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[UPDATED] CAL FIRE: PG&E Equipment Started Kincade Fire

Investigative report forwarded to Sonoma County District Attorney

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The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) announced Thursday that it has determined that electrical transmission lines owned by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) started the Kincade Fire.

The fire, which started on Oct. 23, 2019, was paired with widespread evacuation orders in the North Bay and Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) throughout PG&E’s service area.


The Kincade Fire burned a total of 77,758 acres, destroyed 374 buildings and caused four non-life threatening injuries, according to a CAL FIRE press release.


“After a very meticulous and thorough investigation, CAL FIRE has determined that the Kincade Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) located northeast of Geyserville,” the release states, noting that dry and windy weather conditions helped the fire spread.


CAL FIRE has sent its investigative report to the Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch’s office, according to the press release.


PG&E did not immediately return a request for comment.

UPDATE - 5:10pm, July 16:

A spokesperson for Ravitch confirmed that they have received the CAL FIRE reports and will begin reviewing them.

UPDATE - 11:40am, July 17:

PG&E released the following statement in response to CAL FIRE's report last night:

We appreciate all the heroic efforts of the first responders who fought the 2019 Kincade Fire, helped local citizens evacuate and made sure no one perished in the fire.

We are aware of CAL FIRE’s news release stating that PG&E facilities caused the fire. At this time, we do not have access to CAL FIRE’s investigative report or the evidence it has collected. We look forward to reviewing both at the appropriate time.

We want our customers and communities to know that safety is our most important responsibility and that we are working hard every day to reduce wildfire risk throughout our service area.



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