The Latest: Lawmaker says PG&E still on hook for other fires
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the cause of a 2017 California wildfire that killed 22 people (all times local):
A Northern California state senator said that just because a private electric line caused one of the deadliest wildfires in state history does not let Pacific Gas & Electric off the hook for its role in other devastating fires in the state.
California officials said Thursday that a private electric line was responsible for a 2017 blaze in wine country that killed 22 people and destroyed thousands of homes.
State Sen. Bill Dodd, a Napa Democrat, said the finding doesn’t negate the systemwide issues plaguing California’s largest utility.
PG&E previously said it plans to file for bankruptcy protection because it faces at least $30 billion in potential damages from lawsuits involving the possible role of its equipment in catastrophic wildfires in California in the past two years.
PG&E did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Investigators say a deadly 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Northern California wine country was caused by a private electrical system, not equipment of embattled Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
The state’s firefighting agency said Thursday that the fire started next to a residence. The agency did not find any violations of state law.
The fire was one of more than 170 fires that torched the state in October 2017. It destroyed more than 5,600 structures over more than 57 square miles (148 sq. kilometers) in Sonoma County.
The cause came as a relief to PG&E, which plans to file for bankruptcy protection next week, citing billions of potential damages from other deadly and destructive wildfires.
CalFire did not immediately release its full fire cause report.