Shares of electricity provider PG&E plunge as wildfires ravage California

Karl Mondon | Digital First Media | The Mercury News | Getty Images 

Firefighters begin a back burn against the Camp Fire on Pentz Road south Paradise, Calif., November 8, 2018. 

Shares of PG&E plunged more than 12 percent on Friday as three simultaneous wildfires continued to rage through California.

The decline put the stock on pace for its worst day since Dec. 21, 2017, when it dropped nearly 13 percent. PG&E is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric, which has 16 million customers in California.

One of the wildfires led to evacuation orders in large parts of Malibu. Pepperdine University, which is located in Malibu, canceled classes, according to NBC News.

“The wind-whipped conditions … this is ripe conditions for explosive fire behavior,” said Los Angeles fire Capt. Erik Scott told NBC Los Angeles. “This is the new normal. When we have conditions like this, when it’s such incredible wind, that brings us into a different caliber, so it’s become a much more challenging condition.”

NBC News also said another fire in Northern California led to 75,000 homes being evacuated, while a separate fire burned more than 10,000 acres of land in Thousand Oaks. Thousand Oaks was still reeling from a mass shooting earlier this week that left 12 dead.

Friday’s decline wiped out PG&E’s gains for the year. Prior to Friday’s session, the stock was up more than 6.5 percent. The company did not immediately return a call for comment.

— With reporting by Jeff Daniels

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