Investigations have found that damaged electrical equipment ignited two Southern California wildfires a year ago, including one that threatened the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
The investigative results were released Thursday as power was cut in parts of Northern California to prevent electrical equipment from igniting fires amid gusty, dry weather.
The Ventura County Fire Department says the Easy Fire that erupted on Oct. 30, 2019, and threatened the library started when an insulator attached to a high-voltage transmission line swung into a steel power pole during winds.
It burned about 1,800 acres before being fully contained, according to Cal Fire.
Although the fire didn’t damage or destroy anything on the actual campus itself, flames burned olive trees and presidential banners, along with an internet and cable box, the Los Angeles Times reported. The blaze cost the library nearly $500,000.
The department also says a larger fire the next day — the Maria Fire in the Santa Paula area— was caused by failure of a conductor on an electrical distribution line.
That blaze began on Halloween and charred about 10,000 acres.