2015 Butte Fire

September 9, 2015

The Butte Fire ignited when a tree fell onto a power transmission line, west of Jackson, California in Amador County.  The fire burned for 22 days and incinerated over 900 structures.

Damage from the 2015 Butte Fire includes:

  • 70,868 acres

  • Over 900 structures including 475 residences, 343 outbuildings, 45 structures

  • 2 fatalities

  • $100 million in damages to Calaveras County

  • $90 million in firefighting costs

Investigation.  Cal Fire reports “contact between a tree and a PG&E power line near Butte Mountain Road in Amador County” as the cause of the 2015 Butte Fire.  

Litigation. Approximately 2,000 cases were filed against PG&E in the wake of the Butte Fire, the 7th most destructive fire at that time.  On June 22, 2017 Sacramento Judge Allen Sumner ruled that because “…the Butte Fire was caused by a public improvement as deliberately designed and constructed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company,” the company is liable for all property damages caused by the fire.  Settlement agreements $734 million.