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PG&E Equipment Seized By Fire Investigators

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Sonora, CA – CAL Fire investigators have seized equipment belonging to Pacific Gas and Electric PG&E as they try to determine what sparked a deadly wildfire in Northern California.

The utility stated in a filing with the Public Utilities Commission on Friday that investigators with the CAL Fire confiscated some of its electrical equipment from the area where the Zogg Fire broke out.

High winds that grew quickly caused the flames to take off in Shasta County on Sept. 27th, killing four people, and then later spread to neighboring Tehama County. The fire has scorched 88 square miles and destroyed more than 200 buildings, half of them homes. As of Friday, the blaze was nearing full containment.

The company’s automated equipment in the area “reported alarms and other activity between approximately 2:40 p.m. and 3:06 p.m.” coming from a 12,000-volt circuit, as reported by PG&E to regulators, which details that the line was then de-activated. Additionally, the utility noted that it does not have access to the evidence collected by Cal Fire, which has yet to determine a cause for the fire. Also, in its statement, PG&E relays that it is cooperating with the investigation.

“We recognize the tragic losses sustained as a result of this year’s fire season and are thankful, as always, for the efforts of the first responders who have worked tirelessly to contain the fires and protect the lives and property of California residents,” the statement said.

The nation’s largest utility recently emerged from bankruptcy stemming from the financial fallout from several devastating wildfires determined to be caused by PG&E equipment. Those combined blazes killed more than 100 people and destroyed more than 27,000 homes and other buildings in 2017 and 2018.