State Confiscates PG&E Equipment in Fire Investigation

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., a subsidiary of PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG), has filed an incident report with the California Public Utilities Commission related to the Zogg Fire in northern California’s Shasta County. That fire ignited on September 27 and has so far consumed more than 56,000 acres, destroyed 204 structures and killed four people. The fire is currently 95% contained.

According to a federal filing on Friday, the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has “taken possession” of PG&E equipment that may have had a role in starting the fire. Cal Fire has allowed the company access to the area but not to the “evidence” the agency has collected. Cal Fire has not yet indicated a cause of the fire, and PG&E said it is cooperating with the agency in its investigation.

On Sunday, PG&E issued a notice that it expects an “elevated” danger of high winds in the Sierra Nevada foothills and north of San Francisco Bay beginning Wednesday and potentially lasting through Friday. PG&E is preparing for a power shut-off in these areas but has not yet confirmed any planned outage.

PG&E emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year after paying $25.5 billion in claims for loss of life and property in massive wildfires during 2017 and 2018. To reduce the threat to lives and property, the company now shuts down portions of its service in an effort to reduce the chances that its equipment will start another fire.

The company’s shares traded down as much as 12% in Monday’s premarket, but shortly after the opening bell, shares traded down less than 4% at $10.36, after closing at $10.76 on Friday.

The stock’s 52-week range is $3.55 to $18.34, and the consensus price target is $13.05. PG&E does not pay a dividend.

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