The findings of an investigation by California’s Ventura county’s fire department has aimed the blame for the state’s second biggest wildfire at squarely at Southern California Edison (SCE).
The Thomas fire claimed the lives of two and the scorching over 281,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
The department claims that the equipment sparked two separate ignitions.
A decision is yet to be taken by the state’s attorney general whether to criminally prosecute the utility after reviewing the investigation.
SCE stated that it has not determined "whether its equipment caused" any secondary ignition, stating that the blaze had "started at least 12 minutes prior to any issue involving SCE's system and at least 15 minutes prior to the start time indicated by VCFD in its report."
"Notwithstanding today's [VCFD] report, a final determination on cause and responsibility will only be made through the legal process," SCE said.