Lieff Cabraser is investigating reports of a wildfire in New Mexico that has burned more than 200 homes and killed at least two people. State authorities stated that the fire started when a power line was toppled by strong winds.
The fire, which gained strength from the persistent winds, expanded to the densely populated area of Ruidoso, leading to the evacuation of approximately 5,000 residents. A spokesperson for the Lincoln National Forest had to interrupt a fire briefing to tell people to get in their cars and leave immediately after the flames jumped a road where crews were trying to hold the line.
The fire has burned over 5,700 acres (23 square kilometers) of forest and grass, and the strong winds have reportedly left toppled trees and additional downed power lines throughout the area. Persistent dry and windy conditions prompted continued red flag warnings for the eastern third of New Mexico and other parts of the Midwest.
Our hearts go out to our friends, neighbors, and all first- and other responders facing this ongoing disaster.
In Northern California, Lieff Cabraser represented victims of the North Bay and Camp Fires as creditors in the PG&E bankruptcy. In 2019, we helped guide negotiations with PG&E that culminated in an historic $13.5 billion trust settlement on behalf of wildfire victims. We also serve on the Trust Oversight Committee in litigation on behalf of thousands whose whose homes, businesses, and lives were devastated by the 2017-2018 Thomas Fire and mudslides and by the Woolsey Fire in late 2018. Lieff Cabraser partner Lexi Hazam serves as Co-Lead Counsel for Woolsey Fire victims, and as Co-Lead plaintiffs’ counsel with Lieff Cabraser partner Robert J. Nelson in the Thomas Fire litigation. Together, plaintiffs in the Thomas Fire and Woolsey Fire cases have recovered approximately $1 billion for their losses and injuries. We continue to investigate a wide range of legal claims on behalf of those displaced, injured and otherwise affected by these and other utility-caused fires.