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Bastrop Homeowners Sue Bluebonnet Electric Co-Op

Photo by Linnea Nasman

The first suit has been filed against Bluebonnet Electric Co-op over the Bastrop County Complex wildfire.  The Texas Forest Service has isolated two of the fire's origin points to trees that knocked Bluebonnet power lines into dry brush.

Attorney Bill Rossick is representing three homeowners who lost their houses in the wildfire. He claims that Co-op management knew the danger of downed power lines in these conditions as early as their annual meeting in May.

"The annual meeting was opened by their CEO, who recognized that we need to pray for rain, because there's wildfires out in West Texas," Rossick told KUT News. "In these conditions that the risks of fire at utility poles are a significant risk. So they already knew that. So the real question in my mind is what did they do about it?"

In a statement posted on Bluebonnet Electric's website, CEO Mark Rose called the lawsuit a "misguided attempt to blame Bluebonnet for a terrible incident that we could not control."

The utility maintains that the trees blown into the power lines were something that Bluebonnet could neither anticipate nor prevent.

Ian Crawford joined KUT as News Editor in 2008, after spending over four years as a reporter/anchor at KLBJ Radio in Austin. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school in Southern Oregon. During high school and college at the University of Oregon, he worked at times as a reporter, news anchor, sports play-by-play reporter, music host and commercial producer before moving to Texas in 2003.
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