SACRAMENTO (CBSLA) – A devastating 2017 Northern California wildfire which killed 22 people and destroyed thousands of structures was not caused by Pacific Gas and Electric Company equipment, state officials reported Thursday.
The Tubbs Fire, which scorched 36,807 acres in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties, was sparked by a “private electrical system” near a “residential structure,” and not PG&E equipment, CAL Fire reports.
The embattled company’s stock jumped 73 percent to $13.95 per share following the news.
“CAL Fire investigators did not identify any violations of state law, Public Resources Code, related to the cause of this fire,” the agency said in a news release.
The Tubbs Fire was one of about 170 wildfires which broke out across Northern California in October 2017. It destroyed 5,636 structures, making it both the deadliest and most destructive in state history at the time.
Those numbers were later eclipsed by the Camp Fire in November 2018, which destroyed 18,804 structures and claimed 86 lives in Butte County.
PG&E is far from being out of the woods, however. Last year, CAL Fire determined that PG&E was responsible for 17 of the blazes in the October 2017 firestorm. It is also still under investigation for potentially causing the Camp Fire.
Earlier this month, PG&E announced it was planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to its possible liability in the 2017 and 2018 wildfires. The utility could face at least $30 billion in damages. Its CEO, Geisha Williams, also resigned.