Pacific Gas & Electric has been hit with another lawsuit, this one filed by five counties harmed by the massive Dixie Fire. It appears likely PG&E equipment sparked the fire that torched 963,000 acres of land, a footprint larger than Rhode Island, killed one person, and destroyed 1,329 buildings.
“These counties have been ravaged by fire as the result of PG&E’s negligence,” asserted Baron & Budd attorney John Fiske in an Oct. 20 press release. “We are holding PG&E accountable for this devastating fire, and we hope they will do what is right so these communities can start the process of rebuilding.”
Attorneys for Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, and Tehama counties on Wednesday filed suit in the San Francisco Superior Court, the same venue that heard victim claims from the North Bay, Kincade, and Zogg fires. The complaint seeks “damages for injuries to public resources, natural resources, lost revenues, increased expenses, lost assets, injuries to infrastructure such as roads and water systems, and other injuries and damages,” according to attorneys.
CalFire has not yet reported the cause of the fire that started July 13. But PG&E revealed one of its workers discovered a tree leaning on an overhead 12kV distribution circuit. Two of the three fuses on the pole were blown, and a fire was burning at the bottom of the tree.
PG&E said it has not reviewed all the evidence CalFire collected but believes it operated its “system prudently.” Spokesperson Ari Vanrenen added, “We remain focused on further reducing wildfire risk and addressing extreme climate conditions across our service territory.”