PULGA, Calif. (AP) — A woman who owns land near where a deadly wildfire started in Northern California said Monday that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sought access to her property just before the blaze started because the utility’s power lines were causing sparks.

It’s still not clear what caused the massive fire that started Thursday, killing at least 29 people and destroying the Sierra Nevada foothill town of Paradise.

PG&E has said it experienced a problem on an electrical transmission line near the site of the massive fire, minutes before the blaze broke out. The fire started on 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, owned by Betsy Ann Cowley.

READ: PG&E Could Be to Blame For Sparking Camp Fire In Butte County

Cowley told The Associated Press she received an email from the utility on Wednesday telling her that crews needed to come to her property to work on the high-power lines because “they were having problems with sparks.”

PG&E declined to discuss the email when contacted by AP.

Two days before the fire started, PG&E told customers in nine counties, including Butte County, that it might shut off their power Nov. 8 because of extreme fire danger. The fire started about 6:30 a.m. that morning.

Later that day, PG&E said it had decided against a power cut because weather conditions did not warrant one.

Comments (3)
  1. Gregory Kestel says:

    Has anyone seen a copy of the email? It could explain a lot.

  2. Ken Evans says:

    Now they will ha v to raise the rates so they can cover the expenses of lawsuits.

  3. Robert Blanchard says:

    PG&E had earlier stated that if winds were 25 mph with gusts of 40 mph it would shut off power in Paradise and surrounding communities. On Nov 8th at 6:30 am the weather station at Jarbo gap was registering winds at 33 mph with gusts to 52 mph. PG&E failed it’s own protocol for shutdown. PG&E is responsible for the Campfire. They destroyed our town and killed our neighbors, and everyone needs to understand that. When PG&E said “later that day we decided not to cut power” (because the weather did not warrant it) Paradise was already on fire. My question is, why didn’t they cut it earlier in the day?

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