Probe finds PG&E power lines sparked deadly 2017 California wildfires

LOS ANGELES- On Friday, June 8, 2018, the state officials said, “A dozen of the wind-driven blazes that swept northern California’s wine country last fall, killing 46 people in the deadliest firestorm in state history, was sparked by PG&E-owned power lines”,

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CalFire, also replied that their investigators had searched and found “evidence of alleged violations of state law” by Pacific Gas & Electric Company and referred those cases to county prosecutors for further review.

PG&E issued a statement saying that the company has looked into the CalFire reports, he also added: “We continue to believe our overall programs met our state’s high standards.”

The report showed tremendous implications for the San Francisco-based utility company in terms of potential legal liability for one of California’s most lethal and costly disasters.

PG&E shares were down 0.6 percent in after-market trading following the CalFire statement.

The agency’s investigation covered 12 individual blazes accounting for much of the conflagrations that erupted the night of Oct. 8 and raced across several counties north of San Francisco, collectively dubbed the North Bay Fires, or the October 2017 Fire Siege.

The firestorm claimed 46 lives, scorched at least 245,000 acres (99,148 hectares), and incinerated 8,900 homes and other structures, including entire subdivisions in the Sonoma County town of Santa Rosa. An estimated 100,000 people were placed under evacuation orders and the region’s renowned wine-making region was thrown into turmoil.

According to the last year’s disaster, PG&E has also pointed to the confluence of an unusually wet winter spurring heavy growth in vegetation, which dried out in the record-setting summer heat to set the stage for explosive fire activity when high winds struck that fall.

by Sawan Kumar on June 9, 2018

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