Thursday, May 16th 2019, 2:38 pm - State fire investigators have formally determined that Pacific Gas & Electric Co transmission lines caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, a blaze that killed 85 people last year, officials said on Wednesday.
State fire investigators have determined that transmission lines owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Co caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, a blaze that killed 85 people last year, officials said on Wednesday (May 15).
The wind-driven blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, erupted in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco in November 2018 and raced with little warning through the town of Paradise, incinerating much of that community.
Nearly 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. Several firefighters were injured.
VIDEO: FIREFIGHTER CAPTURES FOOTAGE INSIDE CALI WILDFIRES
A Cal Fire spokesman said the investigation into how the equipment failed and whether there was criminal liability is still open.
PG&E says it hasn't been able to review the report, but it does accept its findings on the origins of the fire.
The utility company filed for bankruptcy in January.
It remains under criminal probation for a deadly pipeline explosion in 2010 - and is a defendant in a number of private civil cases stemming from other wildfires.
It's previously cited potential civil liabilities in excess of 30 billion dollars.