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HOLIDAY FARM FIRE LAWSUIT

Willamette Fire Information
The Holiday Farm Fire destroyed more than 170,000 acres and 768 homes, businesses and outbuildings evaluated – nearly 2 out of every 3 structures examined for damage. The fire started on September 7, 2020, during a high-wind event in the McKenzie River Valley near in the Willamette Valley region.

Residents told the Oregonian OregonLive that the blaze was preceded by a power outage, a loud explosion, and a shower of blue sparks from an electric line near milepost 47 on Oregon 126 – the exact location where state officials have pinpointed the start of the fire.

A $103 million lawsuit against two utility companies – Lane Electric Cooperative and Eugene Water & Electric Board – was filed in May of 2021 on behalf of 70 landowners in the McKenzie River Valley.

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LEGAL ASSISTANCE
If you or a loved one were affected by the Holiday Farm Fire, contact an experienced wildfire attorney at Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott to learn about Holiday Farm Fire compensation, and to understand your legal options.

HOLIDAY FARM FIRE LAWSUIT AGAINST EUGENE WATER & ELECTRIC BOARD AND LANE ELECTRIC


Federal authorities claim the Holiday Farm Fire fire was caused by a failed transmission line connector that wasn’t properly installed or maintained. The fire started on September 7, 2020, at about 8:15 pm in a rural area just off of OR 126 near the unincorporated town of Rainbow in Lane County on U.S. Forest Service property. A witness who lived nearby reported hearing an explosion at the location at that time and saw sparks and flames when he went to investigate.

Private fire investigators hired by Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott report that several large trees are known to have fallen on three high-voltage electrical transmission lines causing the lines to sag to the ground, and possibly one broke.

THE FACTS OF THE HOLIDAY FARM FIRE

  • The fire started on September 7, 2020, during a high-wind event in the McKenzie River Valley in the Willamette Valley region.
  • The high winds pushed the fire quickly and burned 173,000 acres
  • A $103 million lawsuit was filed in May of 2021 against two public utilities – Lane Electric Cooperative and Eugene Water & Electric Board – on behalf of 70 landowners in the McKenzie River Valley.
  • The Willamette fire burned over 100 square miles of land and destroyed 430 residences
  • It damaged at least 49 other residences
  • More than 8,224 homes were threatened
  • Hundreds  of residents were ordered to evacuate
  • At least 1 death was confirmed in the Holiday Farm Fire

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HOLIDAY 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 Schreiber McKenzie & Scott 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, Lane Electric Cooperative and Eugene Water & Electric Board.

Will your attorney receive any portion of your insurance payout? No. The attorney is only entitled to a fee if they recover any money from the utility companies. 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.

HOLIDAY FARM FIRE IN DETAIL

The Willamette fire started on September 7, 2020, at about 8:15 pm in a rural area just off of OR 126 near the unincorporated town of Rainbow in Lane County on U.S. Forest Service property. A witness who lived nearby reported hearing an explosion at the location at that time and saw sparks and flames when he went to investigate.

Private fire investigators hired by Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott report that several large trees are known to have fallen on three high-voltage electrical transmission lines causing the lines to sag to the ground, and possibly one broke. The power from those lines ignited the trees and light combustibles in the area. The investigator believes the trees were knocked down from an extreme wind event that occurred on the evening of September 7.

This wind event was forecasted at a time of very hot and dry weather, and Eugene Water & Electrical Board or Bonneville Power Authority failed to take the necessary steps to prevent this fire from occurring. If they had preemptively turned off the power to their transmission lines this fire would not have occurred. If the power had been turned off when the trees came into contact with the conductors a fire would not have occurred. It is believed other power companies across the state heeded the weather warning and turned off their power grids to prevent fires.

Holiday Farm Fire

WHAT TO DO NEXT ABOUT THE HOLIDAY FARM FIRE

If you are under evacuation orders, leave. Leave quickly. This is a fire that has consumed 173,000 acres in less than 5 days. With 100 mile per hour winds, it can overrun a home in seconds.

WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE HOLIDAY FARM FIRE

As noted above, there is no official determination. There are some guidelines for handling any responsibility of this incident and its impact on your life:

  • Make an inventory of your belongings and the things that you’ve lost. If you don’t have an inventory on file with your insurance company, you will want to make a list soon.
  • Get legal representation. There are probably going to be lawsuits with regards to this fire. You will want someone to keep an eye on your best interests throughout this process.

Contact Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott for a Free Case Evaluation

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Has your home or property been damaged by a fire? Have you been physically injured in a fire? Are insurance adjusters trying to take advantage of you during this difficult time? Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott can help you navigate the complexities of your unique fire case, represent your interests, calculate the appropriate value of your damages, and help you recover the fair and full compensation you may need to move forward with your life. Schedule your free case evaluation today.

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