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Province appeals ruling clearing forestry company in $5.5M wildfire

BC wildfire state of emergency ends
WATCH: BC wildfire state of emergency ends

The B.C. government is in court this week trying to recover $5.5-million from a forestry company for a wildfire near Vanderhoof in 2010.

The case comes as the province continues to grapple with its worst wildfire season on record.

READ MORE: B.C.’s wildfire-driven state of emergency to end at midnight Friday

The province is appealing a 2016 decision that found a Canadian Forest Products (Canfor) subcontractor didn’t cause the fire that burned more than 6,000 hectares of Crown land.

A four-day hearing is underway at the BC Court of Appeal, where the province hopes to overturn the BC Supreme Court ruling in favour of Canfor and its contractor Barlow Lake Logging Ltd.

WATCH: Coverage of B.C.’s 2017 wildfires

The lower court ruled that the fire was caused by lightning, not logging activity.

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But it also dismissed a counterclaim from the forestry company that the province was negligent in its duty to properly fight the wildfire.

That decision is being cross-appealed and will be heard at the same time.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfires map 2017: Current location of wildfires around the province

With the cost of wildfire seasons now routinely in the hundreds-of-millions of dollars, the province has been going to court to try and recoup some of the costs related to fighting human-caused fires.

Last Friday, the province ended a nine-week wildfire-driven state of emergency.

The season has seen more than 1.2 million hectares of land scorched, and a series of evacuations forcing more than 65,000 people from their homes across the province.