USA — The U.S. Forest Service has billed New Mexico’s largest rural electric cooperative more than $38 million to cover costs stemming from one of the largest wildfires in the state’s history.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/HDds7S) the federal agency is seeking reimbursement for costs related to firefighting efforts on the Las Conchas Fire and work to rehabilitate damaged public lands.
The Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative has already been targeted by two pueblos, dozens of individual property owners and several insurance companies over the fire.
The Forest Service is also named in some of those claims.
The blaze was sparked in June 2011 when a tree fell on a power line owned by the co-op. More than five dozen structures were destroyed and 243 square miles were charred.