Dixie Fire started by Pacific Gas & Electric Company lines: Cal Fire

January 5, 2022
Dixie Fire started by Pacific Gas & Electric Company lines: Cal Fire
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REDDING, Calif. — California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials have concluded that last summer’s Dixie Fire was started by electrical lines owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

The fire, which started July 13, went on to become the second-largest single fire in state history, burning 963,309 acres. The fire started in the Feather River Canyon southeast of Chico, California, near where the 2018 Camp Fire ignited.

The fire leveled the historic Gold-Rush era town of Greenville in Plumas County and threatened numerous other mountain communities. It destroyed 1,329 structures in five North State counties, including Shasta and Tehama.

Firefighters announced 100% containment of the massive blaze on Oct. 25.

The fire is just the latest in a string of blazes that Cal Fire has blamed on the utility. Cal Fire said PG&E equipment was at fault for starting the Camp Fire in Butte County, which killed 85 people and destroyed most of the Butte County town of Paradise.

PG&E has also been charged with manslaughter in the deaths of four Shasta County residents who died during the 2020 Zogg Fire.

Cal Fire said the Dixie Fire was started when a tree came in contact with a PG&E distribution line. The Zogg Fire also started when a tree contacted an electrical line along Zogg Mine Road in Western Shasta County.

IN THE SAME PLACES?:California wildfires are growing bigger each year

While Cal Fire released its findings about the Dixie Fire on Tuesday, PG&E filed paperwork with the California Public Utilities Commission last summer stating that its equipment may have ignited the blaze.

The Dixie Fire forced the evacuation of thousands of residents in Plumas, Butte, Lassen, Tehama and Shasta counties. Firefighters fought the blaze for more than three months before finally declaring it contained in October.

Also that month, federal and state officials estimated they had spent some $630 million fighting the fire.

An investigative report on the Dixie Fire was sent to the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, Cal Fire said. The fire agency referred all further questions regarding its findings to the district attorney’s office.

CAL FIRE EXPLAINS:Why Dixie Fire is not the ‘largest single wildfire’ in California history

Follow Damon Arthur on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS.



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