Electrical equipment in the vicinity of the start of the Camp Fire in California had damage, utility reveals

connectVideoHeavy rain to bring Camp Fire under control

The authorities begin the process of allowing refugees to return Paradise to survey damage; Jeff Paul reports.

Equipment that belongs to the warring utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sustained a range of damage, including bullet holes and a damaged tower arm, around the beginning of last month deadly campfire, the company told state regulators Tuesday.

In a report sent to the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E, said a major power line failed around 6:15 pm, Nov. 8, the day the fire broke out in the North of California.

A PG&E employee saw a fire about 15 minutes later near a metal tower, which is the line in the air, and the information transmitted to 911, PG&E Regulatory Executive Meredith Allen told supervisors in the report.

An aerial survey later in the day showed the energy power-line seemed to be separated from one of the metal towers. When crews were able to check the device on Nov. 14, they discovered multiple points of damage and the breach in the vicinity of the towers.

PG&E said last month to determine the weather conditions were no longer dangerous enough to justify a huge power shut off on Nov. 8 – a decision that came as a huge fire was tearing through a northern California town.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“At the time of the collection at the Tower 27/222, PG&E found a broken C-hook attached to the separated suspension isolator which was connected to the 2 suspension insulator to a tower arm, together with the wear and tear at the connection point,” the program said.

In addition to the broken hook, crews also observed a “flash mark” on the tower.

A second, smaller power line also experienced an outage at 6:45 pm on Nov. 8 in the neighborhood, the utility said. An inspection the next day turned out to be a wooden pole and the equipment on the ground, “with bullet points and bullet holes on the breaking point of the pole.”


The additional damage is discovered on Nov. 12 by a PG&E employee on any other road in the area, where he found the wires down, in addition to damaged and downed poles.

“This location is within the Camp Fire footprint. At this location, the worker observed several snapped trees, with a number at the top of the downed wires,” Allen told the supervisors.

An energized power line and insulator turned out to be separated from one of the metal towers in the vicinity of the area where the Camp Fire broke out, the company told regulators on Tuesday.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Fire officials have not officially said what caused the huge campfire, which killed at least 86 people and destroyed 18,800 buildings, but the researchers have focused on the power equipment. State investigators blamed PG&E’s equipment for the start of 17 forest fires of last year and $ 15 billion in damage and cleaning costs), and numerous related lawsuits. Researchers are still determining the cause of several other 2017 Northern California forest fires that may increase the company’s obligations if it is responsible for these characters.

PG&E could face billions in damages if researchers determine the equipment that started the most destructive wildfire that destroyed Paradise.


Two lawsuits were filed Monday on behalf of victims of the Camp Fire, the deadliest in history. The complaint seeks damages of PG&E, specifically focused on the tools of advertising. It allows the company paints a false and misleading picture of the safety around their activities.”

Authorities face the challenge to identify the victims of Camp Fire

Human remains of the devastating fire that Paradise, California, are transported by refrigerated trucks to the Sacramento County coroner lab.

“All fingers point to PG&E equipment or PG&E lines that may be attorney Frank Pitre told FOX40.

The San Francisco-based utility told FOX40 in a statement of the cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation, and that the safety of customers and the community in which it operates, is “our highest priority.”

“We are aware of the lawsuits over the Camp Fire,” the statement said. “Now, our focus is on assessing the infrastructure, it is safe to restore power where possible, and to help our customers recover and rebuild.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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