Elderly Wyoming man fined $6.3M for starting forest fire

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JACKSON, WY – No one likes having to foot the bill, especially if it’s a big one. But calling the bill a Wyoming man got “big” is a major understatement.

James G. Anderson, 77, is being billed $6.3 million by the U.S. Forest Service. They’re blaming Anderson for starting a massive forest fire near Jackson on September 8, 2012. Investigators say Anderson admitted to placing dry leaves and twigs in a barrel to burn, but the fire got out of control and spread.

While $6 million is a hefty fine, it’s actually a lot more.

$3.8 million is for the Forest Service.

$2 million is for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

$64,000 is owed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

$154,000 is for the National Park Service.

$252,000 is for the State of Wyoming and Teton County.

That all rounds off to about $9 million.

No criminal charges have been filed, but it looks like Anderson should have just taken Smokey the Bear’s advice.

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