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PG&E says transmission tower malfunctioned in Kincade Fire area

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said it found a broken jumper on a transmission tower where the Kincade Fire incident happened.

In an incident report, the bankrupt utility said it became aware at about 9:20 p.m. on Oct. 23 of a transmission level outage on the Geysers No. 9 Lakeville 230-kV line, which relayed and did not reclose. By 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 24, a responding PG&E worker observed that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had taped off the area around the base of a transmission tower.

The PG&E Corp. subsidiary inspected the transmission tower earlier in 2019 as part of its wildfire safety inspection program.

According to the utility, it de-energized distribution lines in Sonoma County, Calif., and the surrounding area, where the Kincade Fire ignited. However, it continued to operate transmission lines because wind speeds did not trigger its public safety power shutoff protocol.

PG&E said it was continuing to investigate the incident.