Next year two cousins who accidently started Arizona’s largest wildfire, the Wallow Fire, will start paying restitution with monthly payments. Caleb and David Malboeuf didn’t clear the brush from around their campfire and then left it unattended in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. The brush caught fire and subsequently burned 840 square miles in Arizona and New Mexico.
The payment the cousins will make are for $3.7 million in restitution, with uninsured people who lost property or suffered property damage to receive the first payments. People who had out-of-pocket expenses will be next to receive payments, and lastly, insurance companies – owed nearly $3.4 million. The cousins will probably not pay off their debt in their lifetimes. The blaze destroyed 32 homes, 4 rental cabins, and nearly 10,000 people were forced to evacuate at one point. “That’s a lifetime payment, if you’re just a working man, of $500 and you’re not buying a house, you’re not paying a credit card. I can’t imagine,” said Nutrioso’s postmaster, Stuart Moring,
The Malboeuf’s attorneys suggested the payments during a restitution hearing. Attorney David Derickson said the cousins would be available to talk about their experiences camping, and their missteps, and hopes the U. S. Forest Service and schools will have a use for them.
Evergreen Arborists Consultants, Inc. has expert witness experience with property damage and personal injury cases. We have deposition and trial experience working for plaintiff and defense cases on behalf of individuals, insurance companies and public agencies. Please call us today for a consultation.