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Colorado rail company seeks to dismiss wildfire lawsuit

September 11, 2019

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado railroad company has filed a motion to dismiss a $25 million lawsuit blaming it for starting the sixth largest wildfire in the state’s history.

The Durango Herald reported Tuesday that the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad claims there is no federal statute that allows the U.S. Forest Service to recover fire-suppression costs.

Company officials say state law allows for recovering actual damages, but the 2018 wildfire didn’t burn any structures or cause any injuries or deaths.

Railroad attorneys did not return calls seeking comment.

The lawsuit says a coal-burning engine threw cinders or other material onto brush scorching about 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).

Federal officials say the motion to dismiss is being reviewed and a response is expected to be filed by Oct. 1.

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Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com

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