Lawsuit claims PacifiCorp equipment sparked McKinney Fire

·2 min read

Aug. 17—A California-based law firm has filed a lawsuit against PacifiCorp alleging the power company's poorly maintained equipment ignited the McKinney Fire that killed four people.

The fire west of Yreka in Northern California had burned 60,392 acres and was 95% contained as of Wednesday. The cause is under investigation, according to the national Incident Information System.

The lawsuit against PacifiCorp was filed on behalf of people who owned property and/or lived in or near Siskiyou County. The fire has destroyed 185 structures, the Singleton Schreiber law firm said in a press release.

"To date, four people have lost their lives in a fire that was entirely avoidable," Gerald Singleton, managing partner of Singleton Schreiber, said in the press release. "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 law firm previously filed two lawsuits against PacifiCorp alleging its electrical equipment caused the 2020 Slater Fire that killed two people and burned more than 157,000 acres in Siskiyou and Del Norte counties in California and Josephine County in Oregon.

The lawsuit regarding the McKinney Fire alleges contact with utility infrastructure created sparks that ignited dry vegetation and debris.

A PacifiCorps spokesman said Wednesday the company has a policy to not discuss ongoing litigation.

The lawsuit was filed in Sacramento Superior Court.

The Singleton Schreiber law firm said it has represented more than 12,000 victims of utility fires and has recovered approximately $2 billion in settlements and verdicts for its clients. The firm said it currently represents thousands of victims of numerous fires in California, Oregon and New Mexico.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.