Claims Seek Payment for Damages From 2011 New Mexico Fire

June 17, 2013

The federal government is being asked to cough up more than $60 million for damages from the 2011 Las Conchas fire and subsequent flooding in northern New Mexico.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Forest Service faces damage claims filed Thursday by the Cochiti and Jemez pueblos and four individuals who own a ranch.

The claims allege losses due to burned timber, habitat loss and erosion and flood damage from the fire. It burned nearly 244 square miles and destroyed 63 homes.

The claims’ allegations include that a dying aspen tree fell on a power line, starting the fire, and the easement that the government provided for a power cooperative wasn’t wide enough.

Officials with the Santa Fe National Forest did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

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