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PG&E charged in California wildfire last year that killed 4

California Wildfire Utility Charged
Posted at 5:47 PM, Sep 24, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric has been charged with manslaughter and other crimes in a Northern California wildfire last year that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Investigators determined that aging equipment belonging to the nation's largest utility sparked the Zogg Fire last September near the city of Redding.

Prosecutors announced 31 charges on Friday, including 11 felonies.

According to the AP, if found guilty of manslaughter, Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett said the company would be punished by being fined for each person killed in the fire.

Bridgett added that the main goal is to hold PG&E responsible "and let the surviving families know that their loved one did not die in vain," the AP reported.

PG&E's CEO says the deaths are a tragedy but that failing to prevent the fire isn't a crime.

It's the latest legal action against the utility.

It pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter over a 2018 blaze in Paradise that was ignited by its long-neglected electrical grid.