Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes in the deadliest wildfire on record. Social media helps showcase first-hand the destruction caused by the massive fires raging through Northern California, particularly in Santa Rosa located deep in Sonoma County.
A Lack of Proper Maintenance May Be at Fault
On Thursday, October 12, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission - a regulatory agency responsible for privately owned public utilities in the state of California - launched an investigation into the role PG&E may have played in the devastating fires in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
A number of PG&E's downed wires and blown transformers occurred at the same time of multiple fires igniting, according to fire dispatch calls from the first 90 minutes of the firestorm. The director of PUC's safety and enforcement division, Elizaveta Malashenko, sent a letter to PG&E ordering it to "preserve all evidence" including "all failed poles, conductors and associated equipment from each fire event."
PG&E and other large utilities in California have a long history of being found responsible for major wildfires because of inadequate maintenance of their power lines.
Many residents in Sonoma County have already reported seeing transformers explode and downed wires sparking in their neighborhoods before they went up in flames. PG&E's lack of proper maintenance may have sparked the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, causing the destruction of countless homes and businesses and billions of dollars in damages.
If you were affected by the Tubbs Fire in Santa rosa and sonoma county, find out what legal options are available to you today.
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California Wildfires, By the Numbers
At least 40 people are confirmed dead, with almost 400 still missing. At estimated 5,700 structures have been destroyed, including homes, businesses, and community buildings. More than 8,000 firefighters work heroically to contain the blaze, with more than 800 firetrucks, 73 helicopters, and 30 planes.
Hundreds of acres in Northern California continue to burn. Santa Rosa, located in the heart of Sonoma County, has suffered some of the worst destruction. The fires have destroyed nearly 3,000 homes and caused $1.2 billion in damage. Over 200 are still reported missing just in the Santa Rosa area, while 22 people are confirmed dead.