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Property Damage From Dixie Fire Likely to Get Worse Over Time

October 7, 2021 Posted In

The damage to forested property doesn’t stop when the fire is put out. Rather, the property often continues to deteriorate, especially during the first winter following a wildfire such as the Dixie Fire.  The land will look in the spring much different than it looks now. So will the surviving trees, roads, and community infrastructure.  By spring, expect that:

  • Large gullies will form
  • Topsoil will erode
  • Landslides will happen
  • Some healthy surviving trees will fall due to subsidence
  • Dead trees will fall by the thousands
  • Invasive weeds will run rampant
  • Surviving fences and structures may lose their footing
  • Dirt and gravel roads will wash out and become impassable
  • Other gravel roads will be damaged by heavy equipment used to remove trees
  • Stream banks will erode
  • Streams will silt in
  • Culverts will become blocked
  • Pests, rodents, and destructive beetles will move in

The good news is that the costs to reverse or repair the damages are recoverable in a lawsuit against whoever started the fire — if your attorneys know what they are doing. Proving that a gravel road that washes out in April was caused by a Fire that came through 9 months earlier takes experience and skill.

Your legal team has to understand the area, the land, the people, and the conditions – they can’t just hire someone else to do it for them. Danko Meredith attorneys have been visiting the Dixie Fire area for years before the fire, and since the fire started they have been on the ground seeing and learning even more. Every attorney on the Danko Meredith Fire team has been to the Dixie Fire area. That means the people who actually work on your case are familiar with the area.

Why hire an attorney now? 

There is a lot to deal with in the aftermath of a wildfire and many issues require immediate attention. There is so much to do, how do you figure out what to prioritize? For most people, finding and hiring an attorney is not at the top of that to-do list. Hiring an attorney should be higher on your to do list than you think.

Two opportunities exist for your attorney to help your case immediately after the fire that will not be possible if you wait. Hiring an attorney sooner rather than later will help your case.

The first is documenting your post fire damages. Accurately documenting damages early is important. Dead trees will fall, hazard trees will be cut, grass and weeds will start to grow, structure remains and vehicles will be cleaned up. This is important not only to show the damage immediately after the fire, but also how your property changes over the coming months and years. Even though the fire is done, the land will continue to be harmed. To maximize your claim, your attorney needs to have evidence gathered before the rains and snow start this winter.

How you deal with and pay for cleanup, fixing safety hazards, and mitigating future damages can affect your case. Do you need to put out waddles to slow erosion? Should you hydroseed part of the property? Do you clean it up yourself? Go with the government cleanup program? Hire private? Do you need to hire someone to take down hazard trees? If you wait until after you incur these costs your attorney may not be able to recover all they could have if you consulted them earlier.

Hiring a Dixie Fire attorney helps lighten your load. You not only check off something from your to do list, but you also gain an ally who will help you recover. Hiring an experienced team means they can use their experience to help not only in the case, but help in your physical and mental recovery. Our attorneys visit every one of our clients’ properties affected by the fire, and the sooner we can see your property, the more we can help.