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Southern California's Maria wildfire that began near power line 50 percent contained

Matthew McNulty

Southern California Edison acknowledged it re-energized a power line just minutes before the Maria Fire broke out Thursday in Ventura County, west of Los Angeles.

The blaze has since burned 9,412 acres and is 50% contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported Sunday morning.

The utility confirmed to NPR that it re-energized a power line 13 minutes before the fire ignited on a nearby hillside, stressing that it would "cooperate with the appropriate investigative agencies if asked to do so."

Easing winds have allowed firefighting crews to bring most fires in the state under control. The Kincade Fire in Northern California was 76% contained as of Sunday morning.

The good news came as President Trump renewed his threat to cut off federal aid to California, telling Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to "get your act together" on Twitter on Sunday.

Newsom responded by saying Trump is "excused from this conversation" because he doesn't "believe in climate change."

1,579 personnel were responding to the Maria Fire, CAL FIRE said, and the National Weather Service has issued air quality alerts for areas near the blaze.

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Officials with Ventura County warned that the cities and towns of Eastern Ventura, Camarillo, Santa Paula and Somis were still at risk as of Sunday.

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Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric have both imposed power shutoffs in California after their electrical equipment was accused of starting wildfires in recent years.

So far, PG&E, the state's biggest utility company, has instituted four separate rounds of pre-emptive power shut-offs across Northern California throughout October in a move to prevent the creation and spread of wildfires.

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PG&E said a broken jumper wire was found on a transmission tower close to where the Kincade Fire began, with the blaze beginning seven minutes after the utility company registered an outage at that tower.

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FOX Business' Evie Fordham contributed to this report.

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