Residents, businesses file lawsuit against railroad for 416 Fire near Durango

DURANGO, Colo. — More than a half dozen residents and businesses have filed a lawsuit against a train, accusing it of starting a wildfire that scorched about 85 square miles of mostly federal land.

The lawsuit, filed Friday against the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, says the 416 Fire, sparked June 1 near Durango, was started by burning material emitted from a coal engine that travels from Durango to Silverton.

Railroad owner, chairman and CEO Al Harper said he cannot comment on the lawsuit because he hasn’t been served and there has been no official proclamation of the cause of the fire.

Plaintiffs say the company and Harper knew, or should have known, of the drought conditions that existed at the time the fire started.

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