Lawsuits seek over $1B from Pacific Power over wildfires

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Two new lawsuits filed in Marion County seek more than $1 billion in damages from Pacific Power, claiming the utility’s negligence led to wildfires in the Santiam Canyon last year. The Statesman Journal reports the two lawsuits filed Wednesday represent over 100 people impacted by the Beachie Creek Fire. The two law firms leading the effort, Edelson PC and Johnson Johnson Lucas and Middleton, say Pacific Power, doing businesses as PacifiCorp, “failed to safely design, operate, and maintain its infrastructure leading to the fire.” They also allege that PacifiCorp failed to heed warnings of impending “historic” high winds and extreme drought conditions. Pacific Power said in a statement that it does not comment on pending litigation.