SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — California’s energy regulator slapped Pacific Gas and Electric with a $125 million penalty Tuesday for sparking the Kincade Fire, which burned over 77,000 acres and destroyed 374 structures in Sonoma County in 2019.
Investigators with the California Public Utilities Commission’s safety and enforcement division found the fire was caused when a worn jumper cable, which was installed in 1973, failed and snapped off a transmission tower near Geyserville on Oct. 23, 2019.
Investigators with Cal Fire previously determined that a PG&E transmission line ignited the blaze. PG&E faces 33 criminal charges, including five felonies, in Sonoma County Superior Court for causing the blaze that injured six firefighters and caused $600 million in insurance losses. In September, a Sonoma County judge denied PG&E’s motion to dismiss 25 air-pollution-related charges in the case.