Cal Fire releases findings on North Bay fires

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday Cal Fire investigators released findings on 12 Northern California wildfires from the October 2017 fire siege. Cal Fire says the fires were caused by electric power and distribution lines, conductors and the failure of power poles.

The 12 completed investigations included an investigation into the Atlas Fire in Napa County.

Pat Ruzicka remembers being in the evacuation zone for that fire.

RELATED: Cal Fire releases cause of 12 North Bay fires
"It was very smoky, very scary, you could see the whole skyline over here on fire," said Ruzicka.

The Atlas fire started the night of October 8th. It burned more than 51-thousand acres and destroyed nearly 800 structures. Six people died.

Cal Fire investigators determined the fire started in two locations. At one location, a tree limb came into contact with a PG&E power line. At a second location, investigators determined a tree fell into the same line.

In an emailed statement, Senator Bill Dodd who represents California's 3rd district, said, "I'm calling on PG&E, utilities across the state and the Public Utilities Commission to step up and ensure they are meeting their legal obligations to maintain power lines in a safe manner."

PG&E says it will carefully review the Cal Fire reports to understand the agency's perspectives.

RELATED: Cal Fire releases cause of 12 North Bay wildfires

"Based on the information we have so far, we continue to believe our overall programs met our state's high standards," said PG&E in an emailed statement.

"Perhaps they could have done a better job of keeping their equipment in good shape," said Ruzicka.

"It's really up to the district attorney's to look at the reports our investigators submit and then they'll determine the amount of liability," said Cal Fire Spokesperson Michael Mohler,

Attorney Frank Pitre's client lost his home.

"When you do wrong, you take accountability for it and you make it right," said Pitre.

A spokesperson with Napa County said the county does not comment on matters of ongoing or pending litigation.

"Our focus remains on the ongoing recovery efforts to rebuild the Napa County community," said Napa County Spokesperson Kristi Jourdan in an emailed statement.

For more stories, photos, and video on the North Bay fires, visit this page.
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