The first public reports from Santa Rosa city fire investigators have been released and the evidence points to PG&E equipment. The two fires in question began on October 8th and October 9th, 2017. The fires destroyed several buildings including multiple homes, and the Santa Rosa Fire Department determined the cause was arcing PG&E power lines setting off sparks into nearby vegetation. Wind speed played a factor in the equipment starting wildfires.
State organizations including Cal Fire and the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) have additional ongoing investigations. The CPUC publishes Pacific Gas and Electric fire incident reports online at their website. PG&E has suspended their quarterly dividend and is warning investors about the legal liability if responsible for the wildfires that destroyed homes and businesses throughout Northern California.
The Santa Rosa fire investigators listed 3 main causes of the two wildfires:
Firefighters discovered in one case the PG&E power lines were continuing to spark and start fires even after they worked to stop existing fires. Previously investigators were interested in discovering more about PG&E recloser equipment, equipment designed to spark and re-power lines that continues to operate even when lines are damaged or downed.
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