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Regulators To Decide SDG&E Settlement For 2007 Fires

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story referred to the state settlement with SDG&E as a "fine." KPBS regrets the error.

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Aired 4/21/10

California regulators will decide tomorrow whether to fine San Diego Gas & Electric $14 million for poorly maintained power lines that started the 2007 wildfires. The money would be paid into the state's general fund.

Firefighters Hollis Frands sprays down a rooftop to prevent it from catching on fire October 23, 2007 in Poway, California. The Witch Fire, which started outside of Ramona, California burned more than 1,000 structures and forced more than 300,00 to evacuate. (Editor's Note: KPBS initially posted a photo of the Harris Fire in this story, which is not at issue in this settlement. KPBS regrets the error.)
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Above: Firefighters Hollis Frands sprays down a rooftop to prevent it from catching on fire October 23, 2007 in Poway, California. The Witch Fire, which started outside of Ramona, California burned more than 1,000 structures and forced more than 300,00 to evacuate. (Editor's Note: KPBS initially posted a photo of the Harris Fire in this story, which is not at issue in this settlement. KPBS regrets the error.)

UPDATE: Read about the California Public Utilities Commission's decision here.

California regulators will decide tomorrow whether to approve a $14 million settlement with San Diego Gas & Electric after state investigators claimed poorly maintained power lines started the 2007 wildfires. The money would be paid into the state's general fund.

The $14 million is part of a tentative settlement between SDG&E and the Public Utilities Commission. If the deal is approved, SDG&E will be required to do expanded inspections of its lines until 2016.

State investigators have found that SDG&E lines started three of the 2007 fires that caused more than $1 billion in damage and destroyed 1,500 homes.

"It's not at all the scale of the damage it produced," says Barbara Levine, who lost her Rancho Bernardo home in the fires. She says the settlement against SDG&E isn't big enough. "It's not enough for them to change their current behavior."

Cox Communications has also agreed to pay $2 million in another proposed settlement. One of its wires hit a power line that ignited the Guejito fire.

Comments

Avatar for user 'haukmeq'

haukmeq | April 21, 2010 at 2:16 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

We'll all face rate hikes the more suits are being brought against them.

( | suggest removal )