Local law firm representing Little Valley Fire victims

Published: Oct. 20, 2016 at 8:27 PM PDT
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The Little Valley Fire that broke out in Washoe Valley nearly a week ago is a hundred percent contained and holding at 2,291 acres. No structures are currently being threatened but the fire destroyed 23 homes and 17 outbuildings. Several homeowners are looking to a local law firm for representation.

"Currently we're representing Dennis Hof along with about seven other individuals that suffered catastrophic loss by virtue of what's been known as the Little Valley Fire," attorney David Houston said. "To suggest devastation would really be in some ways an understatement. When you have an opportunity to review the damage and you see literally nothing left you certainly have an appreciation for how much was lost in this particular fire."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It started early last October 14, 2016 in an area that was part of a prescribed burn conducted by the Nevada Division of Forestry.

"Our goal is to assess what I would call blame," Houston said. "Some people would call it cause but I think in this particular case blame is going to be the word. We have a situation where I believe this could have been controlled and absolutely prevented."

He says they're waiting on the official report before filing anything.

"We respect the idea of taking sufficient time to appropriately investigate; we think that's important," Houston said. "But we think these people deserve an answer sooner rather than later."

The Bureau of Land Management and State Fire Marshal's Office are heading up the investigation. There was talk of releasing an official report this week; now it appears that won't happen until next week. That report will help determine the process going forward.

"There are by statute certain caps that are in play," Houston said. "It also depends on where we file the lawsuit and under what theory as to what those caps will control."

He says there are a lot of different factors that could affect these homeowners during the claims process.

"Maybe you have insurance for the home and outbuildings, maybe you have residential property insurance for the things inside your home," Houston said. "But what about the aesthetic environmental value of your lot? What about those families that didn't have enough insurance or the appropriate riders to cover their jewelry or their gun collections or artwork? These are the things we're here for and we want to do everything we can to make sure these families are wholly and totally compensated."

Fire crews - about 360 people at this time - remain in the area to make sure the fire doesn't flare up.