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.
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Low humidity and gusty winds were expected into Friday.