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PG&E says blackouts limited fires despite 1 likely failure

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The nation’s largest utility says its distribution lines have sparked no damaging wildfires since it began repeatedly shutting off power to hundreds of thousands of Northern California customers this fall.

But Pacific Gas & Electric acknowledged in a court ruling Friday that its transmission equipment may have started a fire last month north of San Francisco that damaged or destroyed more than 400 structures.

Authorities have not determined what sparked the Sonoma County wildfire, but the utility says it had a problem at a transmission tower near where the fire ignited.

It had shut off power to distribution lines to prevent its equipment from igniting wildfires, but left electricity flowing through what it believed were less vulnerable transmission lines.

PG&E says it’s not aware of similar vulnerable equipment elsewhere.

State & Regional News

The Associated Press

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