PG&E To Create $105 Million Fund For California Wildfire Victims

The power company said the fund will help with living expenses and other urgent needs, according to a bankruptcy court filing.

California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said it plans to create a $105 million fund to help the state’s recent wildfire victims with living expenses and other needs.

The power company said it would put the money into a fund managed by a third party and that it will help wildfire victims who are uninsured, still need help with housing expenses or have other immediate needs, according to a Wednesday bankruptcy court filing obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The third-party entity, which has not been chosen yet, will determine the qualifications for who will be eligible to receive assistance from the fund, according to the Chronicle. The fund will prioritize victims “who are most in need, including those who are currently without adequate shelter,” PG&E’s filing reportedly stated.

A federal bankruptcy judge is expected to consider the fund proposal on May 22.

The utility filed for bankruptcy in January after facing about $30 billion in claims related to the 2017 Northern California “firestorm” and the November 2018 Camp fire, which was California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. The Camp fire killed 85 people and burned down nearly 14,000 homes, displacing tens of thousands of people and destroying the entire rural community of Paradise.

PG&E admitted in March that its equipment failures likely caused the Camp fire, saying it “believes it is probable that its equipment will be determined to be an ignition point” of the fire.