Report: Power lines sparked massive Southern California fire

California FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2017, file photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, flares burn near power line in Sycamore Canyon near West Mountain Drive in Montecito, Calif. An investigation has determined that one of the largest and most destructive fires in California history was triggered by power lines coming into contact during high winds. The Ventura County Fire Department says Wednesday, March 13, 2019, that Southern California Edison power cable contact kindled dry brush on Dec. 4, 2017 and eventually blackened more than 440 square miles( 1,139 square kilometers ).( Mike Eliason/ Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP, File)

One of the most important flamings in California history was triggered by Southern California Edison power line that came into contact during high winds, investigators said Wednesday.

The ensuing arc ignited dry brush on Dec. 4, 2017, starting the fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that resulted in two demises 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 floor, in a receptive gasoline bunk, causing the flame, ” said a statement accompanying the investigative report.

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

The fire destroyed more than 1,000 structures before it was contained 40 periods after it began near the city of Santa Paula. A firefighter and a civilian were killed.

A month after the blaze started, a downpour on the burn scar unleashed a massive dust overflow that killed 21 people and destroyed or damaged the thousands of residences in the seaside community of Montecito. Two people have not been found.

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

Investigators said the Thomas fire firstly began as two separate blazes that are joined. They established the utility was responsible for both ignitions.

Edison previously accepted its material likely started one of the two fires.

Victims claimed in litigations that losings from the flame and flooding were due to failure by Edison, which has said it will work with insurance companies to handle the amount claimed. The utility shall be protected against going bankrupt over natural disasters, thanks to a law signed last year that legislates excess liability overheads on to utility customers.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas& Electric Corp. filed for bankruptcy in the face of billions of dollars in potential liability from big wildfires in that part of the state over the past two years. A fire in November killed 85 people and destroyed most of the town of Paradise.


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This story has been chastised to state that 85 , not 86, people were killed in the Northern California wildfire.

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