Paying Back for Fire Damage:

The Air Force has settled all but 142 of the 3,092 compensatory claims that it has received to date since a flare from an Air National Guard F-16 fighter caused a wildfire in May 2007 in southern New Jersey, where it damaged more than 17,000 acres of pinelands. The Press of Atlantic City reported March 25, citing Air Force officials, that the claims paid to date amount to about $2.6 million of the approximately $203 million sought on grounds such as property damage and dislocation. The reason why the dollar figure seems so low given that USAF has resolved the vast majority of the claims has to do with the fact that one of the remaining cases involves Phoenix Pinelands Corp., a Princeton-based sand and gravel mining company, that alone seeks nearly $198 million in compensation, the newspaper said.