Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad seeks to dismiss 416 Fire lawsuit

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DURANGO, Colo. — The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad 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 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 416 Fire 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 more than 54,000 acres.

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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