Two Large Brush Fires in Ventura Caused by Power Line Equipment

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By edhat staff

The Ventura County Fire Department found that two large brush fires within the past year were caused by power line equipment failures.

Equipment failure on an electrical transmission line owned and operated by Southern California Edison (SCE) caused the 2019 Easy Fire, which started on October 30, 2019, and burned about 1,800 acres and damaged two structures in Ventura County.

Fire investigators found that the fire started when an insulator attached to high-voltage power lines swung into a steel power pole.

The insulator showed damage consistent with grounding against the steel pole. The Easy Fire started in an open area of the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District in Simi Valley.

Red Flag weather conditions consisting of strong winds, low humidity and warm temperatures drove the fire quickly southwest toward homes along Tierra Rejada Road and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Over the next two weeks, the fire burned 1,806 acres and damaged two structures.

Equipment failure on electrical distribution lines owned and operated by California Resources Corp. (CRC), caused the 2019 Maria Fire on October 31, 2019, which burned nearly 10,000 acres and damaged four structures.

Fire investigators found that an electrical conductor separated and contacted a metal pipe on the ground, igniting the fire.

The fire started along the ridgetop of South Mountain in Santa Paula, amid extreme fire weather conditions. It quickly spread to the southwest, consuming 9,999 acres of native vegetation and damaging four structures. It took a week for firefighters to fully contain the fire.

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