Fire officials determine PG&E equipment sparked deadly fire

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are expressing skepticism that Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. has made the dramatic changes necessary to prevent another deadly blaze.

State fire officials concluded Wednesday that the utility’s power lines sparked the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, which nearly destroyed a Northern California town last fall. The fire destroyed nearly 15,000 homes and killed 85 people.

The news came as PG&E’s new chief executive, Bill Johnson, spoke before lawmakers for the first time.

Democratic Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes says California cannot keep reliving deadly wildfires and she hopes Johnson has learned lessons from the utility’s past mistakes.

He says the utility is now inspecting all of its lines and making repairs when necessary at a cost of $600 to $900 million. He says the utility plans to dramatically expand planned power shutoffs.

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