Tag: Wildfires

Personal Data of 2.3 Million Disaster Victims Was Released by FEMA, Report Says

The Federal Emergency Management Agency unnecessarily shared sensitive personal data of more than two million disaster victims with a contractor, subjecting that information to potential identity theft and fraud, a government memo released on Friday said. The memo, known as a management alert and written by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of […]

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Home in Ashes, They’re Forced to Fight for Share of PG&E Money

Neil and Kathinka McKeown’s home in Calaveras County, Calif., burned down in a 2015 wildfire that regulators believe started when a power line made contact with a tree. Late last year, they thought they were finally close to rebuilding after reaching a seven-figure settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric, whose line was involved. But PG&E […]

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PG&E Says It Probably Caused the Fire That Destroyed Paradise, Calif.

Pacific Gas & Electric said Thursday that its equipment probably caused the Camp Fire, the catastrophic November blaze that destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise, Calif., and killed at least 86 people. PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, said it had recorded a $10.5 billion charge in anticipation of damage claims for that […]

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Wildfires Rage in Britain After Record Temperatures

LONDON — On the same day that Britain experienced record winter temperatures. wildfires broke out at some of the nation’s most beloved nature spots. Firefighters were deployed to tackle the blazes on Tuesday, when a record was set for the warmest February day since 1910 and the hottest winter day temperature. The night sky glowed […]

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The Political Playbook of a Bankrupt California Utility

SAN FRANCISCO — Eight years ago, federal investigators announced that a “litany of failures” by California’s largest utility had caused a massive gas explosion that killed eight people, injured 58 and incinerated a neighborhood in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno. Two days after that announcement, under blue skies at a baseball diamond on […]

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Trilobites: Aboriginal Hunters’ Fires Help Restore an Australian Desert

In Australia in recent decades, the bilby, the bettong, or rat kangaroo, the brush-tailed possum and other medium-sized mammals all disappeared from the Western Desert. It was a mystery: Typically bigger animals vanish first — often only after people show up. But ask the people who lived in this desert for 48,000 years what happened […]

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U.S. Midwest Freezes, Australia Burns: This Is the Age of Weather Extremes

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. In Chicago, officials warned about the risk of almost instant frostbite on what could be the city’s coldest day ever. Lansing, Mich., opened a warming center. And schools and universities closed across the Midwest as rare polar winds streamed down […]

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The Very High Costs of Climate Risk

Before the catastrophic Camp Fire destroyed Paradise, Calif., the Pacific Gas and Electric Company was worth more than $25 billion. Now it’s C.E.O. has stepped down and the company, which provides natural gas and electricity to 16 million people in California, has filed for bankruptcy as it confronts billions of dollars in potential liability claims […]

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PG&E Files for Bankruptcy Protection in Face of Large Wildfire Liabilities

LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas and Electric, the largest electric utility in California, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday in anticipation of billions of dollars in liability claims for two years of wildfires. PG&E, which faces damage claims estimated at tens of billions of dollars for wildfires started by its equipment, said this month that […]

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Across Australia, Yet Another Scorching Summer

SYDNEY, Australia — At a dried-up waterhole in Australia’s far north, wild horses were found dead or dying. In cities in the southeast, power outages darkened traffic lights and shopping malls, and office workers and commuters were left exhausted and wilted. On the island of Tasmania, more than 50 wildfires were burning, and farmers were […]

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PG&E Cleared in a Deadly 2017 Fire, Lifting Financial Outlook

LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas and Electric Company, facing a bankruptcy filing because of its potential wildfire liabilities, has been cleared of responsibility for a giant 2017 fire in Northern California, brightening the company’s financial outlook. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday that private electrical equipment was responsible for starting the […]

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PG&E Bankruptcy Could Deal Blow to Its Solar-Power Suppliers’ Finances

LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas and Electric promises that its customers’ lights will stay on if it follows through on plans to file for bankruptcy this month. But companies that supply the California utility’s electricity may have more to worry about. PG&E said Monday that it would use bankruptcy to resolve huge liabilities arising from […]

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Utility Company PG&E Plans Bankruptcy Filing Over California Wildfires

LONDON — Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which has been struggling with a financial crisis stemming from California’s historic wildfires, intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the month, according to a regulatory filing. The company, which is the largest investor-owned utility in California, said it faced an estimated $30 […]

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PG&E Chief Is Out as Utility Faces California Fire Liability

LOS ANGELES — Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced the departure of its chief executive Sunday as it remained besieged by a financial crisis related to California’s historic wildfires. PG&E said the company had initiated a search to replace the top official, Geisha Williams, who had led the utility since 2017. It said John Simon, […]

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As Fires Ravaged California, Utilities Lobbied Lawmakers for Protection

LOS ANGELES — As California’s deadliest wildfire was consuming the town of Paradise in November, some of the state’s top power-company officials and a dozen legislators were at an annual retreat at the Fairmont Kea Lani resort on Maui. In the course of four days, they discussed wildfires — and how much responsibility the utilities […]

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These Migrants Rescued Greeks From the Sea. Their Reward: Citizenship.

ATHENS — When wildfire winds devoured the Greek countryside last summer, flames cut off escape routes for dozens of people in a small coastal town until only one option remained: the sea. Three fishermen raced to help from their boats, pulling people from the waves, where they had been struggling to breathe between the surf […]

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Tech We’re Using: Hurricanes. Shootings. Fires. Time for an Editor’s Emergency Kit.

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Julie Bloom, a deputy editor for national coverage for The Times, discussed the tech she’s using. As a deputy editor on the national desk, you oversee a lot of breaking news. What tech tools do you use to help? […]

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The Story of 2018 Was Climate Change

Our best hope may be the weather. For a long time, many people thought that it was a mistake to use the weather as evidence of climate change. Weather patterns contain a lot of randomness. Even as the earth warms and extreme weather becomes more common, some years are colder and calmer than others. If […]

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18 Memorable People We Met Across the Country in 2018

ImageCreditClockwise from top left: Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times; Charlie Riedel/Associated Press; Max Whittaker for The New York Times; Jason Henry for The New York Times; Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times; Brittany Greeson for The New York Times They endured wildfires and survived Category 4 hurricane winds. They fled gunmen in […]

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