Blown transformers could be to blame for Californian deadly fires

USA, California: The raging wildfires across Northern California that have claimed at least 31 victims last week, might have been sparked by downed power lines and blown transformers.

State officials have not yet officially confirmed what caused the blazes that have destroyed at least 3,500 homes and businesses, however, an emergency radio traffic has revealed that firefighters in Napa and Sonoma Counties called in more than a dozen reports of downed power lines, live wires, and blown transformers late Sunday in the first hours of the wildfire outbreak, reports Fox 5.

The owner of the power equipment, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), is, just like all utility companies in California, required to keep vegetation more than 10 feet away from its power polls and towers, and to remove flammable debris from around the surrounding ground.

PG&E said that found instances of wires down, broken poles and impacted infrastructure had been reported to the state utility regulator and CalFire. 

Utility companies in California have previously been found responsible for major wildfires due to inadequate maintenance of their power infrastructure, reports Fox 5.

Source: Fox 5