May 22, 2019 / 7:10 PM / 25 days ago

U.S. judge approves PG&E $105 million wildfire assistance fund

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22 (Reuters) - PG&E Corp may set up a $105 million housing fund for victims of 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, which set records for devastation and were blamed on the utility's equipment, the judge overseeing the investor-owned power producer's bankruptcy ruled on Wednesday.

Creditors, which include wildfire victims, are fighting for funds as PG&E navigates bankruptcy stemming from the blazes and as the state plans for increasingly long and dangerous fire seasons its officials attribute to climate change.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali at a hearing approved a motion by PG&E seeking permission to establish the fund for people who lost homes in the fires and were uninsured or have used up or will exhaust their insurance.

San Francisco-headquartered PG&E sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January in the face of liabilities it estimated at over $30 billion in the aftermath of November's Camp Fire, California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire in modern times.

Reporting by Jim Christie in San Francisco Editing by Matthew Lewis

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