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Forest owners file $225M lawsuit against PG&E for Dixie Fire damages

PG&E faces new lawsuit over 2021 Dixie Fire
PG&E faces new lawsuit over 2021 Dixie Fire 00:40

SAN FRANCISCO - A $225 million lawsuit was filed against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for damages caused in connection with the Dixie Fire that burned across five Northern California counties in 2021. 

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed in the San Francisco County Superior Court, are the owners of the Collins Almanor Forest, located in Plumas and Tehama counties. 

The owners claim fire-related injuries and damages sustained by several forestland owners whose property and timber were charred in the fire. 

They are seeking an estimated $225 million in damages for property loss. They are also seeking environmental damages as they say their forestland that was burned "has been managed sustainably since 1902."

The fire sparked on July 13, 2021, and burned more than 963,000 acres across Plumas, Butte, Tehama, Shasta and Lassen counties. Cal Fire said the fire started when a tree fell onto PG&E equipment near the Cresta Dam in Plumas County. 

"The day before the fire, these trees were part of a thriving, sustainably-managed commercial forest; the day after the fire, those trees were virtually worthless - amounting to only what could be salvaged of the burned logs," said Edward Duckers, partner at Stoel Rives and counsel for Plaintiffs. "Further, the unique environmental value of this forest is permanently lost and can never be replaced, all due to PG&E's negligence."

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Collins Pine Company, CC&H Lands LLC, CCT Lands LLC, Rock Creek Lands LLC, Wespath Forests LLC, E.S. Collins California Trust, and TWC Corporation. They say they own 94,000 acres in the Collins Almanor Forest that burned in the fire.

Earlier this year, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a settlement agreement with PG&E, penalizing the utility company $45 million in connection with the Dixie Fire.

A PG&E spokesperson said the company is aware the lawsuit was filed but has not been served. 

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