5 counties impacted by Dixie Fire file lawsuit against PG&E

Wildfire Watch

OROVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) — Pacific Gas and Electric Company is being sued by multiple counties over injuries and damages caused by the Dixie Fire, which burned 963,276 acres across five different counties.

Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta and Tehama counties announced the lawsuit was filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court, which has previously heard cases related to the Kincade and Zogg fires.

The counties are demanding legal damages for “injuries to public resources, natural resources, lost revenues, increased expenses, lost assets, injuries to infrastructure such as roads and water systems.”

During its 95 days of activity, the Dixie Fire destroyed 1,329 structures, damaged 95 other structures and killed at least one person. The fire is the largest non-complex fire in California history and covered an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

“Butte County brings this action to recover public and natural resources lost, because PG&E failed to manage and maintain its high voltage infrastructure,” said Butte County Counsel Bruce Alpert.

The utility company released a statement Wednesday, addressing such claims.

PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. CAL FIRE has not made a determination on the cause of the Dixie Fire, and we have not been able to review all of the evidence CAL FIRE collected. As we’ve said previously, PG&E believes we operated our system prudently. We remain focused on further reducing wildfire risk and addressing extreme climate conditions across our service area. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe.

PG&E

PG&E was called into court for questioning related to their role in the Dixie Fire. The utility company said in a report to the California Public Utilities Commission that a repairman responding to a circuit outage on July 13 spotted blown fuses in a conductor atop a pole, a tree leaning into the conductor and fire at the base of the tree.

PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to major wildfires, including a 2018 fire that ravaged the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

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