Defective Electrical Panel Caused 2017 Butte County Wildfire

A helicopter drops water on a fire that broke out in Butte County, California on July 10, 2017. (Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

A helicopter drops water on a fire that broke out in Butte County, California on July 10, 2017. (Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

An investigation has determined that a July 2017 wildfire that destroyed more than 40 homes in Northern California was sparked by a defective electrical panel at a Butte County home.

The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday that prosecutors have reviewed the case and decided not to file charges in the matter.

The blaze broke at a home southeast of Oroville and spread to more than 6,000 acres before being contained more than a week later. It destroyed 41 homes, damaged 36 others and was the first of Butte County’s four major wildfires in 2017.

David Hawks, chief of CalFire’s Butte County unit, said the fire serves as a reminder to residents to keep electrical and other ignition sources in good repair and clear of flammable materials.

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