“This lawsuit is a claim for redress for property damage, downtime and other related losses due to the fire,” the complaint said. The news review reported that the four insurers are demanding 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 electrical transmission and distribution system – which includes its electrical facilities, power lines and other associated equipment – is “inherently dangerous and dangerous instruments” which insurers believe the utility is aware of was.
On September 8, 2020, Pacific Power’s power lines failed – around the same time, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office warned of strong winds and low humidity. The failure of the power line caused the surrounding vegetation to ignite about five kilometers from the Steamboat community, the lawsuit said.
“This ignition is the origin of the Archie Creek Fire,” said the lawsuit. “The Archie Creek Fire started because Pacific Power failed to properly identify and mitigate dangerous trees and conserve 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 because of a wind incident that disrupted power lines. Later that day, local residents reported a fallen tree leaning against a Pacific Power distribution line somewhere along Susan Creek Road. Local residents also reported that their homes’ power supply flickered when Pacific Power tried to restore power.
In the complaint, Pacific Power was alleged to have failed to ensure that its power lines did not fall to the ground before being switched back on. It found that shortly after the electricity flickered, local residents later reported a fire near the spot on Susan Creek Road where a tree was allegedly leaning against the fallen power lines. This, according to the lawsuit, was the cause of the Susan Creek Fire.
Flicker has also been observed in Smith Springs, which is a mile and a half off Susan Creek Road. An electrical fire broke out in Smith Springs as well, according to the complaint. The next day, September 9th, 2020, the Archie Creek Fire, Susan Creek Fire and Smith Springs Fire united in a large wildfire. Collectively known as the Archie Creek Fire, the flames destroyed over 30,000 acres and 154 primary residences, as well as damaging many other properties.
In the complaint, the energy supplier was accused of having breached its obligations by failing to regularly check its electrical systems; failure to safely design, build, monitor and maintain its high voltage transmission and distribution lines; not ensuring that trees near its power lines are healthy and cannot fall into the systems; Failure to prune trees or vegetation that might touch the power lines; and despite repeated warnings of dangerous conditions, do not switch off the power lines.