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Cal Fire knows what caused huge Northern California blaze

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PG&E is off the hook for this one

County Fire Burns Over 45,000 Acres In Remote Yolo County, California
Firefighters strain to get ahead of the County Fire in early July.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Cal Fire announced on Wednesday that it found the culprit responsible for the huge ongoing County Fire in Napa and Yolo counties: “An improperly installed electric livestock fence unit.”

Looks like PG&E is off the hook for this one. A Cal Fire press release says, “The responsible party has been cited under Public Resources Code section 4421, burning of lands of another,” but didn’t name the culprit.

The County Fire began June 30 and defied taming for over a week, despite the intervention of hundreds of firefighters. Although Cal Fire reports that the burn is now largely under control, having achieved 89 percent containment on it, it’s still well over 90,000 acres in size.

Evacuation orders across Yolo, Napa, and Lake County have all been lifted. Fires investigators report that in all the burn destroyed some 20 buildings, although that number may rise as the flames subside and grant access to more affected areas. No injuries have been reported.

Thursday morning marks a point of relative calm in Northern California’s early fire season. Although several active fires dot the state, Cal Fire reports that each are relatively small and largely under control, with even the large Klamathon Fire near the Oregon border now 70 percent contained and less than half the size of the County Fire.

Despite reports of containment, large and active fires are still dangerous and could still spread.

Weather forecasts looking at the weekend predict relatively high temperatures in the ‘80s near Napa and other Wine Country regions near recent large fires, with winds up to 22 miles per hour tonight, although the National Weather Service has not issued any fire condition warnings.