PG&E has filed a $225 million lawsuit for 2021 Dixie fire damages

Flames consume vehicles as the Dixie Fire rages through the Indian Falls community in Plumas County, California on Saturday, July 24, 2021. The fire destroyed several homes in the area. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

PG&E has filed a $225 million lawsuit for 2021 Dixie fire damages

California Politics

Hannah Wiley

April 14, 2024

A coalition of timber companies


has filed a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and is seeking approximately $225 million in damages stemming from a 2021 fire caused by a power line.

The complaint, filed Wednesday by Oregon-based Collins Pine Co. and six affiliated timber companies with properties in the Collins Almanor Forest in Plumas and Tehama counties, alleges that PG&E failed to properly manage the forest and electrical equipment to prevent the devastating fire in Dixie. that the companies have suffered enormous financial damage as a result.

A 2022 study by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection shows


The Dixie fire, the second largest in California history, was caused by a tree coming into contact with electrical distribution lines owned and operated by the utility.

Dixie fire, now the second largest in California history, has burned more than 400 buildings

The timber companies claimed the fire, which burned nearly 1 million acres in Butte, Plumas, Shasta, Lassen and Tehama counties in the summer and fall of 2021, burned approximately 55,000 acres of their property, including “commercial grade timber, trees from many species and ages (some over 200 years old), roads, structures, bridges, culverts and many of the research plots.”

Collins Pine Co. claimed that the fire destroyed an additional 500 hectares of land for which it owns the timber rights and that the factory was “significantly injured” and the timber supply was ruined.

The damage totals over $225 million.

The complaint, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that PG&E “negligently, recklessly and willfully failed to properly, safely and prudently inspect, repair, maintain and operate its electrical equipment and surrounding vegetation, including hazardous trees.” “.

A massive fire destroys much of the California city, leaving behind broken hearts and broken dreams

“Had Defendants acted responsibly, the Dixie Fire could have been prevented,” the companies wrote.

PG&E spokesman JD Guidi did not comment on the allegations, but said the company is “aware that charges have been filed, but we have yet to be served.

The Dixie Fire burned through Northern California for more than three months and is listed as one of the state’s most destructive fires. Drought and changing wind conditions helped the fire erupt into a monstrous inferno that tore through several rural counties, burning the city of Greenville and blanketing the region in heavy smoke.

The California Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E $45 million in January for its role in the fire, which is blamed on a Douglas fir tree that “fell and struck energized conductors owned and operated” by it utility company.

The fine was the latest in a long line of fines, lawsuits and legislation aimed at holding PG&E accountable for several fires started by their equipment.

Other fires linked to the company’s equipment include the 2020 Zogg fire, the 2019 Kincade fire and, most notably, the 2018 Camp fire, California’s deadliest. The Camp Fire destroyed 153,000 hectares and killed 85 people, many of them in the town of Paradise.

Has California addressed the failures that led to the deadly Camp Fire five years ago?

The utility filed for bankruptcy in 2019

an effort

to protect themselves from the tens of billions of dollars in potential liabilities.

The same year, the state Legislature passed legislation creating a more than $21 billion wildfire recovery fund for victims.


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