California Fire Authorities Say PG&E Power Lines Started Deadly Paradise Wildfire That Killed 85 People

JANIE HAR / AP

(SAN FRANCISCO) — California fire authorities say Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines sparked the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.

Cal Fire said Wednesday the lines in the Pulga area ignited the Nov. 8 fire that killed 85 people in Paradise.

The investigation also identified a second nearby ignition site involving vegetation and electrical distribution lines, also owned and operated by the San Francisco-based utility.

The second fire was quickly consumed by the initial fire.

Lynsey Paulo, a spokeswoman for PG&E, did not immediately comment.

The fire in Butte County destroyed nearly 15,000 homes.

The nation’s largest utility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January as it faced tens of billions of dollars in potential liability costs related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

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