CAMP FIRE LAWSUIT AGAINST PG&E
Early evidence points to a failure of PG&E equipment when power lines arced, igniting tinder-dry grasses. The fire started along Camp Creek Road, which gave the fire its name. Lawsuits in the case are based on the negligence of PG&E to properly maintain equipment and to turn off power to those lines when winds and conditions exceeded acceptable levels.
THE FACTS OF THE CAMP FIRE
- The Camp Fire started on November 8, 2018 at approximately 6:15 am.
- The fire started under 115kV power transmission lines in and near Pulga, California
- The fire was initially accessible using Camp Creek Road.
- The Camp Fire was completely contained on November 25, 2018.
- The fire burned for 17 days.
- 153,326 acres burned.
- 10,344 single family homes were burned.
- 298 apartments were destroyed.
- 3,701 mobile homes destroyed.
- 630 commercial buildings were burned.
- 4,363 other buildings were obliterated.
- As of November 15, over 5,6000 firefighters were deployed.
- 6212 fire engines were involved.
- 75 water tenders were deployed.
- 101 fire crews fought the fire.
- 103 bulldozers were there.
- 24 helicopters dropped water and flame retardant.
- Over 52,000 people had to be evacuated.
- 85 people were killed, all civilians.
- 1 civilian is still missing.
- 12 civilians and 5 firefighters were injured.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CAMP FIRE LAWSUIT
- What types of damages are you entitled to pursue? You can pursue any real damages, including wrongful death, loss of property, loss of business, personal injury, and other legal damages. Speak to an attorney from the Singleton Law Firm to find out about your case.
- How much work will you need to do if you choose to pursue a case? Very little. You’ll tell your story and supply documentation to your attorney. The attorney will handle it from there. Very few of these cases require anyone to appear in court.
- Will you have to pay legal fees? No. All attorney fees will be paid for by the defendant, in this case, PG&E.
- Will your attorney receive any portion of your insurance payout? No. The attorney is only entitled to the money they work to get you. If you file suit against PG&E, that will be all the attorney can get a share of. If you need an attorney to sue your insurance company, they might get a portion of that payout, but your attorney will discuss that with you.
- What is the deadline for filing a claim? The deadline was October 21, 2019. While the deadline has passed, there may still be things that your Singleton attorney can do for you.
The fire burned 153,336 acres and destroyed 18,804 structures. Most of the structures were destroyed in the first two days. The fire blazed so quickly that residents were forced to flee, sometimes on foot with children in their arms because the roads were jammed with traffic.
One of the things that made the Camp Fire so devastating is that this fire was not a “forest fire” in the classic sense. This California wildfire blew right through the city of Paradise, as well as the towns of Magalia, Centerville, Concow, Pulga, Butte Creek Canyon, Berry Creek and Yankee Hill. It also threatened the towns of Butte Valley, Chico, Forest Ranch, Helltown, Inskip, Oroville, and Stirling City.
CAUSE OF THE CAMP FIRE
The final cause is under investigation by CAL FIRE, but preliminary reports indicate that it was caused by a downed or failed PG&E transmission line.
PG&E AND THE CAMP FIRE
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle, December 7, 2018, said:
“Authorities had removed failed wire sections and the jumper extension, the lawsuit says. A spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, declined to comment.”
“PG&E has also reported another part of its equipment malfunctioned shortly after the fire began, a revelation that has come under scrutiny as Cal Fire investigates a possible second start to the Camp Fire.”
Within a couple of days of the fire starting, stories came out in the press that there were reports from PG&E of a downed or failed transmission line. The report was submitted minutes before the fire started and well before anyone was able to respond.
This is one of a number of fires, going back as far as the early 2000s, that PG&E is responsible for. In June of 2018, CAL FIRE issued a report that “equipment owned and operated by PG&E ignited 12 wildfires that raged in hot, dry weather and high winds across Northern California in October, charring hundreds of square miles in Sonoma County and beyond, destroying thousands of structures and killing 18 people.” – Press Democrat
It’s worth noting that this was 4 months before the worst fire in California history would claim the lives of 85 residents. Many others, as of this writing on December 7, 2018, are still missing and some may never be found.
RECOVERY FROM THE CAMP FIRE
You can take several steps to start on the road to recovery. This event was declared a state and national disaster, making millions of dollars available to residents who’ve lost everything.
Your home: Rebuilding is only just beginning and make take years. It’s important that foundations are closely inspected. This fire burned so hot that it cracked concrete and melted roads. Many of the items we use every day, especially appliances and vehicles, can become toxic when melted. The area should be checked for toxic spills. Landslides and flooding become common as there is no longer any vegetation to restrict the flow of mud and water. An engineer can look at a home and help to mitigate potential damage.
Your family: Events like this can lead to nightmares for everyone, behavior issues in children, and depression in adults. There are resources available for free to residents to help them with their mental health. Also, the smoke from the fire can leave lasting effects on the body. If anyone develops a cough, lethargy, or any other unusual symptoms, they should be checked out immediately.
Your financial life: Lawsuits have already been filed in courts in San Francisco against PG&E. The lawsuits state that PG&E neglected to properly maintain their equipment and its failure led to the Camp Fire. While a final official report may be more than a year away and these cases can go on for a long time, now’s the time to join a lawsuit to make sure that you get what you deserve from the people responsible for this fire, alleged to be PG&E at this time.