PG&E: Power lines may have started 2 Lafayette fires

Bay Area

LAFAYETTE (KRON/AP) — The Pacific Gas & Electric Co. utility says its power lines may have started two wildfires over the weekend in Lafayette.

The fires described in PG&E reports to state regulators match blazes that destroyed a tennis club and forced urgent evacuations in the town of Lafayette.

PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that a worker responded to the first fire around 4:45 p.m. Sunday and was told firefighters believe contact between a power line and a communication line may have caused it.

A worker went to another fire about an hour later and saw a fallen pole and transformer.

Contra Costa fire Department personnel on site told the worker they were looking at the transformer as a potential ignition source, a company official wrote.

Powerful winds are driving multiple fires across Northern California and forcing power shut-offs intended to prevent downed power lines that can spark blazes. The company says the Lafayette blazes did not begin in areas designated as high risk for wildfire.

PG&E is under severe financial pressure after its equipment has been blamed for a series of destructive wildfires in Northern California over the past three years.

The Lafayette fires broke out Sunday afternoon. One of the fires was in the area of Camino Diablo Road. The other broke out near Pleasant Hill and Condit Road.

The fires prompted evacuations in the area, destroyed the Lafayette Tennis Club and damaged a home’s roof.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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