PG&E shares soar after investigators clear firm of causing 2017 fire

PG&E shares skyrocketed Thursday -- at one point soaring more than 77 percent -- after California investigators cleared the utility giant of blame for a 2017 conflagration known as the Tubbs Fire.

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The news comes days after the California-based power company lined up $5.5 billion to fund its bankruptcy process, which it is rumored to be filing next week. 

While investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection cleared the embattled company of liability for an October 2017 blaze called the Tubbs Fire, it has already determined that the utility's equipment was liable for at least 17 other major fires that year.

The company said being exonerated of the Tubbs Fire still leaves it with huge liabilities.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PCGPG & E CORP.15.50-0.83-5.08%

"Regardless of today’s announcement, PG&E still faces extensive litigation, significant potential liabilities and a deteriorating financial situation, which was further impaired by the recent credit agency downgrades to below investment grade," the company said in a statement.

"Resolving the legal liabilities and financial challenges stemming from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires will be enormously complex and will require us to address multiple stakeholder interests, including thousands of wildfire victims and others who have already made claims and likely thousands of others we expect to make claims."

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Investigators are still determining whether PG&E will be found liable for California's worst wildfire, the Camp Fire, which killed more than 80 people in November.