PG&E plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as Camp Fire investigation continues

Mike Snider

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as investigators continue to look into the utility's possible involvement in causing the Camp Fire, which began Nov. 9 in Butte County, Calif.

PG&E said the company plans to file for voluntary reorganization on or about January 29. It issued the announcement Monday because the utility must tell employees at least 15 days before a change of control in the company.

The San Francisco-headquartered utility, which serves 16 million residents in northern and central California, said it does not expect its bankruptcy filing to impact electric or natural gas service for customers. Employees will continue to receive pay and healthcare benefits as usual, the company said.

More: Class-action lawsuit alleges deadly California wildfire was caused by Pacific Gas & Electric

The utility's CEO Geisha Williams resigned Sunday as expectations rose PG&E would declare insolvency as it faced potentially billions of dollars in liability over its role in recent California wildfires. State fire investigators blamed the utility’s power lines for causing a number of California wildfires in October 2017.

“The people affected by the devastating Northern California wildfires are our customers, our neighbors and our friends, and we understand the profound impact the fires have had on our communities and the need for PG&E to continue enhancing our wildfire mitigation efforts," interim CEO John Simon said in a statement. "We remain committed to helping them through the recovery and rebuilding process.”

PG&E has seen its shares plunge in recent days after media reports about the company's potential bankruptcy filing as lawsuits have been filed charging the utility's role in the devastating wildfires that killed dozens.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: PG&E plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as Camp Fire investigation continues