Lawmakers focus on power lines as top cause of wildfires

Nov 18, 2015 7:13 PM by News Staff, Photo: Matt Nauman/PG&E Corporate Relations

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California lawmakers are looking into power lines as a top cause of wildfires.

State Senator Jerry Hill, a Democrat from the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Mateo, grilled utility executives and state utility regulators at a hearing Wednesday in San Francisco. The hearing comes after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in September said one of the year's most devastating fires may have started when a tree brushed against a PG&E power line. That fire killed two people and burned more than 900 homes and other structures in the Sierra foothills. Fire investigators have yet to announce their official findings.

PG&E Vice President Pat Hogan told Hill that the utility was moving forward on wildfire-prevention efforts even as the state develops new regulations.

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