The Camp Fire in Butte County started the morning of November 8, 2018, and burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroying 18,804 structures and resulting in 85 civilian fatalities and several firefighter injuries. The Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.
Cal Fire investigators were immediately dispatched to the Camp Fire and began working to determine the origin and cause of the fire. After a meticulous and thorough investigation, on Wednesday, May 15, Cal Fire reported that it has determined that the Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electricity located in the Pulga area.
The fire started in the early morning hours near the community of Pulga in Butte County. The tinder-dry vegetation and red flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures fed this fire and caused extreme rates of spread, rapidly burning into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia, and the outskirts of east Chico.
The investigation identified a second ignition site near the intersection of Concow and Rim roads. The cause of the second fire was determined to be vegetation into electrical distribution lines owned and operated by PG&E. This fire was consumed by the original fire.
The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
During 2018, there were more than 7,571 wildfires that burned over 1.8 million acres within California.
Californians must remain vigilant about wildfire. Here’s how to be prepared. Cal Fire also offers a free Ready for Wildfire app for iPhones and Android phones.
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