California wildfires: Utility sent woman email about "power sparks" on her property a day before blaze started
The mail was sent to Betsy Ann Cowley just a day before the Camp Fire started in Butte County which engulfed the nearby town of Paradise
A woman who owns property close to the point where one of the deadly wildfires started in Northern California said she had been warned by a utility company last week that crews would have to go into her property to investigate some power lines that were causing sparks.
The raging fire started on November 8 in an area of 64 acres of land in Pulga, California, that is said to be owned by Betsy Ann Cowley. The fire which started small soon razed the nearby town of Paradise and has till date killed 42 people in the process.
Cowley said that she got a mail from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) on November 7, the day before the fire started, saying that crews would need to go to her property to conduct a check. The Daily Mail reported that the email said the company was going to be sending employees to work on the high-power lines because "they were having problems with sparks".
Just two days before the massive fire started, PG&E told its customers in about nine different counties, including Butte County where Camp Fire started, that it might shut off the power on November 8 because of extreme fire danger. The utility company, however, canceled the shutdown and told their customers after the deadly fire began that the weather conditions in the area "did not warrant this safety measure". The fire started at 6:30 am that same morning.
California fire investigators went to Cowley's property on November 12, however the actual cause of the fire is still being investigated. CalFire spokesperson Scott McLean said that "electric equipment" was being included in the investigation. Officials have said that the Camp Fire only grew a little on November 11 in spite of the new gusts of wind. Low humidity levels are reportedly going to continue through the week.
There were more than a dozen coroner search and recovery teams that were looking through rubble for human remains from the fire, which is said to be the deadliest in California's history, as concerned relatives visited various shelters and even called the police in an effort to find their loved ones.
The fire was a part of an outbreak of wildfires from both sides of the state that has seen large areas engulfed in flames. Together, the three massive fires are responsible for claiming 42 lives. All of this put aside, more than 8,000 firefighters across the state have been battling the surging fires that have already destroyed more than 7,000 structures and burned more than 325 square miles. The flames kept gaining ground because it fed on dry brush and was driven forward by fierce winds.