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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

2017 Thomas Fire Payed Off

Back in 2017, two separate fires were started in the Los Padres National Forest by Southern California Edison (SCE) that later merged and became known as the Thomas Fire. The fires started on the evening of December 4th, 2017 – the first ignition was in Anlauf Canyon north of the City of Santa Paula, the second was at the top of Koenigstein Road in Upper Ojai. Overall, the fire spread more than 280,000 acres, about 440 square miles, burning over 150,000 acres of National Forest System lands in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Thomas Fire in the Los Padres National forest.

Malfunctioning power lines from SCE ignited near dry brush. Madison Hill, a senior at SRA, says “it is very disappointing to see such big companies make these kind of mistakes that are so detrimental to the environment and community surrounding.” SCE has been forced to pay 80 million dollars to settle the wildfire claim that arose out of the United States in the Central District of California – this is the largest wildfire cost recovery settlement to date.

Firefighters Fighting the Thomas Fire.

The United States filed a lawsuit against the SCE in 2020 to account for the cost of fighting the fire and for the damages that came from the fire itself. The First Assistant United States Attorney Joseph T. McNally said, “This record settlement provides significant compensation to taxpayers for the extensive costs of fighting the Thomas Fire and for the widespread damage to public lands.” McNally also said “The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively pursue compensation from any entity that causes harm to our forests and other precious natural resources.” The SCE agreed to the 80 million dollar lawsuit without admitting wrongdoing or claiming fault for the Thomas Fire.

SCE went through the department of Justice with the Lawsuit.
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About the Contributor
Noah Mossa, Writer
Noah Mossa is a Senior at Santa Rosa Academy and has been here since 7th grade. Noah Mossa likes going camping and hiking. He enjoys watching movies and hanging out with friends in his free time. Noah hopes to learn a new style of writing from the journalism class. 
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