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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Grapevines burned in the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, California. (Photo by George Rose via Getty Images)

The 2017 Tubbs Fire that burned over 36,000 acres and killed more than 20 people in California's Sonoma County was caused by a "private electrical system," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday — a relief for utility PG&E, whose equipment was suspected as having sparked the blaze.

The big picture: A source close to the company tells Axios that the findings of the investigation does not change its plans to file for bankruptcy next week. PG&E said earlier this month it would file for bankruptcy in an effort to shield itself from billions of dollars in potential liability costs related to PG&E's possible role in wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

In a statement to Axios, a spokesperson says the company still faces "significant potential liabilities and a deteriorating financial situation, which was further impaired by the recent credit agency downgrades to below investment grade."

The Tubbs Fire, which devastated the community of Santa Rosa, stood for a short time as the most destructive wildfire in California history. It was eclipsed by the Camp Fire in 2018, which destroyed most of the town of Paradise, killing 86.

Go deeper: The cost of climate change for PG&E is a warning to big business

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

8 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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