Kincade Fire Began as PG&E Transmission Line Experienced Break in Sonoma County, Utility Says

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A home burns at a vineyard during the Kincade fire near Geyserville, California on Oct. 24, 2019.(Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

A home burns at a vineyard during the Kincade fire near Geyserville, California on Oct. 24, 2019.(Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Pacific Gas & Electric says it had a problem with a transmission tower near where a wildfire ignited in Sonoma County, prompting a large evacuation.

The utility filed a report with the state utilities commission Thursday saying it became aware of a transmission level outage in the Geysers in Sonoma County around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The wildfire was reported minutes later in the same area, although it is not clear whether the malfunction sparked the blaze.

The state’s largest utility preemptively shut off power in Northern California on Thursday in a bid to prevent toppled electrical lines from igniting wildfires in dry, hot gusty winds.

Power was shut off to distribution lines but not to transmission lines.

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