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California utility cost of $2.5 billion cost for forest fires

SAN FRANCISCO – A Northern California utility says it will be a $2.5 billion cost for the expected losses in connection with the deadly wildfires that whipped through the state of the wine country in October.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. also warned Thursday that its liability could be significantly higher after state fire officials to determine the cause of 21 large fires which rampaged in Northern California, killing 44 people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses.

Officials have determined that the tools, downed power lines started several of the fires. PG&E said it is facing more than 200 lawsuits.

The utility says the $2.5 billion cost will be recorded in the quarter that ends on 30 June. PG&E says the $2.5 billion is at the low end of the estimated obligation, it said, could get more than $10 billion.

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