After a nearly four-month Department of Natural Resources investigation into the cause of the Germann Road Fire, a commercial logging company will be billed for more than $600,000 after the investigation determined the company’s negligence caused the forest fire to start and spread.The report further reported that the Timberjack 840 had its own built in fire extinguisher which workers tried to use but the extinguisher failed. The problem was that there was not enough air pressure to push the water out. Management admitted they never even tested this vital piece of equipment, much less maintained it properly.
The fire was the state’s largest in 33 years and burned 7,442 acres in Douglas County. The fire began about 2:45 p.m. May 14 and burned an area nearly 10 miles long and a mile and a half wide before it was contained about 9 p.m. on May 15. Forty-seven structures were destroyed, including 17 homes or cabins, in the Towns of Gordon and Highland.
A logging crew was harvesting timber on industrial timber lands when the fire began. At the time, the crew acknowledged the fire had started at the work site and that they had unsuccessfully attempted to contain it. However, the investigation found that the crew and company, Ray Duerr Logging, withheld information from department law enforcement officials.
The investigation determined the crew had attempted to contain the fire using a fire extinguisher and a pressurized water system installed on the harvesting equipment and called 911, but the company was negligent for failing to maintain equipment at the logging site that could have prevented, or contained the fire, which was started by the cutting head of a Timberjack 840. Logging company owner Ray Duerr bought the used machine in 2013.
Now, if we allow Walker to remain in office next year, do you really think that his administration will do anything but join the company in lighting cigars off the fire?