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Investigators Release Cause Of Secondary Blaze Which Became Part Of Massive Thomas Brush Fire

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Ventura County fire investigators say a problem with a power line led to a small brush fire which eventually became a part of the massive Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The Koenigstein Fire started on December 4th, 2017 in the Upper Ojai area.

Investigators say about an hour after the Thomas Fire started, an energized conductor separated near an insulator on a power pole. It caused sparks, and fell to the ground, igniting dry brush. This was about three and a half miles from where the Thomas Fire started outside of Santa Paula. A resident saw what was happening, and called 911.

A few hours later, the blaze merged with the Thomas Fire, and they together took on the Thomas Fire name.

Southern California Edison officials say their equipment may have triggered the Konigstein blaze, but question fire department findings that their lines triggered the Thomas Fire.

The 280,000 acre blaze burned for 40 days, killing two people and destroying more than a thousand structures in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.