State Probes Southern California Edison for Possible Role in Deadly Woolsey Fire

The Woolsey Fire in Ventura and Los Angeles counties is one of three large fires burning in California

What to Know

  • The Woolsey fire began Thursday and burned from eastern Ventura County south into Malibu
  • Full containment is not expected until Nov. 17
  • Some residents were allowed to return home, but new evacuation orders were in effect for Calabasas

Southern California Edison is being investigated by state regulators for its possible role in the massive Woolsey Fire burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

According to CPUC, electrical infrastructure may have suffered malfunctions near ground zero of the blazes.

On Thursday, SCE issued an alert to the CPUC that a substation circuit near the Woolsey Fire origin "relayed," or sensed a disturbance on the circuit, just two minutes before Cal Fire said that the devastating fire began.

The utility said personnel have not being able to access the area where the fire reportedly began.

"The CPUC is monitoring the fire conditions throughout the state, in coordination with our partners from Cal Fire and Cal OES. CPUC staff will incorporate Edison's incident report into its investigation to assess the compliance of electric facilities with applicable rules and regulations in fire impacted areas," CPUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said on Monday. "The CPUC staff investigation may include an inspection of the fire sites once Cal Fire allows access, as well as maintenance of facilities, vegetation management, and emergency preparedness and response. Cal Fire is the first responder and determines the sources of ignition of the fires and the way that the fires spread."

The agency is also investigating PG&E for its possible role in the Camp Fire in Butte County, which has burned 113,000 acres and resulted in at least 29 deaths, the report said.

The Woolsey Fire has burned more than 91,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties with an estimated 370 structures destroyed and at least two people killed. As of Monday afternoon, the fire was 20 percent contained.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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