DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A federal lawsuit says nearly 50 fires in Colorado were ignited by a railroad company in the weeks leading up to a major wildfire.
The Durango Herald reported Tuesday that The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad caused the smaller fires along its tracks in the weeks leading up to the 416 Fire.
The U.S. Forest Service has filed a lawsuit seeking $25 million for firefighting costs.
The lawsuit says the company was responsible for starting the fire north of Durango that began June 1, 2018.
Fire investigators and eyewitnesses say a cinder from a train smokestack ignited the blaze during an extreme drought in Southwest Colorado.
Court records say train conductors reported four dozen fires along the tracks.
The railroad denies its coal-fired, steam locomotives started the 416 Fire.
You are one of the KRCC readers who wants to know what is really going on in Southern Colorado these days. We have got just the thing for people like you: the KRCC Weekly Digest. Sign up here and we will see you in your email inbox soon!