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When wildfires destroy homes, who pays the bill?

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When a power line falls and sparks a wildfire that burns through homes and neighborhoods, who pays for the destruction?

That’s the question being asked in several states, including Idaho, after the deadly Santiam fire in Oregon. Four years ago, the fire killed 11 people and burned more than 5,000 homes and buildings.

PacifiCorp, which provides power to six states, including Idaho, was found liable for billions of dollars in damages, and it and other power companies are looking for ways to reduce liabilities after such fires.

So who should pay the price after fires like the Santiam fire in Oregon, the Marshall fire in Colorado, or the Maui fire that killed over 100 people in Hawaii?

Kylie Mohr took a deep dive into the subject for High Country News, and she joined Idaho Matters to talk more about what she found. 

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