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Boy Scouts of America Blames Individual Scouts for Wildfire

Boy Scouts of America Blames Individual Scouts for Wildfire



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Boy Scouts of America claim unknown Scouts caused a 2002 wildfire on their own free time -- and they say they're not liable.

The state and federal governments are seeking 14 (M)million dollars to recover costs from fighting the 14-thousand acre forest fire. The blaze start at a Boy Scout camp in the Uinta mountains. That suit names the Boy Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The governments allege that about 20 Boy Scouts started at least one camp fire during an overnight camping trip in June of 2002. But the lawsuit filed Tuesday by the BSA's Great Salt Lake Council contends the blaze was not started by 20 Boy Scouts, but by one to three "unknown" Scouts acting on their own unsupervised time.

Federal officials call the claim ridiculous. The Boy Scouts of America are asking the court to reduce and assign a percentage of the 14 (M)million dollars to the unknown Scouts.

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The Scout camp is the one where 11-year-old Brennan Hawkins got lost for four days last month.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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