Pacific Gas & Electric could be the first company to access a wildfire liability fund established by the state over two years ago, intended to keep utilities solvent after causing major wildfires.
A day after state officials concluded that a tree falling into Pacific Gas and Electric Company power lines started the massive Dixie Fire last summer, the utility said millions of other trees remain within “strike distance” of its equipment.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company officials said they expect to lose more than $1 billion as a result of the Dixie Fire.
The utility has announced that it’s been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney for documents related to the largest non-complex fire in California history.
Nearly 200 plaintiffs have filed a pair of lawsuits against PG&E, alleging the company caused the Dixie Fire, the second-largest wildfire in California history.
The utility is facing 31 charges, including 11 felonies, after the Shasta County District Attorney determined that PG&E was “criminally liable” for the fire.
Victims from the nearly 1 million-acre Dixie fire still burning in Northern California have sued Pacific Gas & Electric amid suspicions that the utility’s equipment may have sparked the blaze that has reduced more than 1,300 homes to rubble.
Gerald Singleton, an attorney for the victims, estimates that the blaze — the second-largest in California history — has affected thousands, from those who lost multigenerational homes to others whose businesses were destroyed.