Deadly Blaze Caused by PG&E Power Lines Contacting Pine Tree


Contact between PG&E Corp. power lines and a pine tree sparked the Zogg Fire that killed four people and torched about 56,000 acres in Northern California in September, state investigators said.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has forwarded its investigative report on the blaze to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, the agency known as Cal Fire said in a press release Monday. The fire burned for two weeks in the Sierra Nevada mountains after starting Sept. 27, destroying 204 structures before it was brought under control.

Deadly Blaze Caused by PG&E Power Lines Contacting Pine Tree

PG&E said it fully cooperated with Cal Fire’s investigation and looks forward to reviewing the report and evidence collected when allowed to do so. California’s largest utility remains focused on mitigation efforts to prevent future wildfires, it said in a statement.

The company said in December it expected to take a $275 million pretax charge in connection with the fire. PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2019 after its equipment was blamed for a string of deadly fires, including the Camp Fire that killed 85 people.

PG&E renewed its liability insurance coverage for wildfire events in July 2020 for $867.5 million, the company said in a December filing. The company expects much of the Zogg Fire charge to be covered by insurance.

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