Articles Posted in Fires

School Bus Driver Saves Children in Paradise

School bus driver Kevin McKay is credited with saving the lives of 22 children in Paradise. McKay, 41,  and teachers Abbie Davis, 29, and Mary Ludwig, 50, remained at the school along with the children after others had been evacuated. McKay had been working at the Ponderosa Elementary School for a few months when the Camp Fire erupted, devastating Paradise and the surrounding area.  Since his family had already been evacuated, he was able to focus exclusively on the crisis at hand. Together, the children, the teachers and McKay boarded the bus to get out of harm’s way.

All that is left for Paradise residents displaced by wildfire negligence is to rebuild. For those who lost loved ones, rebuilding will be a mix of determination and grief. The Camp Fire, which began on November 8, forced 52,000 people in Paradise to evacuate and took 56 lives with 300 unaccounted for as of November 15. In the end, the town of Paradise was destroyed by flames that many likened to hell. Now, residents and officials are looking into reports that the utility company, PG&E, reported problems 15 minutes before the fire officially broke out. As a Northern California neighbor, I would like to take this opportunity to express the sadness I feel for those caught in this disaster, particularly those who lost loved ones, and my fervent wish that you will find the strength to build anew.

Rebuilding After Wildfire Negligence

Camp Death Toll Reaches 42

Camp Death Toll Reaches 42

According to reports from state authorities, the Camp Fire, which consumed Paradise, Magalia, and other nearby areas, has become the deadliest wildfire in the history of California. Officials reports state that 42 people have officially been declared deceased so far. However, authorities are still searching areas the wildfire has affected injured and deceased individuals. Reportedly, over 160 searches and rescue staff are assisting in the attempt to find missing persons. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said to reporters that county and state agencies are trying to work quickly to locate and identify those who lost their lives, saying “I know the toll it takes on loved ones.” My sincere sympathy is with the many people who’ve tragically lost friends, family, and community members due to this tragedy.

Camp Fire — The Camp Fire became a haunting reminder of the effect that low humidity, parched earth, and high winds have during fire season. Months after the Carr Fire destroyed over 1,600 structures and burned 229,651 acres, the even more destructive Camp Fire erupted in the area of Feather River Canyon on November 9. It was located near Highway 70 on Camp River Road. As of Sunday, November 11, 23 individuals have died in the fire, and authorities are still searching for 100 more who are missing. As a wildfire attorney, I am well aware of the destructive force of a fire. As your neighbor in Northern California, I share your grief for those who died. I would like to offer my condolences to the families and friends of the decedents who are facing a devastating loss.

The Origin of the Camp Fire

Dangerous Campfire near Paradise

Residents of Paradise, as well as the nearby communities of Concow, Magalia, Butte Creek Canyon, and Yankee Hill, are currently being evacuated due to the major campfire that is spreading throughout Butte County. The fire reportedly began at about 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 8, 2018, on Camp Creek Road close to Pulga. The fire quickly spread west toward the city of Paradise. Cal Fire reported at around 2:30 p.m. that 18,000 acres had been burned and that the fire remained at zero percent containment. At the time of reporting, a red flag warning remained in place.

Utility Company Fire Liability

Utility Company Fire Liability

Utility Company Fire Liability – Accusations of utility company fire liability in the 2017 Cascade Fire in Yuba County were leveled at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in an October report. With this latest investigative claim, PG&E is being held responsible for a total of 16 fires that erupted one year ago in both the Sacramento Valley and the northern bay area. These fires were deadly, killing 44 individuals. According to Cal Fire, the Cascade Fire was started due to sagging power lines owned by the utility company. The Cascade fire alone is responsible for the death of four people, including that of a firefighter, and destroyed 9,089 acres and 264 buildings. With changes in legislation to lessen utility company fire liability, many people who lost everything in the fire are worried about how the changes will affect insurance premiums and their ability to recoup damages.

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