California Wildfires

Have You Suffered Losses from the Fairview Fire?

McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP fights for wildfire victims in Hemet and throughout California 

The Fairview Fire is officially the largest wildfire fire in California this year. It has burned more than 27,000 acres of land, and as of this writing, is only 5% contained. The arrival of Tropical Storm Kay after days of record-breaking heat is only exacerbating the fire as it creates strong, gusting winds – and poses a critical risk to firefighters who are battling the blaze. 

More than 24,000 people are under evacuation orders in and around Riverside County. Governor Newsom has declared a State of Emergency for Riverside, El Dorado and Placer Counties. A complete list of streets has been provided by Cal Fire, but the following areas are under full or partial evacuation orders and/or warnings: 

  • Lake Riverside 
  • Lake Skinner 
  • Glenoak Hills 
  • Sage 
  • Valle Vista 
  • Valle De Los Caballos 
  • Aguanga 
  • Cahuilla Mountain 
  • Anza 

As of this writing, 12 structures have been destroyed – but Cal Fire anticipates up to another 18,753 are at risk. At least two people have died and one more has been injured, per the Los Angeles Times.  

Where are the Fairview Fire evacuation centers?

There are two evacuation centers as well as two animal evacuation centers: 

  1. Tahquitz High School- 4425 Titan Trail, Hemet CA, 92545 
  2. Temecula Community Recreation Center - 30875 Rancho Vista Road, Temecula, CA 92590 

Animal Evacuation Centers 

  1. Large Animal Shelter: Riverside County Animal Shelter: 438 S. State Street San Jacinto, CA 92583
  2. Small Animal Shelter: Small Animal Care Center: 601 S. State Street, San Jacinto, CA 92583 

California Wildire Attorneys - McNicholas & McNicholas

What caused the Fairview Fire? 

NBC New Los Angeles reports “the official cause of the fire is still unknown, but Southern California Edison said Wednesday that it is investigating circuit activity around the time the fire began.”  

McNicholas & McNicholas is the leading law firm handling Dixie Wildfire claims, and helped to secure a $13.5 billion settlement against PG&E for victims of the Butte, Ghost Ship, and North Bay Fires. We are watching the investigation into the Fairview Fire very carefully, and stand ready to help you no matter what caused this latest disaster.  

What damages can I recover if I’m a wildfire victim? 

There are three general categories of wildfire victims McNicholas & McNicholas is currently reviewing: 

  1. Homeowners who desire to restore the property that was destroyed, damaged, or lost 
  2. Homeowners who have will sell or desire to sell the property (possibly suffering a diminution in value) 
  3. Business owners who suffered fire damage that caused direct harm to their business or operations 

A checklist for residents and property owners facing losses from the Fairview Fire:

  1. Are you currently facing a potential evacuation? 
    1. Photograph and video all of the possessions in your home as best you can, including the rooms and the house itself, and the landscaping and the trees outside. It will be hard to remember everything later if things are destroyed. 
    2. Further, when you prepare your “go” pack, it should include all important documents (birth certificates, SSN cards, passports, insurance policies) along with your cherished possessions such as wedding photos, baby photos, videos, and family heirlooms.
  2. Get a copy of your insurance policy. 
      1. Review your insurance policy to see your alternative living expenses “budget.” This will be important in choosing where to stay and managing expenses. 
      2. NOTE: Sometimes it is better to leave early rather than in a rush – it is easier to get together your cherished items and it is less difficult to find hotels with vacancies.
  3. Contact your insurance company immediately to file your claim if you have to evacuate, or if you suffer any fire damage. Have your insurance company document your full losses.
  4. Keep all of your receipts of alternative living accommodations (hotels, AirBnB, rentals, etc.) along with any receipts for eating out while you are displaced with no kitchen (i.e. in a hotel). If your commute for work has become greater, keep track of the additional miles you are driving each week as well. Keep receipts for replacement items as well. And keep a small journal of what is happening each day – it will be hard to recreate later.
  5. Keep all estimates, receipts, and invoices related to the damage your real property has suffered.
  6. Start your personal property contents list. This will be important for submission to your insurance carrier as well as in any future potential litigation against the bad actor to recover the amount lost above-and-beyond insurance. 
    1. The important details to track for each item of person property are: (1) what it was; (2) the quantity; (3) the rough brand or retail store it was purchased from; (4) approximately how many years ago it was purchased; and (5) the approximate purchase price. 
    2. It is also important to keep a separate list of “cherished possessions,” such as family heirlooms, wedding photos, baby photos, jewelry handed down, and the like, in the event you were unable to evacuate with them. 
    3. A useful strategy is to mentally go through each room in your home and visualize what was in it, room-by-room, drawer-by-drawer. 
    4. Further, use the attached personal contents inventory list of items typically located in most homes to help in this tedious process.
  7. Keep track of all correspondence with your insurance company such as payments, statements of loss, and claim summary forms. 

McNicholas & McNicholas was part of a legal team that helped secure a $13.5 billion settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to compensate all the victims of wildfires caused by the utility company’s equipment in 2017. We are currently resolving cases against Southern California Edison as well from fires in 2018. Contact us today if you have been harmed or sustained losses related to the Fairview Fire. The firm will need to speak directly with you about your facts to tell you what you can recover. 

How do I find a wildfire lawyer near me? 

McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP is a respected trial law firm serving the greater Los Angeles area. Our wildfire attorneys have the experience, skills, and resources to help you seek justice. Please fill out the contact form above or call 310-706-2506 to schedule a phone consultation. 

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