PG&E warns of at least $2.5 billion in liabilities from North Bay fires
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Thursday in an early-morning investor call that the utility company anticipates being held liable for damages from the majority of October’s North Bay wildfires and on the hook for billions of dollars in losses, though how high that may balloon is unclear for now.
Cal Fire announced earlier this month that equipment owned and operated by PG&E triggered 12 of the Northern California wildfires, killing 18 people and destroying thousands of structures. Fire investigators found the utility was in violation of state code for failing to clear brush and maintain its equipment on eight of those fires.
Cal Fire has yet to issue a determination on the cause of the Tubbs fire that primarily affected Sonoma County.
“These fires were tragic and we remain focused on helping communities recover and rebuild,” Geisha Williams, PG&E’s CEO and president said in a statement. “Looking forward, the state, first responders and California’s utilities are all in agreement that we must work together to prevent and respond to wildfires and enhance infrastructure resiliency. Years of drought, extreme heat and 129 million dead trees have created a ‘new normal’ for our state that requires comprehensive new solutions.”
Check back later. This is a developing story.