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Power line sparked June Drum Fire near Buellton, investigators say

Posted at 9:28 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 23:58:50-05

Power lines are said to have caused the 696-acre Drum Firethat broke out June 14 west of Buellton.

Santa Barbara County Fire investigators says a PG&E power line failed and arced to the ground, sparking the fire off Highway 246.

Strong winds fanned the flames, causing it to quickly consume several hundred acres.

Approximately 100 structures were threatened but none were destroyed.

The fire was contained four days later.

PG&E sent KSBY the following statement:

PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. We are grateful to the first responders who fought the 2020 Drum Fire in Santa Barbara County and helped make sure that there were no injuries or fatalities and no reports of structures damaged or burned.

While we are continuing to conduct our own investigation into the events that led to the Drum Fire, PG&E does not have access to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s report. PG&E filed an Electric Incident Report on this fire with the CPUC on June 14, 2020.

At PG&E, we remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area while also limiting the scope and duration of Public Safety Power Shutoffs.