SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. — The Shasta County District Attorney says the Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation (PG&E) is criminally liable for causing the 2020 Zogg Fire.
The Zogg Fire was sparked on a windy summer afternoon on Sept. 27 when a pine tree was blown down, striking PG&E distribution lines. US District Court Judge William Alsup -- who supervises PG&E on probation – has already determined the company caused the Zogg Fire with safety violations.
Four people were killed in the fire and more than 200 buildings were destroyed as the fire scorched roughly 56,000 acres in Shasta County.
Exact criminal charges are still being formulated. Right now, it’s unclear if the DA plans to prosecute PG&E as a corporation or if they would prosecute management. Those charges could include manslaughter or possibly even murder.
No people were charged in the Camp Fire, but PG&E was convicted of 84 manslaughter felonies.
Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett plans to file criminal charges against PG&E by Sept. 27, the one-year anniversary of the fire.
In a statement provided by PG&E, the utility said that they disagreed with the DA and continues to reach settlements with victims and families impacted by the fire. A full statement from PG&E is below.
The loss of life and devastation in the communities impacted by the 2020 Zogg Fire is heartbreaking, and we recognize that nothing can heal the hearts of those who have lost so much. We thank the courageous first responders who saved lives, protected property and worked to contain and put out the fire last year.
The company already has resolved civil claims with Shasta County and continues to reach settlements with individual victims and their families impacted by the Zogg Fire in an effort to make it right. We do not, however, agree with the District Attorney’s conclusion that criminal charges are warranted given the facts of this case.
We remain committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe.