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Montana Families Sue Over Prescribed Fire, Property Damage

Three families have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service alleging an August 2010 prescribed burn got out of control near Lincoln, causing the “total destruction” of their property.

The Independent Record reports Darrell and Linda Holmquist, Randy and Brandon Henry and Kent Taylor filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Helena this week. It alleges the Helena National Forest failed to follow its own guidelines for prescribed burns in starting the Davis fire.

At the time, the National Weather Service had issued a fire weather warning, forecasting gusty winds and warm temperatures, and open burning was banned in Lewis and Clark County.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Helena National Forest spokeswoman Kathy Bushnell said she couldn’t comment Wednesday because she hadn’t seen the lawsuit.

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