Governor Newsom releases California's wildfire strike force report

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Strong words from California Governor Gavin Newsom Friday on the ways California can better prepare for and fight wildfires. The Governor shared the findings of his strike force's report.

Wildfires are not only more frequent, but more devastating according to Governor Gavin Newsom with ten of the most destructive fires occurring since 2015.

"We are in a very precarious state literally and figuratively," said Governor Newsom.

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The governor outlining five key actions:

-Preventing and responding to catastrophic wildfires
-Renewing California's commitment to clean energy
-Allocating responsibility for wildfire costs
-Strengthening utility market regulation
-Holding Pacific Gas & Electric accountable for safety

"I expect that PG&E is going to get serious, no longer misdirect, manipulate, mislead the people of this state about their resolve and commitment to address reliability and safety," said Newsom.

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Perhaps most controversial is allocating responsibility for wildfire costs. Governor Newsom's ideas include:

-Alternatives include a catastrophic wildfire fund, which would potentially spread the cost more broadly to ratepayers, investors, insurance companies, local governments, and attorneys representing victims.

-A fault-based standard, whereby a utility would pay for fire-related damage only if its own misconduct caused the fire.

-A liquidity-only fund, that would provide bridge loans for utilities to pay liability claims until regulators determined if liability costs were eligible for recovery from ratepayers.

As for homes already built in high fire danger zones, Cal Fire is coming up with low-cost retrofit steps homeowners can take.

Since 2008, new construction in California's wildlands must use ember-resistant building materials.
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