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article imageErin Brockovich steps in to support California wildfire victims

By Tim Sandle     Jan 23, 2019 in Environment
Environmental and consumer rights activist Erin Brockovich has taken up the cause of California wildfire victims and is seeking compensation, once again, from Pacific Gas & Electric.
One utility company is synonymous with the activist Erin Brockovich: Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Brockovich took on the company during the 1990s and her successful lawsuit was the subject of a 2000 film, Erin Brockovich, which starred Julia Roberts.
Pacific Gas & Electric are one of the companies that is is associated with the fire trigger point for the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires. One problem with paying out any compensation to wildfire victims is that PG&E said it has plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is partly because it is unable to afford to pay at least $30 billion in expected damages.
The causes of a 2017 fire that swept through Santa Rosa and one that destroyed the town of Paradise are still under investigation.
Picking up the cause of the wildfire victims, Brockovich has urged California lawmakers not to let the utility go bankrupt because it could mean less money for wildfire victims. Quoted by CBC the activist said: "I'm mad, I think we should all be mad."
California has been beset by serious wildfires in both 2017 and 2018. The 2018 wildfire season was the most destructive on record, with a total of 8,527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres. This is the largest amount of burned acreage recorded in a fire season.
There are several factors that account for wildfires, with a significant contributor being climate change (where increasing temperatures and increasing dryness have led to an increasing wildfire risk), according to Stanford Earth System Science Professor Noah Diffenbaugh.
Another cause of fires is businesses. Under Californian law a business that is attributed to have caused the ignition of a fire is liable. In addition, even where the business is not found to be negligent, if the cause of the fire is linked to equipment on the plant, the business is still liable. Businesses that tend to be associated with this liability are utility companies like PG&E.
More about Erin brockovich, Wildfires, California, Fire
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