The lawsuit will also seek money for damage to infrastructure such as parks, Goldstein said.

Also, it will push to ensure PG&E adopts safety measures such as burying new power lines underground or creating power shut-off systems that could be activated in the event of another emergency, he said.

In December, the county said it was facing a $21 million budget shortfall as a result of fire damage and costs. The shortfall included a $10.7 million decline in revenue because of lost property taxes from destroyed homes and another $10 million spent by the county on staff overtime and supplies.

“We’re seeking to make sure the taxpayers don’t bear the brunt of the losses caused by these fires,” Goldstein said.

Despite the incomplete state investigations, county supervisors felt it was time to move forward. The court has acted swiftly to consolidate cases and set hearings, signaling it does not wish to see litigation languish. Officials said it was important to be part of the process at an early stage.

“You either choose to be moving with them or they start stepping away from you,” Gore said.

Across Northern California, the October infernos burned 245,000 acres in six counties, killed 44 people and caused more than $9 billion in damage claims, amounting to the costliest wildfires in U.S. history.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 707-568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.