U.S. Forest Service investigators working to determine the cause of the 76,781-acre Mosquito Fire in California have taken possession of one of Pacific Gas and Electric’s transmission poles and attached equipment.
In a report released by PG&E September 24, the Forest Service said the fire started in the area of one of the company’s power lines on Forest Service land, Wildfire Today writes. The utility is conducting its own investigation of the cause of the fire.
The agency has not released the cause of the fire, which has burned 76,781 acres and destroyed 78 structures near Foresthill, California 35 miles northeast of Sacramento.
In October, 2020, investigators from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection looking for the cause of the Zogg Fire southwest of Redding seized PG&E equipment. The fire, which killed four people, burned 56,338 acres, and destroyed 204 structures, was caused by a tree contacting a power line operated by PG&E. In September, 2021, the company was charged with manslaughter and dozens of other charges related to the fire.
In 2018, investigators seized parts of a 99-year old PG&E transmission tower at the origin of the Camp Fire, which literally burned Paradise to the ground, killed at least 85 people, and left thousands homeless. In May, 2019, CAL FIRE said its investigators determined the fire was caused by the power line.
Wildfire Today cites a Wall Street Journal report that investigators attributed more than 1,500 fires to PG&E power lines and hardware between June 2014 and December 2017. In 2021, WT put together a list of 18 fires, mostly large, attributed to failures on PG&E power lines between 1999 and 2020.
As of September 26, firefighters were mopping up the Mosquito Fire after substantial rainfall in the previous week, with 1,248 personnel on the job.