PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — A new lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court alleges Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is responsible for the destruction and damage of the Mosquito Fire in Placer and El Dorado counties.
Pacific Gas & Electric said unspecified “electrical activity” occurred close in time to the report of the fire on Sept. 6.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of people who owned property or lived in Placer or El Dorado counties. The firm said that the blaze was ignited by PG&E's "poorly maintained utility infrastructure."
“The damage done to several counties by PG&E was entirely avoidable with their knowledge and expertise as electrical service providers,” said Gerald Singleton, Managing Partner of Singleton Schreiber. “PG&E continues to act negligently and has been responsible for more than 1,500 fires across the states leading to deaths, property destruction, financial burdens, and ruined lives because of their poorly maintained utility equipment. The utility company continues to put profit over safety in the countless fires they have caused or been associated with.”
The Mosquito Fire has burned 76,781 acres in both counties and as of Friday morning was 60% contained, according to the El Dorado National Forest Service. The cause of the Mosquito Fire is under investigation and it's the largest wildfire California has seen so far this year.
PG&E submitted documents to the California Public Utilities Commission that said the U.S. Forest Service placed caution tape around the base of a PG&E transmission pole but that no damage could be seen.
"PG&E’s information reflects that an electrical fault occurred close to the reported time of the fire, which began September 6, 2022, near Oxbow Reservoir in Placer County. Thus far, PG&E has observed no damage or abnormal conditions to the pole or its facilities near the reservoir and has not observed any downed conductor in the area or any vegetation or tree on the line," PG&E previously wrote in a statement.
ABC10 reached out to PG&E about the lawsuit and received this response.
"PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. We are grateful for CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service for their work in containing the fire. CAL FIRE and the U.S. Forest Service have not made a determination on the cause of the fire. We remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area, and are committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe."
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