Sacto 9-1-1
October 21, 2013
Update: Downed power line caused Foresthill fire

A downed transmission line apparently caused a wildland fire in Foresthill and forced 2,600 residents and businesses in Placer County to go without power for several hours.

"We are working with CalFire on the investigation," said Paul Moreno, spokesman for PG&E

"It's looking like a downed power line caused that fire that also burned our utility pole. We're trying to determine what cause the power line to come down."

CalFire received a call at 3:46 a.m. of a vegetation fire burning near Spring Garden and Pine Mountain roads in Foresthill.

The fire burned an estimated three to five acres before it was contained at 6:55 a.m.

Earlier, PG&E officials believed that the outage was caused by the blaze which burned down a wooden pole carrying a major transmission line - rated at 60,000 volts - between the Foresthill and Weimar substations.

Most of the residents and businesses in Foresthill were impacted, although there were some outlying customers in Placer County who also lost power.

PG&E crews managed to reroute the power on another transmission line from Foresthill, and electricity was restored to all customers by 9:12 a.m.

"We'll be working today to replace the pole and restore the transmission line that burned," said Moreno. "Even before we had the power restored, we had crews loaded up to go up there."

It was while the crews were at the site of the burned pole later Monday that they made the discovery that the fire did not take down the transmission line.

"It was the power line itself that caused the fire," said Moreno.

It will take eight hours for the replacement work to be completed, but the investigation will be ongoing.

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