Contra Costa County investigators blame PG&E equipment for back-to-back fires

California Connection

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Contra Costa County investigators believe two back-to-back vegetation fires were started by Pacific Gas & Electric equipment as strong winds moved through Northern California Sunday.

The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District reports just after 3 a.m., a fire was sparked near a new housing development in the area of Gateway Road and Sea Gate Place.

Investigators believe the fire started under PG&E power lines and a video captured PG&E equipment sending sparks into nearby vegetation.

Two hours later and just under 3 miles away near Bethel Island and East Cypress roads, the fire department says malfunctioning PG&E equipment “cast sparks 200 yards south” and into vegetation.

People who live in the Summer Lakes community had to be evacuated and at least one structure burned, according to the fire department.

When asked about the investigations, PG&E officials said the utility had filed electric incident reports on the fires. Incident Commander Mark Quinlan told reporters it was “too soon to tell” if their equipment sparked the blazes.

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