California utility says its equipment may be linked to fire

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric equipment may have been involved in the start of the big Dixie Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada, the nation’s largest utility reported to California regulators.

PG&E said in a report Sunday to the California Public Utilities Commission that a repair man responding to a circuit outage on July 13 spotted blown fuses in a conductor atop a pole, a tree leaning into the conductor and fire at the base of the tree.

The Dixie Fire has grown to nearly 47 square miles, largely in remote wilderness. The utility said investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have collected equipment from the location.

PG&E equipment has repeatedly been linked to major wildfires, including a 2018 fire that ravaged the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

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