East Contra Costa fire investigators have released a new video of what they said caused a fast-moving fire this weekend on Bethel Island – PG&E power lines.
In the video, electric sparks can be seen flying from the lines as winds whip through the area. Firefighters have concluded that a PG&E equipment failure was the cause of both the fire on Bethel Island and a second fire in nearby Oakley.
Fire Marshall Steve Aubert said it’s unfortunate that the area was not part of the public safety shutoff zone.
“People would have been living without power for a while,” he said. “But we actually would not have to be responding to a vegetation fire that was caused by this malfunctioning equipment.”
A quick response by fire crews prevented homes from being damaged by the flames in both Bethel Island and Oakley.
When asked during a press conference about the fires, PG&E’s CEO said that incident reports had been filed.
“We filed incident reports on both of those, which are based on media reports we get,” said PG&E CEO William Johnson. “We did have assets in the area and we know that the local fire departments are investigating those, and that’s what we know.”
Since the California Public Utilities Commission has already been notified about the cause of these two fires it will be up to that agency to determine the next appropriate action.