PG&E Tumbles as Camp Fire Death Toll Rises

Shares of PG&E Corp. (PCG) continued to fall on Thursday, Nov. 15, dropping more than 27% as fingers have been pointed at the electric company for being partly to blame for the raging California wildfires.

The stock fell nearly 22% in the previous session as PG&E may have to take some responsibility for the devastating California wildfire — dubbed the Camp Fire — in Butte County that’s so far claimed dozens of lives and destroyed thousands of homes.

Earlier this week, the utility company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its insurance could not cover all the costs of the damages if found liable, saying its liability insurance coverage for wildfires is about $1.4 billion for Aug. 1 through July 31, 2019.

“While the cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation, if the Utility’s equipment is determined to be the cause, the Utility could be subject to significant liability in excess of insurance coverage that would be expected to have a material impact on PG&E Corporation’s and the Utility’s financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, and cash flows,” stated the company.
PG&E has reported that around 6 a.m. on Nov. 8, there was an outage on transmission line in Butte County, where the fire appears to have started.
By Thursday, reports of losses were grim: Some 56 people were dead, 138,000 acres burned, 8,756 homes and 260 businesses destroyed, according to fire officials.
Even with 5,473 emergency workers fighting the blaze, just over a third of it has been contained so far.

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