SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara attorney’s representing mudslide and fire victims filed a restraining order on Wednesday in an effort to hold Southern California Edison accountable for the Thomas Fire.
The same attorneys who say Southern California Edison started the Thomas Fire now say the utility company is compromising the investigation. Alex Robertson is just one attorney representing the many victims affected by the Thomas Fire. On Wednesday Robertson along with his team went before a judge to seek a temporary restraining order against Edison.
“We have heard that Edison has removed up to two miles of power lines on this remote Canyon road,” said Robertson. “On Thursday morning they plan to start removing several dozen wooden power poles out of the ground and they say they are taking all of this evidence to a secure undisclosed location and that is obviously very concerning.”
Southern Edison claims it removed the power lines in Santa Paula where the fire originated because it had to restore power to its customers. They also said that leaving the burned poles there would present a safety risk to the public. Edison claims the judge agreed, but those filing the suit say the utility company’s statement is inaccurate.
“I have been up on this Canyon road and there is one house on this entire road so it’s not like an entire neighborhood has been without power for two months,” said Robertson. “They can restore power to the house without having to remove all of the poles and power lines.”
The case is far from over. A Santa Barbara County judge is asking for more briefings from both parties by Friday and a hearing will take place on Tuesday.