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SoCal Edison to pay cities, counties $150 million to settle Thomas Fire claims

Posted at 6:06 PM, Nov 13, 2019

Southern California Edison has agreed to pay $360 million to 23 different public entities for the damage caused by several wildfires, including the Woolsey and Thomas fires and the Montecito mudslides.

The following entities will receive $150 million collectively for the 2017 Thomas Fire:

  • Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Santa Barbara County Fire Protection District
  • City of Santa Barbara
  • Ventura County, Ventura County Fire Protection District, Ventura County Watershed Protection District
  • Montecito Water District
  • City of San Buenaventura
  • Montecito Fire Protection District
  • Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District

The following entities will receive $210 million collectively for the 2018 Woolsey Fire:

  • Ventura County, Ventura County Fire Protection District, Ventura County Watershed Protection District
  • Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles
  • City of Malibu
  • City of Agoura Hills
  • City of Westlake Village
  • City of Calabasas
  • City of HIdden Hills
  • City of Thousand Oaks
  • Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency
  • Conejo Recreation and Park District
  • Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District

John Fiske, attorney at Baron & Budd, said this is the most comprehensive resolution reached in California history.

"There is time, energy and money and resources spent in response to the fire and in the aftermath of the fire, and so these dollars are intended to compensate those public entities for those lost public or taxpayer resources," Fiske said.

The settlement does not affect any of the multiple lawsuits filed by private citizens.

In a statement, the president and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison said he is pleased with the agreement and writes, "We also will continue to make substantial investments in our system and enhance our operational practices to reduce the risk of wildfires in our service area and safely provide power to homes and businesses."

An attorney for Santa Barbara County said the county will receive about $29 million as part of the resolution. The Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors still has to give its final approval.

Santa Barbara City will receive about $6.7 million. City officials say it will cover lost property, lost revenues, unplanned expenditures, and lost community assets such as environmental and recreational resources and government infrastructure.