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San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to pay $14.3 million over 2007 fires

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has agreed to pay $14.3 million to the state of California to settle accusations that downed power lines caused the October 2007 brush fires in northern San Diego County that destroyed more than 1500 homes and burned more than 200,000 acres.

Debra Reed, the company's president and chief executive officer, said the settlement, announced jointly today by the company and the California Public Utilities Commission, was made to avoid future litigation. The company continues to believe that its lines were in compliance with all regulations, Reed said.

Driven by Santa Ana winds, flames roared through rural areas and then into the San Diego neighborhoods of Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo.

The company has already agreed to pay insurance companies $685 million to reimburse them for payments to policy-holders.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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