Cal Fire Sues LA Over Costs of Wildland Fire

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is suing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to recoup the costs associated with battling the Powerhouse fire in 2013. The suit alleges the fire was started by arcing power lines that dropped burning metal into dry brush.

The Powerhouse fire burned more than 30,000 acres and took over a week to extinguish. Fifty-eight structures were destroyed and at least ten people were injured. It was the third largest fire in California in 2013.

Cal Fire is seeking $4.2 million to cover its costs. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is an agency of the City of Los Angeles. Attorneys for the city are reportedly reviewing the lawsuit.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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