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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The federal government will pay for all rehabilitation costs associated with the Cascade II fire, easing the fears of Wasatch County officials who thought they might get stuck with a huge bill.
"We're happy," said Mike Davis, Wasatch County manager. Natural Resource Conservation Services state conservationist Skip Nelson has been working on a fair way to cover the costs since the Forest Service prescribed 600 acre burn escaped control and consumed nearly 8,000 acres in September.
A report released earlier this week by an investigation team put full blame for the fire on U.S. Forest Service personnel.
Costs to reseed private lands are traditionally shared between federal and local governments, with the feds picking up 75 percent.
In this case, that would have left Wasatch County responsible for about $300,000 spread out over three years.
The program requires planting vegetation and making other improvements to reduce erosion on hillsides left barren by fire.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)