Cal Fire investigators have determined that power lines owned by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) were the cause of the destructive Camp Fire in Butte County a year ago that killed 85 people and burned more than 150,000 acres.
While Cal Fire placed blame on PG&E, the state's brief press release failed to answer the most important question - whether the utility acted negligently in maintaining the power line that sparked the blaze, said Paul Patterson, an analyst with Glenrock Associates.
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. Many of those killed were elderly or disabled; the oldest was 99. The oldest was 99.
The so-called Camp Fire in northern California left 85 people dead in November, burned through more than 60,000 hectares of land and destroyed almost 19,000 houses and other structures. That blaze was overrun by the fire originating in Pulga. He said he hadn't read the report and didn't know the nature of the violations. "We have not been able to form a conclusion as to whether a second fire ignited as a result of vegetation contact with PG&E electrical distribution lines, as CAL FIRE also determined".
"Now the day of reckoning has come", Frank Pitre, a lawyer for victims, told The New York Times.
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The company's new chief executive, Bill Johnson, made his first appearance before lawmakers Wednesday, who peppered him with questions on his plan to lead the troubled utility.
An investigation into the cause of the fire began nearly immediately, with suspicion soon falling on power equipment operated by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). "It's a disappointment that this happened". "Let's not do it again". It was sent to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. They referred 12 for possible criminal prosecution. "We can not restore trust without results", he said.
The utility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January as it faced tens of billions of dollars in potential costs related to deadly California wildfires. PG&E has estimated its total liability from the Paradise fire and 2017 wildfires could top $30 billion.
The Paradise fire spread rapidly, burning into the communities of Concow and Magalia and the outskirts of Chico. The company said it's cooperating with prosecutors in collecting physical evidence at the fire site.