NewsCovering Colorado


Lawsuit: Colorado railroad ignited fires prior to wildfire

Posted at 5:12 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 19:18:35-04

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.


Massive 416 Fire continues to grow north of Durango

U.S. Forest Service says 416 fire is fully contained

Investigation continues into cause of 416 Fire


Information from: Durango Herald,