Pacific Gas & Electric reports power line problem near Camp Fire

Pacific Gas & Electric reports power line problem near Camp Fire
Posted at 7:44 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 22:55:17-05

(AP) - Pacific Gas & Electric Company says it will cooperate with any investigations stemming from a massive wildfire in Northern California.

The utility told state regulators Thursday that it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the Camp Fire minutes before the fire broke out. The company said it later observed damage to a transmission tower on the line.

PG&E spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo said Friday the information was preliminary and stressed that the cause of the fire has not been determined.

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The fire has killed at least nine people and destroyed more than 6,000 homes. It forced the evacuation of roughly 30,000 people in the town of Paradise, about 180 miles (289 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

PG&E had planned earlier this week to launch a Public Safety Power Shutoff in portions of eight Northern California counties but canceled the plan, as weather conditions did not warrant the safety measure, according to a news release.

PG&E later notified customers directly via automated calls, texts and emails that the potential Public Safety Power Shutoff had been canceled.

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The power company had notified approximately 70,000 customers in portions of Northern California of the potential that the company would turn off power for safety given forecasts of extreme fire danger conditions.