PG&E charged with manslaughter for Zogg Fire in northern California

Zogg Fire, Sept. 27, 2020 California
Zogg Fire, Sept. 27, 2020. CAL FIRE photo.

In March investigators with CAL FIRE determined that the Zogg Fire which burned 56,338 acres, destroyed 204 structures, and caused four civilian fatalities, was caused by a tree contacting a power line operated by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). On Friday the company was charged with manslaughter and other charges.

Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett announced the 31 charges, including 11 felonies, against PG&E, saying it failed to perform its legal duties and that its “failure was reckless and criminally negligent, and it resulted in the death of four people.”

If the utility is convicted of manslaughter, the punishment would be a fine for each person killed in the Zogg Fire last year southwest of Redding, California.

Zogg Fire
Zogg Fire soon after it started, looking east from Ducket at 3:32 p.m. PDT Sept. 27, 2020. AlertWildfire.

Last year PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for starting the Camp Fire which destroyed most of the town of Paradise and became the deadliest wildfire in the U.S. in more than a century.

The company has admitted that their equipment may have ignited the Dixie Fire which has burned more than 600 residences and 963,000 acres near Susanville, California. At least two firefighters died of COVID-19 while assigned to the fire.

Map of the Zogg Fire
Map of the Zogg Fire October 9, 2020.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “PG&E charged with manslaughter for Zogg Fire in northern California”

  1. So who is going to jail for the 4 fatalities? if the average joe citizen started that same fire and ultimately is convicted they will end up in prison.. So who’s going to jail for the Zogg and Paradise fires????


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