NewsCovering Kern County


Investigators say PG&E power lines caused wildfire that killed 85 people last year

Posted at 2:19 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 17:30:09-04

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — California fire investigators say Pacific Gas & Electric power lines caused wildfire that killed 85 people last year.

Cal Fire said Wednesday the lines in the Pulga area ignited the Nov. 8 fire that killed 85 people in Paradise.

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.

The second fire was quickly consumed by the initial fire.

Lynsey Paulo, a spokeswoman for PG&E, did not immediately comment.

The fire in Butte County destroyed nearly 15,000 homes.

The nation's largest utility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January as it faced tens of billions of dollars in potential liability costs related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018.