Fire that ravaged California town last fall was caused by power lines

Fire that ravaged California town last fall was caused by power lines

Half a year after the Camp Fire killed 85 people and razed more than 150,000 acres in Northern California, investigators have determined that it was sparked by PG&E-controlled electrical transmission lines in the community of Pulga. Tinder dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures caused extreme rates of spread that rapidly burned 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.

Cal Fire deputy director of communications Michael Mohler said Wednesday that he hasn't read the report and doesn't know the nature of the violations.

Cars leave Butte County during the Camp Fire.

"All should be mindful of PG&E's history of over two decades of mismanagement, misconduct and failed efforts to improve a woeful safety culture", Newsom's office writes. The Newsom administration also notes that the extension would span the 2019 fire season, when the company should be working to ensure its equipment does not spark new fires.

California authorities said Wednesday that power lines owned and operated by the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.

Jones says "it's nice to have a definite answer" about the cause of the blaze that decimated the town.

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The city of Paradise - population 27,000 - was almost wiped out as residents evacuated and their homes and vehicles were engulfed in flames.

The Camp Fire started the morning of November 8, 2018, and burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroying 18,804 structures and resulting in 85 deaths and several firefighter injuries.

The company remains under criminal probation from its conviction for a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion near San Francisco and is a defendant in numerous private civil cases stemming from wildfires.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging the judge overseeing PG&E's bankruptcy to reject the company's request for a six-month extension to present its reorganization plan.

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.

The Camp Fire started on the morning of November 8, 2018, and burned for more than two weeks.

PG&E did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on Wednesday.

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