California Wildfires

Investigations Into 2 Fires Reveals Electrical Equipment Failures as Causes

The department also said the nearly 15.6-square-mile -- nearly 10,000 acres -- Maria Fire near Santa Paula was ignited Oct. 31, 2019, by failure of a conductor on an electrical distribution line owned by California Resources Corp.

AP Photo/Noah Berger, File

Investigations cited electrical equipment failure during windy, dry weather as the causes of two Southern California wildfires last year, a fire agency announced Thursday.

The 1,800-acre Easy Fire, which threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and nearby Simi Valley homes, was ignited Oct. 30, 2019, when an insulator attached to a Southern California Edison high-voltage transmission line swung into a steel power pole, the Ventura County Fire Department said in a press release.

The department also said the nearly 15.6-square-mile -- nearly 10,000 acres -- Maria Fire near Santa Paula was ignited Oct. 31, 2019, by failure of a conductor on an electrical distribution line owned by California Resources Corp.

Emails seeking comment were sent to both companies.

Meanwhile, power was shut off in wind-prone parts of Northern California on Thursday to prevent sparking wires from igniting new wildfires during a new round of gusty, dry weather.

Pacific Gas & Electric's online map of public safety power shutoffs showed outages in the northern Sacramento Valley, northern Sierra Nevada foothills and a few elsewhere, affecting more than 32,500 customers in nine counties.

The utility began shutoffs Wednesday night and said as many as 37,000 customers in 15 counties could be affected.

Low humidity and gusty winds were expected into Friday.

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