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PG&E Enters Plea In Fatal 2020 NorCal Fire

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Shasta County, CA — Pacific Gas and Electric has filed a not guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter following the Zogg Fire that ignited in Shasta County in September of 2020.

Investigators determined that the fire was caused by a tree that fell onto a PG&E distribution line. The fire killed four people, destroyed 200 homes and scarred 87 square miles of land.

Shasta and Tehama counties filed a lawsuit claiming that the company was negligent. They argue that the tree had been marked for removal two years earlier, but it remained in place. PG&E countered that upon further review, the tree was later cleared to stay.

PG&E put out a statement, “We accept CAL FIRE’s finding that a tree falling into our equipment started the fire, but we do not believe there was any criminal activity.”

A judge has set a preliminary hearing for January.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in 2019 after the utility’s infrastructure was blamed for several other fires, including the 2018 Camp Fire that killed 85 people and destroyed 10,000 homes.