Cal Fire officials say PG&E equipment sparked deadly California wildfire

California power company caused state's deadliest blaze, investigation finds

PG&E lines blamed for deadliest wildfire in California history

After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, CAL FIRE has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area. Fueled by dry vegetation and red flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures promoted the 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.

Investigators also pointed out a second ignition site, which apparently caught fire when vegetation blew into electrical distribution lines owned by PG&E. Flames consumed more than 150,000 acres of land and destroyed more than 18,800 structures.

Ramsey said in a statement that he and the California Attorney General's office have been investigating PG&E's role in the fire since November.

"In addition to claims for property damage, business interruption, interest and attorneys' fees, the Utility could be liable for fire suppression costs, evacuation costs, medical expenses, personal injury damages, punitive damages and other damages under other theories of liability, including if the Utility were found to have been negligent", the company said.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s chief executive told California lawmakers that he expected the utility would be blamed, but he was still disappointed that the company he heads caused the state's most destructive wildfire previous year.

"I have made the assumption when I got here that PG&E equipment caused the fire", he said as quoted by The Associated Press. The committee was conducting an oversight hearing on PG&E's management.

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This finding is not a surprise.

"It's nice to have a definite answer", Jones said, adding that she hopes the conclusion will help her city's legal case against the utility.

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.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a Wednesday filing that the extension should not be granted. He said the utility's request continues to show it lacks an urgent focus on improving safety.

Newsom and lawmakers are working on proposals related to utility liability for wildfires that could affect the bankruptcy.

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