Dixie Fire Litigation
On July 13, 2021, the Dixie Fire erupted near Feather River Canyon and Highway 70 in Butte County, California. The fire blazed across an area of more than 963,309 acres, causing destruction and damage to over 1,424 structures and impacting communities in Feather River Canyon and surrounding regions. The fire led to multiple evacuation orders and warnings in five counties.
Early indications suggest that PG&E equipment may have caused the wildfire. With the fire now contained after burning for over three months, numerous California residents are grappling with issues such as property damage, insurance claims, and healthcare. At Adler Law Group, APLC, our team of wildfire attorneys is dedicated to assisting those affected by the Dixie Fire in comprehending their legal rights and obtaining the compensation they require to recover from this devastating loss.
If the Dixie Fire has caused damage or destruction to your home, or you or someone close to you has experienced health problems due to the wildfire, contact us at (619) 531-8700 today for a confidential and complimentary case assessment.
Facts About the Dixie Fire
Named after Dixie Creek, the Dixie Fire started near its location and is now the third-largest wildfire recorded in California’s state history. The wildfire spread across five counties in the Sierra Nevada region, including Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama counties, before it was finally contained. The fire burned on the Plumas National Forest, Lassen National Forest, and Lassen Volcanic National Park, ultimately merging with the Fly Fire.
The Dixie Fire wreaked havoc on homes, businesses, public lands, ranching operations, and even Native American archaeological sites. It caused significant damage to the historic town of Greenville, reducing much of it to rubble. Tens of thousands of residents from affected counties were ordered to evacuate. Tragically, three firefighters sustained injuries, and one lost their life while battling the blaze. There were no reports of civilian fatalities.
Numerous evacuation warnings were issued as the Dixie Fire burned perilously close to the communities of Dixie, Tobin, Belden, Storrie, Rock Creek, and Rodgers Flat in Feather River Canyon. Communities and individuals affected are grappling to recover from the devastating aftermath.
What Caused the Dixie Fire?
As of November 2021, the cause of the Dixie Fire is yet to be determined. In an initial report submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) acknowledged that their equipment may have sparked the wildfire. CAL FIRE investigators collected PG&E equipment and segments of a tree that was leaning against a conductor five days after the fire was detected. The PG&E investigator noted blown fuses and a fire in the vicinity of the tree’s base.
“At approximately 7:00 am on July 13, 2021, PG&E’s outage system registered that Cresta Dam, located off of Highway 70 in Feather River Canyon, had lost power. Upon responding, a PG&E trouble man observed what he believed to be a blown fuse on the PG&E Bucks Creek 1101 12kV Overhead Distribution Circuit uphill from his location. However, he was unable to access the fuse pole until about 4:40 pm due to the challenging terrain and a bridge closure resulting from roadwork. Upon reaching the pole, he noticed two of the three fuses blown and a seemingly healthy green tree leaning towards the still intact and suspended Bucks Creek 1101 12 kV conductor on the poles. Additionally, a fire was observed on the ground near the base of the tree. The troubleman removed the third fuse manually, reported the fire, and his supervisor called 911. The 911 operator confirmed they were aware of the fire and were sending help. CAL FIRE air support arrived on the scene around 5:30 pm and started dropping fire retardant and water.”
Common Wildfire Injuries
As attorneys specializing in California wildfire cases, we understand the profound physical and emotional impact wildfires can have. Wildfires have the potential to cause a variety of severe and debilitating injuries, including but not limited to burns, respiratory and lung damage, smoke inhalation, explosion injuries, lacerations, soft-tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, and infections with complications.
Moreover, a wildfire can result in extensive property damage and destruction, affecting both residential and commercial properties and potentially costing millions of dollars. It is crucial to hold companies like PG&E responsible for their role in these incidents. Filing a lawsuit for injuries and property losses can bring attention to unsafe business practices and compel PG&E to implement more effective safety measures going forward.
PG&E Lawsuits for Causing the Dixie Fire
PG&E is facing lawsuits filed by five counties as well as almost 200 homeowners and business owners affected by the Dixie Fire as of November 2021. These legal actions allege that the fire was sparked by PG&E’s utility equipment and that the company’s negligence, including failure to shut off power after being alerted to a problem, exacerbated the damage.
According to the lawsuits, PG&E has been accused of neglecting its grid for many years, and even though there are indications that the company is finally addressing issues and maintenance concerns that have caused numerous wildfires, it is still lagging behind in its repairs. This prolonged negligence has created circumstances that heighten the risk of wildfires and may have contributed to the Dixie Fire. The lawsuits argue that PG&E should be held accountable for compensating victims for their losses due to its negligence.
Current wildfire lawsuits for the Dixie Fire seek financial compensation for victims’ property destruction, business and revenue losses, lost homes, hospital bills, pain and suffering, and more. The amount in damages sought will depend on each client’s unique situation. Victims with losses associated with the Dixie Fire who have not yet done so can still take legal action by contacting an attorney at Adler Law Group, APLC as soon as possible.
Insurance companies typically do not fully compensate victims of wildfires for all the losses they incur, leaving them with significant financial burdens. This can include expenses associated with rebuilding homes, replacing personal property, and restoring landscaping that may take years to recover, especially in cases where mature trees have been destroyed. Moreover, insurance policies do not account for the emotional distress and inconvenience caused by losing one’s home, moving, and rebuilding from scratch. Filing a claim against the responsible party is often the only way for wildfire victims to recover fair compensation for these losses.
Contact a Dixie Fire Attorney at Adler Law Group Today
Regardless of whether you are a business owner or a resident affected by the Dixie Fire in the five affected counties, seeking the guidance of an attorney can help you comprehend your legal rights and position as a claimant. Our firm provides a free, no-obligation initial consultation to help you understand your legal options following the Dixie Fire. Schedule a meeting with an attorney today to discuss your situation.