Butte Fire

The Butte Fire was a rapidly moving wildfire during the 2015 California wildfire season that started on September 9 in Amador County, California.[1] The fire burned 70,868 acres (287 km2).

This article is about the 2015 wildfire. For the 2018 wildfire, see Camp Fire (2018).

Butte Fire
Location Jackson, Amador County, California
Coordinates

38.32974°N 120.70418°W / 38.32974; -120.70418

Statistics[1][2]
Date(s) September 9, 2015 (2015-09-09) – October 1, 2015 (2015-10-01)
Burned area 70,868 acres (287 km2)
Buildings destroyed
  • 475 residences
  • 343 outbuildings
  • 45 structures damaged
Deaths 2
Map

Location of fire in California

The fire started at 2:26 P.M. on Wednesday, September 9, just east of Jackson, when a tree came into contact with a power line, and quickly grew to over 14,500 acres (59 km2) by that evening.[3] By Thursday, the fire had spread into Calaveras County and more than doubled in size over 32,000 acres (129 km2).[4] Officials stated that the fire was expanding in all directions and that efforts were being hampered by difficult topography.[4]

Early on Friday, September 11, Cal Fire issued a mandatory evacuation for all of San Andreas, as the fire exploded again to 64,000 acres (259 km2), but at 4:30 P.M. PDT, that order was lifted.[5] Officials from the Amador County Unified School District chose to close all schools in the district on Friday as well.[5] Later that day, as the fire continued to grow, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Amador and Calaveras counties.[6]

On September 16, the Calaveras County coroner announced that the bodies of two people had been found in the Mokelumne Hill and Mountain Ranch areas.[2]

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On June 22, 2017, Sacramento Judge Allen Sumner ruled that because “…the Butte Fire was caused by a public improvement as deliberately designed and constructed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company,” the company is liable for all property damages caused by the fire.[3]

On July 1, 2020, the PG&E Fire Victim Trust (FVT) was established as part of the reorganization plan[7] of the 2019 bankruptcy of PG&E to administer the claims of the wildfire victims.[8][9] Also on July 1, PG&E funded the Fire Victim Trust (FVT) with $5.4 billion in cash and 22.19% of stock in the reorganized PG&E, which covers most of the obligations of its settlement for the wildfire victims.[10][11][12] PG&E has two more payments totaling $1.35 billion in cash, scheduled to be paid in January 2021 and January 2022, to complete its obligations to the wildfire victims.[13]

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