PG&E released a statement that indicates there was a transmission line malfunction around the time and point where the Kincade Fire started in Sonoma County. The utility has filed an Electric Incident Report in response to the fire.
The transmission line malfunction happened near Kincade Road and Burned Mountain Road. Power was shutdown in that area at around 3 p.m. for a power shutoff, but even though power distribution lines were deenergized, the high-voltage power transmission line was not deenergized.
At around 7:30 Thursday morning, a PG&E crew member was patrolling the area and saw that Cal Fire had taped off the area around the base of a transmission tower near the origin of the fire. While the crew member was there, a Cal Fire employee pointed out what seemed to be a broken jumper on the tower.
PG&E said in a statement that concerning wind speeds for transmission lines are higher than the ones for distribution lines. The utility said forecasted weather conditions were not enough to trigger the power shutoff protocol for transmission lines.
The Kincade Fire has burned 10,000 acres since it started early Thursday morning.