DNR Sues to Recover Cost of Fighting Taylor Bridge Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DNR Sues to Recover Cost of Fighting Taylor Bridge Fire

Posted: Updated:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state Department of Natural Resources has filed a lawsuit to recover the costs of fighting the Taylor Bridge Fire.

The DNR is suing Conway Construction and Rainier Steel, seeking to recover in excess of $5 million dollars for the fire cost recovery claim.

Conway was working under contract with the Washington State Department of Transportation, and Rainier Steel, Inc. was a subcontractor. 

"Negligence put the public in danger of this fast moving wildfire," said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. "DNR will make every effort to hold all responsible parties to full account for the Taylor Bridge Fire's cost."

The DNR's fire investigation determined that fire was human caused and associated with the cutting and welding activity on and below the deck of the Bristol Bridge (also known as the Taylor Bridge) at the intersection of State Highway 10 and Taylor Road, southeast of Cle Elum. 

The DNR says the activity was ongoing during a period of extreme fire danger, without reasonable precautions like clearing away flammable material, any effort to control welding and cutting sparks, or having the proper fire equipment and trained personnel on-site. 

The Taylor Bridge Fire burned more than 23,000 acres, destroyed 61 homes and hundreds of out buildings and other property. 


The DNR says it paid roughly half of the $11.1 million it cost to suppress the August 2012 wildfire.