GUEST COLUMN: Wildfire ruling shows double standard



A ruling in Okanogan County over the Carlton Complex wildfire and the state’s related culpability highlights a dangerous double standard in Washington state: While private residents and commercial landowners can be held liable when fire starting on their property spreads onto other lands, the state Department of Natural Resources cannot be held liable.

Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp dismissed a lawsuit filed by hundreds of property owners who lost their homes in the wildfire — the largest ever in state history — citing a 25-year-old change in the law that gave Natural Resources cover from legal action related to wildfires, even when there was negligence...

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