Over the past week, the wind came sweepin’ down the plain in Oklahoma and contributed to more than 20 wildland fires. These fires have burned thousands of acres across the Sooner state, forcing evacuations and resulting in the loss of many structures. The fires associated with the most devastation to structures at this time are the Simpson Road Fire and the Hefner Road Fire, both near the Oklahoma City area.
Simpson Road Fire
The Oklahoma Forestry Service is reporting that the damage from this fire destroyed an estimated 100 structures, including both mobile and permanent homes in Logan County. Early reports are that the fire originated as a result of electrical arcing in power lines contacting each other, most likely due to high winds. The affected zip codes are:
73013, 73025, 73034 (Edmond)
Hefner Road Fire
This fire was burning from March 31 to April 2, 2023, and reportedly destroyed three structures in Oklahoma County, which includes the state capital Oklahoma City. The affected zip codes are 73131 and 73114.
Protecting Your Interests
Obtaining and preserving evidence of the fire’s start and spread, along with documenting the damage from the event, is a necessary part of the claims-handling process, including conducting due diligence to protect subrogation rights. Preservation of evidence in wildfires can be complicated because of widespread damage and the number of interested parties involved in investigating losses. Video, photographs, drone flyovers, GPS, LIDAR, and other high-tech investigative tools can provide critical evidence toward establishing the cause of a wildfire.
We have engaged wildland fire investigation experts to conduct scene investigations, interview witnesses, and work with public officials. Initial reports are that both of these fires may involve utility line failures, but the investigations are in their early stages. We expect to have additional investigative findings shortly and if the preliminary information is corroborated, we then will place all utilities and any other potentially responsible parties on notice to coordinate next steps in the scene inspection and evidence preservation process.
All costs will be prorated among our participating clients to reduce any significant cost exposure to any individual company. Please advise if we may be of assistance to you in identifying and pursuing any claims arising out of these wildfires.