PacifiCorp agrees to pay $3.4 million for 2018 Ramsey Canyon Fire near Sams Valley

Northwest utility company PacifiCorp has agreed to settle federal allegations that the utility's equipment sparked a fire in rural Jackson County during 2018.

Posted: Jun 9, 2020 3:12 PM
Updated: Jun 10, 2020 9:16 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Northwest utility company PacifiCorp has agreed to settle federal allegations that the company's equipment sparked a wildfire in rural Jackson County during 2018.

The Ramsey Canyon fire erupted in August of 2018, during a particularly devastating fire season for southern Oregon. It reached nearly 2,000 acres — threatening homes, prompting evacuation warnings, and destroying one outbuilding.

According to the Portland-based U.S. Attorney's office, the fire started near the base of a PacificCorp transmission line about 12 miles northwest of Eagle Point. It burned on a mix of federal, state, and private land — including 930 acres managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

As a result, the U.S. government sought more than $4.8 million in suppression costs and resource damages, alleging that PacifiCorp was responsible for starting the fire due to an improperly installed, inspected or maintained connector at the transmission structure.

“Each year, countless Oregonians live with the recurring threat of wildfires jeopardizing their safety and personal property. Sadly, thousands of acres of public and private land are burned by preventable fires,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. “Our office is committed to protecting these lands.”

Though PacifiCorp has agreed to pay $3.4 million to settle the allegations, the settlement is not considered an "admission of liability." PacifiCorp continues to deny responsibility for the fire.

“The loss of these lands and the cost of fighting this fire represent a significant loss to taxpayers, and we’re pleased this settlement will help recoup those costs,” said William Perry Pendley, BLM deputy director for Policy and Programs. “Congratulations to the career BLM employees who provided the expertise to assess the damage done to the public's lands and to recover these costs for the benefit of the American taxpayer.”

The federal government was assisted by the Oregon Department of Forestry in investigating the case.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 190804

Reported Deaths: 2528
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37830583
Washington25279229
Marion21739306
Clackamas17107209
Lane12799145
Jackson10716135
Deschutes866973
Umatilla814084
Linn479867
Yamhill441175
Klamath430861
Polk369952
Malheur349861
Josephine330268
Douglas322070
Benton302619
Jefferson216734
Coos204633
Columbia170526
Union144423
Lincoln137020
Wasco137028
Hood River117930
Morrow110015
Crook106520
Clatsop9738
Baker94614
Curry6459
Tillamook6363
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3378
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3757115

Reported Deaths: 62280
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123542224008
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2965144697
San Diego2777593725
Orange2707055005
Santa Clara1188512085
Kern1089931373
Sacramento1041761672
Fresno1016251684
Alameda875851545
Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68503804
Stanislaus619161055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41844568
San Francisco36616543
Santa Barbara34306453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29975318
Imperial28352721
Kings22965246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16439242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14034228
Yolo13875209
Shasta12071226
Butte11943199
El Dorado10111112
Napa984981
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604863
Lassen569824
Tehama555358
Nevada470775
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365147
Lake346743
Glenn238125
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
Del Norte13678
Mono12804
Plumas7066
Modoc4954
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned330
Medford
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 58°
Brookings
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 58°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 58°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 58°
Klamath Falls
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 45°
Warmer days ahead
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Sunday, May 9th Morning Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Evening Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Morning Weather

Image

Friday, May 7th Evening Weather

Image

Oregon Dept. of Education: Grants Pass SD

Image

Friday, May 7 morning weather

Image

Oregon Dept. of Education: Phoenix-Talent SD

Image

Medford Police Livability Team begins the process of cleaning up the Greenway

Image

Thursday, May 6th Evening Weather

Image

Thursday, May 6 morning weather