Cal Fire sues local foundation
July 19, 2014Cal Fire filed a lawsuit against the Hind Foundation this week for $2.5 million, the cost of putting out a fire that was started by a mower in 2012 in the Santa Margarita area.
The lawsuit claims that the Hind Foundation, along with Lewis Construction, caused the Calf Fire Calf Fire that burnt 640 acres near the intersection of Highway 58 and Pozo Road. Cal Fire is seeking the $2.5 it cost for firefighters to put out the blaze.
Cal Fire claims that a negligent mowing operation on the Hind River Ranch, an 800-acre property the foundation purchased to study and protect wildlife, caused the fire. The area is known to contain multiple eagle nests, homes to both bald and golden eagles.
During the mowing operation, a blade allegedly struck a rock and produced a spark the ignited the fire. The suit contends firefighting resources such as fire extinguishers were not on site during the mowing operation.
The Hind Foundation is “committed to funding community-based projects and programs that encourage people to work together to build an enduring legacy for future generations.” Projects the foundation helped fund include the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden enhancement, Atascadero Library expansion, and the Bravo SLO Performing Arts Showcase.