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PG&E Arraigned On Criminal Charges In Connection With 2019 Kincade Fire In Sonoma County

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Pacific Gas & Electric Company was arraigned in a Sonoma County courtroom Tuesday in connection with the massive Kincade Fire that burned in late 2019.

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office has filed 33 criminal charges against the utility, including unlawfully causing a fire that resulted in great bodily injury, unlawfully causing a fire that resulted the burning of inhabited structures, unlawfully causing a fire that burned forest land, along with various air pollution violations.

During Tuesday's arraignment, PG&E said it intends to file a demurrer on the allegations claiming state air pollution laws were violated, prosecutors said. The court set a date May 11 date for the utility to file the demurrer, with arguments on the matter set for May 25.

One of the largest wildfires in Sonoma County history, the Kincade fire started northeast of Geyserville on October 23, 2019. The fire burned more than 77,000 acres and injured four first responders. A total of 374 structures, including 174 homes were destroyed.

Cal Fire said last year that the fire was caused by transmission lines owned by PG&E following a "very meticulous and thorough investigation."

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