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Nevada Attorney General Wants Judge To Dismiss Fire Lawsuits

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada's attorney general wants a judge to dismiss all but a narrow piece of a series of lawsuits accusing the state of negligently mishandling a prescribed burn that turned into a raging wildfire last fall, destroying 23 homes.

The Washoe Valley homeowners blame the Nevada Division of Forestry for damages they suffered in excess of $80 million. They claim they're the victims of an illegal government taking of their property they say is now "virtually unusable."

Attorney General Adam Laxalt said in a court filing this week the homeowners may be entitled to some compensation for unintentional damage. But he argues for dismissal of all claims related to property rights or the "takings" clause of U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment. His chief of litigation says the fire "was a tragedy," but not a taking of private property for public use.