

freewill: Although in practice, there are actually not "plenty of rich farkers" going around setting wildfires "for kicks" in real life.


bullshiat. the day I hit the powerball, bye bye mark twain national forest.

you know, for the hell of it.
 
2014-01-09 09:26:38 AM

doglover: 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)



Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?
 
2014-01-09 09:30:11 AM

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


They do--men AND women--but only during the summer months, and they're hired seasonally. These are not full-time jobs with bennies or anything. They're seasonal workers, and after a usually slow start, they're generally working their butts off, since they get sent anywhere in the country where there's fires.

People keep taking these jobs because they're either thrill seekers, or because during a "good" fire season, they can make tons of money (hazard pay, as others pointed out). But if they have few fires, they waste their entire season, which, if you live out west, might be the only time you ever make any money.

Yes, that's why a few seasonal fire-fighters have been known to start forest fires.
 
2014-01-09 09:30:41 AM

ejpj2000: Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?


oooooh. Sens-a-tive.  Everyone knows Jewish lawyers are the best lawyers.  What are you, anti-semitic or something?
 
2014-01-09 09:33:15 AM

doglover: You're missing the point. Who in the fark has $6,000,000 in their entire lives? You can bill him all day, and it will only cost us MORE money.

If he caused too much damage to forgive, kill him. If you can forgive him, bill him. But don't bill him more money than he can possibly pay ever. That's just a disgrace.


#1) Another house on this street is worth $1,500,000, so there's actually a decent chance that this guy does, in fact, have $6,000,000 somewhere.

#2) He doubtlessly has homeowner's insurance. I'm not sure they're going to be real eager to pay for damage caused by the policyholder's illegal activity (burning during a burn ban), but covering the potentially crippling costs of one's own stupidity is a central reason that people carry such insurance in the first place.

#3) Billing an adult the actual cost of cleaning up the mess they made is not, I expect, what most reasonable people would agree to call a "disgrace". If he can't pay it, he can't pay it, but sending an accurate bill is the first necessary step in lawfully recovering whatever portion of the losses can be recovered, whether through insurance, through his estate, or whatever else. There are actual victims of this guy's "accident", and the state is right to do whatever they can to mitigate their losses. Not doing so would be the real disgrace.
 
2014-01-09 09:38:17 AM

Heliodorus: 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.


As my conservative friends tell me, ALL firefighting / police work / etc. should be done in this manner, because SOCIALISMS!!

Also "actions have consequences"!!
 
2014-01-09 09:39:46 AM

freewill: If he can't pay it, he can't pay it, but sending an accurate bill is the first necessary step in lawfully recovering whatever portion of the losses can be recovered, whether through insurance, through his estate, or whatever else. There are actual victims of this guy's "accident", and the state is right to do whatever they can to mitigate their losses. Not doing so would be the real disgrace.


Wasting everybody's time is a disgrace.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished somehow, but I'm saying that a $6M bill is. If you can't pay it, it's too high. Waste of resources. If you can pay it, it's too low. Waste of resources.

They should bill him a percentage of his net worth or hang him.
 
2014-01-09 09:44:53 AM
Ok. We got trolled.
 
2014-01-09 09:47:44 AM

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


How long have you had that? I bet you've just been itching to use it. Any excuse.
 
2014-01-09 09:49:16 AM

brimed03: How long have you had that?


It's called hotlinks. You just have to know what to put into GIS
 
2014-01-09 09:49:16 AM
ejpj2000:
doglover: 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)


Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *Gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Man, Fark has really gone all PR over the last few years....
There use to be a time when a comment like that would be par for the course.
You know what I read? "I am offended, I am telling mommy."
 
2014-01-09 09:49:59 AM

doglover: freewill: If he can't pay it, he can't pay it, but sending an accurate bill is the first necessary step in lawfully recovering whatever portion of the losses can be recovered, whether through insurance, through his estate, or whatever else. There are actual victims of this guy's "accident", and the state is right to do whatever they can to mitigate their losses. Not doing so would be the real disgrace.

Wasting everybody's time is a disgrace.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be punished somehow, but I'm saying that a $6M bill is. If you can't pay it, it's too high. Waste of resources. If you can pay it, it's too low. Waste of resources.

They should bill him a percentage of his net worth or hang him.


...so if you have student loans up to your eyeballs and a negative net worth, they pay you?

Novel idea: let's just bill people what things actually cost and they can make decisions accordingly.
 
2014-01-09 09:50:57 AM
fark this old guy.  Take every dime that he doesn't need for his immediate survival for the rest of his life.  After he's dead, take every dime of his estate and property.  The government will get only a fraction of the cost, but it's better than nothing and certainly better than "stop picking on this irresponsible bastard because he's old".
 
2014-01-09 09:51:43 AM

Lee Jackson Beauregard: doglover: 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)

Huh?  Bist du ein Nazischwein?


Hai.

And This.
 
2014-01-09 10:01:08 AM

ejpj2000: doglover: 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)


Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?


It wont do any good, jewish people are one of the types fark allows people to bash. They used to enforce a no asshat rule, now it's no asshat against some, others are fair game...
 
2014-01-09 10:01:29 AM

gadian: The government will get only a fraction of the cost, but it's better than nothing


But it's not. It will cost more to get that fraction than they will recoup.
 
2014-01-09 10:04:54 AM

lemortede: ejpj2000:
doglover: 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)


Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *Gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Man, Fark has really gone all PR over the last few years....
There use to be a time when a comment like that would be par for the course.
You know what I read? "I am offended, I am telling mommy."


Great story about the old days, old man! Tell us another, but first, why don't you go take a nap? Remember to put on your Depends, we don't want to ha e to wash the sheets again. And thanks again for sharing about the "good old days!"

/your lawn, we're off it
 
2014-01-09 10:09:32 AM

doglover: gadian: The government will get only a fraction of the cost, but it's better than nothing

But it's not. It will cost more to get that fraction than they will recoup.


Didn't you read the comments, gadian? Diglover is this guy's CPA, he knows for sure whether this guy can afford it.

And he's totally right. If we can't make things perfect, we shouldn't even try. Hell, let's stop prosecuting murderers. Not like it's going to bring the victims back to life.
 
2014-01-09 10:14:24 AM

freewill: #1) Another house on this street is worth $1,500,000, so there's actually a decent chance that this guy does, in fact, have $6,000,000 somewhere.


He has money. I just wrote this long post speculating about how much money he has, but here's the story from the Jackson Hole paper from when the fire happened.

Link

His son wrote the apology letter--who also lives in Horsethief Canyon, and has been there for "over 30 years." His father is some old rancher who was gradually selling out his ranch, and he's probably worth quite a bit. It's not right in Jackson Hole, but due to the physical constraints of the area, even the areas outside of town are now worth quite a bit.

You don't fark around with fire if you live out west. There are fire warnings, wind warnings, fire restrictions, "red flag" warnings, rules about not driving your vehicles off-road when it gets dry, rules where you have to carry shovels and sand in case you ignite anything, warnings not to smoke outdoors. No one who lives out here is ignorant of fire danger. That's why this guy is absolutely groveling and falling all over himself to apologize
 
2014-01-09 10:16:57 AM

ejpj2000: doglover: 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)


Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?


You're seriously offended by that? It's funny. ... Have you ever seen Family Guy? Do you have a sense of humor?
 
2014-01-09 10:21:27 AM

dittybopper: 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.


Just because my insurance company has money "set aside" in case some uninsured asshole slams into it while it's parked in a parking lot doesn't mean that the person that runs into it shouldn't be held responsible for watching football on the TV in the back of the RV while the cruise control is set.
 
2014-01-09 10:23:40 AM

kwame: 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,


How is it not?  It's a mentally stable retaliatory attack.  He's attacked from a distance, he analyzes the situation, he determines that this is a related counter-punch and that he's well-protected (I mean what are they going to do, take away MORE money he doesn't have in the first place?).

They are in control; except they can't inflict any further harm than they already have.  He can inflict much, MUCH more harm.  He's 77, he's going to die soon anyway, and he doesn't much imagine they'll come execute him--just maybe arrest him.  Guess what, schmooze?  Mine's bigger.
 
2014-01-09 10:25:36 AM
Sometimes it'd be nice to have the insight of a lawyer.  It sounds to me this should be handled in the courts where the guy's culpability could be more accurately and impartially determined, if the USFS is intent on recouping their costs.
 
2014-01-09 10:26:03 AM

bluefoxicy: kwame: 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,

How is it not?  It's a mentally stable retaliatory attack.  He's attacked from a distance, he analyzes the situation, he determines that this is a related counter-punch and that he's well-protected (I mean what are they going to do, take away MORE money he doesn't have in the first place?).

They are in control; except they can't inflict any further harm than they already have.  He can inflict much, MUCH more harm.  He's 77, he's going to die soon anyway, and he doesn't much imagine they'll come execute him--just maybe arrest him.  Guess what, schmooze?  Mine's bigger.


In point of fact, many, if not most, states allow anyone to use lethal force to stop an arson in progress. His neighbors could and probably would shoot him in the dick.
 
2014-01-09 10:35:29 AM

doglover: 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.


Whether or not it is realistic, by definition it isn't punitive damages.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/punitive+damages
Punitive Damages:
Monetary compensation awarded to an injured party that goes beyond that which is necessary to compensate the individual for losses and that is intended to punish the wrongdoer.

They billed less than the fire costs.  Actually, that makes me wonder if there isn't something covering him for close to that amount...  I doubt it's a random discount, even though they'd ask for more than they expect to settle for.  One of the other articles says they've been fairly successful in collecting in the past, but usually end up with whatever the person's insurance is.  It's a bit odd that they comment on the guy's lawyer but have no whining about not being able to afford that.
 
2014-01-09 10:36:18 AM
Given that he probably doesn't have the money, whatever the resolution to this ends up being, it's essentially moot.  Either they'll drop the bill or send it to a collection agency who can try to hound a 77 year old, but either way, it's unlikely the gov't will end up collecting much.
 
2014-01-09 10:40:41 AM

bluefoxicy: kwame: 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,

How is it not?  It's a mentally stable retaliatory attack.  He's attacked from a distance, he analyzes the situation, he determines that this is a related counter-punch and that he's well-protected (I mean what are they going to do, take away MORE money he doesn't have in the first place?).

They are in control; except they can't inflict any further harm than they already have.  He can inflict much, MUCH more harm.  He's 77, he's going to die soon anyway, and he doesn't much imagine they'll come execute him--just maybe arrest him.  Guess what, schmooze?  Mine's bigger.


So he hurts more random people, destroys more neighbors' property, costs the taxpayers some more money, possibly gets someone to shoot him if they see him setting fires, regains zero of the money he was charged... how does that help him again?  They are billing him to reimburse taxpayer expenses.  It's not like it's going into some firefighter's personal bank account.  It doesn't even hurt the people who are billing him at all, it just hurts everyone else, and still doesn't help him in any way.  Getting angry and randomly lashing out in a destructive and possibly violent way toward random uninvolved people and wildlife is NOT "a mentally stable retaliatory attack " just because he might have no more money.
 
2014-01-09 10:42:03 AM
So... what's the problem? You do $6.3 million in damage to public property, you need to pay for it.
 
2014-01-09 10:43:21 AM

Mose: Sometimes it'd be nice to have the insight of a lawyer.  It sounds to me this should be handled in the courts where the guy's culpability could be more accurately and impartially determined, if the USFS is intent on recouping their costs.


Like that isn't going to happen. This is the first step in that very process. He'll lawyer up, and the haggling shall begin shortly.
 
2014-01-09 10:44:57 AM

FormlessOne: So... what's the problem? You do $6.3 million in damage to public property, you need to pay for it.


This wasn't even the damage. It was just the cost of putting out the fire so that the damage didn't get any worse.
 
2014-01-09 10:50:45 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 like to manufacture outrage.  It helps pay the bills and keeps the unemployment rate down...even if just a little.  I'm such a patriot.
 
2014-01-09 10:53:32 AM

FormlessOne: Mose: Sometimes it'd be nice to have the insight of a lawyer.  It sounds to me this should be handled in the courts where the guy's culpability could be more accurately and impartially determined, if the USFS is intent on recouping their costs.

Like that isn't going to happen. This is the first step in that very process. He'll lawyer up, and the haggling shall begin shortly.


Yeah, I have no illusions the guy will decide to pay outright without challenging it court.

I don't know if you meant to sound negative when you say "lawyer up/haggling" but it shouldn't be viewed that way in this case.  It's certainly not an open and shut case this guy is 100% culpable for the result of the fire or the cost to contain it.  The Forest Service in this case should in no way be viewed as being impartial in making that decision, this is exactly what we have a civil court system for.
 
2014-01-09 11:00:22 AM
He's not going to end up paying all that; there's no way he can.

So our government wastes a bunch of money and time in this theater instead of doing something reasonable. Farking great.
 
2014-01-09 11:05:06 AM

The Irresponsible Captain: He's not going to end up paying all that; there's no way he can.

So our government wastes a bunch of money and time in this theater instead of doing something reasonable. Farking great.


I mean, sending a $6 million bill and then negotiating/arguing over the actual payment is so muce more expensive than sending a $2 million bill and then negotiating/arguing over payment, right?
 
2014-01-09 11:05:25 AM

HighlanderRPI: I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?


The toilets are indoors.
 
2014-01-09 11:09:16 AM

kwame: 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?


"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." 
― H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series

The guy had a relatively small lapse of judgement, but he didn't compound it.  As soon as he noticed there was a problem, he called 911.

Nobody died.

No property was damaged.

If you accidentally start a fire in your house, does the local fire department send you a bill?  What if that fire spreads?

Of course they don't.  Because that defeats the societal purpose of having a either a volunteer or professional paid firefighting service.  At the very most they might send a bill to your insurance company.  But a quick scan of VF websites shows things like this:

If my insurance company does not pay the bill, will you send the bill to me? 
No. If the insurance company does not pay the bill for some reason, neither the fire department nor the billing company will invoice the homeowner.

If I do not have insurance on my home will the fire department bill me? 
No. You will not receive a bill but we strongly urge everyone to have some sort of insurance on their property or belongings. Insurance companies see renters insurance also.


You know, they *USED* to do that sort of thing, directly billing people for fires on their property (whether they were accidental or not).  It led to so many abuses that the practice was stopped.

But it's OK to do it to some likely semi-forgetful old man because why?

This is the very sort of thing that turns the average Joe against government.  If the guy was actually negligent in some way, I'm sure there is something they could charge him with, and like I've said multiple times, I'd support that if there was actual evidence of negligence, but it's been a year and a half since the fire and they haven't, at least based on TFA.  So this seems to be more of a non-judicial administrative "Fark you, we're the government, you must be *PUNISHED*".

The fact that it made the news shows you that it's unusual:  The media doesn't report on "dog bites man" stories.
 
2014-01-09 11:11:18 AM

The Irresponsible Captain: He's not going to end up paying all that; there's no way he can.

So our government wastes a bunch of money and time in this theater instead of doing something reasonable. Farking great.


What are you basing that on? He lives on a street with million+ dollar houses. He may have it, or at least insurance.
 
2014-01-09 11:13:46 AM

log_jammin: doglover: Maybe he's rich. I doubt he has $6,000,000 just lying around however.

because you don't have the cash "handy" to pay for your negligence, then you shouldn't have to pay it. got it.


I don't think anyone is saying that. I think it's more that they will never be able to recoup this money. Might as well charge him the full $15 million. fark it. $25 million to teach him a lesson.
 
2014-01-09 11:16:12 AM

dittybopper: kwame: 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?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." 
― H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series

The guy had a relatively small lapse of judgement, but he didn't compound it.  As soon as he noticed there was a problem, he called 911.

Nobody died.

No property was damaged.

If you accidentally start a fire in your house, does the local fire department send you a bill?  What if that fire spreads?

Of course they don't.  Because that defeats the societal purpose of having a either a volunteer or professional paid firefighting service.  At the very most they might send a bill to your insurance company.  But a quick scan of VF websites shows things like this:

If my insurance company does not pay the bill, will you send the bill to me? 
No. If the insurance company does not pay the bill for some reason, neither the fire department nor the billing company will invoice the homeowner.

If I do not have insurance on my home will the fire department bill me? 
No. You will not receive a bill but we strongly urge everyone to have some sort of insurance on their property or belongings. Insurance companies see renters insurance also.

You know, they *USED* to do that sort of thing, directly billing people for fires on their property (whether they were accidental or not).  It led to so many abuses that the practice was stopped.

But it's OK to do it to some likely semi-forgetful old man because why?

This is the very sort of thing that turns the average Joe against government.  If the guy was actually negligent in some way, I'm sure there is something they could charge him with, and like I've said multiple times, I'd support that if there was actual evidence of negligence, but it's been a year and a half since the fire and they haven't, at least based on TFA.  So this seems to be more of a non-judicial administrative "Fark you, we're the government, you must be *PUNISHED*".

The fact that it made the news shows you that it's unusual:  The media doesn't report on "dog bites man" stories.


No evidence of negligence?

The person INTENTIONALLY started a fire where the was a BAN in place due to the HIGH RISK of something like this happening and LEFT IT UNATTENDED.

That is pretty damn good evidence of negligence.
 
2014-01-09 11:19:28 AM

ThighsofGlory: HighlanderRPI: I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?

The toilets are indoors.


This is Jackson WY. Home of Dick Cheney plus a handful of celebs who like to ski and fly fish. Actually very nice place compared to the other side of Teton pass where you can find Driggs Idaho.
 
2014-01-09 11:20:41 AM

dittybopper: The guy had a relatively small lapse of judgement, but he didn't compound it.  As soon as he noticed there was a problem, he called 911.


He didn't. One of the neighbors did.
 
2014-01-09 11:23:34 AM

onyxruby: ejpj2000: doglover: 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)


Seriously, you're going that direction?  Mods?

It wont do any good, jewish people are one of the types fark allows people to bash. They used to enforce a no asshat rule, now it's no asshat against some, others are fair game...


Fortunately bicyclists and fat people are legal. Are you either of those? Because I've been working on my insults.
 
2014-01-09 11:33:07 AM

dywed88: dittybopper: kwame: 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?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." 
― H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series

The guy had a relatively small lapse of judgement, but he didn't compound it.  As soon as he noticed there was a problem, he called 911.

Nobody died.

No property was damaged.

If you accidentally start a fire in your house, does the local fire department send you a bill?  What if that fire spreads?

Of course they don't.  Because that defeats the societal purpose of having a either a volunteer or professional paid firefighting service.  At the very most they might send a bill to your insurance company.  But a quick scan of VF websites shows things like this:

If my insurance company does not pay the bill, will you send the bill to me? 
No. If the insurance company does not pay the bill for some reason, neither the fire department nor the billing company will invoice the homeowner.

If I do not have insurance on my home will the fire department bill me? 
No. You will not receive a bill but we strongly urge everyone to have some sort of insurance on their property or belongings. Insurance companies see renters insurance also.

You know, they *USED* to do that sort of thing, directly billing people for fires on their property (whether they were accidental or not).  It led to so many abuses that the practice was stopped.

But it's OK to do it to some likely semi-forgetful old man because why?

This is the very sort of thing that turns the average Joe against government.  If the guy was actually negligent in some way, I'm sure there is something they could charge him with, and like I've said multiple times, I'd support that if there was ...


And that is kind of the crux of the issue.  Was it an accident or can they prove it was negligence?  Generally, it is legal to burn things out here under normal circumstances so long as some general precautions are made.  However, during dry or overly windy days/seasons, there can be no-burn orders and even further restrictions on anything that can cause a wildfire. Without knowing more specifics, it is hard to say where this exactly falls.
 
2014-01-09 11:34:50 AM

cryinoutloud: He didn't. One of the neighbors did.


Not according to this article:

Anderson is accused letting a fire of twigs and paper in a rusted-out old barrel he lit at 6 a.m. Sept. 8, 2012, on his son's property get out of control. According to the Forest Service report, Anderson watched football and had a sandwich before noticing smoke out of a garage window. He called 911.
 
2014-01-09 11:38:29 AM
Read the thread headlever. I posted links. His neighbor called.
 
2014-01-09 11:46:16 AM
Looks like the dumbs have shown up to white knight against personal responsibility. How... predictable. I'm outta here.
 
2014-01-09 11:48:01 AM

kwame: 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!


Them old people get crotchity and cantankerous.  Plus, there's a difference between a stiff penalty and a totally bonkers never paying it off penalty.
 
2014-01-09 11:59:56 AM

log_jammin: I posted links. His neighbor called.


The first link you provided gives this:

According to a Forest Service report, Anderson told investigators he had burned twigs, shrub branches and papers in the barrel at his son's home at 6 a.m. Later, after watching football and getting a sandwich, he said he saw smoke outside through a garage window. He called 911, according to the investigation report obtained by AP through a separate FOIA request.

Your post (I don't see a link on that one) about Mr. Cook does not negate the fact that Mr. Anderson also called 911 per the other news sources.

Of course, even if he called 911, that does absolve him of negligence in the matter.
 
2014-01-09 12:01:13 PM

log_jammin: His neighbor called.


And generally when you have fire get out of control, it is logical that you will get multiple calls.
 
2014-01-09 12:05:11 PM

HeadLever: dywed88: dittybopper: kwame: 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?

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." 
― H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series

The guy had a relatively small lapse of judgement, but he didn't compound it.  As soon as he noticed there was a problem, he called 911.

Nobody died.

No property was damaged.

If you accidentally start a fire in your house, does the local fire department send you a bill?  What if that fire spreads?

Of course they don't.  Because that defeats the societal purpose of having a either a volunteer or professional paid firefighting service.  At the very most they might send a bill to your insurance company.  But a quick scan of VF websites shows things like this:

If my insurance company does not pay the bill, will you send the bill to me? 
No. If the insurance company does not pay the bill for some reason, neither the fire department nor the billing company will invoice the homeowner.

If I do not have insurance on my home will the fire department bill me? 
No. You will not receive a bill but we strongly urge everyone to have some sort of insurance on their property or belongings. Insurance companies see renters insurance also.

You know, they *USED* to do that sort of thing, directly billing people for fires on their property (whether they were accidental or not).  It led to so many abuses that the practice was stopped.

But it's OK to do it to some likely semi-forgetful old man because why?

This is the very sort of thing that turns the average Joe against government.  If the guy was actually negligent in some way, I'm sure there is something they could charge him with, and like I've said multiple times, I'd support that if there was ...

And that is kind of the crux of the issue.  Was it an accident or can they prove it was negligence?  Generally, it is legal to burn things out here under normal circumstances so long as some general precautions are made.  However, during dry or overly windy days/seasons, there can be no-burn orders and even further restrictions on anything that can cause a wildfire. Without knowing more specifics, it is hard to say where this exactly falls.


Guy left fire in his backyard unattended while watching football. That is a no-no.

Per other links there was a ban on such fires in place because of dry weather.

Pretty clear where it fits in.
 
2014-01-09 12:08:50 PM

dittybopper: Nobody died.

No property was damaged.


Sweet.  I can shoot guns at people so long as I don't hit them or damage anything around them.
 
2014-01-09 12:09:19 PM

dywed88: Guy left fire in his backyard unattended while watching football. That is a no-no.

Per other links there was a ban on such fires in place because of dry weather.


Yeah I didn't see that.  If there was a no-burn order in place and he did that without obtaining a permit that is bad.  To go leave it unattended is worse.  If that is correct, I can defiantly see the negligence part of the discussion becoming relevant.
 
2014-01-09 12:10:12 PM

dywed88: I mean, sending a $6 million bill and then negotiating/arguing over the actual payment is so muce more expensive than sending a $2 million bill and then negotiating/arguing over payment, right?


It's America; there are probably a dozen lawyers at his door right now. Each agency is now paying someone to handle negotiations with this guy; they've probably hired some lawyers as well. There will probably be press conferences and media inquiries. We're going to end up, as taxpayers, spending a tidy sum trying to get this pan to pay a bill. I don't know if it's going to be more than we'll get out of him, but I'm no optimist on this.
 
2014-01-09 12:12:04 PM

kwame: I can shoot guns at people so long as I

don't hit them or damage anything around them.

That does not really compute.

Although Ditty's point about no property being damaged is a bit off.  Just because it does not burn down a house or other building does not mean that there was not property damage.  Forest fires and wildland fires can create significant damage to the land.
 
2014-01-09 12:16:26 PM

trappedspirit: Plus, there's a difference between a stiff penalty and a totally bonkers never paying it off penalty.


If you don't want to be responsible for millions of dollars worth of damage, don't cause millions of dollars worth of damage.
 
2014-01-09 12:23:42 PM

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.


I think you don't understand the word intent

He did not intend to cause a forest fire
 
2014-01-09 12:25:33 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: dywed88: I mean, sending a $6 million bill and then negotiating/arguing over the actual payment is so muce more expensive than sending a $2 million bill and then negotiating/arguing over payment, right?

It's America; there are probably a dozen lawyers at his door right now. Each agency is now paying someone to handle negotiations with this guy; they've probably hired some lawyers as well. There will probably be press conferences and media inquiries. We're going to end up, as taxpayers, spending a tidy sum trying to get this pan to pay a bill. I don't know if it's going to be more than we'll get out of him, but I'm no optimist on this.


It will cost money.

But they will likely collect far more.

I seriously doubt this number was a complete ass-pull (as the total cost was apparently in excess of $9 million).

They probably have a decent idea how much insurance will pay and how much he is likely able to pay.

And the most likely result is that it takes a few days of negotiations and a settlement plan is established.

If the guy (or his insurance company) actually fights it, it wouldn't matter how much they billed him.
 
2014-01-09 12:25:50 PM

Warlordtrooper: I think you don't understand the word intent

He did not intend to cause a forest fire


He intentionally set a fire.  His negligence caused the forest fire.
 
2014-01-09 01:21:53 PM

dittybopper: The guy had a relatively small lapse of judgement, but he didn't compound it. As soon as he noticed there was a problem, he called 911.

Nobody died.

No property was damaged.


Ok. So there's no reason to throw him in jail on criminal charges. And he wasn't.
 
2014-01-09 02:01:25 PM

dittybopper: No property was damaged.


Uhh....  What?

dittybopper: If the guy was actually negligent in some way, I'm sure there is something they could charge him with, and like I've said multiple times, I'd support that if there was actual evidence of negligence, but it's been a year and a half since the fire and they haven't, at least based on TFA.


He started a fire during a burn ban, left it unattended, and it ended up burning down a huge area and costing millions of dollars to take care of it.

How is that NOT negligence?  Are you really this messed in the head or are you trolling?
 
2014-01-09 02:08:35 PM

ErinPac: So he hurts more random people, destroys more neighbors' property, costs the taxpayers some more money, possibly gets someone to shoot him if they see him setting fires, regains zero of the money he was charged... how does that help him again?


I didn't say it was rational; I said it was normal human operational behavior, not psychopathy.
 
2014-01-09 02:21:55 PM
I love all the people using the "poor old man" defense. You people don't know any old men, do you?
 
2014-01-09 02:22:05 PM

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.


The point here is more a legal slap on the wrist for starting a forest fire. I wholeheartedly approve of that, but the figure is ridiculous--for a legal slap on the wrist, it needs to be something that can theoretically get paid.
 
2014-01-09 02:39:14 PM

bluefoxicy: ErinPac: So he hurts more random people, destroys more neighbors' property, costs the taxpayers some more money, possibly gets someone to shoot him if they see him setting fires, regains zero of the money he was charged... how does that help him again?

I didn't say it was rational; I said it was normal human operational behavior, not psychopathy.


I wasn't even looking for perfectly rational; even a minute glimpse of a sane reason may have worked, even if the risks and rewards didn't line up.  He didn't even start this fire with violent intents, so it's not like he's already a violent firebug that they might push further over that cliff.

Wanton destruction and endangerment of innocent people because you are broke is not simply normal, or there would be no buildings left in any slum, taking a job with a debt collection agency would be a death sentence, and banks would never dare foreclose.  Have you seen a lot of mass murderers created from bankruptcy proceedings?  How about terminal cancer patients who go broke in treatment?  Not them either?  It seems that there are an awful lot of people who may lose everything they have, and sometimes even lose more such as their health and lives, without violently lashing out and causing massive amounts of destruction.  A debt that is too large to pay off is really bad, but many people get themselves into that scenerio every day, without any newsworthy consequences.  They aren't going to waterboard him, and they probably can't even jail him for long - violating a burn ban probably doesn't carry a long sentence, if any.  It's a debt.  He'll just be mostly broke but otherwise probably fine, and try to keep anything he earns in a relatives name.   He still has PLENTY to lose if he decided to become a violent criminal - basically everything that's not his insurance policy.

Most people have at least SOME level of empathy and would not lash out and do millions of dollars of damage and hurt random people who have nothing to do with their own pain because they lost their money.  Going broke is not going to make the normal, average person act like a violent psycopath.  It might drive them to steal, or attempt to hide their assests, or live with their relatives (he was at his son's house anyways), but you have quite a broad interpretation of normal behavior if massive uncontrolled acts of arson is simply a response to a bill, no matter how large.  I guess people can reach a breaking point where they end up essentially crazy, but they have really left the realm of 'normal behavior' at that point, and if this is that breaking point, it's a fairly flimsy one.  If you are including psychotic breaks in 'normal behavior', well pretty much any psychopathy is 'normal' to some extent.

If that's his reaction, well, hopefully they stop the first one quickly and then rightfully try him as a violent psycopath and he probably doesn't have enough years left to finish the sentence.  That scenerio sounds like a bad Batman script, where he becomes the arch villian after an especially annoying debt collector calls one time too many....  and maybe something radioactive in the groundwater.
 
2014-01-09 03:12:49 PM

PsiChick: 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.

The point here is more a legal slap on the wrist for starting a forest fire. I wholeheartedly approve of that, but the figure is ridiculous--for a legal slap on the wrist, it needs to be something that can theoretically get paid.


We don't know. A significant portion of the bill could be paid. Insurance may cover a significant chunk and we don't know how well off he is or is not, except that his son live in a very affluent neighbourhood. There is certainly a non-negligible possibility that he has that much money in liquid assets.

And they likely had some reason for knocking it down from $9 million to $6 million. It certainly wasn't just "insert random large number here" and the people involved have probably been through this situation a number of times.

This is, in effect, the starting point for any negotiations. Hell, the letter even said that he could contact them to negotiate. And if you submit a unsolicited (no specific contract regarding the amount) million plus dollar bill to someone you expect to negotiate on it.
 
2014-01-09 03:22:38 PM

dywed88: PsiChick: 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.

The point here is more a legal slap on the wrist for starting a forest fire. I wholeheartedly approve of that, but the figure is ridiculous--for a legal slap on the wrist, it needs to be something that can theoretically get paid.

We don't know. A significant portion of the bill could be paid. Insurance may cover a significant chunk and we don't know how well off he is or is not, except that his son live in a very affluent neighbourhood. There is certainly a non-negligible possibility that he has that much money in liquid assets.

And they likely had some reason for knocking it down from $9 million to $6 million. It certainly wasn't just "insert random large number here" and the people involved have probably been through this situation a number of times.

This is, in effect, the starting point for any negotiations. Hell, the letter even said that he could contact them to negotiate. And if you submit a unsolicited (no specific contract regarding the amount) million plus dollar bill to someone you expect to negotiate on it.


Ah. Makes sense.
 
2014-01-09 03:36:44 PM
A kind of pointless gesture (other than to make the guy feel bad), but I can't say I have a problem with it.

From what the story said, it wasn't an accident so much as it was willful, negligent stupidity and carelessness.

If you don't like being reminded that you're dumb, don't do dumb things.
 
2014-01-09 03:43:25 PM

Onkel Buck: [i26.photobucket.com image 320x199]
Check is in the mail


But since it's from the prodigy, it's post-dated in the mid 90s..
 
2014-01-09 05:34:29 PM

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.


there is a word for that; Negligence.

it's not like the fire spirit up and decided to go into the trees
 
2014-01-09 06:47:10 PM

stir22: HighlanderRPI: I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?

no, there's just herds of middle-age women wearing pink cowboy hats and wearing too tight jeans.


No thanks, I'll pass

bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com
 
2014-01-09 08:09:44 PM

HighlanderRPI: I'm more interested to see what makes an 'Upscale' Western town? Are the saddles all gilded in silver and gold?


A bit like this
img2.10bestmedia.com

or this

lh6.ggpht.com

No shortage of money at Jackson Hole
 
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