Did PG&E equipment start Dixie Fire?

As the Dixie Fire grows into the largest blaze in the country and leaves another mountain community burned to the ground, PG&E’s admission that its equipment may have been involved brings new scrutiny to the troubled utility that serves Northern California.

Two separate reports filed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. state that its equipment may have sparked both the Dixie Fire and a smaller blaze, the Fly Fire, that later merged with it. Both are inconclusive and no official cause has been determined.

The questions around Dixie’s origin are only the latest in a string of disasters that left the utility in bankruptcy and led to its criminal prosecution.

PG&E equipment was determined to be at fault for starting the 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed most of the Butte County community of Paradise and killed 85 people.

And earlier this year, Shasta and Tehama counties agreed to a $12 million settlement with PG&E to recover costs associated with last year’s deadly Zogg Fire. In March, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection blamed PG&E equipment for causing the fire.

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