SoCal Edison Admits Its Electrical Equipment Was Involved in Sparking Deadly Thomas Fire

Southern California Edison has admitted its electrical equipment was involved in igniting the massive Thomas Fire, believed to be the second largest in state history, in at least one of the wildfire's two points of origin.

The company made the revelation in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, according to a statement.

The wildfire killed two people, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and burned through over 280,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties after breaking out in early December 2017.

"SCE believes its electrical equipment was associated with an ignition near Koenigstein Road in Santa Paula — one of at least two origin points for the Thomas Fire," the SoCal Edison statement reads.

Witnesses have have reported seeing a fire ignite near an SCE power pole along that road, the statement adds.

"And SCE believes that its equipment was associated with this ignition," the statement reads.

However, the extent of damages contributed to that single ignition point must still be determined by investigators.

The utility said Cal Fire removed electrical equipment in the area of Koenigstein Road so it is unable to inspect the equipment and determine specifically how that ignition happened.

The Thomas Fire's other ignition point is in the Anlauf Canyon area of Ventura County, the company said. It's still unclear whether SoCal Edison equipment may have been involved in sparking flames there.

SoCal Edison claims fire officials are also in possession of its electrical equipment in that area.

The company is currently cooperating with investigations by the Ventura County Fire Department, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety & Enforcement Division.

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