Cause Of Thomas Fire Determined: Investigators Say Wind Caused Power Lines To Arc With Each Other

Mar 13, 2019

Fire investigators say arching power line caused the massive Thomas brush fire, which killed two people and destroyed more than a thousand structures in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The long awaited report on the December 4th, 2017 blaze says high winds caused some power lines in the foothills northeast of Santa Paula to come in contact with each other, creating an electrical arc.

Investigators say it happened on the 16000 block of Anlauf Canyon Road, and involved Southern California Edison power lines.

The National Weather Service had predicted extremely high wind for the night of the fire, with gusts in the 80 mile an hour range possible.

The 71 page report says the arcing lines dropped some hot or molten material on the ground, igniting  brush. The fire burned for nearly 40 days, burning more than 280,000 acres of brush.