North Bay Fires – The History of PG&E’s Disregard of Mandated Safety Practices
Beginning on October 8, 2017, residents and property owners in Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Rosa, and Napa, Butte and Solano Counties were devastated by severe wildfires known as the Tubbs Fire, the Atlas Fire and the Nuns Fire (collectively, the “North Bay Fires”) which started when power lines, transformers, conductors, poles, insulators, reclosers, and/or other electrical equipment constructed, owned, operated, managed, and/or maintained by PG&E fell down, broke, failed, sparked, exploded, and/or came into contact with vegetation, all because of PG&E’s disregard of mandated safety practices and foreseeable hazardous risks associated with infrastructure.
On the following days, the North Bay Fires spread rapidly and caused extensive damage throughout Northern California, including populated neighborhoods and sprawling vineyards. The North Bay Fires claimed the lives of 44 individuals, displaced a massive number of people, burned over 245,000 acres, and destroyed thousands of homes and structures.
All of these devastating events, and many more resulted from PG&E’s long history of choosing to divert funds from its public safety, vegetation management, and/or infrastructure maintenance programs to instead line its own corporate pockets.
The North Bay Fires were an inevitable byproduct of PG&E’s willful and conscious disregard of public safety. Although mandated to do so, PG&E failed to identify, inspect, manage, and/or control vegetation growth near its power lines and/or other electrical equipment. This created a foreseeable danger of trees and/or other vegetation coming into contact with PG&E’s power lines and/or other electrical equipment and causing electrical problems. Further, PG&E failed to construct, manage, track, monitor, maintain, replace, repair, and/or improve its power lines, poles, transformers, conductors, insulators, reclosers, and/or other electrical equipment, despite being aware that its infrastructure was unsafe, aging, and/or vulnerable to environmental conditions.
PG&E knew about the significant risk of wildfires from its ineffective vegetation management programs, unsafe equipment, and/or aging infrastructure for decades before the North Bay Fires began, and has been repeatedly fined and/or convicted of crimes for failing to mitigate these risks starting in 1994 with the most recent charge in 2015.
If you have been affected by the worst wildfire in California history, dedicated wildfire litigation attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard Sax are here to help. Call 707-525-1824 or email email@example.com for your initial free consultation.