The latest out of California on the deadly Camp Fire is that a downed power line from the state utility Pacific Gas & Electric is suspected of starting the blaze on Nov. 8:

From the Mercury News:

PARADISE — Downed PG&E power lines, amid high winds, may have sparked the deadly Camp Fire that has destroyed the town of Paradise and killed at least nine people, according to hours of firefighter radio transmissions reviewed by Bay Area News Group.

At about 6:33 a.m. Thursday, firefighters were dispatched to a vegetation fire “under the high tension power lines” across the Feather River from Poe Dam, where Cal Fire officials have pinpointed the fire’s origin, according to the transmissions. The first firefighters arrived there at 6:43 a.m and noted the fire was being buttressed by 35 mph winds.

“We’ve got eyes on the vegetation fire. It’s going to be very difficult to access, Camp Creek Road is nearly inaccessible,” one firefighter told dispatch. “It is on the west side of the river underneath the transmission lines.”

As firefighters rushed to Poe Dam early Thursday morning, each truck acknowledged over the radio, “Copy, power lines down,” as part of safety protocol for firefighters.

PG&E was aware of the fire risk that day, but did not preemptively shut off power as it has done in the past during similar wind and weather conditions:

Over to you, PG&E:

On Twitter, President Trump has been criticizing the state for its forest management procedures:

But this is not anything new regarding PG&E and fires. This June, Cal Fire found that PG&E was responsible for the Napa Valley fire in 2017:

An excerpt:

“PG&E has been trying to duck responsibility for the fires, blaming everything from climate change to local fire departments and the state’s liability laws,” said Patrick McCallum, chairman of Up From the Ashes, a coalition of fire victims. “Cal Fire’s report puts the blame where it belongs — squarely on PG&E — confirming it was responsible for many of the fires that devastated so many lives.”

Of course, environmental groups in the state think the utility is cutting down too many trees to begin with. From the Sacramento Bee:

Is PG&E going too far in cutting trees for fire safety? A Sacramento group says yes

Criticized for its role in several catastrophic California wildfires, state utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric is on a mission to clear trees near power lines that could topple and hit lines causing fires.

But is the giant utility going too far? A group of Sacramentans is saying yes.

Some members of the Save the American River Association and the American River Parkway Coalition and others are fighting to stop PG&E from cutting down what they estimate could be 100 cottonwood and oak trees near a major electricity transmission line that runs through the parkway near Discovery Park.

We’ll be hearing much more about this in the coming days:

The Camp Fire is 25% contained:

And it’s still too dangerous for residents to return:

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