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Unfortunately, the dangers associated with a wildfire do not end after the fire is contained. In the coming weeks, those living near where the fire burned are at risk of mudslides and landslides. Heavy rain following the Dixie Fire, for example, triggered mudslides and debris flows. If you have been impacted by mudslides after the Dixie Fire, the Dixie Fire mudslide lawyers at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP can help you recover the financial compensation that you deserve for your property damage or injuries.
Why Are There Mudslides After a Fire?
A mudslide is when mud, dirt, earth, trees, rock, and debris slide rapidly down a hill, generally due to something that disturbs the natural stability of the slope. Mudslides, landslides, and debris flows are relatively common after wildfires due to the significant changes to the landscape caused by the fire.
A wildfire destroys underbrush and vegetation that holds dirt and land in place. If the burned area receives heavy rainfall, this can displace water-saturated soil and send it sliding rapidly down the slope in a mudslide. Even without heavy rain, the lack of vegetation can trigger a dangerous debris flow after a wildfire.
Mudslides Triggered by Rain Over the Dixie Fire Burn Scar
From July 13 to October 25, the Dixie Fire burned across Northern California, impacting the counties of Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama. It became California’s second-largest wildfire in history after joining with the Fly Fire. The fire scar left behind by the Dixie Fire creates a significant risk of landslides. Following the wildfire, there were flash flood warnings for Chester, the Almanor area, Prattville, Caribou, Twain, Belden, and Highways 36, 89, and 70.
When the region received heavy rains, this triggered a landslide on Highway 70 in Butte County on October 24. This landslide contained enormous rocks, boulders, and trees that fell from the hillside that bordered the highway next to the Plumas County line. While there were no reports of injuries in this landslide, storms are expected to continue, creating an ongoing risk of mudslides and flash floods in the areas affected by the Dixie Fire. In the event you were injured or sustained property damage caused by the Dixie Fire, contact a Dixie Fire lawyer immediately to learn your legal options.
What To Do After a Mudslide or Landslide
If you live in a region that is vulnerable to mudslides and debris flows after the Dixie Fire, pay attention to the news and local evacuation orders. If you are ordered to evacuate, do so immediately. A debris flow may involve rushing water or mud, noises like roaring or cracking, and falling trees. If you are too late and a debris flow has already taken place, do not attempt to cross the flow. Instead, shelter in place on the highest floor of your home. If you need emergency assistance, call 911.
How To Obtain Financial Compensation for Mudslides After the Dixie Fire
Mudslides and debris flows can be catastrophic. Common injuries caused by mudslides are broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, crush injuries, soft-tissue injuries, suffocation, electrocution, and water-borne diseases. Every year, mudslides and landslides cause 25 to 50 deaths in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can also cause thousands of dollars in property damage.
If a mudslide caused structural damage to your home, landscaping, business or vehicle, or if you suffered physical injuries in a mudslide after the Dixie Fire, you may be eligible for financial compensation so speak with with a Dixie Fire mudslide lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation from your own insurance company, as well as have the ability to bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for the Dixie Fire. Although the cause of the fire remains unknown as of November 2021, early reports point to the utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), as the at-fault party.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Dixie Fire Mudslide Attorney
For more information about your legal rights after a mudslide following the Dixie Fire, please contact Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP. We are experienced California wildfire lawsuit attorneys who can help you and your family file a claim or lawsuit to pursue maximum financial compensation. Call us for a free consultation at (805) 210-8528.