PG&E says it's 'probable' utility caused the 2018 Camp Fire

PG&E crews remove power lines damaged by fire off Bille Road in Paradise, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.
Jane Tyska | Digital First Media | Getty Images

PG&E Corp. said Thursday that it believes it's "probable" that the utility's equipment will be found to be the source of the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest in California's history.

"Although the cause of the 2018 Camp fire is still under investigation, based on the information currently known to PG&E Corporation and reported to the CPUC and other agencies, PG&E Corporation believes it is probable that the Utility's equipment will be determined to be an ignition point of the 2018 Camp fire," the company said in a government filing.

Based on the early findings of the California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, the company said it is including a $10.5 billion pretax charge related to third-party claims in connection with the 2018 Camp Fire in its full-year and fourth-quarter 2018 financial results.

The company said Thursday its full-year net losses were $6.9 billion, or $13.25 per share, compared with net income of $1.6 billion, or $3.21 per share in 2017. For the fourth quarter of 2018, the company said net losses were $6.9 billion, or $13.24 per share, compared with net income of $114 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

"The company is facing extraordinary challenges relating to the 2018 Camp Fire and 2017 Northern California wildfires," the company said in a release. "Management has concluded that these circumstances raise substantial doubt about PG&E Corporation's and the Utility's ability to continue as going concerns."

The company filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Shares were little changed before the bell Thursday.

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