Federal officials have initiated a criminal investigation into
On Sept. 24, the US Forest Service removed one of the utility’s transmission poles from the site in Placer County where the Mosquito fire started, PG&E said Monday in a
The investigation marks a significant setback for efforts by PG&E to move past its troubled history with fires. The company was charged with
If PG&E is found criminally liable for the blaze, it may make it harder for the company to recover those costs from customers. In addition, state regulators could increase their oversight of the utility under an agreement struck as a condition of PG&E emerging from bankruptcy in 2020.
“While it is one of the biggest fires of 2022, the damage estimates remain below insurance thresholds,” analysts led by
PG&E shares were up 1.6% at 2:23 p.m. in New York after earlier rising 5.1%, the most intraday in three months. PG&E was
The Mosquito fire has charred almost 77,000 acres and destroyed 78 structures since it began in the drought-parched Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento. As of Monday, the fire was 85% contained.
PG&E, the state’s largest utility, said it’s cooperating with the investigation and is conducting its own probe into the cause of the fire, according to a statement. Officials have not yet determined what sparked the blaze.
The company had already notified regulators of a power-line failure around the time the fire reportedly started on Sept. 6. PG&E is also facing a
(Updates with USFS response in second paragraph. An earlier version corrected the name of the agency that initiated the probe.)
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