This week, it was announced that LRY LLC, which was doing business as Lake Railway, had paid $1.08 million to settle allegations by the United States regarding a pair of wildfires that burned 840 acres of national forest land. As a result, the United States recovers one-hundred percent of its suppression costs, plus interest and penalties. The “Gulch Fire” was started in the Modoc National Forest on July 3, 2014.
The fire started along railroad tracks near Howard’s Gulch and spread outward. The “Howard’s Fire” started along neighboring tracks on May 1, 2014 and burned an additional 49 acres. Both fires were ultimately attributed to sparks from an improperly maintained engine.
Lake Railway operates a rail line in North California. The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability by the company. The case and settlement were the product of an investigation carried out by the United States Forest Service. Additional details can be found here.