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Jerry Hill

Report: Downed power lines sparked deadly California fires

A dozen wildfires that burned thousands of homes in California's wine country and killed at least 15 people last October were started by Pacific Gas & Electric power lines and utility poles, state fire officials said.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection released its investigation Friday for some of the wind-driven fires that ravaged Mendocino, Humboldt, Butte, Sonoma, Lake and Napa counties.

Falling trees and tree limbs hitting power lines were the most common cause, but one fire erupted after PG&E tried to re-energize a downed line, investigators found.

In eight fires there was "evidence of alleged violations of state law"...

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