sunny.png
Monday July 15th, 2019 2:13PM

Report: Power lines sparked massive Southern California fire

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the largest fires in California history was sparked by Southern California Edison power lines that came into contact during high winds, investigators said Wednesday.

The resulting arc ignited dry brush on Dec. 4, 2017, starting the blaze in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that resulted in two deaths and blackened more than 440 square miles (1,139 square kilometers), according to the investigation headed by the Ventura County Fire Department.

The arc "deposited hot, burning or molten material onto the ground, in a receptive fuel bed, causing the fire," said a statement accompanying the investigative report.

Investigators said the Thomas fire first began as two separate blazes started about 15 minutes apart that joined together. They determined Southern California Edison was responsible for both ignitions.

SCE acknowledged its equipment likely sparked one of the two fires but said evidence suggested it wasn't responsible for the other.

"The report does not suggest this evidence was considered," Edison said in a statement Wednesday. "SCE also is not aware of any basis for criminal liability."

The fire destroyed more than 1,000 structures before it was contained 40 days after it began near the city of Santa Paula. A firefighter and a civilian were killed.

A month after the blaze started, a downpour on the burn scar unleashed a massive debris flow that killed 21 people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in the seaside community of Montecito. Two people have not been found.

The investigation was conducted by fire officials in both counties along with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Victims said in lawsuits that losses from the blaze and flooding were due to negligence by SCE, which has said it will work with insurance companies to handle the claims. The utility is protected from going bankrupt over the disasters, thanks to a law signed last year that passes excess liability costs on to utility customers.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. filed for bankruptcy in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from huge wildfires in that part of the state over the past two years. A blaze in November killed 85 people and destroyed most of the town of Paradise.

___

Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCM

___

This story has been corrected to state that 85, not 86, people were killed in the Northern California wildfire.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Iditarod winner's journey began as a boy racing sled dogs
Pete Kaiser has become the latest Alaska Native to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
6:04PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Experts doubt turbulence caused crash of cargo jet in Texas
Aviation experts say they doubt turbulence could have brought down a cargo jet that crashed into a Texas bay in February, speculating that human error or a massive malfunction are more likely culprits
5:44PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction
Massachusetts' highest court has reinstated former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction
5:17PM ( 53 minutes ago )
U.S. News
OMG, OBJ: Beckham's arrival makes Browns instant contenders
Trading places: Beckham's arrival boosts Browns from clowns to contenders
6:03PM ( 7 minutes ago )
'He's shady': Ringleader in college scandal irritated others
'He's shady, be careful.' There were early concerns and warnings about man at center of college admissions scandal.
6:03PM ( 7 minutes ago )
US, Canada ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after Ethiopia crash
US, Canada ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after Ethiopia crash, citing possible similarities with previous crash involving the model
5:53PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Senate GOP effort on Trump border wall seems to fall short
A late Republican effort to prevent President Donald Trump from an awkward Senate defeat over his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border seems to be collapsing
4:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
No body double: Trump blasts #FakeMelania theories
President Donald Trump is not amused by the #FakeMelania conspiracy theories circulating on social media
4:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: EU official says 'no-deal' vote wont halt Brexit
The European Commission is warning Britain's Parliament that voting against Brexit taking effect without a withdrawal deal in place isn't enough and lawmakers must approve the deal, too
4:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Questions and answers about the Ethiopian Airlines crash
Questions and answers about the Ethiopian Airlines crash
2:18PM ( 3 hours ago )
California's new governor signs moratorium on executions
California's governor has signed an executive order Wednesday placing a moratorium on executions
1:54PM ( 4 hours ago )
Kelly appears in Chicago court in child support case
R. Kelly's publicist says the R&B singer wants his child support payments lowered, but it doesn't appear they were reduced during the latest hearing in the case
1:53PM ( 4 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
The Latest: Parent with 'unlimited resources' gets bail
A former top investment manager has appeared in court on charges of paying bribes to get three of his children into top universities as part of a widespread admissions bribery scandal
5:16PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Big tech companies cast as monopolies in UK government study
UK review of digital competition urges new rules to deal with power of tech giants
5:11PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Alaska poised to let people use marijuana at certain stores
Alaska is poised to become the first state in the nation with statewide rules allowing people to use marijuana at certain stores where they buy it.
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
US stocks rise, led by technology and health care
Technology and health care companies are leading U.S. stocks higher in afternoon trading, placing the market on track for its third straight gain
3:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
Fiat Chrysler recalling nearly 900,000 vehicles on emissions
Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 900,000 vehicles because they don't meet US emission standards
2:11PM ( 3 hours ago )
UK review urges new rules to deal with power of tech giants
UK review of digital competition urges new rules to deal with power of tech giants
1:55PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Iditarod winner's journey began as a boy racing sled dogs
Pete Kaiser has become the latest Alaska Native to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
6:04PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Experts doubt turbulence caused crash of cargo jet in Texas
Aviation experts say they doubt turbulence could have brought down a cargo jet that crashed into a Texas bay in February, speculating that human error or a massive malfunction are more likely culprits
5:44PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction
Massachusetts' highest court has reinstated former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction
5:17PM ( 53 minutes ago )
'Epic' storm brings blizzard, rain, tornado threat to mid-US
A vast and powerful storm is bringing blizzards, high winds, rain and the threat of tornadoes to more than 25 states, stretching from the northern Rocky Mountains to Texas and beyond
5:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Judges skeptical of lawsuit over California immigration law
A U.S. appeals court is appearing inclined to reject a request by the Trump administration to block a California law that limits police cooperation with federal immigration officials
4:47PM ( 1 hour ago )