California utility takes $2.5 billion charge for wildfires
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California utility says it will take a $2.5 billion charge for expected losses in connection with deadly wildfires that whipped through the state’s wine country in October.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. also warned Thursday that its liability could be considerably higher after state fire officials determine the cause of 21 major fires that rampaged throughout Northern California, killing 44 people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses.
Officials have concluded that the utility’s downed power lines started several of the fires. PG&E said it is facing more than 200 lawsuits.
The utility says the $2.5 billion charge will be recorded in the quarter ending June 30. PG&E says the $2.5 billion is at the low end of its estimated liability, which it said could exceed $10 billon.