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By Dennis Romero
A federal court in San Francisco tentatively noted that equipment from Northern California utility Pacific Gas and Electric was "the most recurring cause" of deadly forest fires that plagued the state since 2017.
Judge of the US District Court, William Alsup, made a finding on Thursday in a case involving PG & E's reaction to the fatal explosion of the San Bruno 2010 gas pipeline.
"The trial tentatively finds that the most common cause of the large game fires in 2017 and 2018 due to PG & E equipment was the susceptibility of PG & E's distribution lines to trees or limbs during high wind events fall on them. " ,
"The power conductors are almost always not isolated," wrote Alsup. "When the ladder is pushed together by falling trees or limbs, electrical sparks fall into the underlying vegetation, and during the forest fires, when the vegetation is dry, these electric sparks pose an extreme danger of igniting wildfire."
In a statement, PG & E said it was still reviewing the judge's preliminary conclusion.
"The primary responsibility of PG & E is the safety of our customers and the communities in which we operate," the company said. "We are well aware of the recent mandate of Judge Alsup and we are committed to upholding all of the rules and regulations that apply to our work as we work with our state and local partners, and across all sectors and disciplines, to provide a comprehensive and comprehensive service Long-term development to achieve security solutions for the future. "
Earlier this month, it was reported that the utility might seek bankruptcy due to fire-related claims allegedly caused by PG & E.
Scott McLean, Deputy Communications Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Safety, said his agency has determined that the company is responsible for 12 out of 17 fires in 2017; It has not yet drawn conclusions on the 2018 fires, including the deadly camp in Butte County.
Alsup has ordered the aid program to determine if it was to blame in the blaze that killed at least 88 people and destroyed the city of Paradise. In a document received from CNBC, PG & E confirmed that its equipment may have triggered the trigger.
The judge wants to determine if the utility has violated the terms of its agreement with the government on the explosion of San Bruno.