Xcel Energy could face lawsuit over Texas wildfires

A filing from Minnesota-based Xcel Energy shows the company could face a possible lawsuit in connection with the Texas wildfires.

Xcel filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that said a law firm representing insured property owners sent the company notice of possible exposure for damages due to the Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest blaze in Texas history.

The filing notes that the law firm asked Xcel to preserve a fallen power pole in the area where the fire started.

The wildfire has killed two people and burned about 1,700 square miles since it started on Monday, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that as many as 500 structures in the Texas Panhandle may have been destroyed.

An investigation into what started the fire is still underway and no determination has been made.

Xcel Energy sent the following statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS:

“Our thoughts are with the families and communities impacted by the devastating wildfires across the Texas Panhandle. As members of this community, we will continue to support our neighbors in this recovery.

“We are working in coordination with first responders and local officials to support the power needs of our communities, while safely restoring power to customers where possible. We will cooperate with officials while conducting our own investigations to determine the causes of the fires.”

The company is the largest utility company in Minnesota and Colorado but also serves residents in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico and Texas.

The company is already facing lawsuits in connection with the Marshall Fire in Colorado that started in late 2021.

Xcel’s stock price dropped by around 9% after its SEC filing on Thursday and tumbled more on Friday. As of late Friday afternoon, it was down around 14% from close on Wednesday.