DURANGO, Colo. (AP) – A federal lawsuit says nearly 50 fires in southwestern 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 416 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 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.
– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Colorado Wildfires section.
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