Pacific Gas and Electric Company says that some of their Butte County equipment and power poles were found with bullet holes in the area where the deadly Camp Fire started. Cal Fire continues to investigate the cause of the deadly fire, but legal experts say if bullets were fired at that equipment and sparked the flames, there could be criminal liability for the shooter.
PG&E reported the discovery in a letter to the Public Utilities Commission. Cal Fire spokesman Scott McClean says their team has jurisdiction and is conducting the investigation. "Because of the investigation aspects, we do assist other agencies as well," said McClean. "In various cases we will work with the jurisdictional DA's office if need be."
KFBK legal analyst Bill Portanova says if investigators can find the shooter and determine that those actions caused the blaze, that person could be held liable. "That means if somebody was shooting at PG&E transformers, and somehow created a short circuit that caused a fire, that person is responsible, not only civilly, but in a case where people have died, that person could actually be held responsible criminally," Portanova told KFBK.
In a statement sent to KFBK, PG&E did not address the ongoing investigation.