DNR Files Lawsuit In Taylor Bridge Fire

By Courtney Flatt

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has filed a lawsuit against two companies it says caused a massive wildfire outside Cle Elum, Washington, last summer.

The department is suing Conway Construction Company and Rainier Steel, Incorporated, for 5 million dollars. That’s to recover fire suppression costs from the Taylor Bridge Fire. The fire burned more than 23-hundred acres and destroyed 61 homes in Central Washington.

Peter Goldmark is the state commissioner of public lands. He says welding and cutting on a bridge sparked the fire.

Goldmark: “Where there were human causes that were apparently negligent, it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to recover the cost of firefighting and return those dollars to the public treasury.”

Private property owners have also filed suits against the companies.

In a statement, attorneys for Rainier Steel said the company did not contribute to the Taylor Bridge Fire. Conway Construction Company did not comment.

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