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GOVERNMENT the state of alaska’s Division of Forestry was found not liable by an Alaska jury on April 30 for the escape of a fire that caused extensive property damage. A 46-acre fire near Big Lake, Alaska, ultimately spread to more than 37,000 acres, destroying about 400 structures and causing $100 million in property damage. A class of property owners claimed that the firefighters were not aggressive enough. The state argued that wind gusts caused the fire to spread. Bartek v. State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, No. 3 PA 98-247-CI (Palmer, Alaska, Super. Ct.). PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEYS: John H. Hinderaker and Gerard M. Nolting, Faegre & Benson, Minneapolis DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Kevin L. Donley, Timothy J. Lamb and James B. Friderici, Delaney, Wiles, Hayes, Gerety, Ellis & Young, Anchorage, Alaska

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