Telephone Company Being Sued Says Wildfire Was ‘Act of God’

South Dakota News December 26, 2018

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Telephone Company Being Sued Says Wildfire Was ‘Act of God’

RAPID CITY, SD. (AP) — A telephone company being sued by South Dakota landowners over the third-largest wildfire in Black Hills’ history says an “act of God” caused the Legion Lake Fire.

The Rapid City Journal reports that two companies doing business as Mt. Rushmore Telephone Company admit in a legal filing that the 2017 fire occurred, but “deny that they are liable to the Plaintiffs for the same.”

The response comes after Custer County landowners in August sued Black Hills Power and Mt. Rushmore Telephone Company for negligence, nuisance and trespassing.

Investigators say the December 2017 fire began when a tree fell onto a power line in Custer State Park. Landowners argue the telecommunications company damaged the tree’s root system, making it susceptible to collapse.

Black Hills Energy also contested its liability in a filing.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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