“This action is a subrogation action seeking redress for property damage, loss of use and other related losses resulting from the fire,” the complaint said. The News-Review reported that the four insurers are seeking more than $ 3 million in damages, plus legal fees and other fees.
Pacific Power serves more than 770,000 customers in the states of Oregon, Washington and California.
According to the lawsuit, Pacific Power’s power transmission and distribution system – which includes its electrical installations, power lines and other related equipment – “are inherently dangerous and dangerous instruments,” which insurers believe the energy company was fine. conscious.
On September 8, 2020, Pacific Power’s power lines went down – around the same time, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning about high winds and low humidity. The power line outage has caused fire to surrounding vegetation about three miles from the community of Steamboat, according to the lawsuit.
“This ignition is the origin of the Archie Creek fire,” the lawsuit said. “The Archie Creek fire started due to Pacific Power’s inability to properly identify and mitigate dangerous trees and keep vegetation near its transmission lines.”
Also on September 8, 2020, it was reported that efforts to restore power seven miles from the Archie Creek fire failed due to a wind event that disrupted power lines. Later that day, residents reported a fallen tree leaning against a Pacific Power distribution line somewhere along Susan Creek Road. Residents also reported that the electricity in their homes flickered as Pacific Power attempted to restore power.
The complaint accused Pacific Power of failing to ensure that its power lines did not fall to the ground before the power was restored. He noted that shortly after the electricity flickered, residents later reported a fire near the location on Susan Creek Road where a tree was reportedly leaning on fallen power lines. This, according to the lawsuit, was the cause of the Susan Creek fire.
A flicker was also observed at Smith Springs, located a mile and a half from Susan Creek Road. An electrical fire also broke out in Smith Springs, the complaint noted. The next day, September 9, 2020, the Archie Creek Fire, Susan Creek Fire, and Smith Springs Fire combined into one large wildfire. Collectively referred to as the Archie Creek Fire, the flames destroyed over 30,000 acres and 154 primary residences, in addition to damaging many other properties.
The complaint then accused the electricity company of failing to meet its obligations by not carrying out frequent inspections of its electrical systems; fail to design, build, monitor and maintain its high voltage transmission and distribution power lines in a safe manner; failing to ensure that trees near its power lines were healthy and not at risk of falling into the systems; do not cut trees or vegetation that could touch power lines; and failing to cut power lines despite repeated warnings of unsafe conditions.