Fire authorities have officially determined that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was responsible for last year’s deadly Camp Fire in Paradise, California.In a press release earlier today, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said that “after a very meticulous and thorough investigation, Cal Fire has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG&E) located in the Pulga area.”
The Camp Fire started the morning of November 8th. Cal Fire identified two ignition points, both of which were sparked by PG&E power lines. As Cal Fire notes, the fires then spread with the help of warm temperatures, dry vegetation, and strong winds. The Camp Fire would ultimately burn a total of 153,336 acres and kill 85 people — making it the “deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.” PG&E did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
PG&E was already a likely culprit for the blaze. Earlier this year, itadmitted it was “probable”that company equipment had sparked the Camp Fire. It’s also been blamed forover 1,500 firessince 2014, and itfiled for bankruptcyin January after beingsued by several law firms. It’s also — controversially — askedfor additional state moneyto pay for public safety improvements. However, the problem isn’t just faulty equipment from PG&E; it’s the predictable effect of climate change. In 2018, California saw a total of 7,571 fires — andthey may only get worsewith time.