Judge Tells PG&E’s Board to Tour Wildfire-Ravaged California Town

A federal judge has ordered board members of Pacific Gas & Electric to tour the Northern California town of Paradise, which was leveled by a wildfire that may have been caused by the utility’s equipment.

The judge ordered the tour as part of the utility’s punishment for violating its felony probation terms, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

California Psychologist And Doctor Charged With Fraudulent Workers’ Comp Evaluations

A California psychologist and doctor have been charged for allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance claims for workers’ compensation medical legal evaluations in an attempt to steal tens of thousands of dollars from multiple insurers.

Psychologist Danita Stewart, 51, of Chatsworth, a licensed psychologist, allegedly submitted 36 fraudulent insurance claims between April 2015 and June 2015 to five different insurers for medical legal evaluations for a total of $90,714.

Risk Transfer Considerations in the Wake of a Construction Accident

Construction can be a dangerous activity. Despite increased attention to job safety over the last several decades, accidents on construction sites continue to occur. These accidents frequently result in bodily injuries, property damage, project delays and resulting economic losses. As a result, those involved in construction should plan carefully not only how to minimize the risks of accidents but how to maximize their insurance and indemnification recoveries should an accident happen.

Busy Wildfire Season Along West Coast: Forecast

Most of the country can expect a normal wildfire season but residents along the West Coast of the United States should be ready for another busy season, the National Interagency Fire Center said this week.

California experienced its deadliest and largest wildfires in the past two years, including a fire in the northern part of the state last year that destroyed the town of Paradise, killing more than 80 people. It was the nation’s worst death toll from a wildfire in a century.

Catastrophe planning: Ensuring calm during the storm

From polar vortexes to tornadoes to wildfires and hurricanes, the United States has recently seen its fair share of natural disasters. In fact, according to Chubb, the average claim cost for a flood — the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States — increased by over 550% in the last five years, jumping from $50,000 to $290,000 per claim.

Report Urges Wildfire Tax, Agency for Marin County, Calif.

(TNS) — A new report by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury recommends the creation of a joint powers authority to coordinate wildfire preparedness and a quarter-cent sales tax to help fund preparedness efforts.

“Considering Marin’s current state of preparedness, citizens should not assume that first responders will be able to save them from the horrors of a wildfire like those experienced during Butte County’s Camp Fire,” the report states, referring to the fire in November that killed an estimated 85 people, destroying the town of Paradise and ravaging communities around it.

L.A. County Sues Southern California Edison for Wildfire Damage

Los Angeles County sued Southern California Edison and parent company Edison International on Thursday to recover more than $100 million in costs and damages from a wind-driven wildfire that may have been sparked by one of the utility’s wires.

“This legal action is an important and essential step toward accountability and recovery,” county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.

PG&E Behind on Tree Work in California a Month from Wildfire Season

California is just one month away from the official start of wildfire season and bankrupt utility giant PG&E Corp. is running behind on inspections, repairs and tree-trimming that was ordered up to reduce the risk of another devastating blaze.

PG&E, due to circumstances beyond its control, such as a rainy winter and permitting requirements, has been finding it difficult carry out the fire-prevention measures, the San Francisco-based company said in a court filing late Thursday. As a result, it’s pushing back completion dates for fire-prevention work, PG&E told a federal judge who is supervising its criminal probation for previous safety lapses related to its natural gas pipeline system.

Sea Level Rise Plus Modern Storms Equals Devastation in California

Sea level rise, and its perils, is often associated with the East Coast. But California communities along the coast that don’t prepare for what’s ahead could be inviting disasters of the magnitude not yet seen in the state.

A report by the United States Geological Survey Climate Impacts and Coastal Processes Team suggests that future sea level rise, in combination with major storms like the ones the state is experiencing now, could cause more damage than wildfires and earthquakes.

This is the first study that looks not just at sea level rise in California, but also sea level rise, along with a major storm to assess total risk to coastal communities.

Editorial: To Address the New Normal, Disaster Relief Needs to Start With Prevention

(TNS) - In Congress, battles are raging over disaster relief spending. Who should get the help? Puerto Rico, still seeking emergency reconstruction money in the wake of 2017 Hurricane Maria (and yes, Puerto Rico is part of the United States and just as deserving of help as, say, North Carolina)? How about Hawaii, where volcanic eruptions have seen molten lava destroy homes, roads and other infrastructure? Nebraska and Iowa, which were inundated by some of the worst flooding in their history? California, trying to rebuild from the most widespread and deadly wildfires the state has ever seen? Or the Florida Panhandle and parts of Georgia, where homes and farms were wiped out by the violent Hurricane Michael last year?

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