The Dixie Fire quickly grew to 30,000 acres over the weekend near the burn scar of the Camp Fire in Butte County. Much like the Camp Fire, it looks like the Dixie Fire was also sparked by equipment from PG&E.
As of Monday morning, the fire sits at 15 percent containment with evacuation orders in effect for the areas of Jonesville and Philbrook. The fire is extremely difficult to contain due to its location in the remote Feather River Canyon, although it thankfully moved in an eastern direction away from the already wildfire ravaged town of Paradise.
According to KQED, PG&E officials have indicated that the fire may have been started by their equipment, an infuriating revelation for Butte County residents who have already lost thousands of homes to PG&E induced fires since 2018. The utility said in a filing Sunday that a repair man responding to a circuit outage on July 13 spotted blown fuses in a conductor atop a pole, a tree leaning into the conductor and fire at the base of the tree. The Dixie Fire is currently nowhere near as damaging as the Camp Fire, but it’s certainly disconcerting that these issues have not been fixed by the massive power company.
BREAKING: PG&E says some of its equipment may have contributed to the start of the #DixieFire – which has burned thousands of acres and prompted evacuations near the site of the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest in California history. @KQEDnews— Ted Goldberg (@TedrickG) July 19, 2021
The power company reached a plea deal in 2020 related to the 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California, including 84 counts of manslaughter related to the deadliest fire in the state’s history. The deal included $4 billion in fines and the payment of water access for Paradise residents.
PG&E has remained a target for critics in Northern California who don’t believe the company took enough precaution to keep their equipment from starting fires, especially in the drought conditions that brought the devastating fire season of 2018. Since then, the power company has enacted multiple power shutdowns throughout the state to limit the fire risk, angering residents even further.
Within worsening fire conditions in Northern California, PG&E will surely enact power shutdowns once again to avoid devastating wildfires caused by their equipment this summer.