November 1, 2017
As we have suspected from the very beginning of these fires, evidence is beginning to mount regarding PG&E’s possible role in the horribly destructive Wine Country fires. We have learned that PG&E reported at least 17 “electric safety incidents” across eight counties the night of the fires, blaming downed trees and heavy winds for damaging power lines and other equipment that is the focus of an investigation into the deadliest wildfires in California history.
California’s insurance commissioner has reported insured losses from the October blazes have now topped $3 billion and warned the number is “sure to grow.”
PG&E could be on the hook for this amount if it is found responsible for the fires. The utility company is responsible for maintaining its power lines and the vegetation around them to prevent wildfires.
PG&E reported downed power lines and broken trees on October 8-9 in at least four locations in Sonoma County, including in Kenwood, Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen and Geyserville. Fallen or broken trees damaged equipment in at least three locations in Napa County, and one near Ukiah in Mendocino.
Days after the fires, a review of emergency dispatch calls in Sonoma County was done. This review revealed that authorities had fielded a number of calls of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding.
October 26, 2017
The San Jose Mercury News has just published an investigative report that casts even greater suspicion on PG&E’s possible responsibility for the Sonoma County wildfires.
According to this scathing article, PG&E has led an effort to delay a project to map out the locations of power lines that pose the highest risk of causing wildfires.
That’s right – PG&E actively worked to PREVENT this vital safety information from reaching lawmakers, public officials, and the general public. Had PG&E not blocked this effort, it’s entirely possible that the North Bay fires would never have happened.
At least two state agencies – Cal Fire and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) – have launched formal investigations into PG&E’s possible role in starting the fires. Current speculation is that the utility failed to clear flammable vegetation from the vicinity of its power lines, and that a spark ignited this tinder-dry brush.
Again: PG&E pushed back against state efforts to locate and fix the electrical equipment that posed the greatest risk of fire danger. The company’s last stalling tactic was granted just two days before the fires broke out.
Why? Because it would have cost the company some money.
Now, everyone who lost a home in the fire is effectively picking up PG&E’s bill.
If this isn’t negligence, we don’t know what is.
If you’ve lost your home to the fires, you want to know who caused the fires, and who is to blame for the loss of your home.
The attorneys at Adams Fietz have a pretty good idea about who’s going to be the target of the many, many lawsuits that are sure to be filed in the wake of the fire.
Our practice is in downtown Santa Rosa. We live in Sonoma County. Our kids go to school here.
We want to see justice done just as much as you do. We want to rebuild our beautiful community.
Let Adams Fietz help you find justice and fair compensation.
Together, we are Sonoma County strong.