SDG&E threatens to sue homeowners from 2007 wildfires

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. is threatening to sue homeowners whose properties were burned in the 2007 wildfires because surrounding brush had not been cleared away, it was reported Thursday.

The utility has already filed several claims setting forth similar accusations against local governments and fire agencies, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Hundreds of burned-out residents, as well as some local governments and fire agencies, have sued SDG&E since state investigators issued a report stating that the utility’s equipment sparked the Witch Creek, Guejito and Rice Canyon fires. Experts said the lawsuits could take years to resolve.

Utility spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan told the newspaper that a counter complaint raises valid issues about property maintenance and how it affected the spread of the fires.