San Diego Gas and Electric has reached a $6.4 million settlement with the United States for damages sustained during the 2007 wildfires.
The Witch Creek Wildfires of October 2007 damaged about 44,000 acres of federal land in the Cleveland National Forest. In total, the fire burned nearly 200,000 acres of land throughout San Diego County and cost about $18 million to date, according to CalFire.
Combined, the blazes destroyed more than 1,300 homes, killed two people, burned ranches and farms, and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The fire lasted about three weeks and was one of the largest wildfire events in the state's history.
SDG&E has agreed to pay $6,429,736 in settlement damages to the federal lands, according to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. The settlement represents the full amount of fire suppression costs.
The fires sparked up when one of SDG&E's high-voltage power lines malfunctioned during strong winds, according to an investigation.
"This settlement recovers one-hundred percent of the Forest Service's economic losses sustained as a result of the Witch Creek Fire, enabling our skilled and dedicated Forest Service personnel to continue their rehabilitation efforts in the damaged areas and to speed the Forest's recovery from the disastrous fires of 2007," Duffy said in a statement.