The California Wildfire Fund was established in 2019 as part of comprehensive wildfire legislation that aims to lower the risk of and damage from utility-caused wildfires.
The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) has been named the Administrator of the California Wildfire Fund.*
California Wildfire Fund
About the California Wildfire Fund
The California Wildfire Fund is established for the purpose of providing a source of money to pay or reimburse participating utility companies (San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric) for eligible claims that result from a wildfire, after it has been determined that the fire was caused by the participating utility. The Fund has been capitalized by these utility companies and their ratepayers.
The California Wildfire Fund was established under Assembly Bill (AB) 1054 (which was subsequently amended by AB 1513 (Holden)), and AB 111, known as the “2019 Wildfire Legislation,” and was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on July 12, 2019. The 2019 Wildfire Legislation enacts a broad set of reforms and programs related to utility-caused wildfires in California.
Important Note to Residents and Business Owners
The California Wildfire Fund exists as a mechanism for utility companies to recover certain costs and expenses arising from covered wildfires, after it has been determined that the fire was caused by the participating utility. By statute, the Wildfire Fund is only authorized to distribute funds directly to the utility companies after they have paid or settled eligible claims arising from a covered wildfire.
If you are an individual or business owner seeking a financial recovery or related support from the impact of a wildfire, information on the following sites may be helpful to you:
Fire Victim Trust (for the 2015 Butte Fire, 2017 North Bay Fires and 2018 Camp Fire)
California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Recovery Fund
California Department of Insurance: Resources to Help Recent Wildfire Survivors
Wildfire Fund Governance
The newly created California Catastrophe Response Council (Council) is responsible for oversight of the California Wildfire Fund. The Council has nine members, consisting of the following:
Secretary of Natural Resources
One member appointed by the California Senate Rules Committee
One member appointed by the Speaker of the California Assembly
Three members of the public, appointed by the Governor to serve two-year terms
The Governor, Insurance Commissioner, Treasurer and Secretary of Natural Resources are each authorized by law to designate individuals to serve on their behalf as members of the Council. Among other things, the Council is charged with appointing an “Administrator” for the Wildfire Fund. The Council named California Earthquake Authority (CEA)* the Administrator of the California Wildfire Fund on April 23, 2020.
*Assets in the California Earthquake Authority Fund and the California Wildfire Fund are segregated and separately managed and maintained. All costs and expenses incurred by the Authority to administer the Wildfire Fund are allocated to and paid from the Wildfire Fund.