BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) – A civil case involving two utility companies’ role in one of the largest wildfires in New Mexico’s recorded history is expected to land on the hands of a jury.
Attorneys from both sides made their cases Tuesday in Bernalillo before state District Judge Louis McDonald. Now jurors must decide if the two utilities are to blame for the blaze.
The Las Conchas fire started when an aspen tree fell onto power lines that stretched through national forest land in the Jemez Mountains.
Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative operated and maintained the power lines. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Inc. provides the cooperative with electricity and is also named as a defendant.
There are more than 300 plaintiffs in the case.
The threat of post-fire flooding continues to loom for the tribes and the monument.