California

PG&E says its equipment may have caused another California fire during windstorm

PG&E Corp. said its equipment has been linked to another fire that erupted when fierce winds ripped through much of Northern California on Oct. 27.

That means PG&E, which is under intense pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials, has been connected to five fires that began in late October. The largest, the Kincade Fire, prompted the evacuation of 180,000 residents of Sonoma County but is now 80 percent contained.

In an incident report filed with the Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it learned from media reports that Cal Fire had determined that the utility’s electrical equipment was responsible for a fire in Martinez.

The fire sparked an evacuation but was put under control within a few hours. It burned about 50 acres. PG&E equipment also may be at fault for three other small fires that began that day: the Cypress Fire in Oakley and two fires in Lafayette.

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Dale Kasler covers climate change, the environment, economics and the convoluted world of California water. He also covers major enterprise stories for McClatchy’s Western newspapers. He joined The Bee in 1996 from the Des Moines Register and graduated from Northwestern University.
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