SACRAMENTO – The Camp Fire, which burned over 153,000 acres in Butte County last year and destroyed 18,804 structures, was caused by PG&E electrical transmission lines, said Cal Fire in a statement released today.
The Camp Fire started the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, and resulted in 85 civilian fatalities and several firefighter injuries. It is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.
Immediately after the Camp Fire began, Cal Fire investigators were dispatched to the area and began working to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
“After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, Cal Fire has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by PG&E located in the Pulga area,” said Cal Fire officials in today’s statement.
“The fire started in the early morning hours near the community of Pulga in Butte County. The tinder-dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures promoted this fire and caused extreme rates of spread, rapidly burning into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia and the outskirts of east Chico.”
The investigation identified a second ignition sight near the intersection of Concow Road and Rim Road. The cause of the second fire was determined to be vegetation into electrical distribution lines owned and operated by PG&E. This fire was consumed by the original fire which started earlier near Pulga.
The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
During 2018 there were more than 7,571 wildfires that burned over 1.8 million acres within the state of California.
Cal Fire also offers a free Ready for Wildfire app for iPhones and Android phones.