California is without a doubt a wonderful state in which to live. The weather is typically excellent, so Californians can enjoy outdoor activities all year round. Unfortunately, the state also has more than its fair share of wildfires.

Due to their unpredictable nature and ability to cause excessive amounts of damage, wildfires can absolutely devastate large areas. A large-scale fire could leave hundreds of residents reeling after seeing their homes and property destroyed. What’s more, even if a wildfire victim has insurance, it is likely that it will only cover a fraction of what was lost. This is why it is sometimes necessary for victims to pursue a civil suit against the party deemed responsible for the fire’s origin.

Recently, the Butte fire was responsible for burning almost 71,000 acres of land that are primarily located in Calaveras County. Two people lost their lives and 475 homes were destroyed in the wildfire, which is said to have been the seventh most destructive such fire in California history.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company conceded that one of its powerlines may have been the source of the fire. Now a number of residents who lost their homes in the blaze have decided to file civil suits against the utility company. Some of the lawsuits allege that the fire was due to PG&E’s failure to maintain its power lines properly. The lawsuits contend that one of PG&E’s transmission lines came in contact with a tree, starting the fire.

The Butte fire has irrevocably changed hundreds of lives. The fact is, wildfire victims often lose everything they own and many never fully recover. It is emotionally taxing and expensive to rebuild not only a home, but also an entire life. As such, it is important that victims are able to secure an appropriate level of compensation and sometimes the only way this is possible is by filing a civil lawsuit against the responsible party.

If you suffer a loss due to a wildfire caused by the negligence of a utility company or any other culpable party, you may wish to seek the services of an attorney. An experienced wildfire attorney may be able to help you pursue the compensation that you need and deserve to help with your personal recovery.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Growing number of lawsuits blame PG&E for Butte fire,” Hudson Sangree, Oct. 30, 2015