On the morning of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire broke out by Poe Dam near Pulga, California, sparked by a faulty electrical transmission line.
Due to factors like dry conditions, heavy grass cover, and strong winds, the Camp Fire quickly spread and grew to impact communities like Paradise, Pulga, Concow, Magalia, and Chico. At its peak, the Camp Fire was spreading at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute. The Camp Fire wasn’t fully contained until November 25, 2018.
When the Camp Fire was burning in Butte County, the Woolsey Fire ignited further south later the same day. As of December 2019, the Insurance Information Institute named the Camp Fire as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in the state of California.
The Camp Fire, by the numbers
- 85 people killed
- 12 civilians and 5 firefighters non-fatally injured
- 18,804 structures destroyed
- 153,335 acres burned
- Over 5,000 firefighters worked to extinguish the fire
- 52,000 people evacuated
What caused the Camp Fire?
In May 2019, Cal Fire announced that their investigation found that electrical transmission lines belonging to PG&E were responsible for starting the Camp Fire. Prior to Cal Fire’s findings being announced, PG&E stated in a regulatory filing that they believed their equipment may have been linked to the Camp Fire and had also admitted that there had been some problems with their transmission equipment in the area where the Camp Fire began.
Cal Fire’s investigation found that the electrical transmission line that had been identified as being responsible for starting the Camp Fire was nearly 100 years old. In a report by the Wall Street Journal, they obtained documents in which PG&E estimated the average age of their transmission towers as being 68 years, with some dating back 108 years. The typical life expectancy for these towers is 65 years.
Prior to the Camp Fire, Cal Fire had also found PG&E at fault for 17 fires in wine country in 2017, including the Redwood Fire, and the 2017 Cascade Fire.
Claims for damages caused by the Camp Fire
The Camp Fire was absolutely devastating, leaving entire towns in a state of near total destruction. If you were a victim of the Camp Fire, your insurance very likely won’t cover the full extent of your damages. Even if you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to recover some of your losses by making a claim for damages. Some types of damages you may be able to collect include:
- Damage to your home
- Damages to other structures on your property
- Loss of personal property
- Lost income
- Costs of temporary housing and other costs associated with evacuation
- Emotional distress
- Funeral expenses
Contact a Camp Fire attorney
Rebuilding your life after a wildfire isn’t easy. In November 2019, it was reported that out of 11,000 homes destroyed during the Camp Fire, only 11 had been rebuilt one year later. At The Wallace Firm, our wildfire attorneys are representing victims of the Camp Fire in claims against PG&E. As a California-based law firm, we really care about helping wildfire victims get back on their feet. Wildfire claims are complicated and our wildfire attorneys aren’t afraid of taking on big utility companies to help you get all of the compensation you need. Contact us today for help with your claim.