5 counties in Northern California are suing PG&E over damages from the Dixie Fire. Butte, Plumas, Lassen, Shasta and Tehama counties are seeking “legal 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" caused by the fire.
PG&E admitted back in July that its equipment may have been involved in sparking the Dixie Fire. Over 963,000 acres have burned and it remains California's 2nd largest wildfire to date and 14th most destructive. One person was killed and thousands of structures destroyed as a result of the fire. The lawsuit claims that on July 13th at 7am, there were reports of a power outage in Butte County's Feather River Canyon area. No one responded to the outage until 4pm that day. PG&E admitted to the California Public Utilities Commission that the repairman responding to the July 13th outage says he spotted blown fuses in a conductor atop a pole, a tree leaning into the conductor and fire at the base of the tree. July 13th is the same day that the massive Dixie Fire started, going on to grow to 963,276 acres and damaging over 1,000 structures and killing one person.
In response to the lawsuit, PG&E released the following statement:
"PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. CAL FIRE has not made a determination on the cause of the Dixie Fire, and we have not been able to review all of the evidence CAL FIRE collected. As we’ve said previously, PG&E believes we operated our system prudently. We remain focused on further reducing wildfire risk and addressing extreme climate conditions across our service area. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe."
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court, where several other fire lawsuits have been filed in cases like the North Bay Fire, Kincade Fire and Zogg Fire cases. The fire stands at 95% contained with 1,218 personal still assigned to the fire.