Southern California Edison has agreed to pay $1.8 million to the federal government as part of a lawsuit settlement for damages from a 2007 wildfire.
The wildfire started April 29, 2007 near the James Market in Kernville, which is in Kern County, just south of the Tulare County line. It burned 1,350 acres, including 1,320 acres in the Sequoia National Forest.
Known as the "James Fire," it ignited when poorly maintained hardware on a power distribution line owned by Edison caused an electrical fault, and molten material fell to the ground below, igniting dry vegetation, according to federal law enforcement officials.
In a news release, Benjamin Wagner, U.S. Attorney for California's eastern federal judicial district, said the settlement was "a significant step toward compensating the public for the expense of fighting the fire and restoring the public lands... We will continue to aggressively pursue compensation from those who are responsible for wildfires that damage our precious national resources."
The federal government also noted that Edison denies liability for the fire.
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