Companies agree to settlement over lawsuit related to massive Santa Barbara County wildfire
$22 million settlement reached over costs, damages from 2016 Rey Fire.
It was a massive wildfire which burned in Santa Barbara County for nearly a month. Now, some utility companies accused of accidentally starting the fire have agreed to pay $22 million to cover costs related to dealing with the huge blaze.
The August, 2016 Rey Fire charred thousands of acres of land southeast of Lake Cachuma. Federal prosecutors say a tree fell onto some power and communication lines owned by Southern California Edison, and Frontier Communications. They say the tree caused a malfunction with the lines, which sparked the blaze.
Fortunately, because it was in a remote area, no homes were lost.
Prosecutors filed suit against Edison, Frontier, and UTS, a company which handles vegetation management for utility companies, seeking reimbursement for costs and damages stemming from the fire. The companies agreed to the $22 million settlement without any admission of guilt, or wrongdoing.