California electric utility stocks PG&E and Edison plunge on wildfire liability worries

Clay Curtis
November 13, 2018

In a Friday filing to California's Public Utilities Commission, it said it had detected an outage on an electrical transmission line near the site of the blaze.

Search teams were working in Paradise, a town of 27,000 that was largely incinerated Thursday. and in surrounding communities in northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills. Authorities called in a mobile DNA lab and anthropologists to help identify victims of the most destructive wildfire in California history. "And this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years", California Governor Jerry Brown told a news conference on Sunday.

"It's a time to pull together and work through these tragedies".

The president of the California firefighters union responded saying President Trump's threat to withhold federal funds to California is "shameful" and "dangerously wrong".

President Donald Trump blamed "poor" forest management for the fires. He said it "is much less due to bad management and is instead the result of our baking of our forests, woodlands and grasslands with ever-worsening climate change".

At least 29 people have been killed in that inferno and more than 6,000 structures destroyed. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed multiple homes.

Associated Press A sign still stands at a McDonald's restaurant burned in the Camp fire, on November 12, 2018, in the Northern California town of Paradise.

Almost 1,400 survivors were sheltered in official evacuation centres, CalFire spokeswoman Erica Bain said, and almost all of them had communicated with loved ones about their whereabouts.

This toppled the previous record for destructiveness, set just a year ago by the Tubbs Fire, which also took 22 lives. "Your house can be rebuilt but you can't bring your life back", said Chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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The state fire agency said Monday that the fire had grown to 303sq km and was 25 percent contained.

Gerard Butler also confirmed that he was among the hundred of Californians who lost their homes, and posted a devastating video from his property.

Almost 9,000 firefighters, many from out of state, were battling to suppress the Camp Fire, the Woolsey Fire and a handful of smaller Southern California blazes, backed by squadrons of water-dropping helicopters and airplane tankers.

The magnitude of the devastation was beginning to set in even as the blaze raged on.

So far, 29 bodies have been recovered in or near Paradise, a town of about 26,000 that's been all but leveled by the Camp fire.

"Paradise was literally wiped off the map", said Tim Aboudara, a firefighters union representative. Along with many other celebrities, Young's Malibu home was lost to the blaze. The search for bodies continued Monday.

By the time the smoke reaches the East Coast, it tends to be in the form of a thin layer of haze, Simpson said.

Ms Cowley said she was on vacation, and not aware of PG&E's request. She and her family are safe.

The Woolsey fire has destroyed more than 170 homes and killed two people, putting the total death toll from the wildfires at 31. The fear there obviously is that the death toll is going to rise quite considerably.

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