Surveillance video that captured the start of the Easy Fire in Simi Valley on Wednesday appears to show a power line spark seconds before the fire ignited.
The camera was filming from the loading docks of a commercial building in the 100 block of Cochran Street shortly before 6:10 a.m., around the time officials said the blaze started. KTLA exclusively obtained the footage on Thursday.
In the video, a bright, brief flash can be seen emitting from a pole in the distance. Small flames are visible in the vicinity about 10 seconds afterward.
The fire quickly raced up the nearside hillside in the pre-dawn darkness and then spread rapidly.
The blaze was first reported near East Street and Los Angeles Avenue, an area where Southern California Edison has facilities, including a sub-transmission line, Edison spokesman Robert Laffoon-Villegas said.
He told KTLA that the fire began near a power line that had not been de-energized as part of the utility’s preemptive outages, an action Edison has taken several times this month to mitigate fire risk.
As required, Edison notified the California Public Utilities Commission that its equipment was possibly involved, writing: “SCE informed there was circuit activity on the Moorpark-Royal 66 kV circuit close in time to the report of the fire.”
“SCE is conducting a review into the circumstances surrounding the fire, and will cooperate with all investigations into the origin and cause of the fire,” Laffoon-Villegas said.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
As of the latest update at 11 a.m. Thursday, the Easy Fire had charred more than 1,700 acres and destroyed at least two homes. At one point, it threatened 7,000 residences and forced the evacuation of 30,000 people.
KTLA’s Christina Pascucci and Nidia Becerra contributed to this report.