SAN FRANCISCO—Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. power lines sparked a Northern California blaze that killed 85 people last year, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, state fire officials said Wednesday.
Cal Fire said transmission lines owned and operated by the San Francisco-based utility started the Nov. 8 fire that nearly destroyed the town of Paradise in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
The fire wiped out nearly 15,000 homes. Many of those killed were elderly or disabled. The oldest was 99.
“Investigators determined there were violations of law,” Cal Fire deputy director Mike Mohler said.