The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Thursday said it had determined that the 2017 Tubbs Fire was caused by a private electrical system close to a residential structure.
The discovery cleared California's Pacific Gas and Electric utility of any blame for the fire. The agency has pressed the case that private equipment outside Calistoga may have caused the fire.
The Tubbs fire, which destroyed more than 5,600 structures over more than 57 square miles in Sonoma and Napa counties, was one of more than 170 that torched the state in October 2017. It was the most destructive wildfire in California's history before the Camp Fire, which destroyed more than 239 square miles, nearly 19,000 buildings and killed 86 people this past November.
The resident of the property where the problem started, Ann Zink, 91, said that in 2017 her house in Calistoga was unoccupied at the time of the fire but she thought trees hitting wires during fierce winds started the blaze. Zink said she was at her other home in Riverside County when the fire began.
PG&E would finally feel at ease after they were planning to file for bankruptcy protection next week, citing billions of dollars in potential damages and lawsuits it faces from other deadly wildfires for which it has been determined to be at fault.