PG&E Facing Criminal Charges Over 2019 California Wildfire

PG%26E+Facing+Criminal+Charges+Over+2019+California+Wildfire

Zak Gaines

The massive fire, which burned through more than 77,000 acres of vegetation in Sonoma county, was ignited by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by PG&E in northeast Geyserville, a Cal fire investigation found.  The fire destroyed 374 structures, damaged another 60, and caused injuries.  Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch charged PG&E with five felonies and 28 misdemeanors Tuesday.

The charges including unlawfully started a fire that caused bodily injury, unlawfully burning inhabited structures, unlawfully causing a fire that burned forests, and various air pollution crimes, the District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

The utility has faced scrutiny in recent years over its equipment’s role in a spate of deadly and destructive California fires. Last summer, PG&E pleaded guilty to 85 counts, including involuntary manslaughter and unlawfully stating the campfire, the deadliest blaze in the state’s history.