Landowners can seek restitution for fire damage (web only)

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Landowners who sustained damage to their property as a result of the Roatcap Fire last week near Dolores should contact the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, according to Paul Hollar, emergency manager for the county. The sheriff’s office will attach the information to the case being prepared against suspect Roger “Bucky” Stratton and the district attorney will try to get restitution for costs involved, Hollar told the county commissioners on Monday.

Hollar said the fire, which began the morning of Oct. 24 at roads P.5 and 29, was the result of a “controlled burn that was neglected – burning trash.”

The cost of fighting the blaze, which burned 400 acres before being controlled, will be $200,000 to $250,000, Hollar said. Ten percent of that will be paid by the BLM because one-tenth of the fire was on public lands. Most of the remaining costs should be picked up by the state’s Emergency Fire Fund, Hollar said. The county will be liable for costs related to fuel and overtime for sheriff’s personnel.

Hollar said there was “really outstanding cooperation from all the fire chiefs” involved in battling the blaze and that lessons learned from the Weber Fire near Mancos earlier this summer had helped local personnel in mounting a quick response to the Roatcap Fire.

“We had two major wildfires this year and no structures were lost and no one was hurt,” Hollar said, “So a lot of kudos to the people involved.”


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From October 2012.