Utility giant PG&E caused deadly Camp Fire, Cal Fire says

Utility giant PG&E caused deadly Camp Fire, Cal Fire says

Utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is at fault for the wildfire that left more than 80 dead in Northern California last fall, Cal Fire investigators announced Wednesday.

Investigators determined PG&E power lines started the deadly Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported.

The most destructive wildfire in California history, the Camp Fire burned more than 153,000 acres and destroyed over 18,000 buildings in addition to killing 85 people.


Wednesday's result was expected, as PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January in an attempt to protect itself from the liabilities it faces for its role in recent California wildfires.

PG&E told utility regulators on Nov. 9, 2018, that one of its transmission towers near Camp Fire's source malfunctioned just before the blaze began, according to the Chronicle.

The provider has said its total liability from the Camp Fire and numerous other wildfires its equipment, like transformers and electrical cables, have caused since 2017 could exceed $30 billion.

Under California law, a utility can be held liable for fires its equipment causes even if the equipment is properly maintained.

PG&E said it plans to keep all of its service going during the bankruptcy process, which it hopes will lead to a fair and equitable resolution of its liabilities.