76.04.465  <<  76.04.475 >>   76.04.486

Reimbursement for costs of suppression action.

Any person, firm, or corporation, public or private, obligated to take suppression action on any forest fire is entitled to reimbursement for reasonable costs incurred, subject to the following:
(1) No reimbursement is allowed under this section to a person, firm, or corporation whose negligence is responsible for the starting or existence of any fire for which costs may be recoverable pursuant to law. Reimbursement for fires resulting from slash burns are subject to RCW 76.04.486.
(2) If the fire is started in the course of or as a result of land clearing operations, right-of-way clearing, or a landowner operation, the person, firm, or corporation conducting the operation shall supply:
(a) At no cost to the department, all equipment and able-bodied persons under contract, control, employment, or ownership that are requested by the department and are reasonably available until midnight of the day on which the fire started; and
(b) After midnight of the day on which the fire started, at no cost to the department, all equipment and able-bodied persons under contract, control, employment, or ownership that were within a one-half mile radius of the fire at the time of discovery, until the fire is declared out by the department. In no case may the person, firm, or corporation provide less than one suitable bulldozer and five able-bodied persons, or other equipment accepted by the department as equivalent, unless the department determines less is needed for the purpose of suppressing the fire; and
(c) If the person, firm, or corporation has no personnel or equipment within one-half mile of the fire, payment shall be made to the department for the minimum requirement of one suitable bulldozer and five able-bodied persons, for the duration of the fire; and
(d) If, after midnight of the day on which the fire started, additional personnel and equipment are requested by the department, the person, firm, or corporation shall supply the personnel and equipment under contract, control, employment, or ownership outside the one-half mile radius, if reasonably available, but shall be reimbursed for such personnel and equipment as provided in subsection (4) of this section.
(3) When a fire which occurred in the course of or as a result of land clearing operations, right-of-way clearing, or a landowner operation, which had previously been suppressed, rekindles, the person, firm, or corporation shall supply the same personnel and equipment, under the same conditions, as were required at the time of the original fire.
(4) Claims for reimbursement shall be submitted within a reasonable time to the department which shall upon verifying the amounts therein and the necessity thereof authorize payment at such rates as established by the department for wages and equipment rental.
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