Cal Fire officials on Wednesday wrapped up an approximately six-month investigation in to the deadly Camp with a report that blames power lines owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company in the Pulga area of Butte County.
The fire started early on the morning of November 8, 2018. Dry and warm conditions, low humidity, and strong wind allowed the flames to spread quickly and burn into Pulga to the east and west into Concow, Paradise, Magalia, and the east side of Chico, according to the investigators.
The investigation also identified a second spot where the flames started near the intersection of Concow Road and Rim Road. The flames from that second fire eventually became part of the first and reportedly were sparked by PG&E power lines that came into contact with dry vegetation.
Assemblyman James Gallagher from Butte County released a statement in response to the Cal Fire report.
"Now that the official determination has been made, PG&E must do the responsible thing by stepping up to the plate to help our communities recover" wrote the Republican from Yuba City. "My message to PG&E is: Don’t hide behind bankruptcy, be part of the solution."
Gallagher was not the only state lawmaker to react. Republican state senator Jim Nielsen from Tehama also saw this finding coming.
"Survivors of the Camp Fire are putting their lives back together. Six months after the fire, many continue to go through the rubbles to savage remnants of their memories," said Nielsen in a statement of his own. "Together, we must proceed to put the community back, and PG & E must be a responsible participant in this rebuild effort."
The Camp Fire burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,804 structures, injured several firefighters, and killed 85 civilians. It is now considered the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.
Cal Fire also noted that there were more than 7,571 wildfires that burned over 1.8 million acres in California last year alone.
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told News 93.1 KFBK that his office will continue investigating whether PG&E acted recklessly.
PG&E officials have previously said they expected to be found liable for the fire.