PG&E Reaches Settlement With 5 Counties Affected By The Dixie Fire

A large civil settlement has been reached with PG&E by district attorneys of the five counties affected by the Dixie Fire. Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Lassen and Plumas County residents who lost their homes must receive offers from PG&E within 30 days. Residents will then have 30 days to accept or reject it. PG&E must then pay within 30 days after acceptance. $400 per square foot will be paid to homeowners. Renters will get $140 per square foot for their lost belongings. The payout for mobile homes is a flat $240,000 plus $150,000 for contents. Online portals and in-person help centers will be set up to make it easy for claimants. A mediation program will be set up for lost timber. Nearly $30 Million will go to non-profits who helped Dixie Fire survivors. Each of the district attorney’s offices will get a Million Dollars. PG&E cannot raise rates to cover the payouts. A major part of the settlement is prevention. “Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings” must be set by the end of the year for the 5,200 miles of high fire threat distribution lines. At least 400 miles of distribution lines must be underground by the end of 2024. At least 100 new line inspector positions must be created, and an independent safety monitor will watch closely to be sure safety promises are kept. The decision was made to go after a civil settlement because nobody was killed by the Dixie Fire, so the criminal penalty would have been less than $330,000. However, the criminal case against PG&E for the Zogg Fire in Igo is still going forward because the Zogg killed four people, and DA Stephanie Bridgett says the utility must be held accountable for that.