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article imageUtah Settles With Scouts Over Huge Fire

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By Carolyn E. Price     Mar 7, 2007 in Environment
Utah and the feds both sue the Boy Scouts, Utah case now settled
A chapter of the Boy Scout's in Utah will pay $330,000 and plant 9,000 tree seedlings because of a 2002 wildfire that burned more than 14,000 acres in Utah.
The state of Utah and federal government had both sued the Scouts over the cost of fighting the fire and this agreement is with the state. The federal lawsuit is still pending.
17 Scouts who ranged in ages between 12 and 14 went into the mountains in an effort to get a wilderness survival badge in eastern Utah. There were no adults supervising the kids. Two 'counselors' who were both 15-year-olds were present.
There was a statewide ban on fires in Utah at the time because of dry conditions. The Scouts lit a fire to cook on and later said they thought the fire had been extinguished.
Besides the money and seedlings, the Scouts have agreed to develop programs to teach boys about wildfires.
What I don't understand is why the Boy Scouts would allow kids at this age to go out into the mountains with just 15-year-old 'counselors' as chaperones. Along with being responsible for the fires, I would say they were negligent in their responsibility to the kids.
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