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Wildfire victims will be compensated by PG&E before the Federal Emergency Management Agency receives any payment from the utility for disaster assistance the government provided in the wake of recent Northern California fire disasters, according to a tentative deal announced Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

As part of the agreement, FEMA said it would not seek repayment from any individual fire victim or agency with wildfire losses that received help from the federal government. The pledge, a key element of the deal, eliminates earlier threats that wildfire victims who receive compensation from PG&E might get a bill from the federal government demanding a return of federal disaster aid.

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