Watch CBS News

PG&E Not To Blame For Deadly Tubbs Fire

SACRAMENTO (CBSLA) – A devastating 2017 Northern California wildfire which killed 22 people and destroyed thousands of structures was not caused by Pacific Gas and Electric Company equipment, state officials reported Thursday.

Tubbs Fire
Renee Hernandez (L) watches her son Ben Hernandez Jr. (R) as he sifts through the remains of their Coffey Park home that was destroyed by the Tubbs Fire on Oct. 23, 2017 in Santa Rosa, Calif. Residents are returning to their homes after a fast moving and deadly widlfire destroyed 8,400 structures and claimed the lives of at least 42 people. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Tubbs Fire, which scorched 36,807 acres in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties, was sparked by a "private electrical system" near a "residential structure," and not PG&E equipment, CAL Fire reports.

The embattled company's stock jumped 73 percent to $13.95 per share following the news.

"CAL Fire investigators did not identify any violations of state law, Public Resources Code, related to the cause of this fire," the agency said in a news release.

The Tubbs Fire was one of about 170 wildfires which broke out across Northern California in October 2017. It destroyed 5,636 structures, making it both the deadliest and most destructive in state history at the time.

Those numbers were later eclipsed by the Camp Fire in November 2018, which destroyed 18,804 structures and claimed 86 lives in Butte County.

PG&E is far from being out of the woods, however. Last year, CAL Fire determined that PG&E was responsible for 17 of the blazes in the October 2017 firestorm. It is also still under investigation for potentially causing the Camp Fire.

Earlier this month, PG&E announced it was planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to its possible liability in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. The utility could face at least $30 billion in damages. Its CEO, Geisha Williams, also resigned.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.