The Thomas wildfire, which broke out on Dec. 4, consumed over over 281,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara, destroyed an estimated 1,063 structures and took the life of one fire fighter and a civilian. 200,000 residents were forced to evacuate.
Tragically, after evacuees returned to their homes, rains deluged the area causing mud and rockslides in the fire-ravaged hills which destroyed more homes, carrying away vehicles, and literally closing the 101 freeway. At the time of this article, at least 20 people were killed while several others are still missing. The loss of trees and other vegetation from the fire left nothing to prevent the torrents of mud and boulders from washing down the hillsides burying everything in their path.
The Thomas fire, which is the largest fire in modern California history, was allegedly started by workers from SoCal Edison who were involved in a “big project” near a Comcast satellite installation near Santa Paula. The construction site was in the canyon behind the Ventura Ranch KOA campground near Steckel Park near Santa Paula.
Southern California Edison, as do other utility companies, have a duty to properly construct and maintain their electrical infrastructure and ensure that surrounding trees and vegetation are trimmed and kept a safe distance.
Other possible defendants in the claim are the City of Ventura as well as Casitas Municipal Water District for potentially failing to provide adequate electrical power to the pumping station and fire hydrants to provide adequate water to contain the fire.
The Future for Victims
Those whose homes were lost or damaged, and those who lost businesses, face an enormous struggle to regain their lives. Many are just beginning to realize the emotional trauma caused by the devastation.
Victims in the aftermath are struggling with many hardships and frustrations including:
· The loss of their home
· The loss of their business
· Finding interim living arrangements
· Feeding their families
· Maintaining a job
· Recovering their losses from insurance companies and negligent parties
· Maintaining health and hygiene while living in vehicles, campgrounds and hotels.
· Filing a claim(s) with insurance companies for the damage and loss of property.
While there is some comfort in knowing that agencies such as the Red Cross and FEMA are providing aid and assistance, victims need more help.
Southern California Wildfire Attorney
Vititoe Law Group is committed to provide help to victims of the Southern California wildfires and the ensuing mudslides. With evidence of negligence by SoCal Edison and potentially the city of Ventura and Casitas Municipal Water District, Vititoe Law Group will file claims for victims who have lost their homes, businesses, properties, and those who have suffered personal injury and worse yet, lost loved ones. Jim Vititoe has a proven track record of winning against the powerful utility companies.
Contact Vititoe Law Group for free evaluation of your case.