California utility to pay $55 million for massive wildfires

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(Photo: Lisa McNee / BLM / CC BY 2.0)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to pay more than $55 million to avoid criminal prosecution for two major wildfires started by its aging power lines in Northern California.

PG&E does not admit wrongdoing in the two settlements reached with prosecutors for last year’s Dixie Fire and the 2019 Kincade Fire in Sonoma County.

PG&E also will submit to five years of oversight by an independent monitor similar to the supervision it faced during five years of criminal probation after it was convicted for misconduct that contributed to its natural gas explosion that killed eight people in 2010.