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Corner Office from Marketplace

California fires are threatening utilities’ bottom line

Jed Kim Nov 13, 2018
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In this aerial photo, a burned neighborhood is seen in Paradise, California, on Nov. 15, 2018. The toll in the deadliest wildfires in recent California history climbed to 59 on Nov. 14, 2018, as authorities released a list of 130 people still missing. 
Josh Edelson / AFP

With Santa Ana winds still kicking up blazes in California, the scope of destruction of this year’s fires still has to be tallied. Last year, the state’s wildfires caused more than $10 billion in damages. Utility companies said they were at risk of bankruptcy, if they didn’t get help. The state legislature responded and passed a law to help for 2017 and set up long-term protections that start in 2019. But there are no state provisions set up for this year, which has utility investors nervous. 

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