Wildfire Alert: 2022 McKinney Fire, 2021 South Fire  

August 29, 2022

Please accept this updated Alert regarding the 2022 McKinney Fire and the 2021 South Fire. Our investigation into each of these wildfires is ongoing. At this juncture, both wildfires are of interest and may have strong subrogation potential. Additional forensic findings are available upon request to address any claims that you may have received. 

2022 McKinney Fire     

The McKinney Fire started on July 29, 2022, in the area of Klamath River, California. It destroyed more than 60,000 acres and 185 structures, and tragically caused four deaths. A post-fire storm also caused significant mudslides and flooding in the surrounding areas.

Since our prior Alerts regarding the McKinney Fire, our experts have completed processing, documenting, and flagging the most probable area of fire origin. Based upon current information, the fire likely started from a Pacific Power high voltage distribution line coming into contact with a tree. We have extensive experience in pursuing tree-to-line contact wildfires, with the most recent example being the Dixie Fire. Below are a few selected photos depicting the scene. Please feel free to contact us to review more detailed photographic documentation, summaries of witness interviews, and the background of a prior incident that we discovered in the same area of origin. Initiation of litigation likely will be required, as is typical for claims involving California utilities.

The updated list of zip codes impacted by the July 29, 2022, McKinney Fire are as follows: 96050, 96085, 96097, 96086, 96032, and 96044.

Tree Leaning Into Pacific Power Lines:


2021 South Fire     

The South Fire originated on August 25, 2021, in the area of Lytle Creek Road, Fontana, California. It burned 650 acres and destroyed or damaged 28 structures. Cal Fire recently released a report regarding the cause of the South Fire, concluding that the fire started from an excavator’s metal track striking a rock. Below is a photograph of the excavator that was being operated at the time of the fire. It was being operated by GJ Gentry General Engineering, Inc., a large engineering company that was performing excavation work for I15 Logistics LLC, which is building a 1.1 million square foot warehouse at the fire origin location. Our investigation has revealed that there likely will be sufficient insurance/assets to address the claims at issue.

The zip codes impacted by this August 25, 2021, fire are as follows: 92336, 92358, 91739, 92377, ​and 92407. If you have losses from the South Fire, please let us know so that we can work to protect your subrogation interests. 

Excavator Operating in Origin Area:


Tracks From Excavator in General Origin Area:


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Howard D. Maycon

Chair, Subrogation & Recovery, West Region
Co-Vice Chair, Subrogation & Recovery Department


(213) 892-7908

David D. Brisco

Vice Chair, Subrogation & Recovery, West Region


(619) 685-1704

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