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175 people file claims against Caltrans and the City of Redding over Carr Fire

KRCR

As of Saturday, at least 175 people have filed claims against the State of California and the City of Redding in connection with the Carr Fire, focusing on the ways the City of Redding and Caltrans handled vegetation concerns before the fire.

Dugan Barr from Barr & Mudford in Redding said their law firm is handling two separate claims dealing with the fire, but many of the people they represent are involved in both claims.

The first claim addresses the way Caltrans maintained the vegetation along Highway 299 before the Carr Fire.

They say Caltrans failed to properly maintain the brush along the highway, enabling sparks from a blown tire on a trailer to ignite the Carr Fire.

The second claim focuses on the City of Redding's failure to take action on the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which laid out defensible space requirements for the city.

"The people in this community have really suffered as a result of a perfectly avoidable fire. But, nothing was getting done and as a consequence, an ordinary, expected, expectable breakdown of a motor vehicle on a country highway wound up with the whole area, a thousand homes burned," Barr said.

Barr added that anyone who believes they should be part of these claims can still get involved.

The statute of limitations to file a claim expires in June of this year.

KRCR reached out to Caltrans and Redding City Attorney Barry Dewalt for comment. Both declined to provide statements at this time and Caltrans referred all further inquiries about the fire claims to Cal Fire.

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