Regulators propose $155 million fine for PG&E for 2020 wildfires

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulators proposed Tuesday to fine Pacific Gas & Electric more than $155 million for starting a 2020 wildfire in Northern California that destroyed 200 homes and killed four people.

PG&E is already facing criminal charges over the Zogg fire, which state fire officials say started when a pine tree in Shasta County fell into a PG&E distribution line. In June of the utility worker did not admit his guilt on four counts of involuntary manslaughter by the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.

The California Public Utilities Commission said in its proposed order that the utility failed to remove two pine trees marked for removal, causing one to fall. The commission also ordered the utility to submit a corrective action plan to ensure that trees marked for removal are entered into a database and removed.

In a statement, PG&E said it has settled civil claims with Shasta County and is committed to helping the community recover. It reviews the proposed order and may request a hearing.

“We share the CPUC’s commitment to improving safety and believe that any potential financial penalties should be directed to the benefit of our customers and to keeping our hometowns safe,” the statement said.

The fire burned 88 square miles (228 square kilometers) of land.



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