October 23, 2019 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Southern California Edison Sued By Woolsey Fire Victims

Fire at 96 percent containment as lawsuit filed. 

By Sam Catanzaro

Nearly 20 people impacted by the destructive Woolsey Fire are the first to sue Southern California Edison for negligence which resulted in worsening conditions that intensified the wildfires.

According to the class action complaint, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the plaintiffs contend SCE failed to shut off power to prevent the fire and shut off electricity to water needed to protect homes and residences. On November 12, 2018 as the fire raged, SCE provided a preliminary report to the California Public Utility Commission stating that SCE’s electric substation had experienced a disturbance two minutes before the fire was first reported. The fire started at the same SCE facility where the substation is located.

 “Southern California Edison failed to take proper precautions to protect people and property even though the utility had prior warning of the Red Flag conditions in the area,” said lead plaintiff attorney R. Rex Parris with Parris Law Firm. “SCE’s decision to eventually turn off the power only exacerbated the problem for residents and firefighters,” added Parris.

The lawsuit claims that once the electricity was off, residents and firefighters couldn’t access enough water with the right pressure to fight the fire, increasing risk to the safety of homeowners sheltering in place and firefighters.

The plaintiffs are property owners, renters, business owners and/or individuals that suffered damages by the dangerous Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles County, California and Ventura County. Because the named plaintiffs filed the case as a class action, they also seek to represent a class of every person and business harmed by Edison’s negligence.

The fire, which is nearly contained, has burned through almost 100,000 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties destroying at least 1,500 structures. At the time of publishing, the fire is at 96 percent containment.

“Firefighting resources will continue to mop up and patrol. Crews remain diligent in providing public service to residents as they return to their homes. Structures destroyed and damaged have been validated by damage assessment teams,”  CAL FIRE said in a statement Monday morning.

On Saturday, November 17, President Donald Trump, California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom surveyed they damage in Malibu and the surrounding area after Trump pledged federal assistance to the state to help with recovery efforts.

The fire, which has caused the fatalities of three people and injured three firefighters, forced mandatory evacuation orders in the cities of Malibu, Topanga, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Hidden Hills and Thousand Oaks. Most of these areas have been repopulated but at the time of publishing, there were still regions of northern Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains under mandatory evacuation orders.

Officials caution residents who have started to return home to be wary of their surroundings as the dangers of the fire can still linger.

“Check grounds for hot spots, smoldering stumps, and vegetation. Check the roof and exterior areas for sparks or embers. Check the attic and throughout your house for any hidden burning sparks or embers. Check for fire damage to your home, turn off all appliances and make sure the meter is not damaged before turning on the main circuit breaker,” said CAL FIRE.

Firefighters initially expected to contain the Woolsey Fire by Saturday, November 18, but challenging conditions pushed this date back. At the time of publishing, Cal Fire expected the fire to be contained by November 22.

In the wake of the fire officials have urged residents to help with cash donations but cautioned members of the public to beware of financial scams related to wildfire recovery support.

“[We are] urging that donations be made to reputable first responder, relief, and animal‐aid organizations,” Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center said in a press release. These include the American Red Cross, United Way and Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation.

On Wednesday and Thursday, there is a chance of rain, which may offer a reprieve from the hot and dry conditions, but also brings along the possibility of mudslides due to unstable ground post-fire.

“The after effects of a wildfire on watershed can be drastic causing immediate issues and long term effects. Rates of erosion and runoff can increase to dangerous levels following wildfires in California. Normally trees, shrubs, grass and other protective groundcover help prevent soil detachment and allow rainfall to infiltrate into the soil. After a wildfire the extreme heat can bake the soil to the point that water is unable to penetrate and can cause excessive run off in a post wildfire area,” said Cal Fire.

To prepare CAL FIRE firefighters are implementing post-fire repair efforts. This includes installing water bars (ditches cut at an angle into the soil, removing soil from streams where fire lines crossed, bringing road drainage structures back to pre-fire conditions, removing hazards like burned trees from roads and power lines and installing straw-waddle dams on hillsides.

Visit http://www.readyforwildfire.org/After-a-Wildfire/ for more information on returning home after a fire.

 

Related Posts

Venice veteran, senior homeless population increasing, Canal Club’s Noche De Los Muertos: Yo! Venice This Week October 21, 2019

October 22, 2019

October 22, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week October 21, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes!* Venice veteran,...

Horror Movies Filmed in Venice

October 22, 2019

October 22, 2019

By Keldine Hull From the early days of the Doors to the birth of the Z-Boys, Venice has been the...

Marina Spooktacular returns, Soulfull Cacao Ceremony & Concert: Yo! Venice Westside Local Show October 18, 2019

October 19, 2019

October 19, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local Show October 18, 2019 – all your fun local events and happenings in under 5 minutes*...

40 Units of Permanent Supportive Housing on Lincoln Boulevard?

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Venice Community Housing submits proposal to LA City Planning By Sam Catanzaro An auto repair shop on Lincoln Boulevard in...

Edify TV: Westside Measles Exposure

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has announced that a person with measles visited several Westside businesses this...

Man Who Died on Venice Beach Last Week Identified

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Cause of Timothy Hutson’s death still unknown By Sam Catanzaro Over the weekend investigators identified a man whose body was...

Body found on Venice beach, Building affordable housing too expensive? House homeless in already built units and temporary shelters? Yo! Venice This Week October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 1

Yo! Venice This Week October 14, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Body found...

Prince vs. Bowie silent disco on the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival: Yo! Venice Westside Local – Oct. 11 2019

October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local – Oct. 11th 2019 – all your local events and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Prince...

Body Found on Venice Beach

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Body found Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating a body that was found...

Building Affordable too Costly? Use Existing Units to House Homeless

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Report released showing cost of developing affordable housing in Los Angeles By Sam Catanzaro As the Los Angeles City Controller...

Letter to the Editor: Bringing Homeless into Policymaking?

October 8, 2019

October 8, 2019

Dear Editor: It was ironic to see your cover story (Bringing Homeless into Policymaking? – 9/26/19), with yet another dubious...

Man arrested for stabbing wife on Speedway near Venice Beach, Thatcher Yard development to break ground in 2020: Yo! Venice This Week: October 7

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week: October 7, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes* Man arrested...

Man Arrested After Repeatedly Stabbing Wife in Venice

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

LAPD arrest man on suspicion of murder Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A man was arrested in Venice Beach Friday...

Venice student donates over $1,000 to Bahamas relief effort, Skate, Bike, and Roll Breast Cancer event: Yo! Venice Westside Local October 4 2019

October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local October 4 2019 – all your fun local events and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Venice...