Cal Fire determines power lines started Camp Fire

Submitted to the Sierra Sun
A lineman works to repair a power line in fire-ravaged Paradise in November.
Associated Press | AP

The Camp Fire in Butte County, started the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, and burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroying 18,804 structures and resulting in 85 civilian fatalities and several firefighter injuries, according to a news release.

The fire is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.

Cal Fire investigators were immediately dispatched to the Camp Fire and began working to determine the origin and cause of the fire. After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, Cal Fire has determined the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity PG&E located in the Pulga area.

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 Rd. and Rim Rd. 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.

During 2018 there were more than 7,571 wildfires that burned over 1.8 million acres within the state of California.

The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey. For any questions related to the Camp Fire investigation, contact Mike Ramsey at 530-538-7411 or at or .

For more information, visit or Cal Fire also offers a free Ready for Wildfire app for iPhones and Android phones.

Source: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

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