PG&E equipment sparked deadly California wildfire

Black Hawk helicopter drops water on Camp Fire in northern California

The deadly Camp Fire that roared through Paradise and other Butte County communities in Northern California was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), state officials announced Wednesday. The fire also killed 85 people.

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.

The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

PG&E CEO Bill Johnson testifies before the state Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee in Sacramento on May 15, 2019.

Fire officials concluded Wednesday that equipment operated by PG&E, the nation's biggest utility company, caused the most destructive wildfire in California's history.

This finding is not a surprise.

The fire wiped out almost 15,000 homes.

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

The Camp Fire, which burned over 153,000 acres in Butte County a year ago and destroyed 18,804 structures, was caused by PG&E electrical transmission lines, said Cal Fire in a statement released today.


Cal Fire's full report was not released to the public but rather passed on to prosecutors in Butte County, who will decide whether to start legal proceedings over the fire.

The suit also alleges that PG&E had planned to de-energize power lines as a precaution against starting a fire but canceled those plans despite windy conditions.

Its reorganization plan is due by the end of May, but the utility has requested an extension until November.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a Wednesday filing that PG&E shouldn't get an extra six months to reorganize.

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

The investigation identified a second ignition sight near the intersection of Concow Road and Rim Road.

A representative for PG&E did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The utility filed for bankruptcy protection in January, facing lawsuits in the billions of dollars related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

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