Forest Fire Does Not Absolve the Government of Takings Liability

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that the Government cannot avoid liability for burning commercially valuable timber because it burned the timber to stop a forest fire. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently dismissed the case of TrinCo Investment Co. v. United States based on the “doctrine of necessity,” which the Supreme Court has described as justifying “the destruction of real and personal property, in cases of actual necessity, to prevent the spreading of fire or to forestall other grave threats to the lives and property of others.”

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