First Lawsuit Filed Over Wildfires

Two families whose homes were destroyed by last month's Southern California wildfires are suing a utility company for failing to clear vegetation around its power lines.

The plaintiffs are accusing San Diego Gas & Electric of negligence. The lawsuits filed in a San Diego court seek class-action status on behalf of any residents who were killed, injured or had their property damaged or destroyed in two county blazes.

The utility says it followed state and federal regulations governing power-line maintenance, adding no system can be totally protected from such severe weather conditions. Fire officials say one fire that destroyed more than 200 homes and burned nearly 10,000 acres was caused by a downed power line.

They also believe another fire that destroyed more than 1,100 homes
and torched close to 200,000 acres was sparked by power lines.