California Wildfires: What to Know About the Mosquito Fire
California wildfires can leave a devastating impact on the surrounding communities. Last year was one of the worst years on record. The 2022 California wildfire season had more wildfires than any of the previous seasons in the past five years.
Wildfires can result in a lot of damage to not only open land but the structures that stand in their path. This can include things such as homes and local businesses.
If you are someone that suffered financial or personal loss because of the Mosquito Fire, you may be looking for a wildfire lawyer in this article.
What do you need to know about this wildfire? Did you have property near the Oxbow Reservoir, Volcanoville Road or Foresthill that was damaged or destroyed? Do you have a case in court?
This article will guide you through the biggest key points and where to go from here.
Last Year's California Wildfires
It is no secret that California had a lot of wildfires over the past few years. What you may not have realized is that 2022 was even worse than the average over the last five years.
In 2022, the average number of wildland fires increased to 1,870 for the year.
That is not the only thing that saw a significant spike up. The number of acres affected by these wildfires also took a noticeable increase.
Over the last five years, the average amount of acres burned was 6,852 per year. In 2022, the number of acres increased to 8,636. With an increase of nearly 2,000 acres, it is safe to say that 2022 was a rough year for California when it came to wildfires.
Now you know just how serious the problem was last year. Some may be questioning what caused such a significant increase. We will get to that below.
One of the biggest issues over the last couple of years has been the severe drought that the western half of the country has had. There were a few contributing factors here that led to the Mosquito Fire.
The first factor was the water shortage on the west coast. States like California have had problems with water levels for the past few years. Leading up to 2022, California had the three driest years for water levels on record.
This means that the state was already dealing with a potential water shortage on top of the fact that its land was as dry as a bone leading up to 2022.
Let's fast forward to around October of last year, during the peak of the Mosquito Fire. Just how bad was this drought later in the year?
Over 40% of the state had severe drought status. This included counties like Placer and El Dorado that were more seriously affected by the wildfire. On top of this, the entire state qualified for the minimum level of drought status.
These elements and conditions definitely had a significant impact on not only the severity of major wildfires but also the frequency of wildland fires. There was simply not enough water in the state to contain these fires, along with there not being ideal conditions.
PG&E to Blame?
You can always expect someone to pin the blame on a terrible event on somebody. A few months after the end of the mosquito wildfire, there was one company that took the brunt of the heat from this fire.
That company was PG&E. For those that are not familiar with this company, it is an electric and gas utility.
As a result, two California counties are pinning the damages caused by this fire on their company. These two counties are Placer County and El Dorado County. Little surprise here, these were two of the counties that were placed under severe drought status during the peak of the Mosquito Fire.
Why are they blaming PG&E for this and suing them? The main argument here is that PG&E did not use and/or place their equipment properly to deal with this fire. On top of this, the claim is that more homes and businesses in these counties got burned down because the equipment was not operating and/or placed as it should have been.
This is a lawsuit that is still pending, but even several months later, there are still a lot of eyes on PG&E and on this case in general to see how this lawsuit plays out for these counties.
Another factor worth considering here is how burnt trees may have played into the wildfire. Due to the severity of the drought in the state, it may have increased the chances of forest fires happening before the mosquito fire.
When this happens, it can result in many burnt trees. Some of these trees are in the middle of nowhere, while others may burn down on someone's property.
Either way, these trees typically need to be removed within two years of their burning. After that, trees begin to rot and lose any use for the people that are trying to sell them.
This can cause a lot of problems. The first problem is that it can decrease the value of timber in the open market if there is more and more burnt timber being put out there.
The second problem could be the potential damage they can cause if nobody is there to claim them. It can add more dry material to land that is already severely dry. Put these two together, and you could run the risk of a wildfire spreading much easier.
What to Do
Now that you have read about some of the factors that led to the Mosquito Fire, you may be wondering what to do next. The answer is it depends on how you were impacted.
Many of you that are reading this are likely suffering from a property loss. Maybe you have property near the Oxbow Reservoir, Volcanoville Road or Foresthill that was damaged or destroyed? This can be anything from your home burning down to an investment property or even a small business.
If one of the above describes your situation, then one of the first things that you need to do is look at insurance fire claims. Find the one that fits your situation and start the process of claiming your insurance company.
After that, wait and see what your insurance company says. You could end up finding out that you will not get as much money for your property as you thought. Or, you could find out that your insurance does not cover significant wildfires such as this.
It is important to know what kind of situation you are in before taking legal action. If none of the above satisfies you, it may be time to hire a wildfire lawyer.
Benefits of a Wildfire Lawyer
What are the biggest benefits of a wildfire lawyer? The first thing is that they likely have experience handling cases similar to yours in past wildfires. They should know when you have a strong case and have a good idea of how much compensation money you are entitled to.
The next thing that can help you here is that a lawyer can look deeper into your case. They may discover things that you may not even know you had the right to be compensated for.
An example of this can be certain valuables that were burnt during the wildfire or other personal items that had significant damage in the wildfire.
You may have had a safe in your house that had valuable jewelry inside of it. With all of that burned up, there may not be any way to replace older valuables in that collection. A lawyer may be able to argue that you have the right to receive compensation for the worth of those lost items.
Finally, a lawyer can help put some pressure on the right people to help rebuild this community. There were losses in this mosquito fire, from people's homes to businesses and other personal possessions. A lot of people are hurting because of this, and somebody has to represent these people to help get them justice.
Hire a Northern California Wildfire Lawyer
These are some of the biggest things that you need to know about the Mosquito Fire. It was probably no secret to locals that California had a very serious drought going on before the Mosquito Fire happened.
That is why California wildfires were rampant in 2022, and the number of burnt trees increased. However, PG&E is receiving some blame for this, particularly from two northern California counties.
This could mean that you are entitled to compensation.
Do you want to know more? Fill out an inquiry form here.