Investigators determine Camp Fire was caused by PG&E transmission lines

Paradise California. California fire authorities say Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines sparked the most destructive wildfire in state history in Paradise

Paradise California. California fire authorities say Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines sparked the most destructive wildfire in state history in Paradise

The wind-driven fire, dubbed the Camp Fire, erupted in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 280 kilometres north of San Francisco in November 2018 and raced with little warning through the town of Paradise, incinerating much of that community.

The deadly wildfire that all but destroyed several small towns in California a year ago was caused by PG&E power lines, Cal Fire investigators have concluded.

The fire killed 85 people, destroyed 15,000 homes and another 4,000 businesses and other structures.

Power lines owned by Pacific Gas & Electric sparked the Camp fire early on the morning of 8 November 2018.

Fire officials concluded Wednesday that equipment operated by PG&E, the nation's biggest utility company, caused the most destructive wildfire in California's history.

The investigation also identified a second nearby ignition site involving vegetation and electrical distribution lines, also owned and operated by the San Francisco-based utility.

An investigation into the cause of the fire began nearly immediately, with suspicion soon falling on power equipment operated by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).

The second fire was quickly consumed by the initial fire.

"The tinder dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures promoted this fire and caused extreme rates of spread, rapidly burning into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia and the outskirts of east Chico", Cal Fire said in a news release.

CEO Bill Johnson was testifying before the California Assembly's Utilities and Energy Committee when state fire authorities made their announcement.

The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a Wednesday filing that PG&E shouldn't get an extra six months to reorganize.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from the North Bay and Camp Fires.

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