LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – PG&E pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a devastating 2018 wildfire in Northern California touched off by the utility company’s downed power lines, the New York Times reported.
The guilty plea, part of an agreement with prosecutors in Butte County, is intended to end all criminal proceedings against PG&E from the Camp Fire, which broke out on Nov. 8, 2018, and destroyed much of the town of Paradise.
The Camp Fire, which killed at least 84 people and destroyed some 18,000 buildings, is considered the most destructive wildfire in California history.
PG&E’s plea deal, which was reached in March, ended a major roadblock for the utility to emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Under the agreement, PG&E would pay a maximum $3.5 million fine plus $500,000 in costs, and up to $15 million to provide water to residents after the fire destroyed the utility’s Miocene Canal.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis.