Southern California Edison has agreed to pay $360 million to local governments to settle lawsuits over deadly wildfires sparked by its equipment during the last two years, including one blamed for a mudslide that killed more than 20 people, the utility and attorneys announced Wednesday.
The sum will reimburse counties, cities and other public agencies for firefighting costs and repairing damage from two of the worst blazes in the region’s history. The figure will not fully repay taxpayer costs, but it will help pay the bills to rebuild roads, other infrastructure and clean up debris, among other things.
“While this is not 100%, it’s not pennies on the dollar,” said attorney John Fiske, who represents local governments. “A lot of these communities … were hit very hard. In the aftermath of these wildfires, all sorts of public resources and taxpayer resources are lost.”