A reliable information from area residents has confirmed the removal of power poles from Santa Paula foothills in Southern California Edison in the quest for the determination of the cause of a deadly Thomas fire outbreak, which has also resulted in subsequent debris flow devastating Montecito.
On Wednesday, victims of home displacement and subsequent mudslide in Ventura and Santa Barbara County sought a temporary restraining order with the help of their representative lawyers. They promised to bar utility from the removal of poles and other equipment along the origin of the blaze, which is Anlauf Canyon Road.
According to an attorney, in determining the financial liability for the damages caused, the equipment would be a major key. This is because the fire is the initiator of the condition responsible for the mud and debris flow on 9 January. The blaze resulted in low absorption of heavy rainfall after leaving mountains and slopes above Montecito bare of vegetation.
Alex Robertson one of the attorneys seeking an end to the ongoing utility’s work showed the concern of the people over the quick movement and hauling of critical evidence.
However, SCE attorney as argued against the destruction of the poles claiming they are not destroyed but photographed and kept safe in secure locations.
The utility posed an opposing argument claiming SCE would carefully photograph and tag each removed poles that were kept safe in temperature-controlled evidence preservation facility.
Following the agreement of the company to leave 15 specific poles untouched at the location of the attorneys choice, Robertson has on Wednesday requested the preservation of more poles.
An extension was given to both SCE and Robertson’s team by the judge who did not oppose the request but rather request the filing of additional arguments latest on Tuesday.
SCE has proved the agreement of the judge in Santa Barbara court to the danger posed by the requested temporary restraining order to the public interest. This is because it is believed that the community will undergo significant risk from further delay in restoration of power to customers in the Anlaugh Canyon who has suffered lack of utility service since 4 December 2017 and failure to remove affected poles during fire damages.
The blaze, which turned out to be the largest on state record, resulted in the destruction of over 280,000 acres of land, hundreds of homes and loss of two lives. File of over $1.8 billion in insurance claims was made regarding the Thomas fire.
Currently, Significant calculations are being carried out by state insurance officials regarding claims from Montecito debris flow that led to the death of 21 people and destruction of several homes.