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PG&E announces it will plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for 2018's Camp Fire

The Camp Fire killed 84 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in the town of Paradise.

PARADISE, Calif. — Pacific Gas & Electric [PG&E] announced Monday it plans to plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming for 2018's Camp Fire that killed 85 people.

In a press release announcing its decision, the utility company also said it plans to plead guilty to one count of unlawfully starting a fire stemming from 2018 Camp Fire

A PG&E power line sparked the Camp Fire, killing 84 people, burning roughly 153,336 acres and destroying thousands of homes and businesses.

The company was convicted of six federal felonies in 2016 and is still serving probation for crimes connected to a 2010 natural gas line explosion that devastated a neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. Eight people were killed in that explosion. Since then, PG&E's poorly maintained power lines have been blamed for igniting wildfires and killing dozens of people in Northern California.

GO IN-DEPTH: We explain why wildfires are deadlier than ever, expose how PG&E influences state politics — despite its felony convictions — and share what it will cost to pay for the damage and keep Californians safe from future fires: 

In its press release, PG&E also announced it plans to pay approximately $4 million in fines and will "fund efforts to restore access to water for the next five years for residents impacted by the loss of the Miocene Canal, which was destroyed by the fire." 

This plea agreement still needs to be approved by the Butte County Superior Court and the Bankruptcy Court. Butte County District Attorney said in a press release PG&E's fine was separate, "from the negotiated $25.5 billion set aside for fire victims in PG&E’s bankruptcy proceedings [$13.5 billion for private claims; $11 billion for insurance companies’ claims; and $1 billion for government entity claims (including $270 million to the Town of Paradise; $253 million to the County of Butte; and $47.5 million to the Paradise Recreation and Park District)]."

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that 85 people were killed in the Camp Fire. That number has since been updated. 



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