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TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona mining company has paid the U.S. Forest Service $551,000 to cover costs associated with a fire sparked by an employee three years ago.

The Arizona Daily Star reports Rosemont Copper made the payment in early June as part of a settlement with the Forest Service.

The payment covered firefighting expenses as well as emergency rehabilitation work and the value of the natural resources that were damaged.

The Greaterville Fire charred nearly three square miles south of the proposed Rosemont Mine site in May 2011. It started on private land and spread to national forest land.

The Forest Service is billing another mining company $380,000 for a separate fire that was sparked that same month in the Patagonia Mountains. The insurer for that company is challenging the bill.

Associated Press,

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