Energy Company Admits Equipment May Have Caused Wildfire

March 7, 2024 – Xcel Energy on Thursday acknowledged its involvement in the Smokehouse Creek Fire, which started last week and quickly became the largest wildfire in state history, burning more than 1 million acres.

“Based on currently available information, Xcel Energy acknowledges that its facilities appear to have been involved in an ignition of the Smokehouse Creek fire,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

Xcel said it has been cooperating with investigations into the wildfires and conducting its own review of the incident since it started. However, the company disputed claims in the same statement that the company acted negligently in maintaining and operating its infrastructure.

“However, we encourage people who had property destroyed by or livestock lost in the Smokehouse Creek fire to submit a claim to Xcel Energy through our claims process,” the statement says.

Last week, Xcel Energy revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that attorneys asked the company to preserve a fallen utility pole near where the fire may have started.

In the SEC filing, Xcel Energy said that “investigations into origin, cause, and damage of the wildland fires burning in or near the service territory of SPS, including the Smokehouse Creek Fire, are underway.” The company also said it is working with emergency responders to assist those impacted by the fires.

Author: Chad Young

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