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Butte County D.A. investigating possible PG&E connection to Dixie Fire

Action News Now spoke with Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey who says he is investigating whether PG&E equipment may have sparked the Dixie Fire.

Posted: Jul 19, 2021 5:35 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2021 10:36 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - PG&E said its equipment may be to blame for starting the Dixie Fire that has scorched thousands of acres in Butte and Plumas Counties.

In a report it submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), PG&E said a worker investigating a power outage spotted two blown fuses.

He said he noticed a tree leaning against a power line and fire on the ground.

The Dixie fire grew from 10 acres on July 13 to more than 30,000 acres Monday.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said he's started an investigation into PG&E's possible connection to the Dixie Fire.

RELATED: People on the ridge react to PG&E possibly causing the Dixie Fire 

"We received information from CAL FIRE that this was possibly a PG&E caused fire, that there was a tree into the line and so we sent up an investigator and we've been co-investigating this with CAL FIRE," said D.A. Mike Ramsey. "CAL FIRE personnel along with my investigators and two attorneys were up at the scene and gathered lines, fuses, and a tree that had fallen across the lines to see what the evidence will show us."

Ramsey said no word how long the investigation will last or if PG&E will face criminal charges.

Action News Now reached out to PG&E. The company declined to interview but sent a statement saying: 

"Yesterday, PG&E filed an Electric Incident Report (EIR) with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regarding the Dixie Fire in Butte and Plumas counties. The information PG&E submitted is preliminary, and the company submitted this report in an abundance of caution given CAL FIRE’s collection of PG&E facilities in connection with its investigation. PG&E is cooperating with CAL FIRE’s investigation."

"The CPUC is conducting a staff investigation to assess the compliance of PG&E’s electric facilities with applicable rules and regulations (CAL FIRE or the local fire district determines the sources of ignition of wildfires and the way that the fires spread)," CPUC spokesperson, Terrie Prosper said in a statement to Action News Now. 

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