SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. – A utility provider is reportedly being sued for allegedly starting the deadly McKinney Fire in Northern California.
The fire started on July 29 west of Yreka. It went on to cover more than 60,000 acres, destroying 118 homes and taking four lives in the process.
By mid-August, fire activity significantly decreased and it was 95% contained.
Days after the fire started, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said the fire was not caused by lightning, but they didn’t release any other details.
On August 16, California law firm Singleton and Schreiber announced PacifiCorp was being sued for allegedly igniting the McKinney Fire due to the utility company’s “poorly-maintained utility infrastructure.”
“To date, four people have lost their lives in a fire that was entirely avoidable,” said Gerald Singleton, Managing Partner of Singleton Schreiber. “Every fire season, California is overrun by deaths, injuries, financial disasters, charred homes and ruined lives as a result of utilities such as PacifiCorp putting profits over safety. This is the second time in the last two years that PacifiCorp has started a fire that killed citizens of Siskiyou County.”
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of hundreds of people impacted by the fire, alleges that PacifiCorp equipment created sparks, igniting nearby dry vegetation and debris.
“The people who lived in the area in and around the McKinney Fire had their lives changed forever, PacifiCorp owes it to them to make this right,” said attorney Christopher R. Rodriguez. “This lawsuit cannot bring back loved ones, but it can hold this utility accountable for its own failure to meet basic safety standards.”
At the time this article was published, a physical copy of the lawsuit was unavailable, as it’s reportedly still being processed by the Sacramento Superior Court.
NBC5 News is reaching out to PacifiCorp for comment. This article will be updated when they respond.
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