PG&E could face financial trouble if utility is found responsible for California’s worst wildfire

In a grim sign for the Northern California utility giant, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Wednesday that if it is deemed responsible for the fire that destroyed much of Paradise, the liability would exceed its insurance coverage.

The cause of California’s most destructive and deadliest wildfire has not yet been determined. But PG&E said a transmission line in the area went offline 15 minutes before the fire was first reported, and the company found a damaged transmission tower near where investigators said the fire began. Investigations are underway on the cause of the Camp fire, which has destroyed more than 10,300 structures and killed at least 56 people.

In a corporate filing Wednesday, PG&E said that if its equipment caused the fire, it “would be expected to have a material impact on PG&E Corporation’s and the Utility’s financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, and cash flows.”

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