Re­port: Power lines sparked mas­sive SoCal fire

Antelope Valley Press - - Front Page - By CHRISTO­PHER WE­BER

One of the largest fires in Cal­i­for­nia his­tory was sparked by South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son power lines that came into con­tact dur­ing high winds, ig­nit­ing the blaze in Ven­tura and Santa Bar­bara coun­ties in De­cem­ber 2017, on in­ves­ti­ga­tors said Wed­nes­day.

LOS AN­GE­LES — 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,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the in­ves­tiga­tive re­port.

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son didn’t im­me­di­ately re­turn a call seek­ing com­ment.

The fire de­stroyed more than1,000 struc­tures be­fore it was con­tained 40 days af­ter it be­gan. 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.

Vic­tims claimed in law­suits that losses from the blaze and flood­ing were due to neg­li­gence by Edi­son.

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

In North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Pa­cific Gas & Elec­tric Corp. filed for bank­ruptcy ear­lier this year in the face of bil­lions of dol­lars in po­ten­tial li­a­bil­ity from huge wild­fires in that part of the state in the past two years. A blaze in Novem­ber killed 86 peo­ple and de­stroyed most of the town of Par­adise.

As­so­ci­ated Press

FIRE ON THE MOUN­TAIN — An in­ves­ti­ga­tion has de­ter­mined that one of the largest and most de­struc­tive fires in Cal­i­for­nia his­tory was sparked by power lines com­ing into con­tact dur­ing high winds.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.