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Sonoma County DA: No criminal charges for PG&E in 2017 wildfires

The Press Democrat | March 12, 2019

Sonoma County prosecutors will not file criminal charges against PG&E for causing a series of deadly and destructive wildfires that erupted during the October 2017 Northern California firestorm, District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced Tuesday.

Cal Fire investigators determined PG&E had violated state safety codes, mostly by failing to trim trees and brush near powerlines, in four of the fires that originated in Sonoma County: the Adobe, Norrbom, Pocket, and Pythian/Oakmont fires.

But a team of senior Sonoma County prosecutors came to the conclusion those investigations didn’t reveal sufficient evidence of criminal recklessness or negligence on the part of the utility, Ravitch said.

“It was a very difficult decision for all of us,” Ravitch said. “When you look at the damage to our community, it has impacted our county in ways we’re still trying to understand. But we couldn’t find enough evidence to support criminal charges.”

Prosecutors in Lake, Napa and Humboldt counties also reached the same conclusions for fires that started in their areas and announced their findings Tuesday.

Read Full Article: The Press Democrat