Federal Officials Launch Investigation Into Cause of California’s Mosquito Fire

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Just after California’s Mosquito Fire burned nearly 77,000 acres in Sierra Hills, federal officials are now investigating PG&E Corp.’s potential involvement in the largest wildfire

According to a filing from PG&E that was obtained by Bloomberg, the U.S. Forest Service removed one of the utility’s transmission poles from the site in Placer Country, where the Mosquito Fire began. This isn’t the first time that the company has been connected to a wildfire. In 2021, it was charged with manslaughter in connection to a 2020 fire that killed four people. It was also driven into bankruptcy for its involvement in the 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed Paradise, California. 

PG&E is now being sued for starting the Mosquito Fire, which has been dubbed California’s largest wildfire of 2022. The company shared it is cooperating with the investigation into its involvement with the wildfire. However, the company also stated that it is conducting its own probe into the cause of the fire. Officials have yet to determine what started the blaze. 

Meanwhile, it’s been reported that the Mosquito Fire has destroyed nearly 77,000 acres and 78 structures since it began at the Sierra Nevada foothills. This is just east of Sacramento. It originally sparked on September 6th on Mosquito Road and Oxbow Reservoir, east of Foresthill. As of Monday (September 26th), the fire was 85% contained. Analysts further explained details about the wildfire’s damages. “While it is one of the biggest fires of 2022, the damage estimates remain below insurance thresholds.” 

Attorney Speaks Out About PG&E’s Involvement in the Mosquito Fire 

In a statement announcing the lawsuit against PD&E’s involvement in the Mosquito Fire, attorney Gerald Singleton further revealed, “The utility company continues to put profit over the safety in the countless fires that they have caused or been associated with.”

Singleton also stated that the damage done to several country es by PG&E was entirely avoidable with their knowledge and expertise as electrical service providers. “PG&E continues to act negligently and has been responsible for more than 1,500 fires across the states leading to deaths, property destruction, financial burdens, and ruined lives,” the statement continues. “Because of their poorly maintained utility equipment.”

However, PG&E released a statement of its own and claims that it remains focused on reducing wildfire risk across the service area. “PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. We are grateful for Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service for their work in containing the fire. Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service have not made a determination on the cause of the fire. We remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area, and are committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe.”