Santa Rosa Tubbs Fire victims respond to Cal Fire PG&E report

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Santa Rosa wildfire survivors are trying to figure out their next move after Cal Fire dropped their bombshell report stating that PG&E equipment did not start the Tubbs Fire.

The October 2017 blaze was the largest and deadliest of the North Bay Wildfires, killing 22 people and destroying more than 5,000 structures in Santa Rosa alone.

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Cal Fire has named PG&E the culprit for nearly all the other North Bay wildfires, but the results of the final and most anticipated report surprised many fire victims.

The results of the previous reports prompted many victims to file lawsuits over the destruction during the Tubbs Fire.

Now those victims, many under-insured, are left to decide whether they want to press ahead with their legal claims now facing a steeper climb to success.

"This is still going to court, before a jury, and the jury will decide," said Noreen Evans of the Watts Guerra legal team who represents hundreds of Tubbs Fire victims.

Evans says her investigators still believe PG&E to be at fault.

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"Well, part of the problem with the Cal Fire report is it has so many redactions in it. It is hard to know what Cal Fire is thinking."

Sonoma County also has to weigh its legal options.

They sued PG&E to recover millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure.

"The county is out millions of dollars. We and the thousands of residents who lost their lives or homes are owed something," stated David Rabbit, Chair of the Sonoma County Supervisors.

He told ABC7 News that the Cal Fire report changes nothing.

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"It is one piece of evidence. We need everything decided definitively."

But not every resident was surprised by the report's findings.

"I know we had a lot of fuel in those mountains," said contractor Joel Chandler, who lost his home. "Everyone was concerned with PG&E coming through, cutting rights of ways and wouldn't let them on their land. It's everybody's fault."

What really matters to Chandler, "That we get our houses back."
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