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California Briefing / SAN DIEGO

Downed lines blamed for 3 fires

September 03, 2008|Tony Perry

Three of the brush fires that ravaged San Diego County late last year were caused by sparks from power lines downed during strong winds, according to a report issued Tuesday by a division of the Public Utilities Commission.

In the Witch and Rice fires, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. was in violation of regulations involving the safety and maintenance of its lines, a report by the commission's Consumer Protection and Safety Division concludes. In the Guejito fire, Cox Communication was in violation of a regulation when one of its lashing wires hit a power line, the report said.

The report requests that the commission conduct a further investigation of the three fires with the goal of ensuring that the public be protected against falling electrical lines.

-- Tony Perry

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