The prosecution case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company related to the Kincade Fire in California in 2019.
The Sonoma County district attorney indicted PG & E on five misdemeanors and 28 misdemeanors after state investigators determined that a ruptured jumper cable on a PG & E station pole caused the fire in Kincade.
Fire officials said a PG & E power line set off the fire, which destroyed 374 buildings and forced almost 100.000 people to evacuate as it burned an area of 120 square kilometers.
In a statement, PG & E said it “that a PG&E transmission line caused the fire,” whereas the company “not believe there was any crime here.”
“In the spirit of working to do what’s right for the victims, we will accept CAL FIRE’s finding that a PG&E transmission line caused the fire, even though we have not had access to the agency’s report or the evidence it gathered,” a PepsiCo spokesman told CNN in an email.
PG & E pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter for fanning the fires that claimed 84 lives in 2018.
The indictment and the related elevation allegations that the Company destroyed inhabited sites and released air pollution “with reckless disregard for the risk of great bodily injury” through toxic fire smoke and associated particulate matter, leading to risks to public health.
Fourteen fires burned across the state this autumn, leaving firefighters fighting a continuous fight to contain the blaze that threatened millions of people and homes.