Dixie Fire Victims, You May Be Eligible for Financial Compensation

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Did you suffer from any of the following due to the Dixie Fire?

Did the loss of income amount to more than $25,000?

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From Sparks to Second Largest Wildfire in CA History

In the late afternoon of July 13, 2021, a PG&E troubleman responding to an outage system report of lost power at Cresta Dam off Highway 70 in Feather River Canyon observed two blown fuses, a tree leaning into PG&E power lines, and a fire on the ground below the tree.

By August 17, 2021, the fire had consumed over 600,000 acres across four counties in the Sierra Nevada area in what is the second largest wildfire reported in California history. Counties impacted include Butte, Lassen, Plumas, and Tehama.

Close to 1,200 Buildings Lost, Thousands Evacuated

The Sacramento Bee reported as of August 17, the Dixie Fire had destroyed close to 1,200 buildings, including at least 635 homes, according to Cal Fire. The town of Greenville was almost completely leveled early in August.

As of mid-August, with only 31% of the fire contained, evacuation orders remained in Plumas County, as well as areas of Lassen and Tehama counties. Voluntary warnings were issued for some Butte County communities.

Nearly 15,000 structures remained threatened by the fire.

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10-Hour Delay to Respond

Although the outage system indicated lost power around 7 AM, the PG&E employee did not detect the fire until close to 10 hours later. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey implied the delay was due to PG&E’s failure to tag the Cresta Dam outage ticket as a “high priority” ticket. Therefore, the troublesman had to attend to high priority tickets before addressing the Cresta Dam outage report.

CA Law Holds Utility Companies Liable for Fires They Start

The cause of the fire remains under review. However, prosecutors in at least two countries are investigating PG&E for criminal charges, citing the utility should have been aware of the high-risk fire. In addition, possible failure of the utility company to clear dangerous vegetation near power lines could be a violation of California laws and regulations, as well as negligence.

In 2018, PG&E equipment ignited the deadly Camp Fire in Feather River Canyon. The fire destroyed the town of Paradise and the utility company plead guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter. As part of a safety campaign, the utility company had planned to bury the power line suspected of causing the Dixie Fire but had not yet begun work on the project.

Under California law, public utility companies are held responsible for fires they start. In a July SEC filing, the utility company acknowledged a “probable” incurred losses related to the Dixie Fire.

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Possible Compensation for Fire Victims

If you or a loved one has suffered loss due to the Dixie Fire, it’s important to document and report losses to your insurance company. However, insurance may not cover all losses. Building, material, and labor costs have increased due to the pandemic so coverage maximums may not cover rebuilding costs.

Victims of the fire may also be able to file a legal claim for losses including:

  • Costs to replace or repair home and property
  • Personal property lost in fire
  • Costs associated with evacuation
  • Loss of wage
  • Business interruption and losses
  • Injury or death caused by fire
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Land value deprecation
  • Damage or loss of crops, timber, trees, etc.
  • Loss or harm to livestock or pets
  • Emotional distress

If you or a loved one experienced loss of property, injuries or other damages due to the Dixie Fire, contact our lawyers for a no-cost case evaluation today.

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