CAL FIRE determines cause of Camp Fire

Firefighters work on the Camp Fire near Paradise, California in November 2018. (Courtesy: U.S. Forest Service)

CAL FIRE Investigators have released their findings on the cause of the Camp Fire, which started on the morning of November 8th, 2018 near Paradise, California and quickly grew to burn a total of 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,804 structures, killed 85 people and injured several firefighters.

The agency's investigation has found that the Camp Fire was caused by "electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity located in the Pulga area."

The fire started in the early morning hours near the community of Pulga in Butte County. According to the investigation, 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 also 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.

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.

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