PG&E equipment sparked deadliest U.S. wildfire, fire officials say

Posted at 8:56 AM, May 16, 2019

State fire investigators have officially determined that Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines caused a November 2018 wildfire that destroyed nearly 15,000 homes in Paradise, California.

A full investigation report has not yet been released, but instead forwarded to the Butte County, California district attorney's office, the Associated Press reports.

The fire, called Camp Fire, sparked on Nov. 8, 2018. Eighty-five people were killed in the days that followed as the fire spread. Many others were injured.

As of February 2019, two people were still unaccounted for.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is California's largest utility provider and crews found a damaged transmission tower and holes in a power pole at separate locations near the site of where the Camp Fire started, CNN reports.

The day the fire began, it was a PG&E employee who called 9-1-1 after spotting flames in the vicinity of a high-voltage tower near Pulga, California in Butte County, PG&E said.

Since the fire, PG&E has been inspecting all of its power and transmission lines — costing up to $900 million including repairs, AP reports.