California utility faces $550M in penalties for 5 wildfires

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An air tanker drops fire retardant on the Liberty Fire as firefighters watch, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. Valley News/Kim Harris photo
California regulators approved a settlement Thursday placing more than half a billion dollars in fines and penalties on the utility Southern California Edison for its role in five wildfires in 2017 and 2018, including the Dec. 7, 2017, Liberty Fire in Murrieta. The penalties also relate to the Thomas, Woolsey, Rye and Meyers fires. The Thomas fire, which burned in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, is the eighth largest fire in California history, burning more than 439 square miles (1,137 square kilometers), according to state fire officials. Meanwhile, the Woolsey Fire that also tore through Ventura County ranks as the eighth most destructive fire in state history, destroying more than 1,600 structures. Firefighters are
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