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

16 May 2019

California fire officials said Wednesday that Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines sparked a Northern California blaze that killed 85 people, making it the deadliest us wildfire in a century.

Cal Fire said the transmission lines owned and operated by the San Francisco-based utility sparked the November 8 fire in the Pulga area that almost destroyed Paradise.

The so-called Camp Fire in northern California left 85 people dead in November, ravaged more than 60,000 hectares of land and destroyed almost 19,000 houses and other structures. The cause of the second fire was determined to be vegetation into electrical distribution lines owned and operated by PG&E.

Cal Fire concluded last June that PG&E-owned power lines had sparked a separate series of wildfires that swept Northern California's wine country in 2017, and found a number of unspecified code violations alleged in several of the blazes it examined.

Cars leave Butte County during the Camp Fire.

Almost 19,000 homes and other structures were destroyed, and the death toll of 85 civilians stands as the greatest loss of life from a single wildfire in California history.

Ashes and debris are all that remain where houses once stood in Paradise, Calif., on November 15, 2018, after a wildfire destroyed the town. (PG&E) caused the state's most destructive wildfire ever - it killed 85 and almost destroyed an entire city. Wood, a forensic dentist, also said he helped identify victims in fires in his district, and in the Camp Fire in Paradise. The second fire was quickly consumed by the initial fire. Bill Johnson told the state Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee he had expected the utility would be blamed for the fire. He said ahead of the 2019 fire season the company is visually inspecting tens of thousands of miles of equipment in high-fire danger areas and clearing vegetation in those areas. PG&E admitted in the days after the fire started that it had experienced a problem in the area where the fire was first seen.

The utility filed for bankruptcy protection in January, facing lawsuits in the billions of dollars related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

PG&E's extension request "reflects no sense of urgency in addressing the serious problems and issues confronting" the company, Newsom's office writes in a brief it plans to file Wednesday.

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