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Klickitat PUD disputes state claim over 2013 fire

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- The state attorney general's office has billed the Klickitat Public Utility District $2 million for the cost of fighting a large wildfire last year.

But the utility district is disputing the state's claims that its power lines caused the 40-square-mile Mile Marker 28 fire.

The Yakima Herald reports (http://is.gd/esimo7 ) state investigators say the blaze started when tree branches touched the utility district's power lines. Investigators say flaming needles fell and lit the dry fuels below the tree.

Janet Pearce of the state Department of Natural Resources says state law requires her department to recover fire suppression costs.

Bu the chief operating officer of the Klickitat PUD says his agency was surprised by the state's conclusions and the attorney general's bill.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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