Railroad company blamed for Colorado wildfire in new suit

416 Fire. Jun 19, 2018 photo.
By  | 

DENVER (AP)-- Colorado's top federal prosecutor says a railroad company caused a wildfire that became the sixth largest in the state's history.

The information came in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn against the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and American Heritage Railways.

The suit says federal investigators determined that a coal-burning engine threw cinders or other material onto brush near the track in June 2018.

Prosecutors say the fire eventually scorched about 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).

A message left at the company's office was not immediately returned.

The route carries passengers between Durango and Silverton, passing through the San Juan National Forest.

Area residents and businesses have filed their own lawsuit against the company, arguing that it knew or should have known about drought conditions.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)