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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language


                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 271-H.F.No. 601 
           An act relating to natural resources; providing that 
          money recovered by the state for forest fire fighting 
          expenses be restored to the fund of origination; 
          increasing the amount that may be paid for tips 
          related to forest fire crimes; clarifying provisions 
          relating to the burden of proof and evidence of 
          negligence; amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 
          88.17, subdivision 2; 88.75, subdivision 1; and 88.76. 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 88.17, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  In any prosecution under sections 88.03 to 88.22 
for unlawfully starting or setting or having or permitting the 
continuation or spread of any fire or backfire, proof upon the 
part of the prosecution that such fire or backfire originated 
upon, or was permitted to burn upon, or that it spread from, 
lands or premises occupied by the person charged with the 
offense, and that this person had knowledge of the fire and made 
no effort to put it out, shall be prima facie evidence of 
guilt.  The burden of proof as to any matter in refutation of 
this prima facie guilt, or in extenuation or excuse, shall be 
and rest upon the person so appearing prima facie to be guilty. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 88.75, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  Any person who violates any of the 
provisions of sections 88.03 to 88.22 for which no specific 
penalty is therein prescribed shall be guilty of a misdemeanor 
and be punished accordingly. 
    Failure by any person to comply with any provision or 
requirement of sections 88.03 to 88.22 to which such person is 
subject shall be deemed a violation thereof. 
    Any person who violates any provisions of sections 88.03 to 
88.22, in addition to any penalties therein prescribed, or 
hereinbefore in this section prescribed, for such violation, 
shall also be liable in full damages to any and every person 
suffering loss or injury by reason of such violation, including 
liability to the state, and any of its political subdivisions, 
for all expenses incurred in fighting or preventing the spread 
of, or extinguishing, any fire caused by, or resulting from, any 
violation of these sections.  All expenses so collected by the 
state shall be returned to, and deposited in, the original fund 
from which the expenses were paid and are available for 
expenditure for the purposes for which the funds were originally 
appropriated.  When a fire set by any person spreads to and 
damages or destroys property belonging to another, the person 
setting of the fire shall be prima facie guilty evidence of 
negligence in setting and allowing the same to spread. 
    At any time the state, or any political subdivision 
thereof, either of its own motion, or at the suggestion or 
request of the director, may bring an action in any court of 
competent jurisdiction to restrain, enjoin, or otherwise 
prohibit any violation of sections 88.03 to 88.22, whether 
therein described as a crime or not, and likewise to restrain, 
enjoin, or prohibit any person from proceeding further in, with, 
or at any timber cutting or other operations without complying 
with the provisions of those sections, or the requirements of 
the director pursuant thereto; and the court may grant such 
relief, or any other appropriate relief, whenever it shall 
appear that the same may prevent loss of life or property by 
fire, or may otherwise aid in accomplishing the purposes of 
sections 88.03 to 88.22. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 88.76, is amended 
to read:  
    88.76 [REWARDS.] 
    Upon conviction of any person for violating any of the 
provisions of sections 88.03 to 88.22, the director may pay, 
from any money placed at the director's disposal under those 
sections, a reward of not more than $25 $100 to the person or 
persons giving the information leading to such conviction. 
    Approved May 28, 1987