Reparations for Lower North Fork Fire Victims passes House

DENVER -  On the final day of the 2014 legislative session, the House unanimously passed a bill settling claims for victims of the Lower North Fork Fire.

The March 2012 fire, which started as a prescribed burn by the State Forest Service, destroyed more than 4,000 acres, 22 homes, and claimed three lives.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Dave Young (D-Greeley) and Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen), originally identified 20 victims with claims from the Lower North Fork Fire. This afternoon the bill was amended to recognize a twenty-first and final claim in the case and allocates over $18 million in total for victims. The bill settles claims related to both economic and non-economic damage suffered by victims.

"This was a terrible tragedy and I want to offer my condolences to the Lucas and Appel families for their loss," Rep. Young said. "I hope this bill will provide a sense of closure to the victims and help them move forward with their lives."

After the House vote, the bill is expected to quickly re-pass the Senate and head to the governor's desk.

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