SACRAMENTO, California. (AP) – The California Attorney’s Office on Tuesday filed 33 criminal cases against the concerned Pacific Gas & Electric Company against 2019.
The company denied that it had committed a crime, even after admitting that its power line had caught fire.
The Sonoma County District Attorney charged the utility company with five counts of aggravated crime և 28 in the October 2019 Kincade fire north of San Francisco. The blaze burned more than 120 square miles (311 square kilometers) and destroyed 374 buildings.
The 33 charges include unintentionally setting fire to six firefighters with major injuries, known only as Does on Do # 1 – 6. Among the injured firefighters was a prisoner firefighter, at least two outgoing contractors, one of whom suffered second- or third-degree burns to his legs.
Firefighters said the PG&E transmission line caught fire, destroying hundreds of homes and evacuating nearly 100,000 people.
The utility said it had not seen the report or evidence gathered by state firefighters, but would conclude that its transmission line had caused a fire “in the spirit of working for the victims.”
“However, we do not believe any crime has taken place here,” the company said in a statement. “We remain committed to impacting all stakeholders; we will work to further reduce the risk of fire on our system.”
It thanked the firefighters, including the wounded, and thanked them that no one was killed.
The company serves more than 16 million people in most of Northern California. PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said in a statement that she had come to the company in January to “make it safe again in California.” We will work around the clock until it is right for all the people we have been privileged to serve. ”
The accusations and related improvements accuse the company of destroying the company’s residential buildings, emitting air pollutants, “recklessly disregarding the risk of major bodily harm” from toxic fire smoke, particles, and ash, thereby endangering public health.
They allege that the utility failed to provide services and facilities, including power lines, due to numerous illegal allegations.
This is the last of its kind for utilities.
PG & E’s alleged criminal negligence in the Sonoma County wildfire occurred while the company was still in bankruptcy, sparked by a series of deadly hells erupted by crumbling utilities in 2017-2018.
In Bute County, the deadliest wiped out the entire city of Paradise in the deadliest wildfire in California history. It culminated in PG&E pleading guilty last June to manslaughter in 84 crimes.
Although then-PG & E CEO Bill John Onson appeared in court to present indictments to the remaining families of those killed in Butte County, no one from the company went to jail. Instead, the company paid the maximum fine of $ 4 million.
PG&E came out in the immediate aftermath of bankruptcy litigation when the culprits sought a series of negotiations to cover the damage caused to its corrupt network. These settlements included a $ 13.5 billion fund for forest fire victims, who recently began distributing some money to help people rebuild their lives.
The Sonoma County wildfire also sparked outbursts by a federal judge overseeing PG&E’s ongoing criminal investigation into its 2010 natural gas pipelines. The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a San Bruno suburb south of San Francisco.
US District Governor William Alsup, who has repeatedly lauded PG&E for failing to maintain its equipment, is currently considering ordering proposed changes that could lead to utilities being forced to shut down their power lines even more often than in recent years. windy conditions to reduce the risk of more deadly fires.
Associated Press writer Michael Liedke contributed from San Francisco.