California's largest power company PG&E has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company's financial collapse came after the economic toll of Californian wildfires that scorched thousands of acres of land and killed more than 100 people.

In the bankruptcy filing made in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California, PG&E listed $51.7 billion of debt and $71.4 billion of assets. Under Chapter 11 filing, a company can run its operations while working on a turnaround plan to pay off liabilities to creditors. PG&E has sought approval for a $5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing.

Further Probe

The name of PG&E had been linked to many wildfires in California, including the devastating Camp Fire that destroyed 14,000 homes, more than 500 businesses and destroyed 4,000 plus buildings.

Even though the company’s stands exonerated for California’s wine country fire in 2017, investigators are still looking at whether its equipment could have caused the Camp Fire as they have a history of causing many other fires. The focus is on PG&E’s power lines.

The Camp Fire destroyed the town of Paradise and PG&E lost three-fourths of its market value. Its CEO resigned, bonds became junk and fire liabilities escalated to a whopping $30 billion.

Not Going Out Of Business

In a statement, the company assured consumers that filing for bankruptcy will not end its power and gas supply service. Reliable electric and natural gas service will continue and no change will happen because of the ongoing process.

“To be very clear, we are not ‘going out of business,” it said.

“We did not make this decision lightly, as we understand that millions of our customers rely on us and have questions,” PG&E’s interim chief executive officer John R. Simon told customers in an e-mail.

Simon assured that he would work to create a sustainable foundation for delivering safe, reliable and affordable service.

A statement assured consumers that it “continues to believe the Chapter 11 process will facilitate a fair resolution of the liabilities that have arisen from the fires.

The top creditors of PG&E Corp include Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Citibank, Mizuho and Bank of America Corp. The creditors will hold the first meeting on Feb. 26.