Three Insurers Sue Federal Government Over Claims Paid As A Result Of Wildfire

State Farm, Allstate and the Hartford are suing the United States government for $7.2 million they paid to homeowners because of the 2002 Hayman wildfire set by a U.S. Forest Service employee.  The employee, Terry Barton, was patrolling for illegal campfires when she stopped to set her own fire, claiming it was to burn a letter from her estranged husband.  The fire spread, eventually burning more than 100,000 acres and more than 100 homes.  However, according to her husband, he never wrote her any letter.  According to one of Ms. Barton’s daughters, she may instead have been following a psychology teacher’s advice to write down her feelings in a letter and burn it.  Other theories include the one you see a lot of: she set the fire so she could report it and be a hero.

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