PG&E power lines caused California wildfire that killed 85

California power company caused state's deadliest blaze, investigation finds

The wildfire - the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history - started in the early morning hours of November 8, 2018, near the community of Pulga in Butte County.

The so-called Camp Fire in northern California left 85 people dead in November, ravaged more than 60,000 hectares of land and destroyed almost 19,000 houses and other structures.

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.

California authorities said Wednesday that power lines owned and operated by the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.

The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. (PG&E) caused the state's most destructive wildfire ever - it killed 85 and almost destroyed an entire city.

The wind-driven blaze, dubbed the Camp Fire, erupted in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco in November 2018 and raced with little warning through the town of Paradise, incinerating much of that community. He called the release of the report symbolic because it has been long known that PG&E's equipment caused the fire. PG&E admitted in the days after the fire started that it had experienced a problem in the area where the fire was first seen.

At an oversight hearing in the state Assembly, PG&E's new CEO Bill Johnson said he's committed to making the company accountable to customers and victims.

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Johnson took over PG&E on May 1 after former CEO Geisha Williams stepped down and the utility replaced half of its 20-member board of directors.

Almost 19,000 homes and other structures were destroyed, and the death toll of 85 civilians stands as the greatest loss of life from a single wildfire in California history.

This finding is not a surprise.

The utility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January as it faced tens of billions of dollars in potential costs related to deadly California wildfires. The second fire was quickly consumed by the initial fire.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion USA from the North Bay and Camp Fires.

A representative for PG&E did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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