Betsy Cowley lives in Pulga, a small town east of Chico, where the campfire began.
Damon Arthur, Disk Projector
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. today acknowledged that its equipment had probably triggered the deadly camp fire, which devastated the city of Paradise and surrounding communities in the far north of California, last fall.
"The company thinks it's likely that its equipment will be considered a lighting point of the 2018 campfire," said the utility in a press release accompanying the filing of a case. with the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing also informs shareholders that the regulator expects $ 10.5 billion in charges as a result.
PG & E stated that it relied on its own information about the event and the information provided to the California Public Utilities Commission and other agencies.
Start your day smarter: Receive the USA TODAY daily briefing in your inbox
More: PG & E declares bankruptcy amid lawsuits in California, reporting billions of complaints
But the public service also pointed out that the cause of the camp fire is still under investigation.
The camp fire, the deadliest in California's history, killed 86 people and began on November 8, 2018. It destroyed about 14,000 homes. It was the world's most expensive natural disaster in 2018 and the deadliest fire of the last 100 years in the United States.
PG & E spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo declined to comment further than the filing and press release.
"We are aware that more needs to be done to adapt to the growing threat of wildfires and extreme weather conditions to ensure the safety of our customers and our communities," he said. John Simon, Acting CEO of PG & E, in a statement. "We are taking action now on the important safety and maintenance measures identified in our accelerated and enhanced safety inspections and will continue to keep our regulators, customers and investors informed of our efforts."
More: Losses from the deadly fires of 2018 in California reach $ 11.4 billion
PG & E also recorded a new $ 1 billion pre-tax charge related to the 2017 Atlas and Cascade fires in northern California. These add up to a $ 2.5 billion charge already recorded in the second quarter of 2018.
Including the latest charges, PG & E had a $ 14 billion impact on its net result from the 2017 campfire and wildfire in California, the utility said. He also warned that these estimates were in the lower end of the range.
PG & E's potential liability for forest fires could exceed $ 30 billion, the utility said.
Follow David Benda on Twitter: @DavidBenda_RS
Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/28/pge-camp-fire-equipment-llike-started-wildfire/3016844002/