Private contractor may be held responsible for fire damage - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Private contractor may be held responsible for fire damage

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NEAR CLE ELUM, Wash.-- Investigators are still working to figure out what caused the devastating Taylor Bridge fire outside of Cle Elum.

The Department of Transportation announced they will hold a private contractor responsible for damages.

Conway Construction Co. was the private contractor working at the Taylor Bridge, the day the 23,000 acre wildfire broke out.

The Washington State Department of Transportation put the company on notice, telling them they will be held legally responsible for all damages and costs incurred if investigators determine their construction work started the fire.

The DOT says they have detailed contracts with all of their contractors outlining their responsibilities to keep these types of things from happening.

"We have specifications in those contracts that even talk about the fire forest protection, and obeying the laws, and responsibility," said Don Whitehouse, WSDOT South Central region administrator.

The Department of Natural Resources has not finished their investigation into the exact cause of this blaze, and there is no timeline for when that will be completed.

Kittitas County Emergency Management officials estimated damage from the fire at over $8 million.

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