Wildland fires can start for a broad range of reasons. Sometimes, a lightning strike is the cause of a fire that destroys hundreds of acres of land. Other times, the issue stems from human activities. Irresponsible disposal of cigarette butts, inadequately banked fire embers or even deliberate arson could result in uncontrollable fires that impact the property of others and endanger human and animal lives.

Whether you own a single-family home or a large ranch, nearby wildland fires could have a drastic impact on the overall value of your real estate holdings. In the event that the fire was caused by someone else, you may be able to hold them responsible for the damage that their actions caused.

Your property doesn’t have to burn to be adversely affected

A common source of confusion regarding wildland fires and the damage they cause is the assumption that only areas actually burned by the fire incur substantial negative impact and have legal grounds to seek compensation.

In reality, it is not just the areas directly destroyed by the fire but also surrounding properties that will struggle after a fire. Animals that lived in the areas that burned will relocate, moving on to ranches or even into residential areas looking for shelter, fresh water and food. Their presence can be damaging to your property and disruptive or dangerous to any livestock you own.

Beyond that, there is little question that wide-scale destruction near your property will likely have a direct, negative impact on your property value. Proving that someone else caused the fire and that the fire has diminished the value of your property or your ability to use it could be adequate cause to take action against someone whose negligence or arson impacted your financial stability. An attorney can provide information on what legal options you have.