The lawsuit, which seeks an award to be determined at trial, says that the fire department "breached its duty" during the July 2008 fire. The Rehbergs are claiming damages for the loss of trees and ground cover in an area they intended to develop.
Rehberg is not the first Montana politician to take on firefighters. Former Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) made headlines in 2006 when he had an airport altercation with firefighters flown in from Virginia following a 143-acre fire. Burns accused the firefighters of doing a "poor job" and not allowing ranchers to fight fires as they saw fit. Burns lost his reelection bid later that year.
Rehberg himself is no stranger to the legal system, as he has been involved in legal proceedings for the last year a boat crash led to felony alcohol charges against the driver, Montana State Sen. Greg Barkus.