Billboard blamed for Ophir Fire

Billboard blamed for Ophir Fire

There are 7 comments on the Chico Enterprise-Record story from Dec 18, 2009, titled Billboard blamed for Ophir Fire. In it, Chico Enterprise-Record reports that:

A billboard is reportedly to blame for the devastating Ophir Fire, with the official cause of the June 2008 blaze released Thursday by Cal Fire-Butte County officials.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chico Enterprise-Record.

ChicoLife

Chico, CA

#1 Dec 18, 2009
Doesn't it make sense that the owner(s) of the billboard be held responsible or at least liable for some of this? And why isn't the name of the company being disclosed? Although, I have to say, it's not hard to do a little searching to see who the company is (hint - look for local billboard companies)- you'll only come up with one, Stott 0utdoor Advertising.

I feel badly for all of the victims of this fire; people lost their homes and had their loves turned upside down due to it. Now that there is a known cause people need to be held accountable.
Dan and Brenda Rogers

AOL

#2 Dec 18, 2009
Our family,lost every thing that day june 8 2008.But we our thankful for our lives, we had no fire insurance, Had it not been for friends,And kind help from our community.Like, The Hope center,Salvation Army of oroville ,Red Cross I dont what we would of done. yes for some of us we started over on 1,000 so yes if we could compensated some how that be nice.
Reality

Chico, CA

#3 Dec 18, 2009
I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Cal Fire will have to prove that the billboard owner was aware that the billboard had the potential to start a wildfire. For example, if the failure was the result of structural or electrical problems with the sign, Cal Fire will have to prove that the owner knew of these problems and did nothing about them. Far easier said than done.

Of course, it is always possible that the billboard owner will do the right thing and compensate the victims even if it can't be proven that they did anything wrong, but that is a long shot.
just curious

Weed, CA

#4 Dec 18, 2009
It'll be tied up in litigation forever. Civil suits can be brought by the individuals. The billboard company does have a responsibility to maintain their boards. Some billboards are only inspected annually when the advertiser changes.
I doubt they intended for a fire to start.

Since: Jul 09

Forest Ranch, CA

#5 Dec 18, 2009
Reality wrote:
I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Cal Fire will have to prove that the billboard owner was aware that the billboard had the potential to start a wildfire. For example, if the failure was the result of structural or electrical problems with the sign, Cal Fire will have to prove that the owner knew of these problems and did nothing about them. Far easier said than done.
Of course, it is always possible that the billboard owner will do the right thing and compensate the victims even if it can't be proven that they did anything wrong, but that is a long shot.
It was determined that, ".... an electrical failure on a Highway 70 billboard ignited the blaze." I would assume that what is now trying to be determined is whether the board was not properly maintained, thus causing the fire, which would indicate negligence. If the board is proven to be properly maintained, then we can assume the billboard company will not have to pay the fire suppresion costs/costs to the people who lost their homes.
AngryinChico

United States

#6 Dec 18, 2009
It took eighteen months to figure this out. I am sure a lot of money and effort was wasted on this, and now the lawyers and move in and get rich on this mess.
chico resident

Huntington Beach, CA

#7 Dec 19, 2009
So like it took them this long to figure it out. Competent, real competent. We pay these people way tooo much

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