Signs taped to the entrances of Guerneville’s fire station warn people that it’s risky to step inside — an unusual message for a building dedicated to public safety. It turns out this Russian River firehouse is among an aging group of unreinforced masonry structures in jeopardy of collapse in a major temblor.

“You may not be safe inside,” the sign reads, “during an earthquake.”

Which is precisely the time when those stationed in the building and their equipment would be needed to respond to rescues and aid calls in the event of a major quake, wildfire or flood in the area.

Just down the road, Monte Rio’s 1950s‑era fire station is in similar shape, as is Cazadero’s — all three don’t pass modern seismic standards that decades ago forced universities, hospitals and many other commercial and residential landlords to pursue costly upgrades for the sake of public safety.

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PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy is growing increasingly complicated as it grapples with the case’s most pivotal question: How much money does the company owe victims of wildfires its equipment started?

Aspects of the case are now advancing in three San Francisco courts while attorneys for PG&E and fire victims appear to be billions of dollars apart. All sides face pressure from a new state law to get the huge bankruptcy resolved by the end of June.

The company and subsidiary Pacific Gas and Electric Co. remain in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. But, per the direction of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali, a U.S. District Court judge will hold proceedings to determine the total amount of PG&E’s obligation to victims from numerous wildfires. PG&E faces many personal injury or wrongful death claims, and federal law requires a District Court to decide how much those victims are ultimately paid.

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Angel is doing fine.

She is, of course, the mellow Texas longhorn that became a highly visible and prized symbol of survival upon emerging from the 2017 firestorm that killed the woman who adored her as a pet. Today, Angel seems as content as ever to occupy a corral between Highway 101 and Coffey Lane in north Santa Rosa.

If only Houston Evans Jr., the cow’s primary keeper and the son of Tubbs fire victim Valerie Lynn Evans, could say that almost two years after the conflagration he, his wife and his father are doing as well.

“I thought we’d be so much further along than this,” Evans, a tall and sturdy and clearly aching man of 50, said from between Angel’s pen and the bare earth upon which his family’s two Craftsman-style homes stood.

“Everybody in Coffey Park is almost done (with reconstruction). Two years and I’m here in a corn patch.”

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Shares of embattled utility PG&E plummeted Monday after a judge ruled that a jury can decided whether the company should pay up to $18 billion in damages to wildfire victims.

The California supplier of gas and electricity fell to $10.05 — about 30% — on the week’s first day of trading before paring one-day losses to about 27%. The plunge represented its worst day on Wall Street since PG&E first announced plans to file for bankruptcy in January.

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SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A state court jury will decide if Pacific Gas and Electric should be held liable for the 2017 Tubbs Fire that killed 22 people and caused $6.2 billion in damage, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali granted a motion for relief from an automatic stay on litigation so Tubbs Fire victims can resolve their claims against PG&E in state court.

In January, CalFire determined that the Tubbs Fire was caused by a “private electrical system” in Calistoga and not by PG&E equipment, but a group of fire victims disputes those findings.

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Victims of lethal Wine Country fire in Sonoma County will get day in court against PG&E

PG&E must face in a state court — and potentially in front of a jury — victims of a lethal inferno that scorched portions of Sonoma County and Napa County in October 2017, a judge ruled on Friday as part of the utility’s bankruptcy case.

Judge Dennis Montali, who is supervising PG&E’s $51.69 billion federal bankruptcy filing, ruled that a state court is the correct venue to determine PG&E’s potential liability in connection with a deadly blaze known as the Tubbs Fire.

PG&E had wanted Montali to make an official determination, as part of the bankruptcy proceeding, of what PG&E’s potential liability should be in connection with the Tubbs wildfire.

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Victims of the deadly Tubbs Fire in 2017 won the right to pursue lawsuits against PG&E Corp. on Friday in spite of state investigators’ declaration that the utility wasn’t to blame for the fire.

Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali gave Tubbs victims’ lawyers the green light to take PG&E to court, arguing that the amount PG&E owes those victims must be resolved before the PG&E bankruptcy can be settled. PG&E has said it owes all wildfire victims about $30 billion.

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Victims of the second-most destructive fire in California history will get a chance to try and persuade a jury that PG&E Corp. should pay them as much as $18 billions in damages.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali on Friday lifted a freeze on lawsuits tied to the 2017 Tubbs fire, which killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,600 structures in Sonoma and Napa counties, opening the door for victims pursuing claims against PG&E to start preparing for a trial.

California fire investigators said days before PG&E filed for bankruptcy the utility didn’t cause the Tubbs fire, finding instead that it was sparked by a private electrical system outside a home near Calistoga.

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By Jaxon Van Derbeken NBC BAY AREA

NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit has obtained video evidence that experts say should prompt Cal Fire to reconsider the cause of the deadly 2017 Tubbs fire, which leveled Santa Rosa neighborhoods and killed 22 people.

It was the only major Wine Country wildfire that was not blamed on PG&E equipment.

In its final report, Cal Fire investigators identified the area around a hilltop home, owned by 91-year-old Ann Zink, as the origin of the Oct. 8 fire.

Cal Fire found the fire was caused by a substandard private electrical system spanning much of the 10.5 acre property.

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SAN FRANCISCO — A day after PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection from what could be multi-billion dollar wildfire liability costs, a federal judge Wednesday declared the beleaguered utility in violation of its probation for the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion and spent three hours excoriating the company for its role in the blazes that have ravaged Northern California over the past two years.

“Does a judge turn a blind eye and let PG&E continue what you’re doing, let you keep killing people?” U.S. District Judge William Alsup said inside the San Francisco courtroom. “Can’t we have electricity that is delivered safely in this state?”

The finding sets the stage for the judge to add additional and costly terms to Pacific Gas & Electric’s criminal probation for the deadly pipeline blast — requirements such as inspections and tree trimming the utility says could cost billions of dollars and lead to customer rates rising five-fold. Alsup, who is monitoring the utility’s federal probation, did not make that decision at Wednesday’s hearing but said he would soon, as fire season begins in June. He said he would pay close attention to what PG&E submits as its newly required wildfire mitigation plan. That plan is due next week as part of a new state law.

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