SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Pacific Gas & Electric waited more than a week before relaying crucial information to state regulators about a second fire which broke out in the early-morning hours of Nov. 8, less than an hour after the Camp Fire — now the deadliest in state history — was first reported.
With firefighters already struggling to slow fast-moving flames roaring toward the town of Paradise, the blaze would quickly go from bad to worse. Thirty minutes later, and about 10 miles away, a second fire broke out near Concow.
Cal Fire has confirmed that investigators are looking into the possibility that problems with PG&E transmission lines may have sparked both fires.
PG&E has reported the incidents to state regulators but the utility waited nearly a week and a half before filing an incident report on the second fire. To put that in context, PG&E reported information about the initial fire in about 12 hours — the same day it broke out.
A copy of the incidence report has been posted online (PDF).
When asked about the delay, a spokesperson e-mailed, “As more information became available about this location, we determined it was important to share the information with our regulator.”
The second fire was captured on the network of cameras the utility helped install throughout communities vulnerable to wildfires.
The information provided in the report is preliminary. So far there has been no determination on the cause of the Camp Fire. Cal Fire is the lead agency investigating the fire’s origin.
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