U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 44 mins

Officials determine cause of Calif.'s most destructive wildfire


This article, Officials determine cause of Calif.'s most destructive wildfire, originally appeared on CBSNews.com

The deadly that roared through in Northern California was caused by electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), state officials announced Wednesday. The blaze killed 85, destroyed 18,804 structures and charred 153,336 acres, CBS San Francisco reports.

The wildfire — the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history — started in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, 2018, near the community of Pulga in Butte County.

The tinder dry vegetation and Red Flag conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures , rapidly burning into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia and the outskirts of east Chico, Cal Fire officials said.

The investigation identified a second ignition sight near the intersection of Concow Rd. and Rim Rd. The cause of the second fire was determined to be vegetation into electrical distribution lines owned and operated by PG&E. This fire was consumed by the original fire which started earlier near Pulga.

During 2018, there were more than 7,571 wildfires that burned over 1.8 million acres within the state of California.

The Camp Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

The nation's largest utility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January as it faced tens of billions of dollars in potential liability costs related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018, according to The Associated Press.

Stream CBSN, a 24/7 live news channel from CBS News for free.