Re­port: Downed power lines sparked deadly Cal­i­for­nia fires

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE -

A dozen wild­fires that burned thou­sands of homes in Cal­i­for­nia’s wine coun­try and killed at least 15 peo­ple last Oc­to­ber were started by Pa­cific Gas & Elec­tric power lines, state fire of­fi­cials said.

The Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion found fall­ing trees and tree limbs hit­ting power lines were the most com­mon cause, but one fire erupted after PG&E tried to re-en­er­gize a downed line.

The dozen blazes were part of the dead­li­est se­ries of wild­fires in Cal­i­for­nia his­tory. Nearly $1.5 bil­lion was spent fight­ing fires and on re­cov­ery north of San Fran­cisco in Oc­to­ber.

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