Kincade Fire

The County of Sonoma, city of Healdsburg, city of Cloverdale, city of Santa Rosa and town of Windsor reached a $31 million settlement announced on May 26  with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for public and natural resource injuries and damages caused by the 2019 Kincade Fire. The Kincade Fire burned 77,758 acres and destroyed 374 structures.

In July 2020, CalFire announced that its investigation into the fire determined that PG&E equipment was the cause of the Kincade Fire, which started on Oct. 23, 2019.

In April 2021, the Sonoma County District Attorney filed criminal charges against PG&E for the fire, which prompted the largest evacuation effort in the county’s history.

“The county and the cities worked together to recover these significant funds to reimburse public and natural resources lost in the fire,” Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair Lynda Hopkins said in a statement. “Holding PG&E accountable becomes increasingly important as utility-caused wildfires continue to ravage the state and region.”

The largest portion of the $31 million settlement is attributable to damages suffered by the county.

According to a press release from the county public affairs office, “The public entities’ civil legal damages included ecological damages, staff and labor time, damage to pavement and roads, lost revenue, and increased expenses caused by the Kincade Fire. The funds will be allocated among the cities and county in a manner that is proportional to the damages each agency experienced.”

For more information, contact Baron & Budd attorney John Fiske — who represented the public entities in the litigation — at Fiske@BaronBudd.com.

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