Business Standard

Power lines caused 2017 California wildfire

IANS  |  San Francisco 

The devastating 2017 wildfire, dubbed as the second worst in the American state's history, was caused due to power lines coming into contact because of high winds, officials said.

The Thomas Fire, in December 2017, burned about 1,140 square km in total in and counties and destroyed more than 1,000 structures in nearly 40 days, reports

Two lives were lost in the fire, including 32-year-old firefighter At one point, nearly 9,000 emergency personnel were working against the fire.

It became the largest ever recorded in at the time, only to be exceeded months later by the Mendocino Complex Fire in 2018.

"A high event caused the power lines to come into contact with each other, creating an electrical arc. The electrical arc deposited hot, burning or molten material onto the ground, in a receptive fuel bed, causing the fire... The power line in question is owned by Edison (SCE)," the County Fire Department said on Wednesday.

The SCE, one of the largest in the US, issued a statement later Wednesday, questioning the investigation report.

"Notwithstanding today's report, a final determination on cause and responsibility will only be made through the legal process," said the SCE.

Several lawsuits have been filed by residents against the SCE regarding the wildfires.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 12:54 IST