Why PG&E may be responsible for the North Bay wildfires:
1 All of the blazes that contributed to the North Bay wildfire were reported in just a short amount of time – two hours between midnight and 2:00 a.m. on Monday, October 9, 2017.
2 Roughly 3 hours before the first reports of the fires, Sonoma County emergency dispatches sent fire crews to at least 10 different locations around the North Bay and Wine Country, following reports of downed powerlines, exploding transformers, and other serious electrical grid failures.
3 PG&E has admitted that severe winds on Sunday, October 8 had disrupted power in some areas and may have even caused damage to power lines.
4 In the spring of 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission concluded that PG&E’s negligent tree-trimming practices had caused the 2015 Butte Fire and ordered PG&E to pay a multimillion dollar fine.
5 Back in 1994, PG&E was found guilty of 700+ counts of negligence that ultimately caused the Nevada County blaze. In that case, it was determined that PG&E had not taken appropriate steps to remove trees from around the power lines which were knocked over by high winds and sparked a wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes and structures.
Preliminary investigations point towards the conclusion that PG&E power lines that were knocked over by windstorms and trees are the direct cause of the multiple blazes. It also appears that PG&E knowingly did not maintain its powerlines and the trees surrounding them in certain locations around Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Napa Valley, and the rest of the region. If true, this could place liability squarely on PG&E’s shoulders.