Growing evidence points to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) as the cause of the Dixie Fire. Sources claim that on July 13, 2021, PG&E received a report that a Douglas fir had fallen on a 12,000-volt powerline. It took nearly 10 hours for a troubleshooter to arrive on the scene, at which point he did not shut off the power or remove the tree.
As a result of this delay, the Los Angeles Times reports that nearly 1,300 homes were “reduced to rubble.” California investigators also suspect that PG&E’s negligence caused the Fly Fire, which merged with the Dixie Fire into a massive, multi-acre inferno. National Public Radio (NPR) reports that the Dixie Fire is the second-largest fire in California history.
If, as news sources like NPR and the Los Angeles Times allege, PG&E directly or indirectly caused the fire, our law firm can help you seek compensation for your losses.
U.S. District Judge Alsup Asks PG&E for More Information About the Fire’s Cause
Homeowners, business owners, firefighters, and courts all over California want to get to the bottom of its latest wildfire.
Judge William Alsup’s recent court order asks PG&E for three important pieces of information:
- To explain its role in the Fly Fire, which has now merged with the Dixie Fire, and to explain the purpose and location of PG&E equipment removed by the U.S. Forest Service.
- To submit all documentation of drone usage in Bucks Circuit that depicts the area before and after the toppling of the tree suspected of causing the fire. Judge Alsup more specifically wants pictures of the Douglas fir that allegedly fell on the powerline.
- Information related to all fires PG&E allegedly started in the current wildfire season. Requested information includes fire start dates, suspected causes, total burned acreage, total damaged structures, and the total number of fatalities.
Judge Alsup noted that PG&E’s responses will not be viewed as admissions of guilt. Even so, the organization’s statements give our legal team a starting point for investigating the cause of the Dixie Fire.
We want to help affected families, homeowners, and business owners recover their fire-related losses.
This Isn’t the First Time Claimants Have Accused PG&E of Starting Fires
In 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that in the last 23 years, PG&E has paid out more than $2.6 billion in settlements. Why? Officials have linked PG&E to dozens of fires within that period.
It may also have caused the:
- Zogg Fire (September 2020)
- Kincade Fire (October 2019)
- Camp Fire (November 2018)
- Cascade Fire (October 2017)
- Redwood Valley Fire (October 2017)
- Sulphur Fire (October 2017)
This is not a complete or exhaustive list. If PG&E was truly behind these incidents, it has a history of allowing wildfires to spread across areas of California.
Could Something Else Have Caused the Dixie Fire?
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), wildfires typically have two primary causes. Lightning and lava cause 10 percent of wildfires.
However, up to 90 percent of fires spring from the action, inaction, or carelessness of human beings, which can include:
- Unattended campfires
- Reckless debris burning
- Discarded cigarettes and butts
- Setting off explosives, like firecrackers
- Downed powerlines
The likelihood of manmade fires increases when people make camps next to low-lying trees, shrubs, forest debris, and litter.
While the Dixie Fire is still under investigation, ABC 10 Sacramento alleges that: “PG&E has already said its equipment might have been linked to the Dixie Fire … PG&E told regulators last month that the Dixie Fire may have been ignited July 14 when a tree fell on another one of its power lines.”
Our firm is working hard to identify two things: the liable parties and property owners’ right to recovery.
Is the Fly Fire the Same as the Dixie Fire?
The Fly Fire began on July 22, 2021, just days after the much larger Dixie Fire started. Per Mercury News, people speculate that PG&E’s negligence also caused or contributed to the Fly Fire. The fire eventually merged with the Dixie Fire, burning over 250,000 acres.
You have legal rights whether you suffered losses due to the Dixie Fire or Fly Fire. After evaluating your case, we can explain your legal rights and options, as well as your case’s prospects.
Our Firm Stays Abreast of Any Updates to the Dixie Fire’s Progress
Our Dixie Fire lawyers are working hard to stay on top of the situation’s latest news, information, and updates. We pay constant attention to news reports, government research, and fire agency expertise. We want to keep our friends and neighbors “in the loop” as much as possible.
We routinely host town hall-style information sessions geared toward:
- Providing representation for property owners
- Offering free advice to assist wildfire victims
- Explaining how to maximize insurance coverage
If you suffered losses because of the Dixie Fire, our goal is to recover compensation for your expenses. However, your insurance policy may not fully cover the cost of your damages. If so, we can pursue the at-fault party for the cost of repairing or rebuilding your property.
How Much Damage Did the Dixie Fire Cause in California?
According to InciWeb’s most recent reports, officials are lifting evacuation warnings although all forests remain closed. At the time of publication, the Dixie Fire alone ravaged 963,276 acres of land in Butte, Plumas, Tehama, Shasta, and Lassen counties. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) data, this ongoing wildfire started the second week of July 2021.
The latest information from CAL FIRE notes that the fire:
- Damaged 95 commercial, residential, and unclassified structures
- Destroyed 1,329 commercial, residential, and unclassified structures
- Resulted in one civilian fatality
Recent wind speed and direction have increased the fire’s spread. As time progresses, the fire could claim more homes, businesses, and lives.
Claimants can seek these damages through legal action
Every wildfire in California has a starting point and a perceived cause.
If, as alleged, PG&E (or any other entity) is responsible for the Dixie Fire, our legal team can help you recover:
- Damage to your home or business
- Compensation for disruption to your business
- Loss of income when you cannot work
- Compensation for temporary living expenses
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Other out-of-pocket expenses, like rideshare services
By taking legal action, you don’t only seek compensation; you also send a clear message to the negligent parties about their conduct. In doing so, you can increase your community’s safety and prevent similar occurrences in the future.
How Can I Prove My Damages’ Value When Seeking Compensation?
Initially, it can be difficult to fully understand the scope of your property’s damages. It can be equally difficult to take stock of your losses when emotions run high. You don’t have to estimate or calculate the value of your damages alone. Our team understands how stressful it is to take inventory of your fire-related losses.
To prove the extent of the damage your property sustained, we compile:
- Photos and videos of your property before the fire. Friends, family members, and guests might have photos on their smartphones, on social media sites, or in photo albums.
- Photos and videos of your property taken after the fire. You can take these photos once you return to your property or ask friends and family members to take them for you.
- Receipts for temporary repairs or to secure your property. Keep all invoices, billing statements, and estimates you receive from contractors regarding your property’s repairs and replacements.
- Receipts for your damaged personal or business-related property. You may have receipts or proof of purchase statements through debit or credit card statements, emails, or retailer records.
- Your testimony. Write down everything about the fire, including your mental state, the details of your evacuation, and any damage to your personal possessions. Your lawyer can use this information to verify certain aspects of your case.
Additional evidence might include receipts for temporary housing for yourself and your family while your home is uninhabitable. With our firm on your side, we inventory your past, present, and future fire-related losses. This will help us achieve a fair outcome for your civil case.
Can I File a Lawsuit If I Had to Evacuate?
CAL FIRE lists two types of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. Many city, county, and local officials ordered residents to leave their homes for safety reasons amid the Dixie Fire. Those who refused to leave the area faced misdemeanor charges.
We can evaluate your case and determine what evacuation-related losses we can include in your claim or lawsuit—including losses to your business if you faced a mandatory evacuation. We can explore other avenues of compensation if officials find PG&E did not cause the Dixie Fire.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I Suffered Losses in the Dixie Fire?
If the Dixie Fire caused harm to your home, business, or other property, you can file a claim or lawsuit to seek financial recovery. To recover compensation, we will first review the applicable insurance policies to see if you have adequate coverage. If not, don’t worry; we can identify the at-fault party and file a lawsuit against them.
Once we affirm who (or what) caused the Dixie Fire, we will help you by:
- Proving the at-fault party’s negligence
- Assigning a financial value to your losses
- Compiling evidence and submitting relevant forms
- Filing all paperwork within the state’s deadlines
We also manage your case at no upfront cost to you.
How Our Law Firm Can Pursue Compensation for Your Fire-Related Damages
Filing a lawsuit on your own can be challenging and frustrating.
When you trust our law firm to build and manage your case, we will:
- Finance your case’s initial obligations (like court filing fees)
- Work with local authorities
- Conduct our own investigation
- Catalog supporting evidence
Your damaged property may need to undergo inspections and evaluations. If so, our team assists with this process, as well. Whether you suffered harm to your home or business, our fire damage team is on your side.
We will fight to recover your losses, walk your family through a difficult time, and, above all else, give you peace of mind.
Our Law Firm Is Ready to Protect Your Legal Rights
Our law firm is committed to understanding the enormity of the Dixie Fire and helping clients who suffered losses as a result. By understanding what caused the Dixie Fire, we also understand how to help our clients recover from its devastating aftermath.
We are committed to making our shared community safe for all its citizens
Our commitment to our clients means that when you choose our team, we will:
- Review your case at no cost or obligation to you
- Base our fees on the work involved in your case
- Request payment only if your case succeeds
- Advise you on fair settlement offers
We want to help you cope with the aftermath of the wildfire and fight for the financial recovery you need.
Call for a Free, Confidential Consultation
At Reiner, Slaughter, Mainzer & Frankel, we represent clients affected by the 2021 Dixie Fire. We work with homeowners and business owners to understand what caused the Dixie Fire and the appropriate legal measures for them.
When you are ready to start fighting for compensation, contact one of our team members at (530) 891-1909 today. We want to be part of your legal support system.