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Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) will pay $13.5bn to victims of wildfires in California

Californian utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has agreed a $13.5bn (£10.2bn) settlement with victims of wildfires in the state because its equipment has been linked to several blazes including the Camp Fire which killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise.

PG&E President Bill Johnson said since entering the bankruptcy process "getting wildfire victims fairly compensated, especially the individuals, has been our primary goal.” The settlement, which the utility says was reached Friday, still requires court approval. PG&E says it is a key step in leading it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The settlement will resolve all claims arising from the 2017 Northern California wildfires and 2018 Camp Fire, as well as all claims from the 2015 Butte Fire and 2016 Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland. A bankruptcy reorganization plan must be completed by June 30, 2020.

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The utility previously reached a $1 billion settlement with cities, counties and other public utilities and an $11 billion agreement with insurance companies and other entities that have paid claims relating to the 2017 and 2018 fires. G&E Corp. this week released a photo of the broken “C-hook” that is believed to have caused the November 2018 wildfire, the deadliest in California history.

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