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Southern California Edison says its equipment was involved in sparking Thomas Fire

Posted at 2:27 PM, Oct 30, 2018

Southern California Edison says its electrical equipment may have been responsible for at least one origin point of the 2017 Thomas Fire.

In a news release Tuesday, the company said its equipment was “associated with an ignition near Koenigstein Road in Santa Paula.” The company says that was one of two areas where the Thomas Fire started. The other location was in the Anlauf Canyon area of Ventura County. The company is still investigating whether its equipment was involved in starting the fire in Anlauf Canyon.

The company says witnesses reported seeing a fire start near a Southern California Edison power pole on Koenigstein Road. Southern California Edison says it is now trying to figure out where the fire progressed from there, as well as the extent of the damages caused by that ignition point.

The new information was in Southern California Edison’s Form 10-Q, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The company says it is cooperating with fire investigators and will thoroughly review any findings and evidence, but says it hasn’t been able to inspect and analyze its equipment, which prevents the company from determining a specific cause of the fire. The company says this is because CAL FIRE removed the utility’s equipment in the Koenigstein Road area.

Southern California Edison said in the news release that it is committed to customers and the communities impacted by the Thomas Fire.

The Thomas Fire burned more than 280,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties in December of 2017. More than 1,000 structures were destroyed, and nearly 300 others were damaged. The fire was blamed in two deaths. It was considered the largest fire in state history until the Mendocino Complex Fire started in July.