PCG

California blames PG&E for Kincade wildfire in wine country

Credit: REUTERS/POOL

July 16 (Reuters) - The Kincade wildfire in California's wine country last October that forced some 2,000 people to flee homes was caused by PG&E Corp's PCG.N electrical transmission lines, the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said on Thursday.

The news comes as a fresh blow to California's largest utility that emerged from bankruptcy earlier this month, marking an end to a long-drawn restructuring process that began after its equipment sparked some of the deadliest wildfires in the state.

PG&E did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tinder dry vegetation and strong winds combined with low humidity and warm temperatures contributed to extreme rates of fire spread, which burned a total of 77,758 acres and destroyed more than 370 structures, Cal Fire said in a statement.

The fire investigation report has been forwarded to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, Cal Fire added.

The Kincade fire, the worst of several blazes raging throughout California last year, had erupted near the base of a damaged high-voltage transmission tower owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co, the utility and fire officials had said.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

((Arundhati.Sarkar@thomsonreuters.com; twitter.com/Arundhati_05; +1 646 223 8780 Ext: 2776;))

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