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Fire Liability

Fire Liability

Liability means the legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions. Failure of a person (e.g., landowner or burn boss) to meet those responsibilities leaves them vulnerable to the possibility of a lawsuit.

In general, prescribed fire liability varies by state depending on the state laws and the type of liability coverage that the state provides. Understanding local and state laws that address liability related to prescribed fire is essential. This fact sheet provides an overview of prescribed fire liability, laws, and risk on private lands. Those who burn on private lands and do not work for an agency sometimes choose to purchase insurance in the event they are found liable for damages.

Prescribed fire liability for public lands varies by agency. Most agencies have policies to address and reduce the fire-related liability of their employees, including carrying insurance.