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CA FIRES AND THE DEVASTATION THEY CAUSED – WHAT THEY KNEW, WHEN THEY KNEW IT
Over the past few years, the State of California has been ravaged by fire. Nearly 9,000 wildfires were reported alone in 2017 and wiped out over 1.2 million acres of land (which is approximately the size of Delaware), destroyed more than 10,800 structures, and killed at least 46 people. The recent Camp Fire in Butte County was also named the largest and deadliest fire in California history. If you or someone you know what impacted by these devastating fires, then you may be eligible for financial compensation.
WHAT THEY KNEW
PG&E and Southern California Edison are responsible for providing electricity in California, but are they also responsible for the annihilation of land, homes and lives who fell victim to these fires? Consider these facts:
Camp Fire – The Camp Fire located in Butte County started on November 8 and as of November 13, 6,522 residential structures and 260 commercial buildings have been destroyed, 120,000 acres have been burned, hundreds have been reported missing, and 42 people have lost their lives. These harrowing numbers have made this the largest and deadliest fire in California history. It has also been confirmed that PG&E filed a report with the California Public Utilities Commission saying that a power outage was recorded on its 115-kilovolt Caribou-Palermo line at 6:15 a.m. on November 8. Cal Fire says the blaze started at 6:29 a.m. and that the origins of the fire occurred near to the location where the firefighters first encountered the flames.
Butte Fire – Cal Fire confirmed on September 16, 2015 that contact between a live tree and a PG&E power line sparked the Butte Fire. This caused the death of two residents, burnt more than 110 square miles of watersheds, and destroyed 549 homes, 368 outbuildings and four commercial structures costing over $90 million in firefighting costs.
Tubbs Fire – On October 8, 2017, the Tubbs Fire started in Santa Rosa, CA and ended up obilterating 142 square miles of Sonoma County, killing at least 23 people and destroying close to 7,000 private homes. But here’s what’s shocking: before the first spark of the fire, PG&E reported 20 cases of toppled trees and downed power lines across Northern California. Cal Fire investigators have even collected as evidence damaged power poles, wires and additional pieces of faulty equipment from 8 of 10 sites where PG&E reported “electrical safety incidents” in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Thomas Fires – The Thomas Fire occurred between Dec. 4, 2017 to Jan. 12 and was the biggest blaze in state history. It was located in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and scorched 281,893 acres, destroyed 1,063 structures and cost a record-breaking $229 million. Many are contending that Southern California Edison (SCE) is responsible because of a construction project that they were working on near a Comcast satellite facility in Santa Paula where the fire was reported to have begun. It is believed that the construction ignited the surrounding dry brush which quickly spread to the surrounding areas.
WHEN THEY KNEW IT
Many contend that PG&E knew ahead of time that their equipment was faulty or could be compromised by surrounding foliage since they submitted multiple reports on their field findings. Additionally, SCE is considered to be at fault for the Southern California fires since their construction work is suspected to have ignited nearby dry debris. The City of Ventura and Casitas Municipal Water District are also in question due to the lack of water pressure delivered to fire hydrants which hindered firefighters’ ability to save homes.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
It is suspected that PG&E knew that their equipment was not in proper working condition and that SCE’s construction site was at the center of the Thomas Fire. If your property was damaged or destroyed by one of the above fires, then you may be able to make a claim for financial compensation. You have inevitably lost priceless memories and your important possessions, and these companies should pay for their negligence. Contact us today to see if we can help you to make a claim.