OKANOGAN, Wash. (AP) — A judge in north-central Washington has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Washington state of negligence for failing to contain one of the state’s largest wildfires in 2014.
Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Christopher Culp on Wednesday dismissed the claims filed by families who suffered losses in the Carlton Complex fire.
KREM-TV reports that hundreds of families sued, alleging the state Department of Natural Resources failed to stop the fire from spreading.
Smaller fires merged into a massive blaze that destroyed hundreds of homes in Okanogan County and scorched more than 390 square miles.
The court ruled that the state agency doesn’t have a statutory duty to particular individuals to prevent or suppress fires either as a landowner or in its firefighting efforts.
The attorney who filed the suit says they are filing a motion to reconsider.