Minnesota Man Must Pay Fire Suppression Costs

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KENORA – A Minnesota man has been fined and ordered to pay forest fire suppression costs under the Forest Fires Prevention Act.

Timothy Brown of St. Paul was fined $500 for starting a fire without a permit. He was also ordered to pay $3,527 for the cost of putting out the fire.

Court heard that on August 26, 2016, Brown started a small fire to burn old cedar shingles and paper in a wooded area beside his cottage located on an island in Whitefish Bay, Lake of the Woods. Brown did not have a permit to burn during the day. Brown left the fire unattended and it spread into the trees, causing a 0.1-hectare forest fire. Firefighters from the Sioux Narrows Fire Department and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry responded to the report and extinguished the fire.

Justice of the Peace Robert McNally heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Kenora, on February 28, 2017.

The ministry reminds the public that all forest fires are investigated to determine their cause. A person can be held responsible for the costs of extinguishing a forest fire, as well as for any property damage incurred. Anyone who starts a fire must keep it under control at all times and extinguish it properly before leaving the area.

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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