Fire damages claim filed against state

A house along state Highway 20, above Milepost 198 south of Winthrop, burns to the ground Friday afternoon.

Photo by Roger Harnack
A house along state Highway 20, above Milepost 198 south of Winthrop, burns to the ground Friday afternoon.

— A tort claim for damages was filed Friday against the state Department of Natural Resources seeking compensation for property owners who suffered losses in the Carlton Complex wildfire.


Alex Thomason

Brewster attorney Alex Thomason filed the claim with the state Department of Enterprise Services on behalf of 65 people. He said he’s interviewed more than 350 people about their fire damages, and expects more people to join the original 65.

The claim alleges the agency prevented local firefighters and U.S. Forest Service smokejumpers from entering department-protected land the day the fires broke out to extinguish them while they were still small.

The Department of Natural Resources did not reply to a Chronicle request for comment.

The lightning-caused Carlton Complex erupted July 14 after a thunderstorm rolled across the county. It began as four fires that later grew together to form one blaze that blackened 256,108 acres and leveled 237 homes, 53 cabins, plus barns, other outbuildings and fences. Livestock were killed, and orchards and other crops damaged.

See The Chronicle’s Sunday edition for the full story.


DavidAllender 4 years, 1 month ago

I found this comment over at and thought it was worth repeating with a little addition in another post from me, David Allender.

They NEVER bothered to even see if people were in their homes while they crossed their arms and would say, "indefensible". My neighbors had to fight fire ALONE for three nights after I was burned out. He got on their tractor and kept making fire breaks with his blade. All the while, DNR refused to lift a finger and just watched. Another one of my neighbors, (in their 80s) were in bed when the fire was hitting the back of their house.

They have NO IDEA how many people died in that fire.

Myself, my daughter, and 3 other neighbors were trapped for several hours with the mountain on fire and our escape was blocked. When we were able to leave at 4 in the morning, we got to the bottom and saw SEVERAL full size fire trucks (with water) sitting. The "firefighters" (those cowards do NOT deserve that title) were sitting around just talking. DNR had ordered our local fire departments to "stand down" and cowards that they are, most did just that. (the only hero firemen were the few volunteer firemen that refused to stand down and those guys were scared they'd lose their job because of disobeying orders) Those cowardly "firefighters" that stood down didn't even have the decency to water the road so that people trapped could escape. How dare they! DNR doesn't pay them, the local property owners pay their salary in our property tax payments. I'd like to see EVERY single one of these cowards fired starting with the Fire Chiefs. The only people sifting through the ashes were those that survived. How many among us are retired and don't have anyone close that would miss them right away? My house burned to the ground somewhere between 11:15 pm to 11:30. I got out of the house as the flames were hitting my fence at 11:05 pm. I only have God to thank that I'm alive being because of work I'm normally in bed by 6 pm. That night I got busy with things and was late trying to get into bed. Had I been in bed, I would have died that night.

I know by the glass that melted from my fish tanks and my heavy glass coffee table that the fire burned inside my house between 1400 - 1600 degrees Celsius. A body burns, (bones included) between 1400 - 1800 degrees Celsius. DNR, Forest Service, and the rest of the alpha bet soup agencies are nothing but government sponsored domestic terrorists. Criminal arsonists that belong in prison. This article doesn't mention it, but the stories are the same for ALL the fires in Eastern WA. As far as I'm concerned, these federal and states agencies, committed an Act of War against the people on the eastern side of Washington State. Personally, I don't believe any amount of money is justice. The only justice I want to see are these criminals in prison.

"I was just following orders" was not an excuse in the Nuremberg Trials and it's not an excuse now. SEE MY ADDITION BELOW;


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