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S.B. 38

This document includes Senate Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 6:22 PM by khelgesen. -->              1     




Chief Sponsor: Margaret Dayton

House Sponsor: Michael E. Noel


             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill makes a person liable for the cost of suppressing a wildland fire that is
             10      negligently, recklessly, or intentionally caused or spread by that person.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    defines terms;
             14          .    makes a person liable for the cost of suppressing a wildland fire that is negligently,
             15      recklessly, or intentionally caused or spread by that person;
             16          .    allows a person who incurs costs to suppress a wildland fire to bring an action to
             17      recover those costs; and
             18          .    makes technical changes.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:
             25          65A-1-1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 344
             26          65A-3-2, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1988, Chapter 121
             27          65A-3-3, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1998, Chapter 282

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             29          65A-3-4, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1988, Chapter 121

             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 65A-1-1 is amended to read:



             36           65A-1-1. Definitions.
             37          As used in this title:
             38          (1) "Advisory council" or "council" means the Forestry, Fire, and State Lands Advisory
             39      Council.
             40          (2) "Division" means the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands.
             41          (3) "Multiple use" means the management of various surface and subsurface resources
             42      in a manner that will best meet the present and future needs of the people of this state.
             43          (4) "Public trust assets" means those lands and resources, including sovereign lands,
             44      administered by the division.
             45          (5) "Sovereign lands" means those lands lying below the ordinary high water mark of
             46      navigable bodies of water at the date of statehood and owned by the state by virtue of its
             47      sovereignty.
             48          (6) "State lands" means all lands administered by the division.
             49          (7) "Sustained yield" means the achievement and maintenance of high level annual or
             50      periodic output of the various renewable resources of land without impairment of the
             51      productivity of the land.
             52          (8) "Wildland" means an area where:
             53          (a) development is essentially non-existent, except for roads, railroads, powerlines, or
             54      similar transportation facilities; and
             55          (b) structures, if any, are widely scattered.
             56          (9) "Wildland fire" means a fire that consumes:
             57          (a) wildland; or
             58          (b) wildland-urban interface, as defined in Section 65A-8a-102 .

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Senate Committee Amendments 1-25-2012 kh/tjn
         Section 2. Section 65A-3-2 is amended to read:
             60           65A-3-2. Wildland fire prevention -- Prohibited acts.
             61          (1) A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor who:
             62          (a) throws or places any lighted cigarette, cigar, firecracker, ashes, or other flaming or
             63      glowing substance [which] that may cause a fire on a highway or a wildland fire;
             64          (b) obstructs the state forester, [or any of his deputies] an employee of the division, or
             65      an agent of the division, in the performance of controlling a fire;
             66          (c) refuses, on proper request of the state forester [or any of his deputies], an employee
             67      of the division, or an agent of the division, to assist in the controlling of a fire, without good
             68      and sufficient reason; or
             69          (d) fires any tracer or incendiary ammunition anywhere except within the confines of
             70      established military reservations.
             71          (2) Fines assessed under this section are deposited in the General Fund.
             72          Section 3. Section 65A-3-3 is amended to read:
             73           65A-3-3. Enforcement of laws -- County attorney or district attorney to
             74      prosecute.
             75          (1) It is the duty of the division, county sheriffs, their deputies, peace officers, and
             76      other law enforcement officers within their jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this chapter
             77      and to investigate and gather evidence that may indicate a violation under this chapter.
             78          (2) The county attorney or district attorney as appropriate under Sections 17-18-1 ,
             79      17-18-1.5 , and 17-18-1.7 , shall:
             80          (a) prosecute any criminal violations of this chapter; and [shall]
             81          (b) initiate a civil action to recover suppression costs incurred by the county or state for
             82      suppression of fire on private land.
             83          Section 4. Section 65A-3-4 is repealed and reenacted to read:
             84          65A-3-4. Liability for causing wildland fires.
             85          (1) A person who negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causes or spreads a wildland
             86      fire shall be liable for the cost of suppressing that wildland fire, regardless of whether the fire
             87      begins on:
             88          (a) private land;
             89          (b) S. [ state land; ] land owned by the state; .S

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         (c) federal land; or
             91          (d) tribal land.
             92          (2) The conduct described in Subsection (1) includes any negligent, reckless, or
             93      intentional conduct, and is not limited to conduct described in Section 65A-3-2 .
             94          (3) A person who incurs costs to suppress a wildland fire may bring an action under
             95      this section to recover those costs.
             96          (4) A person who suffers damage from a wildland fire may pursue all other legal
             97      remedies in addition to seeking damages under Subsection (3).

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-9-12 12:34 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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