Story at a glance
- California power company Edison said that a wire from a power line may have hit a conductor and contributed to the Silverado Fire.
- Some of California’s deadliest wildfires have been caused by faulty power lines.
Southern California electric company Edison stated that its equipment may have sparked the massive Silverado Fire, which scorched at least 13,354 acres near Irvine as of Oct. 27 and forced tens of thousands to evacuate.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the company made a report to California’s Public Utilities Commission and said that it seems a “lashing wire” attached to a third-party telecommunications line possibly hit a primary conductor.
An investigation is underway, but no cause of the fire has been determined.
Centered in Southern California, the Silverado Fire ignited around 6:45 a.m. on Monday in the dry brush near Santiago Canyon and Silverado roads. Intense Santa Ana winds and preexisting hot conditions fueled the fire, forcing more than 70,000 people to evacuate their homes by Tuesday morning.
Two firefighters were also injured while battling the blaze.
Faulty electrical equipment from power companies has caused some of the most catastrophic fires in California state history.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) reached a $13.5 billion settlement last year for a series of deadly wildfires in Northern California, including the 2015 Butte Fire, 2016 Ghost Ship Fire, 2017 Tubbs and Northern California Fire, and the 2018 Camp Fire.
Earlier this year, Edison said it was investigating if its power lines caused the Bobcat Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains.
The Bobcat Fire has yet to be contained after burning for more than a month.