Saturday, 17 August, 2019

PG&E Transmission Lines Caused California's Deadliest Wildfire, State Officials Say

Hellish Race Through Flames to Rescue People from California's Camp Fire California power company caused state's deadliest blaze, investigation finds
Patty Aguilar | 16 May, 2019, 09:43

The inferno killed 85 people, scorched 153,336 acres and destroyed 18,804 structures, according to Cal Fire.

The fire killed 85 people and nearly completely incinerated the town of Paradise.

The fire started in the early morning hours of November 8, in Pulga.

CEO Bill Johnson was testifying before the California Assembly's Utilities and Energy Committee when state fire authorities made their announcement.

The fire spread rapidly, burning into the communities of Concow and Magalia and the outskirts of east Chico. That blaze was overrun by the fire originating in Pulga, officials said.

PG&E'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.

"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. He said ahead of the 2019 fire season the company is visually inspecting tens of thousands of miles of equipment in high-fire danger areas and clearing vegetation in those areas.

"It's nice to have a definite answer", Jones said.

Cal Fire found last June that PG&E-owned power lines had sparked a separate series of wildfires that swept Northern California's wine country in 2017.

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Paradise sued PG&E in January seeking damages for the loss of infrastructure, land, property, trees, public and natural resources, and lost taxpayer resources.

"We remain committed to working together with state agencies and local communities to make our customers and California safer", the statement added.

The company has requested a November extension to continue its reorganization plan.

Volunteer rescue workers search for human remains in the rubble of homes burned in the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif.

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

As bankruptcy proceedings for the utility move forward, Newsom is urging the Legislature to consider changing liability laws for utilities.

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

PG&E had already admitted it was likely to blame, and filed for protective bankruptcy in January to shield itself against billions of dollars in fire-related liability lawsuits.

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