Re: Can't Find the Neighbors to Repair Damage (Fences/Trees) Caused by Their House Fi
Generally, fences on the boundaries of properties in CA are by law a shared responsibility between the coterminous owners as to normal maintenance and replacement. If they have no other fencing around their property, that law may not apply. Generally, when damage is caused by one of the landowners, that landowners is responsible for the cost of repair or replacement. The existence of liability due to any negligence may or may not be a factor. Accidental damage to property is exactly what home insurance is for and should cover somewhere between half and full cost of repair or replacement depending upon the condition of the fence before the fire. If the fence was close to being in need of replacement anyway, the cost may revert to being a shared one.
If there is no similar fencing enclosing all or a portion of their property other than on your common line, or if the fence is fully and clearly on your property, then it is not a shared responsibility with regard to normal maintenance and repair. But since it was damaged by an insured event occurring on your neighbor's home, I would put in a claim with their insurance company anyway.
I'm a surveyor, not your surveyor & not an attorney.
Advice is general survey, not legal. Hire a local professional for specific advice.