State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 26 > 26.14

26.14

26.14 Forest fires, authority of fire fighters, compensation, penalties, civil liability.

26.14(1)

(1) State forest rangers, town chairpersons, conservation wardens and other duly appointed deputies shall take prompt measures against the spread and illegal setting of forest fires. They may call upon any able-bodied citizen to assist in fighting fires in such manner as they direct.

26.14(2)

(2) All such forest rangers, town chairpersons, emergency fire wardens, conservation wardens and other duly appointed deputies may in the performance of their official duty go on the lands of any person to fight forest fires, and in so doing may set back fires, dig trenches, cut fire lines or carry on all other customary activities in the fighting of forest fires, without incurring a liability to anyone.

26.14(3)

(3) Emergency fire wardens, and all persons employed by them or by any other duly appointed fire warden for the purpose of suppressing forest fires, shall receive such hourly pay as the department may determine, for the time actually employed. Equipment operators and other specialists shall be paid the prevailing wage rate for comparable skills in each locality. And in addition thereto the department may allow the cost of meals, transportation and disbursements for emergency equipment. One-half of such expense shall be paid by the state and one-half by the county where such service was performed.

26.14(4)

(4) Emergency fire wardens or those assisting them in the fighting of forest fires shall prepare itemized accounts of their services and the services of those employed by them, as well as other expenses incurred, on blanks to be furnished by the department and in a manner prescribed by the department, and make oaths or affirmation that said account is just and correct, which account shall be forwarded and approved for payment by the department. As soon as any such account has been paid by the secretary of administration the department of natural resources shall send to the proper county treasurer a bill for the county's share of such expenses. The county shall have 60 days within which to pay such bill, but if not paid within that time the county shall be liable for interest at the rate of 6% per year. If payment is not made within 60 days the department of administration shall include such amount as a part of the next levy against the county for state taxes, but no county shall be required to pay more than $5,000 in any one year. Any unpaid levy under this section shall remain a charge against the county and the department of administration shall include such unpaid sums in the state tax levy of the respective counties in subsequent years.

26.14(5)

(5) Any person who sets a fire or assists in the setting of a fire, including a back fire, on any lands in this state and fails to totally extinguish such fire before leaving it shall forfeit not more than $100 for the first offense and shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days or both for each subsequent offense.

26.14(6)

(6) Any person who sets a fire or assists in setting a fire, including a back fire, on any lands in this state and allows the fire to escape and become a forest fire shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both.

26.14(7)

(7) Any person who sets or assists in setting a fire upon marsh or other land in the state for the purpose of driving out game birds or animals shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both. The possession of firearms upon any marsh while it is on fire shall be prima facie evidence of such violation.

26.14(8)

(8) Any person who intentionally sets fire to the land of another or to a marsh is guilty of a Class H felony.

26.14(9)

(9)

26.14(9)(a)

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting the right to damages. The liability of persons for damages is not limited to the destruction of merchantable timber but may also include the value of young or immature forest growth.

26.14(9)(b)

(b) Any person who sets a fire on any land and allows such fire to escape and become a forest fire shall be liable for all expenses incurred in the suppression of the fire by the state or town in which the fire occurred. An action under this paragraph shall be commenced within the time provided by s. 893.91 or be barred.

26.14 - ANNOT.

History: 1973 c. 336; 1975 c. 365; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 110 s. 60 (13); 1979 c. 323; 1983 a. 36, 422; 1989 a. 56, 79; 1995 a. 291; 1997 a. 283; 2001 a. 109; 2003 a. 33.

26.14 - ANNOT.

A stipulation of facts stating that there was a "large grass fire" did not necessarily mean there was a forest fire as defined in s. 26.11 (2) [now s. 26.01 (2)]. Town of Howard v. Soo Line Railroad Co. 63 Wis. 2d 500, 217 N.W.2d 329 (1974).

26.14 - ANNOT.

An intentional or negligent act, or an omission if there is a duty to act, is a necessary prerequisite for imposition of fire suppression costs under sub. (9) (b). DNR v. Wisconsin Power & Light Co. 108 Wis. 2d 403, 321 N.W.2d 286 (1982).

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 26 > 26.14

26.14

26.14 Forest fires, authority of fire fighters, compensation, penalties, civil liability.

26.14(1)

(1) State forest rangers, town chairpersons, conservation wardens and other duly appointed deputies shall take prompt measures against the spread and illegal setting of forest fires. They may call upon any able-bodied citizen to assist in fighting fires in such manner as they direct.

26.14(2)

(2) All such forest rangers, town chairpersons, emergency fire wardens, conservation wardens and other duly appointed deputies may in the performance of their official duty go on the lands of any person to fight forest fires, and in so doing may set back fires, dig trenches, cut fire lines or carry on all other customary activities in the fighting of forest fires, without incurring a liability to anyone.

26.14(3)

(3) Emergency fire wardens, and all persons employed by them or by any other duly appointed fire warden for the purpose of suppressing forest fires, shall receive such hourly pay as the department may determine, for the time actually employed. Equipment operators and other specialists shall be paid the prevailing wage rate for comparable skills in each locality. And in addition thereto the department may allow the cost of meals, transportation and disbursements for emergency equipment. One-half of such expense shall be paid by the state and one-half by the county where such service was performed.

26.14(4)

(4) Emergency fire wardens or those assisting them in the fighting of forest fires shall prepare itemized accounts of their services and the services of those employed by them, as well as other expenses incurred, on blanks to be furnished by the department and in a manner prescribed by the department, and make oaths or affirmation that said account is just and correct, which account shall be forwarded and approved for payment by the department. As soon as any such account has been paid by the secretary of administration the department of natural resources shall send to the proper county treasurer a bill for the county's share of such expenses. The county shall have 60 days within which to pay such bill, but if not paid within that time the county shall be liable for interest at the rate of 6% per year. If payment is not made within 60 days the department of administration shall include such amount as a part of the next levy against the county for state taxes, but no county shall be required to pay more than $5,000 in any one year. Any unpaid levy under this section shall remain a charge against the county and the department of administration shall include such unpaid sums in the state tax levy of the respective counties in subsequent years.

26.14(5)

(5) Any person who sets a fire or assists in the setting of a fire, including a back fire, on any lands in this state and fails to totally extinguish such fire before leaving it shall forfeit not more than $100 for the first offense and shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days or both for each subsequent offense.

26.14(6)

(6) Any person who sets a fire or assists in setting a fire, including a back fire, on any lands in this state and allows the fire to escape and become a forest fire shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both.

26.14(7)

(7) Any person who sets or assists in setting a fire upon marsh or other land in the state for the purpose of driving out game birds or animals shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both. The possession of firearms upon any marsh while it is on fire shall be prima facie evidence of such violation.

26.14(8)

(8) Any person who intentionally sets fire to the land of another or to a marsh is guilty of a Class H felony.

26.14(9)

(9)

26.14(9)(a)

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting the right to damages. The liability of persons for damages is not limited to the destruction of merchantable timber but may also include the value of young or immature forest growth.

26.14(9)(b)

(b) Any person who sets a fire on any land and allows such fire to escape and become a forest fire shall be liable for all expenses incurred in the suppression of the fire by the state or town in which the fire occurred. An action under this paragraph shall be commenced within the time provided by s. 893.91 or be barred.

26.14 - ANNOT.

History: 1973 c. 336; 1975 c. 365; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 110 s. 60 (13); 1979 c. 323; 1983 a. 36, 422; 1989 a. 56, 79; 1995 a. 291; 1997 a. 283; 2001 a. 109; 2003 a. 33.

26.14 - ANNOT.

A stipulation of facts stating that there was a "large grass fire" did not necessarily mean there was a forest fire as defined in s. 26.11 (2) [now s. 26.01 (2)]. Town of Howard v. Soo Line Railroad Co. 63 Wis. 2d 500, 217 N.W.2d 329 (1974).

26.14 - ANNOT.

An intentional or negligent act, or an omission if there is a duty to act, is a necessary prerequisite for imposition of fire suppression costs under sub. (9) (b). DNR v. Wisconsin Power & Light Co. 108 Wis. 2d 403, 321 N.W.2d 286 (1982).

State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 26 > 26.14

26.14

26.14 Forest fires, authority of fire fighters, compensation, penalties, civil liability.

26.14(1)

(1) State forest rangers, town chairpersons, conservation wardens and other duly appointed deputies shall take prompt measures against the spread and illegal setting of forest fires. They may call upon any able-bodied citizen to assist in fighting fires in such manner as they direct.

26.14(2)

(2) All such forest rangers, town chairpersons, emergency fire wardens, conservation wardens and other duly appointed deputies may in the performance of their official duty go on the lands of any person to fight forest fires, and in so doing may set back fires, dig trenches, cut fire lines or carry on all other customary activities in the fighting of forest fires, without incurring a liability to anyone.

26.14(3)

(3) Emergency fire wardens, and all persons employed by them or by any other duly appointed fire warden for the purpose of suppressing forest fires, shall receive such hourly pay as the department may determine, for the time actually employed. Equipment operators and other specialists shall be paid the prevailing wage rate for comparable skills in each locality. And in addition thereto the department may allow the cost of meals, transportation and disbursements for emergency equipment. One-half of such expense shall be paid by the state and one-half by the county where such service was performed.

26.14(4)

(4) Emergency fire wardens or those assisting them in the fighting of forest fires shall prepare itemized accounts of their services and the services of those employed by them, as well as other expenses incurred, on blanks to be furnished by the department and in a manner prescribed by the department, and make oaths or affirmation that said account is just and correct, which account shall be forwarded and approved for payment by the department. As soon as any such account has been paid by the secretary of administration the department of natural resources shall send to the proper county treasurer a bill for the county's share of such expenses. The county shall have 60 days within which to pay such bill, but if not paid within that time the county shall be liable for interest at the rate of 6% per year. If payment is not made within 60 days the department of administration shall include such amount as a part of the next levy against the county for state taxes, but no county shall be required to pay more than $5,000 in any one year. Any unpaid levy under this section shall remain a charge against the county and the department of administration shall include such unpaid sums in the state tax levy of the respective counties in subsequent years.

26.14(5)

(5) Any person who sets a fire or assists in the setting of a fire, including a back fire, on any lands in this state and fails to totally extinguish such fire before leaving it shall forfeit not more than $100 for the first offense and shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days or both for each subsequent offense.

26.14(6)

(6) Any person who sets a fire or assists in setting a fire, including a back fire, on any lands in this state and allows the fire to escape and become a forest fire shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both.

26.14(7)

(7) Any person who sets or assists in setting a fire upon marsh or other land in the state for the purpose of driving out game birds or animals shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both. The possession of firearms upon any marsh while it is on fire shall be prima facie evidence of such violation.

26.14(8)

(8) Any person who intentionally sets fire to the land of another or to a marsh is guilty of a Class H felony.

26.14(9)

(9)

26.14(9)(a)

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting the right to damages. The liability of persons for damages is not limited to the destruction of merchantable timber but may also include the value of young or immature forest growth.

26.14(9)(b)

(b) Any person who sets a fire on any land and allows such fire to escape and become a forest fire shall be liable for all expenses incurred in the suppression of the fire by the state or town in which the fire occurred. An action under this paragraph shall be commenced within the time provided by s. 893.91 or be barred.

26.14 - ANNOT.

History: 1973 c. 336; 1975 c. 365; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 110 s. 60 (13); 1979 c. 323; 1983 a. 36, 422; 1989 a. 56, 79; 1995 a. 291; 1997 a. 283; 2001 a. 109; 2003 a. 33.

26.14 - ANNOT.

A stipulation of facts stating that there was a "large grass fire" did not necessarily mean there was a forest fire as defined in s. 26.11 (2) [now s. 26.01 (2)]. Town of Howard v. Soo Line Railroad Co. 63 Wis. 2d 500, 217 N.W.2d 329 (1974).

26.14 - ANNOT.

An intentional or negligent act, or an omission if there is a duty to act, is a necessary prerequisite for imposition of fire suppression costs under sub. (9) (b). DNR v. Wisconsin Power & Light Co. 108 Wis. 2d 403, 321 N.W.2d 286 (1982).

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