Shasta County DA Says PG&E Is “Criminally Liable” For Starting Zogg Fire

PG&E will be held criminally liable for last year’s Zogg Fire. Cal-Fire and PG&E have both already confirmed the fire was caused by PG&E electrical lines contacting a Gray Pine Tree. That particular Gray Pine north of Igo had been identified as a hazard in 2018, but was not removed in time. The Zogg Fire burned more than 56,000 acres, destroyed more than 200 buildings and killed four residents as they tried to escape the flames. There are numerous lawsuits by private landowners pending. In May the utility was hit with a nearly $150 Million bill. California power regulators fined PG&E $106 Million its mishandling of power outages in 2019. That’s on top of $43.4 Million in settlements Pg&E agreed to pay to government agencies in three counties ravaged by wildfires ignited by its equipment during 2019 and last year. The settlement includes money for public entities to recover some of their costs. PG&E has been on probation ever since an attempt to cover up their negligence in maintaining gas lines that blew up a neighborhood in San Bruno in 2010. Being a corporation, it’s unclear what the nature of the charges will be, but DA Stephanie Bridgett says a filing decision will be made prior to the Zogg Fire anniversary, which is September 27th. In a response, PG&E says they continue to reach settlements with individuals victims and their families, but they don’t agree with the decision to file criminal charges.

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