State sues man over blaze started by his fireworks.
Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard
State officials are suing an Albany man, claiming that he started a forest fire near Blachly by throwing lighted fireworks from a moving vehicle.
Skyler D. Adair was a few weeks shy of his 17th birthday when the Horton Who fire burned 1.6 acres of forestland in western Lane County on July 10, 2008.
The land is protected by the state Department of Forestry, which filed suit in Lane County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
The lawsuit names both Adair - who turns 24 next week - and his mother, Tracey Leann Williams, as defendants. Efforts to contact them by telephone were not successful.
Adair was convicted in 2008 of a noncriminal violation of fire prevention laws. He was fined $183 in connection with the incident, according to court records.
According to the lawsuit, Adair was riding in another person's vehicle when he lit an unknown number of "ground bloom" fireworks and threw them from the car.
A shower of sparks ignited dry vegetation near the road, and flames spread into adjacent forest land, the suit states.
The forestry department spent $14,036 to control and extinguish the fire, and has been trying to get Adair and his family to pay back that amount since 2009, according to the suit.
Adair has so far repaid the state a total of $220, but still owes $13,816, the lawsuit asserts.
Adair's mother is named in the suit because Adair was an "un emancipated minor" at the time of the fire, according to the suit.
Citing the pending litigation, state forestry department spokesman Rod Nichols declined to release the agency's investigative report into the Horton Who fire.
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