Pacific Gas & Electric has entered into a stipulated judgment to resolve pending criminal and civil charges related to causing the 2019 Kincade Fire, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced this week.

The judgement orders PG&E to implement safety measures in Sonoma County, such as hiring at least 80 new wildfire safety related positions and making $20.25 million in mandated payments.

The money will go to nonprofit organizations that provide services to Sonoma County residents impacted by wildfires and evacuations as well as to Santa Rosa Junior College’s Fire Technology Program at its public safety center and to create a vegetation management program.

PG&E must also pay civil penalties “as punishment and deterrence for recklessly and negligently causing the Kincade Fire,” according to the DA.

PG&E is also required to reimburse the district attorney’s office for the cost of investigation and prosecuting the matter.

Ravitch notes that any payments made by PG&E “will not be charged to PG&E customers, nor may be recovered in rate increases.”

PG&E could not immediately be reached for comment.

Katy St. Clair, Bay City News

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.