California wildfires

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Utility to Pay $11B Over California Fires

Individuals are the only group without a deal

(Newser) - Pacific Gas & Electric has settled for $11 billion with insurance companies over claims involving California wildfires in 2017 and 2018. The deal could help the giant utility get out of bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports. PG&E, facing $30 billion in liability after fatal fires sparked by its... More »

Wildfires That Charred California Will Cost PG&E $1B

Settlement is to cover 'taxpayer losses' from wildfires stretching back to 2015

(Newser) - More than a dozen local governments and other public entities in Northern California will soon share a $1 billion payment from the public utility that's blamed for three years' worth of wildfires there. KCRA and NPR report the settlement from Pacific Gas and Electric was announced Tuesday, with the... More »

Amusement Park Evacuated as Fast-Moving Fire Erupts

'It was pretty scary. We saw trucks packing people'

(Newser) - A fast-moving brush fire erupted near a huge amusement and water park in Southern California on Sunday, sending hundreds of visitors to the exit to escape clouds of smoke and ash before fire officials asked them to stay put while they worked to contain the blaze. Six Flags Magic Mountain... More »

Investigators Confirm PG&E Caused Deadliest Calif. Fire

Transmission lines sparked Camp fire

(Newser) - Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines sparked a northern California blaze that killed 85 people last year, making it the deadliest US wildfire in a century and the deadliest in state history, state fire officials said Wednesday. Cal Fire said transmission lines owned and operated by the San Francisco-based... More »

FEMA Struck by a 'Major Privacy Incident'

Agency disclosed sensitive data of more than 2M disaster survivors, per DHS IG report

(Newser) - Survivors may still be picking up the pieces after the natural disasters that have swept across the country over the past couple of years, and now they have a new issue to contend with: the possibility of identity theft thanks to what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling a... More »

Report: 'Line Slap' Sparked California's 2nd Biggest Fire

SCE equipment triggered 2 fires, which merged: Ventura County Fire Department

(Newser) - Amid high winds, two Southern California Edison power lines slapped together on a canyon-side cattle ranch on Dec. 4, 2017. And that "line slap" is how the Thomas fire , the second largest wildfire in California’s history, reportedly began. The resulting electrical arc "deposited hot, burning or molten... More »

Family Believes Dog Missing 101 Days Ate Skunk to Survive

Kingston jumped from the family truck as they fled the town of Paradise

(Newser) - A dog named Kingston is back with his family 101 days after he jumped out of their truck as they fled a devastating Northern California wildfire. The 12-year-old Akita was reunited Monday with the Ballejos family, who fled the town of Paradise late last year, Sacramento television station KXTV reported.... More »

In Wake of Calif. Wildfires, PG&E Makes a Big Move

Largest utility in America files for bankruptcy

(Newser) - America's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., filed for bankruptcy Tuesday as it faces billions of dollars in potential damages from wildfires in California. The utility filed documents in a US court seeking Chapter 11 reorganization despite state investigators determining last week that its equipment wasn't to... More »

Wildfire Report Is Good News for PG&E

State investigators say California utility not to blame for 2017 Tubbs Fire

(Newser) - In a long-awaited report, state investigators said Thursday that a 2017 wildfire that killed 22 people in Northern California wine country was caused by a private electrical system, not equipment of embattled Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The state's firefighting agency concluded that the fire started next to a... More »

Erin Brockovich Hammered PG&E. Now She Wants to Save It

It's all about getting money for California's wildfire victims

(Newser) - Consumer activist Erin Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the 1990s, urged California lawmakers Tuesday not to let the utility go bankrupt—because it could mean less money for wildfire victims. "I'm mad, I think we should all be mad," Brockovich said... More »

Utility That Serves 16M Declares Bankruptcy

Liabilities for state wildfires are just too expensive for PG&E

(Newser) - California's largest utility is crying uncle. PG&E Corp said Monday it will file for bankruptcy protection as it deals with billions in possible liability costs over huge state wildfires, the Wall Street Journal reports. The utility and its main unit, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., plan to file... More »

Trump Had Warned California. Today, Another Shot Fired

President says he's cutting off FEMA money unless state gets 'act together, which is unlikely'

(Newser) - When President Trump demanded California get its wildfires in check , he apparently meant business. "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen," Trump said in a Wednesday tweet, ultimately replaced with one in which "... More »

Wildfire Cleanup Workers Fired for 'Reprehensible' Photos

One of them joked about the remains of a dead pet

(Newser) - Three wildfire cleanup workers in California have been fired for clowning around in the ruins of people's homes and posting what the town of Paradise calls "reprehensible" photos on social media. One photo shows the burned remains of a pet cat with a bottle near its mouth and... More »

Dog Guards Burnt Calif. Home for Weeks

Paradise homeowner finds her dog guarding the ruins

(Newser) - A survivor of the catastrophic Camp Fire in Northern California returned this week to find her dog there, guarding the ruins of her home. "Imagine the loyalty of hanging in in the worst of circumstances and being here waiting," homeowner Andrea Gaylord tells WKYC3 . "It was so... More »

Residents Given Hazmat Suits for Return to Paradise

They were allowed back for first time since blaze

(Newser) - Nearly four weeks after the devastating blaze leveled her California town, Jennifer Christensen was allowed to return to her home in Paradise, where the first thing she saw was her son's charred tricycle in the front yard. Christensen was among hundreds of residents who were allowed back into neighborhoods... More »

Man Will Hand $1K Check to Each Paradise High Student

San Diego businessman was moved by their plight

(Newser) - A San Diego businessman is donating $1 million in the wake of Northern California's devastating Camp Fire—but he's doing so in an unconventional way. Bob Wilson, 89, plans to pass out $1,000 checks on Tuesday to each of the 980 students and 105 staff members from... More »

Catastrophic Cali Fire Is Finally Contained

The Camp fire is surrounded by firefighters

(Newser) - A massive wildfire that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in Northern California has been fully contained after burning for more than two weeks, authorities said Sunday, the AP reports. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says the Camp fire had been surrounded by firefighters... More »

Rain Helps Put Out California's Deadliest Fire

But downpour will bring new hazards

(Newser) - The deadliest wildfire in California is now 90% contained after firefighters got some help from the region's first major rainstorm of the season. The rain in northern California also helped bring the Bay Area's air quality from a "very unhealthy" rating to "good," though it... More »

In California, an Example of 'What Thanksgiving's About'

Businesses, volunteers teaming up to provide meal to those displaced by Camp Fire

(Newser) - The Camp Fire in northern California has killed at least 83 people, with the number rising daily, and has displaced tens of thousands of others. Hundreds are unaccounted for. It won't be a normal Thanksgiving for any of those families, but businesses and hundreds of volunteers have stepped up... More »

Daughter of Man Killed in Wildfire Sues Utility

PG&E faces potentially catastrophic financial penalties

(Newser) - Investigators still haven't settled on the cause of the California wildfire that has killed more than 80 people so far, but another lawsuit is pinning the blame squarely on the utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The AP reports that Neva Rodrigues, whose 73-year-old father was killed in the fire,... More »

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