California wildfires
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

California regulators have begun proceedings to consider fines against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for its role in a devastating series of 2017 wildfires.

The Public Utilities Commission made the decision on Thursday. In a statement, Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen said the utility’s violations during the fire siege “are extensive and disturbing.”

The PUC also ordered PG&E to create a mobile application so the public can report problems such as downed power poles to prevent future disasters.

PG&E equipment has been blamed for starting some of California’s largest and deadliest recent fires. The utility filed for bankruptcy in January as it faces potentially billions of dollars in liability.

PG&E says it will cooperate fully with the PUC investigation and is committed to reducing wildfire risk and helping fire-ravaged communities to recover.

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Philip Gordon is based in Clarion Energy's Cape Town office as a Content Producer for the Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International media titles. Phil's interests include the energy transition, smart grid technologies, smart city technologies, and e-mobility in all its forms. His media experience spans B2B and consumer print, commercial copywriting, and radio over the past 19 years.