(FOX 11/CNS) - Southern California Edison is being investigated by state regulators for its possible role in the massive Woolsey Fire burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
According to CPUC, electrical infrastructure may have suffered malfunctions near ground zero of the blazes.
On Thursday, SCE issued an alert to the CPUC that a substation circuit near the Woolsey Fire origin "relayed," or sensed a disturbance on the circuit, just two minutes before Cal Fire said that the devastating fire began.
The utility said personnel have not being able to access the area where the fire reportedly began.
"The CPUC is monitoring the fire conditions throughout the state, in coordination with our partners from Cal Fire and Cal OES. CPUC staff will incorporate Edison's incident report into its investigation to assess the compliance of electric facilities with applicable rules and regulations in fire impacted areas,"
CPUC spokeswoman Terrie Prosper told City News Service on Monday. "The CPUC staff investigation may include an inspection of the fire sites once Cal Fire allows access, as well as maintenance of facilities, vegetation management, and emergency preparedness and response. Cal Fire is the first responder and determines the sources of ignition of the fires and the way that the fires spread."
The agency is also investigating PG&E for its possible role in the Camp Fire in Butte County, which has burned 113,000 acres and resulted in at least 29 deaths, the report said.
From Phil Shuman:
It happened again.We think.Southern California Edison, whose equipment contributed in part to the devastating Thomas Fire in Ventura County last winter, may be implicated in the Woolsey Fire as well.
This is preliminary, but on Friday the utility acknowledged a still unspecified service interruption at a Chatsworth substation just two minutes before the first calls came in reporting the fire.
That does not imply negligence, as I was told over and over again by fire officials, ''It could be a bird struck a line, it could be wind caused lines to touch and arc and caused a spark." We don't know.
SCE as you can imagine is being very very careful with what they say, not saying much beyond they're doing everything they can to make sure their equipment is as safe as possible and they're working with an cooperating with investigators.
There is talk about ''hardening'' equipment, making it more fire resistant, which you would have that would have been done many years and many fires ago. If you're so inclined go online and read about California's new SB 901 which deals with fire prevention, liability allocation and ''wildfire mitigation plans '' and a variety of related issues.
Portions of this video are restricted to the Los Angeles area.