Last spring, fire rushed down the Sierra foothills from the Bernasconi Center into Big Pine. Some 20 homes were destroyed by fire. Now, insurance companies and home owners have filed lawsuits.
Attorney Peter Tracy represents Mike Rossi and his wife Evette Hannon. They lost everything in the blaze and have filed suit against the Carson Valley Men’s Group, a kind of self-help organization of 30 or 40 men that had been on a retreat at the Bernasconi Center, started a warming fire and thought it was out. Very strong afternoon winds whipped in and sent flames down the hill. Fast fire fighting limited the damage to homes at the bottom of the foothills According to court records, the lawsuit also names the County Office of Education which had rented facilities to the men’s group.
Attorney Tracy said that the Office of Education did require $1 million insurance from the group, which they had. Insurance companies that covered and rebuilt other homes in Big Pine are believed to have sued the men’s group and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, owners of the land at the Bernasconi Center. Tracy said no trial has yet been set and more depositions will be conducted in December. He said others may join the lawsuits.
Some sources have indicated that CalFire may also sue to recover fire fighting costs. Tracy said these matters may end up in mediation in the spring. The community of Big Pine, severely impacted by the fire, galvanized support for the fire victims through local churches, especially the Methodist Church where hundreds of pieces of clothing, furniture and appliances became available to those in need.
Why would CalFire sue? They just got $150 per dwelling unit from every Big Pine resident this year- for this exact purpose.
The new fire fee (tax) does not pay for fire protection only education and fire prevention.
Shoot CalFire is collecting that 150.00 from areas they do not even service
Another Jerry Brown tax scam.
Because that fee was not in place at the time of the fire. They just want their cut.
Once again, the new fire fee does not pay for fire protection. Only fire prevention.
If DWP had cleared their land around almost every house that was destroyed,most of the damage would have been avoided.
This statement is rather idiotic. The accelerant vegetation surrounding the structures was on private land. The DWP land bordering these properties was covered with nothing but sage brush. In particular, there was extremely thick vegetation and tree coverings in the southern properties. To say DWP was in any way responsible… Read more »
Wilko- please explain to me why DWP clears the land to the east of Bishop at least twice a year??
In places were they do clear brush it is obviously done to reduce potential fire hazards. However, in order to have prevented the loss of the structures in Big Pine, they would have had to clear thousands of acres of brush. Are you suggesting DWP clear all vegetation from their… Read more »
Wilko- That’s not close to correct, DWP owns and leases the land that the trailer park was on, in which over half the damage was done. They should have cleared that small area around those homes. DWP was/is the landlord to most all the property that should have been cleared.… Read more »