Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has agreed to pay the federal government nearly $15 million in damages for a 1999 Northern California wildfire that burned about 12,000 acres.

The U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento said Tuesday the payment is the second largest recovery for a wildfire in U.S. Forest Service history.

A tree fell onto one of the utility's power lines, igniting the fire on private property near Camptonville. The burned area included 3,866 acres in the Plumas and Tahoe national forests.

The government claimed the tree was rotten and should have been removed by the utility before it fell.

A PG&E spokesman says the utility was happy to have reached the resolution and regrets the damage. The company now inspects its power lines more frequently.