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Fire officials determine PG&E equipment sparked deadly fire

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018 file photo, Pacific Gas & Electric crews work to restore power lines in Paradise, Calif. Some investors call PG&E the first climate change bankruptcy. It filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year due to potential liabilities piling up following devastating wildfires in northern California. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers are expressing skepticism that Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. has made the dramatic changes necessary to prevent another deadly blaze.

State fire officials concluded Wednesday that the utility’s power lines sparked the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, which nearly destroyed a Northern California town last fall. The fire destroyed nearly 15,000 homes and killed 85 people.

The news came as PG&E’s new chief executive, Bill Johnson, spoke before lawmakers for the first time.

Democratic Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes says California cannot keep reliving deadly wildfires and she hopes Johnson has learned lessons from the utility’s past mistakes.

He says the utility is now inspecting all of its lines and making repairs when necessary at a cost of $600 to $900 million. He says the utility plans to dramatically expand planned power shutoffs.

Kathleen Ronayne And Janie Har, The Associated Press



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