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California's largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, will plead guilty to 84 involuntary manslaughter counts in connection with the 2018 Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
The company also pledged billions of dollars to improve safety and help wildfire victims, under an agreement with Governor Gavin Newsom.
That agreement ended a major roadblock to PG&E's planned emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
PG&E’s guilty plea would end all state criminal proceedings against it - after a state regulator last year concluded the company did not properly inspect and replace transmission lines before a faulty wire sparked the Camp Fire.
That blaze killed more than 80 people and destroyed much of the town of Paradise.
Chief Executive Bill Johnson said in a statement: "We cannot replace all that the fire destroyed, but our hope is that this plea agreement, along with our rebuilding efforts, will help the community move forward from this tragic incident.”
PG&E also agreed to put itself up for sale if it cannot emerge from Chapter 11 by a state-imposed June 30 deadline... before the next wildfire season begins.