The Butte County Camp Fire grabbed the headlines towards the end of 2018 because of its severity and the massive devastation that it left in its wake. The wildfire destroyed nearly 20,000 structures most of which are residential homes. State officials placed the total damage at around $16.5 billion. Some $7 billion of the property damage are uninsured. Web pages such as this one https://wagnerjones.com/the-ultimate-butte-county-camp-fire-recovery-guide/ was put up to help Camp Fire survivors recover and get their lives back on track. By the end of the year, the wildfire became the costliest natural disaster in 2018.
The wildfire began on November 8, 2018 and raged on for 17 days until it was fully contained. It razed some 150,000 acres of forest, residential and commercial areas in the towns of Paradise, Concow, Magalia and Chico. In the aftermath of the wildfire, it came to be known as the most destructive and deadliest in California history. It resulted in the deaths of more than 80 Butte County residents, most of whom are elderly and infirm. Camp Fire displaced thousands of families and left them homeless.
The scale of the Butte County Camp Fire was so massive that caused the insolvency of Merced Property and Casualty company. It is one of the few insurers that still provided wildfire coverage in the region. The volume of insurance claims after the wildfire proved too much for the company to cover, prompting it to send a notice of insolvency to the California Department of Insurance. In response, the California Department of Insurance reviewed and placed the insurer into liquidation allowing the state insurance guarantee association to cover the claims.
The Butte County wildfire of 2018 also brought to fore the state’s issues with its real-estate market. For the past few years, housing in the state is extremely competitive and properties that are on the market are pricey. Thousands of families who have been rendered homeless now find themselves facing the unwelcome dilemma of finding a new home.
Evidence vs. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Investigations into the cause of the Camp Fire point to a transmission line of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) as the origin the wildfire. This section of the transmission line has not undergone an oversight inspection for years prior to the incident. Several witnesses, as well as reports coming from PG&E employees, seem to confirm that PG&E was primarily responsible for the wildfire.
With potential liabilities amounting to $30 billion, PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019. Due to strong evidence that the utility company was responsible for sparking the wildfire, the filing of bankruptcy will be for naught. PG&E will still have to face lawsuits and be forced to make financial reparations for victims of Camp Fire.
Help for Camp Fire Victims
The guide mentioned earlier was designed by legal experts to help survivors of Butte County Camp Fire to get back on their feet. It outlines legal options available for victims, tips on filing legal claims and advice on how to recover your home.
If you are a victim of Camp Fire, it is vital that you hire the services of a lawyer immediately. Your legal representative is ideally someone who has experience in wildfire litigation, property damage claims, personal injury or wrongful death cases. Keep in mind that there is a 2-year limit in filing a case against those responsible for the wildfire.