WEED, Calif. (AP) — A lumber company that owns a Northern California wood veneers manufacturing plant linked to a deadly fast-spreading blaze that killed two people and sent thousands fleeing for their lives has reached a settlement agreement with more than 700 people who filed wrongful death, personal injury, and property loss claims.
Roseburg Forest Products of Springfield, Ore. said in a statement Tuesday that it has agreed with four law firms representing the majority of claims stemming from the Mill Fire, which sparked on Sept. 2 near the small city of Weed near the California-Oregon border.
The terms and amount of each family’s settlement will remain confidential as part of the agreement, the company said.
“We know we can’t bring back loved ones nor the homes that were destroyed, but Roseburg’s substantial settlement offers, hopefully, will provide the resources for homeowners to rebuild their houses and the community,” said Pete Hillan, a Roseburg spokesperson.
The blaze quickly burned through homes, pushed by 35-mph (56-kph) winds. It eventually burned more than six square miles (15.5 square kilometers), destroyed 118 buildings and killed two people. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is still investigating the cause of the fire.
The company had a mediation last week with five law firms representing the majority of roughly 1,000 claimants related to the Mill Fire, Robert Julian, Roseburg’s lead attorney, told the Sacramento Bee.
Julian said the company hopes to reach settlements with all remaining claimants during a mediation scheduled for Thursday.