Deadly fire that leveled Paradise caused by PG&E power lines, investigators conclude

Homes leveled by the Camp Fire line Valley Ridge Drive in Paradise California

The blaze killed 85, destroyed 18,804 structures and charred 153,336 acres, CBS San Francisco reports.

California investigators on Wednesday found PG&E power lines were responsible for last year's wildfire that killed 85 people.

Investigators say the original fire that started near Pulga consumed the second blaze. It is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.

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.

PG&E works on power lines to fix damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. Bill Johnson told the state Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee he had expected the utility would be blamed for the fire.

Cal Fire announced the results of their investigation on Wednesday, six months after the wildfire that almost wiped out the town of Paradise. He said ahead of the 2019 fire season the company is visually inspecting tens of thousands of miles of equipment in high-fire danger areas and clearing vegetation in those areas.

"It's nice to have a definite answer", Jones said, adding that she hopes the conclusion will help her city's legal case against the utility.

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Paradise sued PG&E in January seeking damages for the loss of infrastructure, land, property, trees, public and natural resources, and lost taxpayer resources.

The suit also alleges that PG&E had planned to de-energize power lines as a precaution against starting a fire but canceled those plans despite windy conditions.

The company was supposed to present its reorganization plan by the end of May, however, it recently asked for a six-month extension.

Newsom and lawmakers are working on proposals related to utility liability for wildfires that could affect the bankruptcy.

During the investigation, authorities located a second ignition site near the intersection of Concow and Rim roads.

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

PG&E's extension request "reflects no sense of urgency in addressing the serious problems and issues confronting" the company, Newsom's office writes in a brief it plans to file Wednesday.

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