San Andreas, CA – PG&E shares with Clarke Broadcasting that it is ironing out details of a Butte Fire emergency relief program.
PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles indicated Thursday evening to Clarke Broadcasting (CBC) that the utility company was not quite ready to make the official announcement but spoke after learning from CBC that officials of Solana Beach-based Singleton Law Firm, representing more than 250 individuals impacted by the wildfire, had trumped its announcement by sending out a press release about the new program. While it offered few details, the communication indicated that the firm’s attorneys would be available to assist anyone interested in filling out program applications.
As previously reported, several law firms are actively working to file lawsuits on behalf of Butte Fire survivors against PG&E and its contractors. The activities began shortly after PG&E’s announcement back in September that it was working with Cal Fire to determine whether a live tree falling into a power line sparked the blaze that ravaged nearly 71,000 acres and destroyed hundreds of homes and outbuildings.
PG&E confirms that it has initiated the new program to provide “immediate needs” financial assistance of up to $50,000 to uninsured homeowners and up to $10,000 renters who lost their homes in the Butte Fire. Applicable needs, Boyles states, include temporary housing, vehicle rental and replacement of household items. He also says that PG&E is directly reaching out to its Butte Fire affected customers who have not filed any lawsuits and that those who have filed would be able to have their attorneys help them with their claim forms. Anyone with questions he directs to contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
There is one caveat; customers who apply must agree that if PG&E is found to be at fault for the fire and they file a claim against the company, that the relief amount will come out of their claim results. To this, Boyle adds, “If they receive more from [the program] than they would have received in the claim, they won’t be asked to pay it back — but this will count as part of that claim — we just recognize that it can take quite awhile for these investigations to go and…recognize that those who lost their homes need immediate help.”