Sierra Pacific Industries has agreed to pay the federal government about $122 million for damages caused by the 2007 Moonlight Fire.
The settlement, believed to be the largest amount ever recovered by the U.S. government for damages caused by a forest fire, was announced by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, July 17.
According to the terms of the settlement, SPI will pay $55 million in cash and turn over 22,500 acres of land.
The land is reported to be worth at least $3,000 per acre, or approximately $67.5 million.
The U.S. Forest Service will choose the land at its sole discretion from large selections offered by Sierra Pacific.
The government was seeking $700 million in damages from SPI for the 2007 Moonlight Fire.
In a July 9 memo to employees, SPI owners Red, George and Mark Emmerson said they still believe neither SPI nor its contractors started the fire. They said they decided to settle because a judge said they could still be held responsible.
A jury trial in the case had been scheduled to begin on July 9 in Sacramento.
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