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PG&E's stock surges 16% on tentative wildfire settlement

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — PG&E's stock surged Monday after the utility reached a tentative $13.5 billion settlement resolving all major claims related to the Northern California wildfires of 2017 and 2018.

The fires were blamed on Pacific Gas and Electric's outdated equipment and negligence. The utility said Friday that the deal is a key step toward its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It still needs court approval.

The agreement is expected to resolve all claims arising from a series of 2017 Northern California wildfires and the 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and devastated the town of Paradise. It also resolves claims from the 2015 Butte Fire and Oakland’s 2016 Ghost Ship Fire.

PG&E said the proposed settlement is the third it has reached as it works through its Chapter 11 case. The utility previously reached a $1 billion settlement with cities, counties and other public utilities and an $11 billion agreement with insurance companies and other entities that have paid claims relating to the fires.

Shares in San Francisco-based PG&E Corp. closed Monday trading up $1.53, or 16%, at $11.18. The stock is still down 53% for the year.

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