Forest Service seized PG&E equipment during investigation of Mosquito Fire

The fire has burned 76,781 acres and destroyed 78 structures near Foresthill, California

Mosquito Fire
Mosquito Fire as seen looking ENE from the Auburn camera at 5:32 p.m. Sept. 8, 2022. AlertWildfire.

US Forest Service investigators working to determine the cause of the Mosquito Fire have taken possession of one of Pacific Gas and Electric’s transmission poles and attached equipment. According to a report released by the company September 24, the Forest Service said the fire started in the area of one of the company’s power lines on Forest Service land. PG&E is conducting their own investigation of the cause of the fire.

The agency has not released the cause of the fire which has burned 76,781 acres and destroyed 78 structures near Foresthill, California 35 miles northeast of Sacramento.

In October, 2020 investigators from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection looking for the cause of the Zogg Fire southwest of Redding seized PG&E equipment. The fire which burned 56,338 acres, destroyed 204 structures, and resulted in four civilian fatalities, was caused by a tree contacting a power line operated by PG&E. In September, 2021 the company was charged with manslaughter and dozens of other charges related to the fire.

In 2018 investigators seized parts of a 99-year old PG&E transmission tower at the origin of the Camp Fire which burned into Paradise, California killing at least 85 people and making thousands homeless. In May, 2019 CAL FIRE announced that their investigators determined the fire was caused by the power line.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reported that investigators attributed more than 1,500 fires to PG&E power lines and hardware between June 2014 and December 2017. In 2021 we put together a list of 18 fires, mostly large, attributed to failures on PG&E power lines between 1999 and 2020.

Firefighters are mopping up the Mosquito Fire, which received substantial amounts of rain last week. It is still staffed by 1,248 personnel.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Kelly.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

5 thoughts on “Forest Service seized PG&E equipment during investigation of Mosquito Fire”

  1. Interesting paradox here. Lack of hazardous fuels reduction on private land and power line right of ways. When private individuals fail to clear an adequate fuel break a fire coming off power line right of ways that haven’t maintained fuels clearance around the lines results in property destruction, billions in suppression costs and most tragically the loss of civilian and firefighter lives. Additionally the injuries both physical and emotional that affect survivors for long after the smoke clears.

    Somehow the agencies charged with firefighting responsibility get the blame when disaster strikes. For many decades the message has been clear. Saving your house, your animals and your life is up to you. Its to late the day of the fire to curse and threaten the limited resources arriving at your property if they can’t help you due to inadequate defensible space. It is unbelievably difficult to tell a homeowner you have to move on to a house that has a fighting chance, but it’s what you have to do for the sake of your crew and public.

    PGnE has a murderous track record here, so do your part.

  2. When I moved to Paradise it was as the name implies. Yet now my home of 20 years there is gone along with all of my community and friends. Few remain . That factor that no one considers. It’s not just material things they rob from us. They take your group and support network from you. As paradise and the campfire memories fade the evil empire strikes time and time again ruining whole communities with a goal. No cost billion dollar returns on their stock investments. The power needs to be taken from their hands. Or they will burn us all.

  3. Wondering when Piggy&E will be held responsible for the deaths and damages they’ve caused? Back in 2007, their faulty equipment caused the Stevens Canyon Fire near my then-home, but it was swept under the rug. Two areas near the Mosquito Fire have their own utility companies – no shutdowns, no fires. Meanwhile, my latest bill includes the usual circular saying Piggy&E wants another rate increase. Maybe they should quit paying for expensive TV ads saying what a great job they’re doing, and what we should all do when they shut down our life-supporting energy. Oh, and their glossy bill inserts doing the same. When will their incompetence no longer be rewarded? Never thought the place I was born would become a Third-World State… until now.

  4. Wow, when are we EVER going to SERIOUSLY hold huge, deregulated businesses accountable for what they do? They know they are untouchable.


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