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PG&E was arraigned Tuesday in Sonoma County Superior Court on a 33-count criminal complaint alleging that the utility giant recklessly caused the 2019 Kincade Fire.
The fire started on Oct. 23, 2019, at the at the Geysers Geothermal Field and burned about 78,000 acres and destroyed 374 structures, including 174 homes. It also forced the largest evacuation in the county’s history, including the towns of Healdsburg, Windsor and Geyserville.
The complaint charges PG&E “with causing a fire that resulted in great bodily injury, unlawfully causing a fire that resulted in the burning of inhabited structures, and unlawfully causing a fire that resulted in the burning of forest land, as well as various air pollution crimes,” the Office of the District Attorney said in a news release.
The utility is challenging 23 of the counts that claim it violated state pollution laws and is scheduled to file a demurrer on May 11, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The District Attorney’s Office encourages residents who suffered injury, illness or damaged property due to the Kincade Fire to contact it by email or phone 707-565-5317.