Thomas Hawthorne, The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY N

PG&E To Pay Up To $1 Billion For Wildfire Damage

June 19, 2019 - 10:19 am

Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to pay $1 billion for damage caused by wildfires in the Bay Area and Northern California going back to 2015. 

The settlement, announced Tuesday, would pay local governments for losses in the 2015 Calaveras County fire, known as the Butte Fire, the 2017 Wine Country wildfires and last year's massive fire in Butte County, known as the Camp Fire.

The payments will be included in PG&E’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, once the deal is finalized with regulators. 

Investigators have concluded that PG&E caused the fires in Calaveras and Butte counties. While Cal Fire determined that the Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County was caused by a private electrical system and not PG&E, Sonoma County officials disagreed with that assessment.

In the end, KPIX-5 reports that PG&E agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to North Bay government entities for damages caused by the blaze.

Sonoma County supervisor David Rabbit told KPIX -5 that he wanted to make sure taxpayers weren’t stiffed with the repair bills for the damage the fires caused.

“Recovery resiliency’s our number one goal in the county,” said Rabbit. “Wanting to make sure the infrastructure that was damaged is repaired and on someone else’s dime and not the tax payers’ dime, but on the person who caused the fire.”

The settlement only applies to government entities — covering roads, buildings, and infrastructure.  It does not apply to the many homeowners who have filed claims against PG&E.