17 Stories

More Blackouts Coming as California Fires Rage

PG&E customers slam 'failure of epic proportions'

(Newser) - Millions of Californians prepared to be in the dark—some for five days, or longer—as the nation's largest utility said it was switching off power again Tuesday to prevent powerful winds from damaging its equipment and sparking more fires. Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. said its latest blackout... More »

Record Winds Spread Flames in California's Wine Country

Nearly 200,000 people have evacuated

(Newser) - California's governor declared a statewide emergency with nearly 200,000 people ordered to flee their homes because of wildfires fueled by historic winds, while millions were without electricity after the largest utility cut power in some areas as a precaution to prevent other fires, the AP reports. Gov. Gavin... More »

PG&E Warns of 'Extreme Measure' Amid High Winds

Utility may be shutting off power to 2 million people in Northern California on Saturday night

(Newser) - More than 2 million people in Northern California may be without power Saturday night in a planned blackout meant to fend off wildfires. The Los Angeles Times reports that this anticipated move by Pacific Gas and Electric, which would affect 36 counties, is due to high winds forecast for the... More »

Fires Rage Across California as Lights Go Out

No deaths or injuries have been reported

(Newser) - Fast-growing fires throughout California forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes Thursday as dry winds and high heat fed flames and fears in the state still jittery from devastating wildfires in the past two years. The dramatic fires and evacuations—near Los Angeles and in the wine... More »

Regulator Calls PG&E Outage 'an Unacceptable Situation'

California utility ordered to take a series of steps to improve performance

(Newser) - California's top utility regulator blasted Pacific Gas and Electric on Monday for what she called "failures in execution" during the largest planned power outage in state history to avoid wildfires that, she said, "created an unacceptable situation that should never be repeated." The agency ordered a... More »

California Power Shutoff Is Causing Car Accidents

More than 1 million coping with no power as a safety precaution

(Newser) - What a mess. More than 1 million people in California were without power Thursday, and the number might grow to 2 million before all is said and done. It's all part of a controversial move by PG&E to cut power in more than 30 counties as a safety... More »

California Braces for Historic Power Outage

More than 800K customers will have power cut off in attempt to prevent wildfires

(Newser) - Two years to the day after some of the deadliest wildfires tore through Northern California wine country, a utility announced Tuesday it will shut off power to more than 800,000 customers in the largest preventive outage in state history—to try to prevent wildfires caused by faulty power lines.... More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

One Faulty Hook Blamed for California's Massive Fire

Sources tell NBC Bay Area a hook on PG&E tower failed

(Newser) - The cause of California's deadly Camp Fire still has not been officially released, but sources say a single hook may be the culprit. Specifically, a steel hook that held up a high voltage line on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission tower, sources tell NBC Bay Area . There had... 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 »

PG&E Got $5M to Fix Pipe, But Never Did

This year, it asked for another $5M

(Newser) - No solace here for the 40 or so San Francisco-area families who lost their homes in last week's gas line explosion: PG&E got permission three years ago to spend $5 million of ratepayers' money—and to factor that cost into rate prices—to fix a portion of the pipe.... More »

Is PG&E to Blame for San Bruno Fire?

It's been involved in many gas line breaks, but no blame assigned yet

(Newser) - As the victims of Thursday's San Bruno fire mourn their losses, Pacific Gas & Electric reps say they still don’t know what caused a high-pressure gas pipeline to rupture. But could PG&E itself be to blame? The company has been involved in almost half of California’s major... More »

17 Stories