Kincade Fire: Gov. Gavin Newsom slams PG&E for mismanagement, greed as cause of wildfire remains under investigation

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Strong words Friday from Gov. Gavin Newsom as CAL FIRE works with PG&E to determine what caused the Kincade Fire.

A lot of attention is being paid to a PG&E power line equipment failure in the area of the fire. On Friday, Newsom said discussions were had about whether that equipment failure could have caused the fire but that the cause has not been determined and the investigation is not complete.

PG&E says it became aware of a transmission level outage Wednesday around 9:20 p.m. You can see a light in the distance fade out and then fire.

The transmission line had not been de-energized, according to the utility, because it didn't meet wind speed conditions for a public safety power shutoff.

RELATED: PG&E tower near ignition point of Sonoma County wildfire was not shut off, had broken equipment

On Thursday morning, CAL FIRE alerted a responding PG&E troubleman to a broken jumper on PGE's tower, a wire that jumps the conductor over the insulator.

Still, it's not clear whether PGE's tower failure caused the Kincade Fire.

On Friday, the governor cited PG&E's greed and mismanagement along with the utility's lack of focus on hardening its grid and undergrounding its transmission lines.

"They simply did not do their job," said Newsom.

RELATED: I-Team questions California Governor Gavin Newsom about PG&E blackouts

The governor promising PGE&E will be taken to task.

"We will get out of this mess, we will hold them to an account that they've never been held in the past, we will do everything in our power to restructure PG&E so it is a completely different entity when they get out of bankruptcy by June 30," said Newsom.

The governor also said PG&E will be responsible for the business interruption and costs associated with the blackouts.

Officials say 850,000 of 5 million customers across 36 counties could be impacted this weekend. A decision will be made at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

PG&E is calling the event the worst of the year, possibly in several years.

Get the latest developments on the Kincade Fire here.

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