SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric has reported to California utility regulators that its equipment may have been involved in the start of the big Dixie Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada.
The utility said in a filing Sunday that a repairman responding to a circuit outage on July 13 spotted blown fuses in a conductor atop a pole, a tree leaning into the conductor and fire at the base of the tree.
PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to major wildfires, including a 2018 fire that ravaged the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.
California’s largest wildfire merged with a smaller blaze and destroyed homes in remote areas with limited access for firefighters. California's massive Dixie Fire had already leveled a dozen houses and other structures when it tore through the tiny community of Indian Falls after dark Saturday.
An updated damage estimate was not immediately available. That blaze is 21% contained. Firefighters also reported progress against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon. It’s 53% contained.
Fires also burned in Washington, Idaho and Montana.