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PG&E must pay $150 million for role in deadly 2020 Fire

The fire burns a home along Platina Road in Igo, on Sept. 27, 2020. The Zogg Fire went from 400 acres to 7,000 acres in a matter of hours, prompting mandatory evacuations in the region. Regulators ordered PG&E Corp. to pay $150 million in total penalties for its role in starting the deadly wildfire. (Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

California regulators ordered PG&E Corp. to pay $150 million in total penalties for its role in starting a deadly 2020 wildfire.

PG&E was fined $10 million and will have to use shareholder money to fund $140 million in vegetation management programs, according to a resolution passed Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The Zogg Fire started when a gray pine fell onto a PG&E power line in the Sierra Nevada Forest. California investigators alleged PG&E failed to remove the tree on time because of poor record- keeping, according to a statement. The wildfire burned more than 56,000 acres and caused four deaths and more than $50 million in damages.

PG&E had disputed the alleged violations. The company said in a statement it shares the commission’s commitment to improve safety and the settlement agreement will allow the utility to focus on efforts to improve its system.

Preventing wildfires and resolving liability from the blazes has weighed heavily on PG&E for years. The company was forced into bankruptcy in 2019 after fires sparked by power lines and transformers destroyed more than 1 million acres and killed scores of people.


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