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Lawsuit: PG&E, Contractor's Negligence Led To Devastating Butte Fire

SACRAMENTO (CSB13) — A lawsuit claims negligence by Pacific Gas & Electric Company and a contractor hired to clear vegetation helped create a massive wildfire earlier this month.

The Butte Fire burned has burned nearly 71,000 acres in Amador and Calaveras counties and is 95 percent contained. In all, 475 homes, 343 outbuildings and 45 structures were damaged by the fire.

READ THE COMPLAINT: Butte Fire Complaint

Cal Fire says the official cause of the Butte Fire is under investigation.

The lawsuit was filed by the Singleton Law Firm on behalf of its clients, but the lawyers are not seeking class-action status. Lawyers attached to the case have filed suit against utilities previously after the Powerhouse Fire and the Poinsettia Fire.

PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson offered the following statement in response to the lawsuit

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the individuals who lost their homes in this fire.  We are going to continue supporting our customers and working with our first responder partners and the State of California to improve fire safety and fire response.    We will respond to this lawsuit in the normal legal process.  As we've said since September 16, we are cooperating fully with CAL FIRE in its investigation on the source of the ignition for the Butte fire.

We want to reassure our customers that we at PG&E take the risk of wildfires very seriously and are focused on doing everything possible to mitigate the risk of fire during this drought.

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