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


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 kills four.

PG&E is already facing criminal charges in the Zogg Fire, which state fire officials say began when a Shasta County pine tree fell into a PG&E distribution line. In June, the utility pleaded not guilty to four counts of manslaughter charged by the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.

The California Public Utilities Commission said in its draft order that the utility failed to remove two pines marked for removal, resulting in the fall of one. The commission also ordered the utility to submit a corrective action plan to ensure that trees marked for removal are logged in a database and removed.

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PG&E said in a statement that it has resolved civil disputes with Shasta County and is committed to helping the community recover. He reviews the draft 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 scorched 88 square miles (228 square kilometers) of land.

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