Ten public entities, including Lassen, settle Dixie Fire claims with PG&E

Ten public entities announced a collective $24 million settlement Jan. 17 with PG&E for public and natural resource damages caused by the Dixie Fire, which started July 13, 2021 and burned approximately 963,309 acres in Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Shasta, and Tehama counties.

The 10 settling public entities include Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Shasta, and Tehama counties, as well as the city of Susanville, Plumas District Hospital, Chester Public Utility District, Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority and the Herlong Public Utility District.

JAMS Mediators Judge Jay Gandhi and Lexi Myer presided over the mediation between the entities and PG&E.

“Local government across the five affected counties came together to recover these significant funds to reimburse public and natural resources lost in the fire,” said Gretchen Stuhr, Plumas County Counsel. “The allocated portion of the settlement proceeds will in no way make the entities whole following the devastation caused by the Dixie and Fly Fires but will assist the county in its recovery.”

The public entities’ civil legal damages included public and natural resource damages, staff and labor time, damages to pavement and roads, lost revenue, increased expenses, and other damages caused by the Dixie Fire. The $24 million is allocated among the 10 public entities in accordance with their relative damages suffered. Also included in the settlement are funds related to FEMA and Cal OES assistance. PG&E denied liability and reached a settlement to avoid further protracted litigation.

The Lassen and Plumas county public entities were represented by Gretchen Stuhr of Office of the Plumas County Counsel, Margaret Long of Prentice Long PC, Amanda Uhrhammer of Prentice Long PC, and Steven C. Gross of Porter Simon Law, and by outside counsel John Fiske and Torri Sherlin of Baron & Budd, P.C., and Ed Diab of Dixon, Diab, and Chambers, LLP.

For more information, contact John Fiske at Fiske@BaronBudd.com.