FORESTRY, FOREST PRODUCTS AND STUMPAGE DISTRICTS
IDAHO FORESTRY ACT
38-107. Uncontrolled fires a nuisance — Abatement — Civil liability. (1) Any forest or range fire burning out of control or without adequate and proper precautions having been taken to prevent its spread, is hereby declared a public nuisance, by reason of its menace to life and/or property. Any person responsible through his conduct, acts and/or control of property or operations for either the starting or the existence of such fire is hereby required to make a reasonable effort to control or extinguish it immediately, without awaiting instructions from the director of the department of lands or a fire warden. The director of the department of lands or any fire warden may summarily abate the nuisance thus constituted by controlling or extinguishing such fire and the person willfully or negligently responsible for the starting or existence of such fire shall be liable for the costs incurred by the state or its authorized agencies in controlling or extinguishing the same. The amount of such costs shall be recovered by a civil action prosecuted in the name of the state of Idaho and any amounts recovered shall be paid to the state treasurer for deposit to the forest protection fund. Civil liability provided for herein shall be exclusive of and in addition to any criminal penalties otherwise provided.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a civil action against any person, legal entity, state or political subdivision for forest or range fire caused by a negligent or unintentional act, which act was not willful or intentional under section 6-202, Idaho Code, the real and personal property damage is limited to:
(a) The reasonable costs for controlling or extinguishing the forest or range fire;
(b) Economic damages; and
(c) Either (i) the diminution of fair market value of the real and personal property resulting from the fire, or (ii) the actual and tangible restoration costs associated with bringing the damaged real and personal property back to its pre-injured state to the extent that such actual and tangible restoration costs are reasonable and practical.
As used in this subsection, "economic damages" means objectively verifiable monetary loss including, but not limited to, out-of-pocket expenses, loss of earnings, loss of use of property or loss of business or employment opportunities. As further used in this subsection, "fair market value" means the amount a willing buyer would pay a willing seller in an arms-length transaction when both parties are fully informed about all of the advantages and disadvantages of the property and neither is acting under any compulsion to buy or sell, as determined by a state certified appraiser, who is qualified to appraise the property. Claims against the state or a political subdivision shall remain subject to the requirements of chapter 9, title 6, Idaho Code, and damages against the state or a political subdivision shall be the amount set forth in chapter 9, title 6, Idaho Code, as limited in this subsection.
[38-107, added 1972, ch. 401, sec. 2, p. 1164; am. 2013, ch. 62, sec. 3, p. 138.]