Oregon Lawnmower Sparks Wildfire, Should Owner Be Responsible For $22 Million Costs?

An Oregon wildfire was sparked by a lawnmower, officials have determined.

According to NBC News, the fire started on July 30, and has since burned through 24,000 acres near Umpqua National Forest, east of Canyonville. The Stouts Creek fire has, so far, threatened 158 homes, and was 68 percent contained as of Thursday, August 13, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

“Despite the success we’ve had, this is still a big fire with a lot of life and potential in it,” said Deputy Incident Commander Russ Lane, according to NewsMax.

While the firefighters are hopeful that they will be able to contain the massive wildfire in Oregon, the earliest they see that happening is August 22, which is over a week away. There is no telling how much damage can be done within the next week.

On Thursday, it was determined by officials that the cause of the fire was human-related, and likely from someone using their lawnmower to cut their grass during prohibited hours. The damages have so far totaled over $22 million, with that number expected to rise, and the owner of the lawnmower could be responsible or those fees.

“Because of the violation, the individual may be liable for fire suppression costs and damages resulting from the fire,” the fire department said.

Nearly 1,600 firefighters from 23 states and three Canadian provinces are currently fighting the blaze using a combined 46 engines, 30 water tenders, 21 bulldozers and 10 helicopters.

The Umpqua National Forest has shared many photos on Twitter of firefighters battling the fires, and the damages the fire has done in the area.

Do you think the person mowing their yard during prohibited hours should be responsible for the costs that have been incurred as a result of the growing wildfire?

[Photo via Shutterstock]