GLIDE, Ore. -- The Roseburg law firm that plans to sue Pacific Power for allegedly starting the Archie Creek Fire has brought on two out-of-state attorneys to help fight this case.
In a statement from Dole Coalwell Attorneys, they said they found a tree knocked down a power line the night before the fire. They believe Pacific Power failed to clear the line before turning the power back on. They claim this caused the Archie Creek Fire.
The law firm is working with Texas-based attorney Mikal Watts and California-based attorney Robert Julian.
Watts told KEZI 9 News that he was approached by Jeff Mornarich from Dole Coalwell a few weeks ago. He said he was on a plane to Roseburg the next day to see the damages.
After interviewing multiple witnesses, Watts said he is confident there is enough evidence to prove the fire was caused by Pacific Power.
“There are so many people throughout Douglas County who lost everything,” said Watts. “Literally burned down homes, at no fault of their own.”
Watts said he and Julian represented hundreds of witnesses from the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise, California, in 2018. They got a $13.5 billion settlement from Pacific Gas and Electric to reimburse fire victims.
Watts said he is confident they will win this case.
“This was not a fire that began from a lightning strike,” said Watts. “It was not a fire that started by arson. It’s a fire that started because of Pacific Power’s equipment.”
Watts said they plan to file the lawsuit sometime next week. He said they are unsure how long the process will take at this point.
“I anticipate Pacific Power is going to end up paying for the damages this fire caused,” said Watts.
Dole Coalman will be hosting a town hall next Thursday in the Glide High School gym.
Watts said he will be there in person to answer questions for those fire victims who are interested in being represented.
In a statement from Pacific Power, they said they are unable to comment on pending litigation. However, they said they are still part of the community and they are devastated by the impact of the event.
They said they are working to understanding the totality of the Labor Day storm through the ongoing investigation.